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Two Films By Vera Chytilova

Something Different (1963)                               A Bagful Of Fleas (1962)

SOMETHING DIFFERENT follows the lives of two women a gymnast in gruelling training (real life Olympic gold-medallist Eva Bosáková), and a dissatisfied housewife (Vera Uzelacová). The two strands never meet, but provide a progressive comment on each other and the differing roles of the women. In A BAGFUL OF FLEAS, the everyday world of young factory girls lives in the cotton mills of Náchod conflict with officialdom.

The late, great Czech filmmaker Vera Chytilová (DAISIES, FRUIT OF PARADISE) was one of the Czech New Wave s most rebellious, irreverent and boundary-breaking talents. A vibrant innovator whose uncompromising vision in a decidedly male-run industry made her known as the First Lady of Czech Cinema .

These two terrific early works introduce themes evident across her career: a progressive female viewpoint in a world of double standards and predatory sexualisation dominated by men, the expectations and strictures of female gender roles, and a strong critique of contemporary society. Combining elements of cinema vérité and formalism, and spiked with anarchic humour, her films broke with both genre and ideology and charted a new path for Czechoslovak and Eastern European cinema.

(aka "O necem jinem" )

 

directed by Vera Chytilová
Czechoslovakia 1963

 

Offered the opportunity to do a film about Czech gymnast Eva Bosáková, the Czech New Wave's most notable female filmmaker Vera Chytilová fashioned her feature debut by contrasting her verite coverage of the athlete's daily routines, her reflections on the opportunities she has given up, and what wants of her future with the routine of unappreciated Vera (her friend Vera Uzelacová of THE BROTHERS GRIMM) raising a troubled child (her actual son Milivoj Uzelac Jr.) and ignored by her husband (Josef Langmiler) as unconnected but thematically-related searches for fulfillment. Linked together by nothing but overlapping sounds and music that functions as scoring in one story and source music in the other, the gynmast's side of the story is actually rendered in a more straightforward manner than that of the housewife whose conflicts with her husband and lover (Jirí Kodet, CLOSELY WATCHED TRAINS) appear to unfold as arguments pieced together from different scenes in the same sets on different days and nights (to suggest a continuity of content even as they fragment the visual portion of the film more than the intercutting with the other storyline).

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 7 February 1964 (Finland)

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DVD Review: Second Run (Two Films by Vera Chytilová) - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Second Run

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:20:48 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.98 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.37:1

Edition Details:
� B-feature 'A Bagful of Fleas (Pytel Blech)' (see below)
� Liner Notes Booklet by Peter Hames

DVD Release Date: February 29th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

Although not quite as lovely as the 2K restoration of co-feature A BAGFUL OF FLEAS, the HD-mastered transfer of SOMETHING DIFFERENT looks quite good once the viewer realizes that the softish and slightly blurry opening credits imagery is actually the camera pointed at a TV set. Reel change marks (as well as one or two odd square hole-punches nowhere near the end of reels) and white specs abound but are not distracting. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track is clean and the optional English subtitles are without errors. Besides the co-feature (see below), the only other extra is a booklet by Peter Hames who also wrote booklets for Chytilová's FRUIT OF PARADISE and DAISIES.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
 

 


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(aka "Pytel blech" )

 

directed by Vera Chytilová
Czechoslovakia 1962

 

Set in a textile factory in Nachod, this short pseudo documentary of life in the factory dormitories by Chytilová takes the camera point-of-view of new girl Eva who makes observations in voice-over and asks questions of her roommates (the sound editing sometimes blurring the distinction between voice-over and spoken dialogue as she at first largely ignored). The film focuses largely on Jana who steals, sneaks out, smokes, disappears from the shop floor constantly, and decries the preferential treatment of Alena (whose participation in a factory singing group nets her certain privileges) and how her actions are judged as "disruptive" to the functioning of the group and to production. Her roommates seem to turn against her when she is called to a disciplinary hearing, but they also seem to respect that she is too proud to explain herself and elect to keep her secrets. Eva in voice-over eventually comes to admire Jana's defiance (although we cannot see it since Eva is the camera, she presumably returned Jana's wink in her direction).

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release:

Reviews                                                                      More Reviews                                                                   DVD Reviews

 

DVD Review: Second Run - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Second Run

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 43:06 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.98 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Second Run

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.37:1

Edition Details:
� A-feature 'Something Different (O necem jinem)' (see above)
� Liner Notes Booklet by Peter Hames

DVD Release Date: February 29th, 2016
Amaray

Chapters 6

 

 

 

Comments

Restored from a new 2K scan by L'Immagine Ritrovata of Bologna, A BAGFUL OF FLEAS slightly matted 1.37:1 transfer is given the same high bitrate as its co-feature but has also been more meticulously digitally cleaned without seeming to sacrifice detail. The optional English subtitles are without errors although they do not convey the sense of dialect spoken by the participants which Chytilová is quoted in the included booklet as being "untranslatable."

  - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
 

 


Screen Captures


Subtitle sample

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Second Run

Region 0 - PAL



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