First screening of restored jokes in early Karlovy Vary highlights

Michal Bregant | Photo: Ian Willoughby, Radio Prague International

“The joke occupies a special place in the Czechoslovak cinemas of the late 1960s. Not only is it an adaptation of this book by Milan Kundera, but it was already great when it was first published in Czechoslovakia. It has been successful.

“But the other reason is that this movie specifically deals with our political memory.

“And regardless of the plot line (a fairly philosophical topic of revenge and the trap in which the protagonist finds himself), it is also about our social consciousness and social memory.

Jokes | Photo: NFA

“It deals with the very delicate topics of the political situation in Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, how the younger generation dealt with political and totalitarian pressures, and what the meaning of the spring change in Prague was. Because it is. “

In my view, jokes are a relatively good or very good adaptation of the novel. Do you know what Milan Kundera himself thought about this movie?

Milan Kundera | Photo: Elisa Cabot, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic

“Milan Kundera himself called Jaromil Jireš, the director of a joke, a very close and personal friend.

“I think the main reason is that he liked the adaptation so much.

“He was really grateful for how Gilesh was able to follow the structure of the book as well as the storyline.

“So Kundera was very happy with this adaptation.

“And he also liked the adaptation of one of the stories from another book adapted by Antonin Kaklik. [1969’s Já, truchlivý bůh/I, Mournful God from a story in the collection Laughable Loves]..

Jokes | Photo: NFA

“Therefore, these two adaptations have always been highly valued by Kundera himself, unlike the intolerable lightness adaptations of existence, which was a horrifying experience for Kundera.

“He said after this movie, no one would ever allow one of his books to be made into a movie.”

The National Film Archive is restored at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival each year, perhaps for 10 years. What does it mean to know that the NFA has a relationship with this Karlovy Vary and will screen one of the restored films at Hotel Thermal’s Grand Hall each year?

Photo: Ondřej Tomšů, Radio Prague International

“This is a great opportunity for us as a heritage institution and we can get a lot of attention to our restoration.

“And it’s great to see the Thermal Grand Hall full of people who want to look back on our own history from a cinematic point of view.”

At the 56th Karlovy Vary IFF, the National Film Archive also screens a restored version of the 1927 silent film Executioner in Prague. .. First screening of restored jokes in early Karlovy Vary highlights

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