Gogola Jr. Jan
The documentary cycle Praha mizerná shows zones of old-time atmosphere that are gradually disappearing, and city outskirts that may not be Prague's best asset but which make Prague what it is today.
People chosen at random along the Prague-Brno highway contemplate the infinity and the begginning of the universe... A cook and other random travellers agree that nothing is ever lost, everything simply goes through transformations, and the world flows by "nonstop".
The Testimony of František Daniel
The testimony of František Daniel about an era in which man eliminates man with great ideological words on his lips.
Situation of the Street, or the Czech Sea in Eighteen Tidal Waves
A story of Prague's National Street captured in the here and now. National Street exceedes the presence of a street which, however, is not present - its essential film presence is, then, a negation of presence, a disappeared presence. It is the absolute presence of people and things transferred to a future language, current language without meditation.
Across the Border
Five directors from Central Europe contribute to making an international film reflecting a unique moment of forming of a new European community.
A film about a remarcable woman, Mrs. Marta Zabloudilová. - Department of documentary production, FAMU - 2nd year
Panenka Against the Rest of the World
An interesting film which is neither a documentary nor pure fiction. It focuses on the renowned footballer of the 1970s and 1980s, Antonin Panenka, and the philosopher of nonsense and happenings, Eugen Brikcius. Appearing alongside the narrator/sports commentator Brikcius and actor/football Panenka is Pavel Landovský, first as another footballer and later as an unseen spectator. The film ends with the famous archive footage from the European Football Cup in Belgrade in 1976 - Panenka's game-winning penalty kick.
Miserable Prague - A Tenement Is a Friend
A poetic/philosophical essay about the life in highrise developments. A documentary film about people who search for their identity and freedom within the space of concrete highrisers.
The Diary of Grandmother Němcová
Our aim is to capture the life in a house in Zbraslav, as a place that could represent a slice of the world and merge various events and connections, both of a daily and timeless nature. As a point of departure, we use the diary of grandmother Alena Němcová from Zbraslav and film The Diary of Grandmother Němcová that we made ten years ago (using the diary of Jiřina Němcová - Alena's mother-in-law) as our "script". The diaries of both women come from the same house and they both include notes about matters of a private, family, social, real and also surreal nature. We see these as an opportunity to shoot a film that will point out that banality can indeed be part of our perception but not of the world itself. Our device is just a change of banality to singularity. Deník babičky Němcové is an illustrated portrait of an old lady's diary. Excerpts from the diary are read by her relatives, acquaintances and also, among others, Ladislav Špaček, the spokesman of former President Václav Havel.
4 Things: Grandmother Němcová´s Diary
A series subtitled The Films of Four Directors consist of four short films of recent FAMU graduates: the combined feature and animated film The Test and three documentaries Motorcycling, Things and Grandmother Němcová´s Diary. A shared theme is the relationship to things, the quotidian in uncommon form and an inspirational view of things around us and that somehow influence our lives. A Film diary on twenty-five years in the life of one family. Department of documentary film, FAMU-graduation film.
Full-length picture of four short films of four directors: Test: Václav Švankmajer, feature film Motocyklení: Markéta Válková, documentary Veci: Marta Hrubá, documentary Grandmother Nemcová's Diary: Jan Gogola ml., documentary Four short Czech films have made their way to the screen. They share a common theme: the things that are so ordinary that affect us all. The films are presented with just the right amount of humor and poetry. What they also have in common is an ambition to inspire the audience to think, rather than just be persuaded, as is so popular nowadays. Three documentaries and one feature film were originally planned for the screen. The films convince the audience that it is still worthwhile to go to the cinema to see documentaries and short films.
The Tadpole, the Rabbit and the Holy Spirit
For four years, the orthodox priest, Libor Halík, has been singing psalms outside the maternity hospital in Brno. This is his everyday protest against abortions. The documentary features a man who is convinced that Czech people prefer laziness to hard-working Christian love, that abortion is murder, homosexuality is perversion, and atheism is a deadly sin. His prayer-protesting outside the "abortion factory" is met with opposition, but he goes on, holding the cross and saying: You can never be a prophet in your own house and land.
History of Jaroslav Šabata
The film features the psychologist, politician and journalist Jaroslav Šabata (*1927) who symbolizes half a century of Czech history. The film explains the traces left by left-wing intelligentsia who first served the communist regime (Mr Šabata started giving lectures at the Department of Marxism-Leninism in 1953), then tried to reform it (as an active politician during the Prague Spring of the late 1960s), and later still opposed it (as early as 1971 he was sentenced to six and a half years in prison), eventually to see it collapse and help build a new democratic country.
The Man Who Plants Crosses
The seventy-year-old Sudeten German Hans Werner Diefl returned to his native Kynžvart after November 1989 in order to try to unveil and renew broken or clouded contexts. FAMu, Department of Documentary Film (1st year)
A portrait of Ida Vaculková, the prominent Moravian ceramist.
Gen.sk: Jožo Ráž
A unique portrait of Jožo Ráž, a Slovak pop music star, who, over the course of his spectacular career under different political regimes, has experienced the thrill of power. The film playfully situates the musician against the backdrop of Slovak national pride, and the musician directly and physically vies with the Czech director, who, by repeating actions and gestures, expresses a circular cycle of progress in which nothing ever ends and everything begins again, and in which blissfulness and banality cannot be separated.
Borders Our Way
Can we find in ourselves inner borders of our identity, if there is no visible border set anymore? How can we understand our society in the time of disappearing borders, both real and imaginary ones? How is this general change reflected in our everyday life?World without borders – one of the most frequently mentioned characteristics of today’s global situation is explored by the filmmakers in a film BORDERS OUR WAY. Lenka Zogatová (writer, producer, executive producer) and Jan Gogola ml. (writer, director) chose a specific location to deal with these questions. The films deal with a life in Silesian region – a region that is geographically divided amongst Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. People living in this area speak similar dialects, yet are of different nationalities. The borders going through the region, separating it into three parts disappeared in January 2008 as the countries entered the Schengen space.The film is set in a place where the three borders meet. Tesin – Silesian region has many specifics – social and economic situation, culture, language etc. The people there live their lives „their way“ (“po našimu” means “our way” – which is also a name of the local dialect). In the film, we meet several personalities who, in their everyday lives, cross borders in a broader sense – a welding operator becomes an astronomer, a priest is an amateur football player, a police officer changes into „Mother Theresa“, a music teacher tries to tune the outside world, a chef cooks songs, a director of a kindergarten together with a retired accountant travel back in time 17th and 18th centuries, a former custom officer becomes a mystic…These people, living in a region divided among three states, where cultures, languages, nationalities and regimes have been mixing during past centuries, found their freedom and independence to cross not only the official borders, but also the borders between professions, nations, languages and cultures, particularly those we carry within ourselves.
I Love My Boring Life
The diary of a grandmother from the Prague neighbourhood of Zbraslav as a diary of eternity. Using informal language, for five years grandmother Alena Němcová from Zbraslav has been writing down weather forecasts, dreams, her morning exercises, cooking, everyday house bustle, global events as well as notes concerning relationships, religion and the general spirit of the times – matters of a private, family, social, real and also surreal nature. The film captures the life in her house as a place that could represent a slice of the world and merge various events and connections, both of a daily and timeless nature. It points out that banality can indeed be part of our perception but not of the world itself. The device is just a change of banality to singularity. This film is part of the "Breathless – Dominance of The Moment" documentary film project.
Flushing of Eternity
Creative documentary decribing a toilet as a place and as a symbol of human need to purge soul and to express itself in more specific flow of mind.
Czechia on a String
A situational essay on the Czech identity on the backdrop of the Goose on a String theatre in Brno. The seriously playful collage consists of stage-managed documentary, theatre and discussion fragments, presenting among others: Václav Bělohradský, Stanislav Bernard, Petr Fiala, Jiří Gruša, Helena Illnerová, Václav Havel, Vladimír Just, Vladimír Morávek, Tomáš Mozga, Jiří Peňás, Martin C. Putna, Martin Reiner, Tomáš Sedláček, Olga Sommerová, Ludvík Vaculík, Maxim Velčovský, Michal Viewegh and others. The film is based on the discussion cycle Czech Dawn of the Goose on a String theatre and on the theatre trilogy Czech Perversion. The film chapters include the following topics: Czech women, Czech language, Czech enterprise, Czech landscape, Czech thought and Czech vision.
A Catapult of Fate
A creative documentary film portrait of Olda Říha, frontman of a famous Czech rock band Katapult celebrating 35 years of its existence. The first day of shooting captures the funeral of bass guitar player and Říha's lifelong friend Jiří "Old Man" Šindelář in January 2009 and the last day of shooting records an opening concert of the new album tour "Joys of Life", which took place in the largest church in Eastern Bohemia. Almost a thousand people attended the concert. The film follows the music, but particularly the life path of Říha and his band Katapult from the "church of death" to the "church of rebirth." It is a path full of doubt, fault, conflict and happiness, but above all it is a journey with no end. Against the backdrop of the death and rebirth of the band, open and often conflicting situations take place between director Jan Gogola and Olda Říha, making it possible to find out whether Říha really sings what he lives and lives what he sings.
Evropa jedna báseň
Documentary series that maps contemporary European poetry. 27 European poets will be presented in 27 episodes (1 country = 1 poet).
Kateřina Šedá, a figure of international renown, enters with her social and art projects the life of her native Brno-Líšeň and the neighbouring Bedřichovice village. A montage of two parallel and mutually intertwined concepts of Kateřina Šedá focuses on her project from Morning till Night commissioned by Tate Modern. This project sent 80 inhabitants of Bedřichovice village to London, where they spent their Saturday, September 3rd 2011 the same way as they would have spent it back home.
A documentary collage about the progress of one Czech day, composed by 24 directors. Everyone picked one hour, day or night, and received two minutes of the whole film at his or her disposal. This allowed for the mosaic on genres and topics that portrait the atmosphere of the Czech Republic today. At the same time, this unique project presents various filmmaking styles and approaches of the best contemporary Czech documentarians, all on the reel of one film. The authors accompany teenagers at a discotheque, observe doctors during surgery, laborers in a factory, believers in a synagogue or the descent in a human throat. Olga Špátová records the authentic power of the moment when the child is born. Vít Klusák engages a special camcorder to freeze the time of one tram stop. The flow of time is Helena Třeštíková’s topic – she films Katka taking yet another public bath in a Prague’s fountain. Martin Mareček shows a pair of legs sunk in aquarium, which, backed with a voiceover, illustrates the timeless power of human stupidity. Jiří Krejčík, a significant persona of Czech film, conceived his film hour with a great amount of humor and exaggeration.
King Does Nothing
Road movie with poet and essayist Petr Král on the backdrop of the literary festival Month of Authors' Readings 2012. In the course of five days spent in Brno, Ostrava, Košice, Wroclaw and Prague, Král is writing a poem and shooting this film.
A film excursion to the places of Europe’s history and to ourselves. Cruiser Aurora, the symbol of Russia, is leaving for repairs the river, in which the history of the world flows. The Temple of Nazism in Nuremberg with a monumental tribune, where the life and death of millions of people was decided on, is becoming a playground and its Golden Hall is becoming a children’s room. The Berlin Wall destroyed the lives of thousands of families and today it serves as a harp or a jungle gym. In the Museum of Ancient Art in Rome, where the European Constitution was signed, one of the guides is changing to an ancient goddess. A decent place which has formed and recorded history is becoming a theater stage. A film performance through various towns of one continent and of one century. The stops are vivid images which reveal the history around us and inside us. History is the reason and opportunity to be together while each stays in his own unique way.
František of His Own Kind
For more than 30 years, former government clerk František Krause has had an active interest in ornithology. He studies birds and protects them, building birdhouses and trying to be as close to them as possible. He records birds with mathematical precision, archives his records, and carefully organizes all his information. Gogola’s documentary portrait shows how Krause combines love for nature with a positivist respect for facts and logical thinking. This remarkable symbiosis is fleshed out and subtly ironized by the narration, whose consciously exaggerated emphasis on minor facts subverts the conventional descriptive commentary we are used to hearing in traditional nature documentaries.
Series of 13 creative documentaries mapping the themes that characterize aesthetical and ideological diversity of the Czech photography (mainly in 20th century). It does not aspire to be an all-embracing encyclopedia of photography, rather trying to bring what has not been a subject of any television program about the photography. It should be accepted as an artistic discipline or a way of understanding the world. It does not aim to extract the topic of Czech photographs completely, which would be impossible – it offers personal, intimate look of important documentarists on selected topics. The key questions of the series are: How is the decision “to take a picture” created? How to make an artistic or significant piece of art from a simple record of moment made by widely available device? What is the photography (un)able to express about the life of individuals and society? How does the photography affect us – the viewers? Each episode offers unique perspective on the subject of photography, different film language, storytelling, image and ambiance. 13 x 26'