The Anarchic Cinema: BAM Celebrates Věra Chytilová’s Unique Career

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), in co-operation with the Czech Film Fund, presents 11 feature films and 3 shorts of Věra Chytilová. The retrospective of the radical and anarchic Czech filmmaker is accompanied by 4 films by Czech filmmakers, Chytilová’s former students, and will be held in New York from Wednesday, April 10 through Thursday, April 18 2019.

The year Chytilová would have turned 90, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in New York City, put on a retrospective to celebrate this icon with a survey of her career. First, the early films, centering on the theme of women searching for their limits and daring to surpass them (Ceiling,A Bagful of FleasSomething Different).

Next, her exceptional contributions to the Czechoslovak New Wave canon, with Automat Svět(from the omnibus Pearls of the Deep) and the rebellious and convention-breaking Daisies (5th best film of all time directed by a woman according to IndieWire) and Fruits of Paradise, her most important collaborations with Kučera and Krumbachová.

Then come the films from the period after the ban on her was lifted: The Apple Game, which put male weakness on full display, and Panelstory, a blunt exposé of the shallowness and realities of a system striving for communism only in name. The director’s lesser-known work from the 1980s was represented here by The Jester and the QueenThe Very Late Afternoon of a Faun, and her take on teen horror, Wolf’s Hole.

The post-1989 period, when her country abandoned the communist dream for the promise of freedom in capitalism, Chytilová showed her satirical might in The Inheritance or Fuckoffguysgodday and the edgy rape revenge farce Traps. Her final film, Pleasant Moments, marks a return to her overarching theme of a woman looking to find her own voice and strength to follow her own path.

To complete the retrospective, BAM Film presented the extraordinary documentary portraitJourney, by Jasmina Blažević, and a sampling of recent works by Chytilová’s students at the Prague film academy FAMU, who carry on her torch of personal filmmaking: Olmo Omerzu’s ironic melodrama of family implosion, Family Film; the fearlessly feminist indictment of sexual assault and the Slovak mental health system Filthy (Tereza Nvotová); and the biting comedy of quarter-life anxiety Dreamers (Jitka Rudolfová).

Read more about the fierce personality and piercing intellect of Věra Chytilová HERE.

Find out more about the programme and the detailed schedule of screenings HERE.