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INTIMATE LIGHTING

Czechoslovakia, 1965 (MIFF 1967, Programme 7)

Director: Ivan Passer

Typical of the approach of Czecho­slovakia's new directors is this warm, human comedy by Ivan Passer. Almost free of plot, it snatches incidents from the brief encounter of two former schoolmates — Petr and Bambas — as they prepare for a small-town concert. By the time they have played, fought and got drunk together, each has arrived at a moment of truth.

Jaroslav Papousek — who was chiefly responsible for the script — collaborated with Milos Forman on Peter and Pavla and Loves of a Blonde. As with Forman's films, much of the dialogue is improvised; most of the actors are non-professionals, and it has the same insight into nuances of character the same bitter-sweet observation of detail. Inevitably, in what is little more than a series of episodes, one remembers particular scenes, such as a quarrelsome family meal which almost develops into slapstick. The film is always relaxed and amiable, although behind the seemingly inconsequential style, there is much shrewd observation, and much that rings uncomfortably true.

Grand Prix and Special Jury Prize for Young Film Makers, Cannes Festival.

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