Perhaps more than any other film of the Czechoslovak New Wave, Vera Chytilová’s anarchic Daisies has transcended its origins and become an arthouse darling. The Criterion Collection hails it as “one of the great works of feminist cinema” and it is only one of two Czech movies to make the exalted Sight and Sound Top 250, the other being Marketa Lazarova. Over 50 years later, it still attracts attention from modern film buffs thanks to its absurd humour, zeitgeisty vibe and abundance of sixties style. Chytilová made many other films, including the popular comedy The Inheritance or Fuckoffguysgoodday, but Daisies remains her most famous work. Sometimes when a director is so closely associated with one film it is fun toContinue Reading

I have a confession to make. Lately, I have become addicted to lame Czech raunchy comedies. There are dozens on Netflix right now and I have the strange urge to crack through every single one of them, even though I know they will be mostly terrible. I don’t know why this craving has emerged, but I’m currently taking heavy doses of Ingmar Bergman and Carl Theodor Dreyer to counterbalance the utter flimsiness of these films. So please bear with me until I overcome this nasty affliction… Next up is Bikers from Martin Kopp (3Grapes), a film that owes a vague debt to movies like American Pie and Euro Trip. As far as modern Czech comedies go, it isn’t anywhere nearContinue Reading

Set in the aftermath of the Cold War, it is difficult for Andy to know who he can trust. LONDON, UK: Olympia Publishers announces the release of B.V. Mays’ newbook, thriller and spy adventure, CONTRACTOR. Based on real events, this Cold War adventurestory is set in Poland and post-Soviet Union Russia. B.V. Mays’ stories are based on twenty years of experience in Eastern Europe. Living there at atime of economic and political transition, he was a senior executive for several multi-nationals anddid contract work out of the US Embassy in Warsaw, Poland. He divides his time now betweenEurope and the United States. (www.bvmays.net) Womaniser, Andy Gold, is an American living in Poland who has taken on ‘spy work’ for theContinue Reading

A movie about a 70-year-old woman who goes all Charles Bronson on a bunch of local thugs? Half the fun of writing it must have been thinking up a title. Granny Get Your Gun immediately springs to mind, or, given the spaghetti western motifs in Jiří Hájek’s score, how about A Fistful of Werther’s? No, wait! A Mouthful of Dentures? Or, considering what must have been the film’s main influence, we could just go with Gran Torino… Whatever, Radek Bajgar seems to have missed a trick on the title, ending up with the far more generic Teroristka, or The Lady Terrorist, or Shotgun Justice, as it is also known in English. Then again, there is more to the film thanContinue Reading