The Eclipse Viewer – Episode 32 – Pearls of the Czech New Wave [Part 2]

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This podcast focuses on Criterion’s Eclipse Series of DVDs. Hosts David Blakeslee and Trevor Berrett give an overview of each box and offer their perspectives on the unique treasures they find inside. In this episode, David and Trevor conclude their two-part discussion of Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave.

About the films:

Of all the cinematic New Waves that broke over the world in the 1960s, the one in Czechoslovakia was among the most fruitful, fascinating, and radical. With a wicked sense of humor and a healthy streak of surrealism, a group of fearless directors—including eventual Oscar winners Miloš Forman and Ján Kadár—began to use film to speak out about the hypocrisy and absurdity of the Communist state. A defining work was the 1966 omnibus film Pearls of the Deep, which introduced five of the movement’s essential voices: Věra Chytilová, Jaromil Jireš, Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, and Evald Schorm. This series presents that title, along with five other crucial works that followed close on its heels, one from each of those filmmakers—some dazzlingly experimental, some arrestingly realistic, all singular expressions from a remarkable time and place.

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Timeline for the podcast:

Introduction (00:00:01 – 00:08:05)

Return of the Prodigal Son (00:08:06 – 00:46:16)

Capricious Summer (00:46:17 – 01:05:55)

The Joke (01:05:56 – 01:24:08)

Conclusion (01:24:09 – 01:40:01)

Buy The Box Set On Amazon:


Episode Links

Czech New Wave Links

Box Set Reviews

Return of the Prodigal Son

Evald Schorm (director)

Capricious Summer

Jiri Menzel (director)

The Joke

Jaromil Jires (director)

Next time on the podcast: Eclipse Series 36: Three Wicked Melodramas from Gainsborough Pictures

Contact us

David Blakeslee

David hosts the Criterion Reflections podcast, a series that reviews the films of the Criterion Collection in their chronological order of release. The series began in 2009 and those essays (covering the years 1921-1967) can be found via the website link provided below. In March 2016, the blog transferred to this site, and in August 2017, the blog changed over to a podcast format. David also contributes to other reviews and podcasts on this site. He lives near Grand Rapids, Michigan and works in social services. Twitter / Criterion Reflections