Monday, 16 September
My Sweet Little Village
MY SWEET LITTLE VILLAGE 1985 (Vesnicko má stredisková) Directed by Jiří Menzel 98 minutes In Czech with English subtitles
Some of the most crucial things missing from modern cinema are: atmosphere, magic and a deep sense of humanity. Most movies today replace these qualities with cheap sentimentality, cgi, big budgets and worn-out formulas. When a director really follows their instincts, they will never end up with a formula, the experience will always wander into uncharted territory.
Directed by the great Jiří Menzel (Closely Watched Trains) this is a comedy about a small Czechoslovakian town and a guy named Pavel who has been taking care of Otik, the local "village idiot". He feeds him, and gives him a job as an assistant on his dump truck, but things are changing. The modern world is smashing the old ties of the village, and Otik becomes a dysfunctional pain-in-the-ass. This bittersweet film captures that crucial turning point, hinting at the oncoming loss of community and solidarity. The narrative weaves through many of the members of the village, and has that wonderful Czech summer vibe... flirting, romances, and a natural sense of poetry. It feels like a fresh breeze.
This is a beloved movie in its homeland, but practically unknown anywhere else. It transports you to another time and place, a simpler era before globalization and corporatization. Believe it or not, in Communist Czechoslovakia people didn't suffer from a plague of hyper-anxiety, adhd, depression, addiction and stress - as so many do today. This movie taps into the lyricism of Czech culture and its razor-sharp sense of black humor... and documents a simpler and more open world when people still cared for each other no matter how difficult that might be. Hurray!
This will be a high-definition screening
Date & Time: