Ester Krumbachová: Phantom of the Czechoslovak New Wave
One of the key, unsung visionaries of the Czechoslovak New Wave of the 1960s and early ’70s, Ester Krumbachová left an indelible imprint on some of the movement’s defining films—including A REPORT ON THE PARTY AND GUESTS, DAISIES, and VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS—through her inimitable work as a costume designer, art director, and screenwriter, forging a boldly anarchic, surreal, often defiantly feminine aesthetic to match the freewheeling spirit of the times. Her sole directorial effort, the satanic feminist farce THE MURDER OF MR. DEVIL, is as wickedly subversive as anything the New Wave produced, so it’s little wonder that she was one of many artists effectively banned from filmmaking by the Communist authorities. Her legacy lives on, however, in the iconoclastic words and images that gave shape to one of the most radical creative eruptions in the history of cinema.
Directed by Jan Němec • 1964 • Czechoslovakia
Starring Ladislav Janský, Antonín Kumbera
With this simultaneously harrowing and lyrical debut feature, Jan Němec established himself as the most uncompromising visionary among the radical filmmakers who made up the Czechoslovak New Wave. Adapted fro...
In Jan Němec's surreal fable, a picnic is rudely transformed into a lesson in political hierarchy when a handful of mysterious authority figures show up. This allegory about oppression and conformity was banned in its home country but became an inter...
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...
Naughty Young People: Chytilová, Kučera, Krumbachová
This 2012 documentary by Daniel Bird describes the extraordinary collaboration among three artists at the height of their powers: director Věra Chytilová, cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera, and screenwriter Ester Krumbachová.