Digitally Restored Machatý Film to Premiere in Prague

Digitally Restored Machatý Film to Premiere in Prague

From Saturday to Sunday, a 1931 movie from famed director Gustav Machatý and one of the earliest Czechoslovak sound movies, will have its very first screening in digitally restored form on Wednesday, March 8 at Prague’s Ponrepo cinema.

Machatý is best known for his 1933 German-language film Extase, which was one of the first mainstream productions to feature full-frontal nudity, and turned young actress Hedy Lamarr into a Hollywood star.

The director would later emigrate to the United States, where he worked in Hollywood as an uncredited co-director on films including Madame X and the Oscar-winning The Good Earth.

From Saturday to Sunday, a landmark film in Czech cinema, stars L. H. Struna and Magda Maděrová as a pair of office workers who escape the daily grind, if only for a single night.

The March 8 screening at Ponrepo will contain English subtitles. 

Plot description from the Czech National Film Archive:

The psychological drama tells the story of two lady stenographers who, after a week of monotonous work at the office, spend Saturday night looking for an escape from the prosaic routine of their daily lives. Gustav Machatý’s first talkie joins realism with the poetry of everyday life in the city and boldly experiments with the use of sound as part of modern cinematic expression. Based on a motif by Vítězslav Nezval and tinted with the jazz melodies of Jaroslav Ježek, it was a thematically and stylistically progressive motion-picture for its time.

Among early sound films, it appears to be pretty unconventional and inventive. One of the film’s only YouTube clips is a 75-second sequence centered on a leaky faucet:

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