Oratorio for Prague + Martyrs of Love

A triple testament to the youthful, rebellious filmic spirit that swept Europe in the late ‘60s, through the lens of the Czechoslovak New Wave’s poetic and playful auteurs. Also screening at the top of the program is Jan Nemec’s 1967 short “Mother and Son”!

ORATORIO FOR PRAGUE – approx. 7:45pm
“Using funds from abroad, Nemec documented the exciting times of the so-called Prague Spring and the road to ‘socialism with a human face.’ With film stock and camera at his disposal, he was ready to document the invasion by Soviet tanks, which crushed the democratization process. The film juxtaposes the hopes of the freewheeling youth during the Spring with the disbelief and despair that followed in the summer a few months later.” — BAMcinématek
Dir. Jan Nemec, 1968, DigiBeta, 26 min.

MARTYRS OF LOVE – approx. 8:15pm
“[A] lyrical testimonial to movies—to Sennett, Chaplin, Keaton, Griffith, Renoir, Truffaut, Antonioni, and to just about everybody else who has ever made a movie of any importance.” — Vincent Canby, New York Times. One of Nemec’s most uninhibitedly joyous works — and the film that cemented his reputation as the kind of unrestrained nonconformist the Communist establishment considered the most dangerous to their ideology. Nearly without dialogue, this three-part, highly musical excursion into the dream-like unreality of love is an bottomless font of visual surprises — and even features a cameo by the two female leads of Věra Chytilová’s Daisies as their characters from that similarly fancy-free film!
Dir. Jan Nemec, 1967, 35mm, 71 min.