Czechoslovakia, Napoleon, Michael Ben discussed on The Projection Booth Podcast


What's going on like in all these situations because she comes in and there's the boys with the rabbit or donkey ears and the movie will stop and have a close up of her and she will say line. And i'm like okay. That's supposed to be a punchline but like each time it's just mistranslated enough where i'm just like okay. I can see what you're going for but that line in english didn't land in czechoslovakia and i'm sure it's hilarious. There's got to be a lot of satisfaction for the contemporary audience. Watching the film when it came out that is poking fun at the generational gaps. That were becoming huge. That point right. It's like the just post sixties generation that the younger more kind of world aware teenagers and twentysomethings and then the generation that we're still defined by the second world war who were coming at things from a much more formal foundational point of view. I think that probably would have been hilarious to the contemporary audience watching it and for us. We just have to make a slight extra bit of work to understand what the punch line is in those moments when an old lady sees kids acting wild it took me a while to to realize that one of the teachers lives right next door. There's that whole thing with the balcony. Which kind of leads to a little some somewhat. Three's company type of interactions at times. And is she living with the guy who's obsessed with that bust of napoleon. Yeah yup. I think so. Yeah now that the joke with the headless in the in the best is flat out one of my favorite things about this firm. Every time i watch it. I laugh because this is so ridiculous. Such should ridiculous corny joke but for some reason in this film it works. It just really works. We'll around with this source. Statues head on and the doctor comes out and he's always okay. I see cows when i'm overtired. Everyone in this film. It's reading nuts. We've gone this long without mentioning the town but it's not a traditional town. Even though there is fantasy fairy tale. Remiss and i it got as to your point about the adjoining apartments. There is a farce quality to this film. And some seems more than another is like the culmination in the teachers lounge is a straight up farseeing from like a stage. Play where everyone's coming in and different door isn't so people are rabbits. People are half dressed and everyone sort of coming to the same saint plant. I think that those moments are some of the genius of this film is that you know it's ridiculous and it's not it's not afraid of it. I think but the napoleon being is a perfect example of this first time we hear about the napoleon spread in still. It's when the teacher is chastising at bullied kid rock or whatever his name is and it took me a you watches to realize that she's not making fun of the fact that he's short because she's like enough with your napoleon behaviors like that's like a pretty har- stig verge. The kid whispering class teacher is not taking this lying down but then it's clear that yemen has friends. Were involved in some defacing the statue. Which is that the setup for be bust being worked over. I think all of those threads are meant to be totally connected and but Off this one joke where he puts the head. It's not seriously and clearly and can apparently then see when he's called rights. He's looking at a mirror with the in. Connie is how harry's space so out done is in these surrealism. Though isn't it and i think czechoslovakian in polish in polish film. Also that you saw coming out in the seventies berov check. There's there's much more of a literary tradition of surrealism. There gail said. This is not this hand holding of the audience. Oh right okay. We're in this world we're gonna spend like the first twenty minutes just going through the whole world building things. Everyone's comfortable here. There's a trust the okay. We're in a dream world now. Just whatever happens happens on a thing audiences czechoslovakia with far more comfortable with a than saying britain or america where you know even in the eighties seventies of the media phone. God three this films occult classics now. Wouldn't so successful than because audience was roy. Don't get it so is it's definitely a totally different audience. The cat a totally different tradition. Which i really respect. I love that kind of thing anyway. But you don't tend to sit. In britain we out some weird stuff. We have the owl service. Which is. I don't know if you guys have seen that. Which no what is amazing nazi surrealistic. But it's kind of like her foco pokhara based on kids burke when you've got these three kids who end up possessed by this may and their fall to reenact it which is enough triangle. So even though it's no explicit when you start to think about your night these Basically so kids on the cusp of To reenacting of violent you know in the saxon senior. So was that kind of thing but nothing. I guess to- one identity. Michael ben team was greatness. Mommy python maybe. It was just america. We enjoy the you know this whole kind of his one kid's tastes being patronised. Say you know. And i think kids have far more exact eighteen fat concentrated. They just accepted. They don't need to explain to them. You know. I was really interested earlier when you mentioned the sort of animation language in the Elements that is another cultural distinction. In czechoslovakia people were growing up with animation as a viable mode of storytelling. That that was not relegated to children's entertainment. It was something that could be used to tell an adult story. A fairy tale drama and it didn't matter what the audience was it was. It was just the tools for telling the story. And i think that that may be gave a a certain toolkit but divorced check and for the audience. You understand that. These were some of the near misses. You could get away with in a live action story. Like like donna and and that it wouldn't feel like it would break the reality of or whatever the membrane of the Of the story. I really wanted to read her mind. Frank kovas short story that this was based on i found versions but they were all in check. Unfortunately i couldn't find an english translation. But i did want to point out real quick because i think this is been a common thread throughout so many of these comedy films that we've talked about which was this was adapted by masaryk. It's like his filmography of a hundred and twenty seven credits. We've barely touched it but almost every time. We talk about a comedy during check timber. He's had his finger senate. Yeah it was definitely much more of a tradition for this and much more of an industry. Bill ryan is while we've singular voices so these names even those quite big industry. These same names come up. And such an industry built around that surreal comedy. The even starts in the new wave which we've talked some about some of those films. There's always a thing about comedy though. And you get it with lightly italian comedies. In the when you look at the source of films that come home video for english language territories the comedies always so underrepresented. And i think there's this even italian comedies which have the same colt stars the to an opinion journal. Ever you think that'd be a market but there's this weird resistance so no people aren't going to be interested in that nazi comedies. Not going to cross over. And i think even though we've made some of the translation okay might not work it. Still a genuinely funny realm and a lot of the comedies. We've talked to buy still genuinely funny and immolate relate things that everyone can relate to this whole teen carnival quickness being bullied at school you know rebelling against the teachers. They speak universal language. But there's this weird resistance. Sarah i think to private people want sided out to watch those films all the companies to then remastered me. Think on would be a prime candidate for like a big restoration when given the on the end to grind. It seems to have some sort of follow in finders keepers. Did like her beat vinyl. It and i've seen so many people without following on you just like. Wow you know. People know this film. But i know that's just like weird. Resistance are frustrates me. Because those tag comedies. That just so wonderful. Just so wonderful. And surreal and like you said the tradition of animation as well but just live action on nation. The broth checks stuff. That's coming to critical acclaim now. 'cause terry gilliam said oh what. I was inspired by this. But where's the rest of it. That was that was just one strain of the in these films made. Look those some of those crises like the rice. Chris oh sing. Never gonna see.

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