Pearls of the Deep

A diverse omnibus of prole life under communism, featuring shorts by Věra Chytilová (Daisies), Jiri Menzel (Capricious Summer), Jaromil Jireš (Valerie and Her Week Of Wonders) — and Jan Němec, whose offering, “The Imposters”, provides an unassumingly insightful consideration of the lies we tell not only strangers, friends, and acquaintances, but more importantly, ourselves. Bringing together a startling cross-section of the Czech New Wave’s most vibrant and dangerous talents, this 1966 collection is a variety of adaptations from the landmark debut collection by provocative author Bohumil Hrabal (considered by Czechs to be one of their greatest authors of the 20th century.) “The Imposters” observes two aging, hospitalized men as they recall past experiences and artistic triumphs. When tragedy strikes and the realities of their youths are soon revealed, melancholy overtakes the nostalgia, with the casual narrative gathering substantial implications. The film, which begins with the dialogue line “If I wasn’t mad about something I couldn’t write a single sentence”, is indicative of Němec’s coming career triumphs, and is thus the heart of Pearls of the Deep — grounding the surrounding films’ more outwardly surreal and allegorical flights of fancy.
Dirs. Jan Nemec, Vera Chytilová, Jaromil Jires, Jirí Menzel & Evald Schorm, 1966, 35mm, 105 min.

Watch an excerpt from “Pearls From The Deep”!
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