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Jiří Menzel

photo:  (huoj.hr)



A film and theater director, actor and graduate of FAMU. An exponent of the Czech New Wave and one of the most important Czech filmmakers. Most of his directorial projects are adaptations of literary works. He has most frequently adapted the books of Bohumil Hrabal and Vladislav Vančura for film.

The Oscar-winning Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) is an adaptation of a Bohumil Hrabal novel. Moreover, he has acted in many movies. His most interesting roles have been in the films Hra o Jablko (The Apple Game) by Věra Chytilová and Spalovač Mrtvol (The Cremator) by Juraj Herz.

He was not allowed to make films at the beginning of the 1970s. He did manage to make several excellent comedies by the end of the 1980s (Vesnicko má středisková, or My Sweet Little Village, was nominated for an Oscar).

In recent times, he has devoted himself primarily to theater direction. He participated in the project Ten Minutes Older with the short film One Moment. This was presented in the second part, which had the subtitle The Cello, and was Menzel’s homage to popular actor Rudolf Hrušínský, who is now deceased.

Important films:

  • 1965 – Perličky na dně (Pearls of the Deep – Smrt pana Baltazara – The Death of Mr Baltazar segment) – a collective film project by directors Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, Jaromil Jireš, Evald Schorm and Věra Chytilová , based on work by Bohumil Hrabal
  • 1967 – Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains)
  • 1967 – Rozmarné léto (Capricious Summer), based on the work by Vladislav Vancura
  • 1976 – Na samotě u lesa (Seclusion Near A Forest), winner of the OCIC at the San Sebastian festival
  • 1976 – Hra o Jablko (The Apple Game), only involved as an actor, but Menzel’s best acting performance
  • 2002 – Ten Minutes Older II
  • 2006 - I Served the King of England


Added: 09.12.2009

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