Czechoslovak New Wave
Directed by Juraj Herz • 1969 • Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovak New Wave iconoclast Juraj Herz’s terrifying, darkly comic vision of the horrors of totalitarian ideologies stars a supremely chilling Rudolf Hrušínský as the pathologically morbid Karel Kopfrkingl, a crematorium manager in 1930s Prague who believes fervently that death offers the only true relief from human suffering. When he is recruited by the Nazis, Kopfrkingl’s increasingly deranged worldview drives him to formulate his own shocking final solution. Blending the blackest of gallows humor with disorienting expressionistic flourishes—queasy point-of-view shots, distorting lenses, jarring quick cuts—the controversial, long-banned masterpiece THE CREMATOR is one of cinema’s most trenchant and disturbing portraits of the banality of evil.
Up Next in Czechoslovak New Wave
All My Good Countrymen
Directed by Vojtěch Jasný • 1969 • Czechoslovakia
Vojtěch Jasný won the best director award at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival for this sweeping portrait of a small Czech village between the years of 1945 and 1958, during which the residents go from hopeful in the aftermath of the defeat of the Na...
Directed by Karel Kachyňa • 1970 • Czechoslovakia
This paranoid surveillance thriller unfolds over the course of a tense, turbulent night in the life of Ludvík (Radoslav Brzobohatý), a Communist party official, and his wife Anna (Jiřina Bohdalová). Returning home from a party one evening, the pa...
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
Directed by Jaromil Jireš • 1970 • Czechoslovakia
Starring Jaroslava Schallerová, Helena Anyžová, Petr Kopriva
A girl on the verge of womanhood finds herself in a sensual fantasyland of vampires, witchcraft, and other threats in this eerie and mystical movie daydream. VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WON...