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Czech Republic & Slovakia


Zelary Lowest new price: $14.31
Lowest used price: $1.81
List price: $19.99

Two very different people meet and fall in love in ZELARY, the Oscar(r)-nominated (Best Foreign Language Film, 2003) romantic epic from director Ondrej Trojan. Eliska, a sophisticated medical student,first meets Joza at a Prague hospital, where her blood saves the injured sawmill worker's life. But Eliska also works with the Czech resistance and when she's betrayed to the Gestapo, Joza agrees tohide the young woman in his romote mountain village of Zelary. Forced to marry the rough-hewn peasant and pose as his wife, Eliska is at first defiant and angry. But with the passing of time, she comes to realize that there's more to Joza than first meets the eye. And so, even as the war rages around them, Eliska and Joza soon find themselves deeply and passionately in love, until an unexpected twist of fate threatens to put their extraordinary romance to the ultimate test.

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The End of August at the Hotel Ozone

The End of August at the Hotel Ozone Brand: FACETS VIDEO

Nuclear war has destroyed most of civilization. A pack of wild girls search for males who can give them children. THE END OF THE AUGUST AT HOTEL OZONE, scripted by Czech New Wave filmmaker Pavel Juracek (Voyage to the End of the Universe), offers a chilling look at the future of humanity. With its stark cinematography and atmospheric settings, director Jan Schmidt creates the perfect mood to complement Juracek’s sci-fi tale about what awaits us after the end of the world.


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Witches' Hammer

Witches' Hammer Brand: FACETS VIDEO

Much like THE CRUCIBLE, this riveting drama tells the true story of the last gasp of the notorious witch hunts in Czechoslovakia. A ruthless inquisitor spins the superstitions of local peasants into religious heresy, finding cause to accuse dozens of innocent men and women of witchcraft. The inquisitor targets nobles and merchants, whose property and goods are then confiscated. After suffering an array of medieval tortures, most of the accused confess–only to be burned alive at the stake as helpless villagers watch. With its bold and striking cinematography, the film captures scenes of both daring nudity and brutal torture.

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Ecstasy (Extase)

Ecstasy (Extase) Lowest new price: $80.95
Lowest used price: $39.75
List price: $24.99

Hedy Lamarr (Samson and Delilah) stars as Eva, a young woman who marries an older man and is rejected on their wedding night. Frustrated, she runs away and meets a younger man who responds to her unfulfilled yearnings. Called "the most whispered about picture in the world" at its release, "Ecstasy" shocked moviegoers with its erotic depiction of sex, particularly scenes of a young Lamarr swimming naked and its images of this unknown beauty at the height of passion. The European film propelled Lamarr into Hollywood stardom and became an internationally-known classic hailed for its sophisticated approach to sexuality, maintaining a special place in movie history.

It is one of the notorious titles in all cinema history, but--sigh--it looks rather quaint today. In the mid-1930s, Ecstasy was a great conversation piece, for its scandalous acknowledgment of sexual passion in women and its revelation of the naked form of actress Hedy Kiesler, who would become the Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr. Henry Miller even wrote an excited essay about it, sure proof that something libidinous was loose. Czech director Gustav Machatý constructs the movie as an almost wordless shadow play of symbols and signs, mostly sexual (there are many close-ups of heavy-breathing horses and nude statues, cut together for maximum erotic impact). As precious as some of these things seem now, it's still amazing to consider Machatý's nerve in depicting one of the first orgasms to hit the movies. And then there's Hedy, whose expressive eyes matter more than her brief skinny-dip. She's an unmistakable future star. --Robert Horton

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Choking Hazard

Choking Hazard Lowest new price: $2.25
Lowest used price: $1.62
List price: $9.67
Brand: Media Blasters Inc.

"A comedy Full of Cheeky fun with buckets of raspberry hued gore" —Eddie Cockrell, Variety A zombie horror-comedy about finding the meaning of life! A blind philosopher, a shotgun wielding children’s TV show star, a nihilistic hero, and a brain in a plastic bucket have signed up for Professor Reinis’s weekend course about discovering the meaning of life. In a forest crawling with undead woodsmen, the trainees learn something about living... and a lot about surviving. Smelling of pine needles, decay and blood, a clan of zombie woodsmen emerge, with their bleeding eyes they hunt the flesh of the living. A favorite in the MIDNIGHT SLOT at the Tribecca Film Fest NYC 2004.

Divided We Fall

Divided We Fall Lowest new price: $21.34
Lowest used price: $12.81
List price: $24.96

Earning an Academy Award(r) nomination for Best Foreign Language Film of 2000, DIVIDED WE FALL tells the true and bittersweet story of a Czechoslovakian couple whose village has been taken over by Nazis during World War II. Josef (Boleslav Polívka) and Marie Cizek (Anna Sisková) lead a simple and restricted life in their small apartment while outside the turmoil of war and prejudice is a constant threat. When they decide to hide a young Jewish neighbor in their home (Csongor Kassai), the danger of their situation increases, especially since they have a constant visitor Horst (Jaroslav Dusek), aformer colleague of Josef's and a German sympathizer with eyes for Marie. When she rejects his advances, he seeks revenge by trying to move a Nazi clerk into their home, forcing the couple to tell a lie that will change their lives forever. With an engrossing, historically-charged story and subtle yet stirring performances, DIVIDED WE FALL is a film of depth and humanity that you'll never forget.

A daring comedy of ethics, Divided We Fall takes place during World War II in a small, Nazi-occupied town in Czechoslovakia. Josef and Maria, a childless couple, have withdrawn further and further from reality even as the war circles closer to their eerily quiet town. Josef's decision to sleep through a war he doesn't want to acknowledge is soon tested when the Jewish son of his former employer arrives in the middle of the night seeking refuge. David, the sole survivor from his family, escaped from a concentration camp in Poland and managed to return to the only place he knows in search of help. As they harbor David in their pantry over the next three years, Josef and Maria discover the depth of their resolve, forced to play the role of seeming collaborators in order to save themselves and David. Reminiscent more of Yugoslav filmmaker Emir Kustirica's devastating brand of black humor (Underground, Time of the Gypsies) than the saccharine Life Is Beautiful, to which it has been repeatedly compared, Divided We Fall achieves quite a lot, capturing the pervasive suspicion and betrayal of World War II through the unexpected guise of situation comedy. --Fionn Meade

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Lemonade Joe

Lemonade Joe Lowest new price: $12.39
Lowest used price: $12.38
List price: $18.99

An outrageous parody of classic Hollywood westerns, this musical comedy from Czech director Oldrich Lipsky draws on his previous work in animation to spoof and exaggerate the genre. Set in Stetson City, the story opens with a brawl in the Trigger Whisky Saloon. Silver-clad Lemonade Joe rides into town, bringing law and order-and lemonade-to the frontier, while rescuing Winifred Goodman from the clutches of Hogo Fogo. Throughout the film, characters burst into song at the slightest provocation, regaling audiences with such memorable tunes as "Do You See My Moist Lips?" and "When The Smoke Thickens in the Bar." One of the most novel films from the Czech New Wave, LEMONADE JOE is a comic gem and a clever homage to early Hollywood westerns.


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Up and Down

Up and Down Lowest new price: $1.89
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $7.43

A dysfunctional family reunion between a college professor, his long-estranged son and the lover they both shared. Two petty pickpockets who attempt to rob a black belt in karate. A dimwitted soccer hooligan whose wife buys a baby in a pawnshop. These are just a few of the unconnected strangers whofind a common connection in the award-winning new comedy from the director of Divided We Fall. Winner of five Czech Lion Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Actress, UP AND DOWN is a "stirring comedy, too good to be missed!" (Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal)

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Black Peter

Black Peter Lowest new price: $17.99
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The first feature by Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus), this coming-of-age tale about a malcontent teen in love heralded the arrival of an important cinematic talent. Forman captures the minute details of awkward romance and teenage rebellion with a keen eye to create a vivid portrait of youth from the Czech New Wave. First prize-winner at the Locarno Film Festival.


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The Firemen's Ball (The Criterion Collection)

The Firemen's Ball (The Criterion Collection) Lowest new price: $199.98
Lowest used price: $54.95
List price: $29.95

A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Milos Forman's first color film The Firemen's Ball (Horí, má panenko) is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen's ball where nothing goes right-from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was "banned forever" in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman's move to America.


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