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Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

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Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

I happened to see the movie "I Served the Kind of England" on Starz HD Cinema this past week. What an enchanting movie, and an interesting glimpse of what it might have been like to live in Czechoslovakia in the 40's and early 60's. The plot told a "change of condition" story, from the eyes of Jan Díte after he is released after 15 years in prison.

In flashbacks, he tells his story of his life 20 years prior. Much of the movie had a dream like quality to it. I enjoyed how non-formulaic it seemed compared to any others I've seen recently

After reading so much about Czech beer, I had to laugh at the scene where they were arguing over which beer was best. Pilsner Urquell was on tap of course. I wish I had taken a cell phone pic of the English sub-title with the other names. Maybe Vil___? was one of them.

Anyone else seen it?

What movies would make your top 5 list that are :

- Set in Prague or Czech Republic

- Illustrate a lot of Czech Republic history

and

- Have English subtitles (Wow, Czech is as difficult as Dutch to follow!)

Links:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0284363/

…wikipedia.org/wiki/…29

http://amzn.to/M99QFy

(Amazon shortened link. Also, Amazon Instant Video has it for $9.99 for those of you who have an ethernet connection near your TV. A year or 2 ago I finally added this without running cables behind the wall via:

http://amzn.to/Mfxcff

Netgear XAVB5004 Powerline Network Adapter

since I have Amazon Prime and therefore could get some Amazon Prime Videos for free. It took 5 minutes to install and it has worked perfectly since.

Brno, Czech Republic
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1. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

Just for starters (there are many many more I could mention):

Báječná léta pod psa

Vrať se do hrobu

Pelíšky

Then there are a lot of the old Miloš Forman films as well, such as Lásky jedné plavovlásky, and there are some beautiful examples of the Czech New Wave, such as Vsichni dobří rodáci.

There used to be a Youtube channel with all these films and more, with English subtitles as well, but it appears to have gone. However, all the above are available on DVD with English subtitles.

Just as a little warning - as many of them are full of inside jokes/humour, it is often difficult to understand what is really going on and for an 'outsider' they may not make a lot of sense, but they give a good overview anyway - a typical example of this is Kolya, which is steeped in imagery and hidden meaning, yet when you see the reviews everyone just raves about the cute little boy ...

Czech Republic
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2. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

agree with Pelíšky

the more recent release 'Lidice'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNPyiPsLJzQ

a classic..English translation is The Fireman's Ball

--------

you could have a look here for a composite list....right column indicates awards/nominations

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Czech_films

Belfast, United...
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3. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

Hi

I absolutely love " Vesničko má středisková", every single character is a joy. Then "Kolja", I cry at the end of that every time, he must be the sweetest kid on earth. Then "Vratné lahve", pushing 60 I know exactly what Josef is feeling.

Then the brilliant "Obecná škola", has me in stitches. The common denominator here is Zdeněk Svěrák, a wonderful actor, although he barely appears in " Vesničko má středisková", but I have found if he is in the cast list then I will probably enjoy the film.

I have just remembered one more, which is the only film I can think of which made me laugh about the Nazi terror in Prague and that is "Musíme si pomáhat". A terrific film, I have watched it several times.

By the way all my copies have subtitles.

Jackie

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4. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

Hi GCEK

Just read your comment about Kolya, and that is one cute kid, but I did understand a lot of the sub texts, the prejudice, the fears, the turncoats, the danger of speaking your mind and losing everything.

I loved the comment about the pigeon at the window and why was he tapping, implying everything had to be suspicious.

But the relationship between Louka and Kolya is wonderful and just because the kid was soooooooo cute doesn't mean that the film isn't enjoyed on many levels.

If you know of any other films of this genre please do pass on the titles. I have an account with Popron so once I know what to ask for they usually have them.

Thanks

Jackie

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5. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

I can see how on a superficial level the film appealed to the mass audience, but for those of us who understand what is really going on then it is so much more enjoyable.

But the same goes for films such as Mars Attacks - I didn't get it at all, but apparently it is full of references to other films and if you aren't a film geek (which I am not - only Czech films), you just won't get it :)

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6. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

Ostře sledované vlaky, released in the UK as Closely Observed Trains, is excellent. Although it is set during the period of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia it is more worth watching as a film than as a substitute for reading a history book. But it is a really excellent film, very well worth watching.

As for Czech being *as difficult* as Dutch, I should think that it is actually a good deal more difficult. I take it that the OP is Italian (so not a native speaker of any Germanic language), but clearly fluent in English as well. I am not suggesting that understanding Dutch should be easy, but it should certainly be easier than understanding Czech. In fact, even the Polish friend with whom I watched Ostře sledované vlaky had to read the English subtitles in order to understand it.

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7. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

You could say that about any language, even English. When I first saw a Czech film - I think it might well have been Ostře sledované vlaky - I thought that there was no possible way that I would ever understand this language, but after a few months of complete immersion it starts to come naturally as your ear becomes attuned to it.

Czechs don't/won't understand Polish at all, in general, and vice versa, except when the funny bits come up e.g. 'co pani szuka?'. Here's one you get your tongue around www.youtube.com/watch… Even Slovak causes difficulty to the younger generations, so that isn't much of a guideline as to its perceived 'difficulty'. Try putting your average Czech graduate of English in front of Rab C. Nesbitt or Brookside and you'll find they have similar problems.

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8. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

The OP was saying that Czech was *as difficult* as Dutch. I was just pointing out that Czech would in fact be considerably more difficult than Dutch, given that the OP clearly knows English to a very high level, and, as presumably a product of the excellent Italian education system, I would guess probably also has near fluency in German, which is so similar to Dutch. Assuming that the OP has no background in Slavonic languages I would expect Czech to be well nigh impenetrable, much more so than Dutch. And I was emphasising the difficulty of comprehension of the spoken language, as opposed to the written. When I went to Portugal last year I found that it was possible to work out the written language, based on a knowledge of other Romance languages, but the spoken language was impossible, because of the pronunciation and speed.

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9. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

Hi

I've seen Ostře sledované vlaky and it just didn't grab me. I tried it twice and couldn't make it to the end.

So any more suggestions, I have Pelíšky and Zelary although I've only watched Zelary.

Jackie

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10. Re: Movies set in Prague or with a lot of Czech Republic history

See Pelíšky next - it is funny and very moving.