Czech comedy flick serves comic relief in Manila

THE Czechs are well-known for their ability to make fun of virtually everything, which can be seen in the witty storytelling of the comedy film Cosy Dens (Pelíšky), the ninth film to be screened in the Czech Movie Gems festival.

To remember their citizen’s good old, fun nature, the Czech Embassy in Manila brings another cinematic masterpiece to the Manila Cinematheque.

Based on the novel Hovno Hoří (Shit Can Burn) by Petr Šabach, Cosy Dens was directed by one of the most prolific Czech filmmakers of recent times, Jan Hřebejk, and released in 1999. The plot is set during one of the most tragic days of the 20th century when the emerging democracy in Czechoslovakia was being crushed by the Soviet army invasion in August 1968.

This coming-of-age comedy depicts two families in a small suburban apartment building, where both fathers obsessed about politics, while unlike them, their teenage kids, being bored with the subject, are instead drawn into the allure of the Western capitalist world through rock and roll, the latest sneakers and beautiful film stars.

Superbly cast, moving effortlessly from poignant family insights to outright physical comedy, Cosy Dens is undoubtedly considered a lifelong wide acclaim from the press, critics and various award-giving bodies, such as the Critic’s Prize at the 1999 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, among many others.

Indirectly, the film brings to the public’s attention the 50th anniversary of the end of the “Prague Spring” this month, which made an effort to create the unique Czechoslovak Communism with a “human face” and merge reformist communism with democracy that ended with the infamous invasion.

Catch this Czech cinematic masterpiece at Cinematheque Manila on August 8, Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to capacity.

 

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