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3.8
277 Ratings

A Report on the Party and Guests

O slavnosti a hostech

Directed by Jan Němec
Czechoslovakia, 1966
Comedy, Drama

Synopsis

In Jan Němec’s surreal fable, a picnic is rudely transformed into a lesson in political hierarchy when a handful of mysterious authority figures show up.

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A Report on the Party and Guests Directed by Jan Němec

Critics reviews

If it had cut together with the Godardian, manic lust of Vera Chytilová’s Daisies, possessed the bombastic dry humour of Miloš Forman, the pastoral romance or ebullient sexuality of Jiří Menzel, it’d distract you from the banality of evil. The film’s most beautiful image, a candle-lit banquet in the middle of a forest, has to be as symbolically charged as it is staggeringly pretty or it wouldn’t be here.
November 14, 2013
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The movie works spectacularly well as a allegory for the dark side of political utopianism… Němec has a sharp ear for the kind of psychological manipulation practiced by regimes in his day: the appeal to social mores, peer pressure, and politesse to keep subjects in line; the presentation of the ruler as a kind of benevolent host figure; the widely proclaimed fiction that life under the state is a party and we all ought to be its grateful guests.
November 06, 2013
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Nemec adds to the vibe with a self-consciously dry style, esp. in shooting group conversations using mostly one-shots (separating each person, and indeed each line of dialogue) – but this kind of detached, allusive allegory needs to be funny (and preferably a bit zany, as e.g. in late Bunuel) or it just seems pretentious, and this one falls on the wrong side of the line imo. Brave, cerebral, hard to love.
August 30, 2013
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