czech actor

4 March 2017

Film: THE FABULOUS BARON MUNCHAUSEN/BARON PRÁSIL (d. Karel Zeman, 1962, Czechoslovakia)

Forum: Gene Siskel Film Center   Format: DCP

Observations: The final film of the day, a recent restoration of an esteemed movie that seamlessly crossed animation with live actors. The Czech consulate and participants in the restoration were present and even sponsored a nice reception before the movie. A virtually packed house for this one, and a title that I fully expect to return for a longer run later.

The Czech Lion Awards are essentially the Czech version of the Oscars, celebrating Czech filmmakers, Czech actors, and politely tolerating the hijinks of whoever the Czech equivalent of Steve Martin is. Not surprisingly, organizers of the event were thrilled to hear from Jim Carrey’s representatives, informing them that the actor would like to swing by, since he was in town filming a movie.\

The only problem was: It wasn’t Jim Carrey. It wasn’t even Jamie Kennedy. In fact, the guy looked less like Carrey and more like that ventriloquist dummy from Goosebumps. People should have really seen through the ruse, though, when he took the stage and instead of quipping “All righty then” or “Somebody stop me,” he didn’t say a goddamn word … because the impostor didn’t speak English.

Then he fired a confetti gun in the air like a maniac, because apparently people in Prague think Jim Carrey is Rip Taylor.

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R.I.P. Pavel Landovský (1936-2014)

Significant Czech actor, occassional playwright and during 1970s and 1980s also political dissident, passed away on 10th October.

Pavel Landovský was associated with many Czech new wave films from 1960s, but ironically, his biggest and most famous roles were in more commercial films, mostly comedies.

To name a few, he was the title bachelor peasant in František Filip´s The Sorrows of Young Boháček (1969, 2nd pic), ingenuous Greek gastarbeiter Apostol in Antonín Kachlík´s I, Distressing God (1969), emperor Rudolf II. in Karel Steklý´s Mr. Vok´s Weddings (1970), a choleric officer in Oldřich Lipský´s The Italian Straw Hat (1971, 3rd pic), baffled batallion commander Mjr. Terazky in Zdenek Sirový´s Black Barons (1992, 4th pic) or recitent supermarket employee Mr. Řezáč in Jan Svěrák´s Empties (2007, 5th pic)

During his forced emmigration in 1980s, he also appeared in small parts in Miloš Forman´s Ragtime (1981) and Philip Kaufman´s The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988). His last appearance on big screen was rather sad documentary Hoteliér (2013), which captured Landovský´s physical and mental decline.