Romanian New Wave

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days – the winner of the Golden Palm - is about to start its screening in the Czech Republic. It became the best-known film of the so-called Romanian New Wave. This movement of younger filmmakers was established in the last few years and it incorporates such figures as Cristian Mungiu or Cristi Puiu, director of The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. Romanian films – when compared to the overly conventional Czech cinema – show critically and in an innovative style (long takes, off-screen space, location shooting, strong performances) the problems of social transformation from the communist regime to the democratic country. But the complexity of reality is rendered in unique stories with elaborated characters and typical black humour. Therefore, this type of cinema has the potential to reach wider international audience.

Jan Křipač

Psychological Conflicts in Pixar Animation Studios Films

The output of the Pixar Animation Studios is unique not only regarding film style, but mainly for the emphasis it puts on the elaborated story and that not only within the context of CGI animation. The story itself is not built solely on the individual plot twists but also and mainly on the psychology of characters. These act out different roles and go through different dramatic situations. The presented text focuses exclusively on motives that can be termed as psychological conflict. It highlights four basic ones which all appear in nearly all Pixar pictures and add to the dramatic impact of the picture and also to its quality to a large degree. The problems of one’s own identity, its self-awareness  of the enforced/invented identity and the natural/refused identity fall among the basic psychological conflicts. It is the most fundamental psychological conflict which mostly connects to others, e.g. the other mentioned relationship of “I” and the surroundings, often a very problematic relationship. Two other psychological motives are slightly less important, however they appear in nearly every film, stand at the start of the plot line and influence and explain the actions of the characters. It is the feeling of responsibility and the violation of rooted (and safe) borders of one’s space and also of the norms.

Lukáš Gregor

Werner Herzog: A Portrait

Werner Herzog (5.9.1942) grew up in a poor environment which forced him to learn to earn his living. The limited resources, thriftiness and strong will on the way to his own vision have become essential for his work. Herzog’s characters that leave the civilisation and look for virgin uncorrupted primaeval forest find only the senselessness, cruelty and madness. On the other hand those who in spite of their difference do not leave the society are rejected and consequently bled dry. Herzog’s heroes always carry a bud of madness in them, be it an eccentric (Kinski) or on the contrary an autistic one (Bruno S.), because only a so disposed person can reveal that chaos is supreme to order. They find reconciliation with the world only after a cruel confrontation with it.
The year of 1972 was a turning point for Herzog’s work because his film about a conquistador grown mad in the middle of the Amazonian jungle Aguirre the Wrath of God was screened. Herzog is first connected here to Klaus Kinski and also taken to the space of an exotic jungle where he returns several times. Aguirre also opens the topic of megalomania and vanity of human struggle which is then elaborated on in the “primaeval forest trilogy” with Kinski in the lead ten years later in Fitzcarraldo and six years after that in Cobra Verde. Herzog is presently going through a little renaissance over the ocean, newly seated in L.A.

Rudolf Schimera

Poetry in Pictures

Forough (Forugh) Farrokhzad, an Iranian film maker and poetess above all, is still considered to be one of the most famous women in the modern history of Persian literature. Born into a middle class family in Tehran in 1935, she was expected to fulfil the generally accepted image of woman in this part of world where women were seen as deficient compared to men in their physical and mental skills. Displeased with her style of life and her unfree position in Iranian society in general, she separated from her husband after their three-year marriage and decided to follow her calling in poetry, arts and independent life style. During her life she published five collections of poems, which became emblems of new style of poetry based on experiments with rhyme, imagery, and author’s own subjectivity.
Forough was also largely under the impact of Ebrahim Golestan, an Iranian writer, translator and a pioneer in film making. She worked in his film company as a creative film editor, script-writer and finally as a film director. Her solitary contribution to Iranian cinema, internationally acclaimed short documentary about a leper colony near Tabriz called The House Is Black, is now regarded as one of the ancestors of Iranian New Wave, the later tendency in Iranian cinema of the 1960s. The House Is Black presents a fusion of poetic essence of Forough’s poems which appear in the voice-over, and of the strong, painful content of the film, a fusion of a bleak, frightening subject and lyric and a deeply humane impression. Innovative is Forough’s approach to film sound as well and her rapid film editing.
Forough died in a car accident on Monday 14, 1967, on the way back from a visit to her mother, in the age of thirty-two. She is buried in the Zahiro-Doleh cemetery in Tehran.

Hana Stuchlíková