At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher’s apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Wry and tender, Jiri Menzel’s Academy Award-winning Closely Watched Trains is a masterpiece of human observation.
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In 1967, Time called CWT "a series of contradictions: a tragic comedy, a peaceful war movie, a success story of a failure" - all fitting descriptions of this coming-of-age tale of the descendent of a long line of eccentrics. The mid-section was droll, and I didn't care for the comedic flourishes provided by the incidental music, but there is a sweetness about the film's charming characters and crisp cinematography.
La fable, comme ce qui venait parfois de l'est à cette époque, navigue entre les allusions et les paraboles pour traverser la censure . Ici le film fait merveille. Poétique, farfelu, parfois kafkaïen, drôle et grave, le monde des planqués et des petits chefs en prend pour son grade. Sexe, liberté, sens politique, avenir, organisation tout va de travers jusqu'au tragique né de la soif de la liberté.
Ridiculous farce full of dirty humor and hilarious official ineptitude set during WWII. Typical communist glorification of the war is trounced upon in this free flowing new wave depiction of how humor and human foibles continue even in war. Very likely the funniest WWII film.