Ivan Passer’s film concerns the dreams of two musician friends, one of whom, having left their small hometown to become successful, returns to visit the other who stayed behind to become a local music teacher.
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10 years later, Iosseliani's "Pastorali" would express in images and sounds the event that here is approached but not enough to happen: a miraculous sense of naturalness, which overrides and surpasses its prior condition of a constructed scenario. However, some moments are unsurpassable in this perceptiveness: the two drunkards wandering in the night, the string quartet rehearsal or the end in a Beckett's suspension.
I wasn't sensitive to the poetic dimension of the film praised by the critics. Sure, some scenes, like the funeral, are excellent but, all in all, it's a light slice of life without a lot of beef around the bone. A DVD zone Passer Forman 0-1.
This is not a film made from the point of view of a separated observer who beholds a landscape, rather it is concerned with faces and figures, in their intimacy which is enlightened by a series of events, yet this light reveals a certain comic side of the relations between people.
Une merveilleuse petite chronique familiale et villageoise, se déroulant le temps d'un décontracté week-end improvisé, qui par petites touches sensibles et pittoresques, livre aux spectateurs ravis, une délicieuse tranche de vie que seul le cinéma tchèque de cette époque parvient aussi merveilleusement à retraduire et faire partager...
Intimate is right. By Passer's own admission, the story is light (apparently he was seventh choice to direct - everyone else passed), but that gumption counts for something. For two hours, you feel like you're just hanging out with Czech folk musicians from the 1960's. It's rather endearing. A standout Quartet scene nearly makes the film.