Short tribute to Otakar Vávra

In programme

15. 10.

Sál Břetislava Bakaly

16:30 - 17:00

Short tribute to Otakar Vávra

Throughout his eighty years of activity in the Czech film industry, Otakar Vávra (1911–2011) was often admired and criticized. Because of his talent, training and conscientious diligence he had already gained a significant position by the time he was 26.

He was capable of learning from current trends from around the world, based his work on high quality Czech literature and cast excellent actors. He set up a system to counter improvisation, brought up the quality of screen-writing and challenged both himself and Barrandov Studios with the toughest tasks in the trade. He knew how to accomplish epic films with scenes that required large numbers of extras as well as films that were intimate and lyrical. Vavra's films continue to live through DVDs and repeated television programming: Cech panen kutnohorských (The Guild of the Kutná Hora Virgins), Turbina (Turbine), Šťastnou cestu (Bon Voyage), Krakatit, Němá barikáda (Silent Barricade), Zlatá reneta (The Golden Apple), Romance pro křídlovku (Romance for Flugelhorn), Kladivo na čarodějnice (The Witches Hammer) and so on. His most valuable work stems back to his avant-garde beginnings and his work from 1937–1949 – the “golden sixtieth” period when he worked with poet František Hrubín. His historical trilogies (about the Hussites made in the 1950 and the war trilogy made in the 1970s) were the dues he had to pay to satisfy official dogma. As a teacher at FAMU Prague film academy he took part in the raising of the Czech New Wave; Emir Kusturica also considers him one of his mentors. Although Vávra accepted the last of his many prizes just a few weeks before his death, disputes about the evaluation of his life and work persist.
Jaromír Blažejovský


361 The Light Penetrates the Dark Otakar Vávra 02

Light Penetrates Darkness / Světlo proniká tmou

Otakar Vávra, František Pilát   4'   Czechoslovakia

362 Living in Prague Otakar Vávra 04

We Live in Prague / Žijeme v Praze

Otakar Vávra   13'   Czechoslovakia

363 Listopad Otakar Vávra 05

November / Listopad

Otakar Vávra   20'   Czechoslovakia