A small marvel which mines the quotidian in a profound, wistful and occasionally unnerving series of sketches in which everyone is simultaneously happy and frustrated with their lot; wishing they had done something different but also grateful for what they have; wondering what more they could do and whether they could do it. Censors in 1960s certainly saw this meditation on individual agency as quietly subversive!
Dragul meu, La 40 de ani de când ai fost conceput simultan cu invadarea Cehoslovaciei – ruşii fiind şi azi (21 august 2008) în Georgia –, m-am gândit să-ţi povestesc un film ceh pe care l-am văzut tot pe atunci, Lumină intimă a lui Ivan Passer. Poate că mai ţii minte tradiţia noastră, instaurată de tine, ca, de ziua ta, cel mai frumos cadou să fie, din partea mea, povestea unui film care mi-a plăcut.
The raw cinematography and pastoral setting may initially deter the viewer, but Passer's pristine film fuses perfectly naturalism and moderate surreal imagery. Classical music's spirituality is masterfully likened to the materialist world-view of the villagers and the metal squeaks. Passer delivers also one of the most spectacular love making scenes in cinema celebrating female power. Generally, rich symbols abound!
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... www.cinefiches.com
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.
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.
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.