Kino Mat to Host Zdeněk & Jan Svěrák Retrospective
Father & son team Zdeněk & Jan Svěrák are two of the most iconic figures in modern Czech filmmaking, and this weekend Prague cinema Kino Mat will be hosting a retrospective of their work in anticipation of the release of their latest movie, Po strništi bos (Barefoot) on August 17.
One of the most respected actors in the Czech Republic, Zdeněk Svěrák might be best known for the co-creation and portrayal of the fictional character Jára Cimrman, a Czech genius and inventor who became so popular he was voted ‘The Greatest Czech’ in a 2004 poll despite being, well, fictional.
Son Jan Svěrák has become one of the country’s most acclaimed directors over the past three decades, and frequently casts his father in central roles; their 1996 collaboration Kolja (Kolya) won an Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, and remains one of only three Czech movies to hold that distinction (alongside Closely Observed Trains and The Shop on the Main Street).
Zdeněk Svěrák’s 80th birthday was celebrated around the world last year with a screening of Obecná škola (The Elementary School), which was directed by Jan.
Later this month, Po strništi bos will mark the elder Svěrák’s long-awaited return to the screen; his last featured role was in his son’s Vratné lahve (Empties) in 2007, though he also appeared as the narrator in 2014’s Tři bratři (Three Brothers) and voiced the character Hergot in the 2010 animated film Kuky se vrací.
To celebrate the occasion, Kino Mat will be screening eight films directed by Jan and starring Zdeněk beginning Saturday, August 12 and leading up to the new release.
It kicks of Saturday night with a screening of the documentary Tatínek (Dad), a 2004 documentary about Zdeněk that Jan co-directed with Martin Dostál (presented in Czech without English subtitles), and followed by nearly all of the Svěrák’s collaborations.
Many of the remaining films with be screened with English subtitles - here’s the full program:
Saturday, August 12
- 18:00: Tatínek (Dad)
Sunday, August 13:
- 18:15: Tmavomodrý svět (Dark Blue World) (with English subtitles)
Monday, August 14:
- 19:30: Ropáci (student film + documentary short)
- 20:30: Jízda (The Ride) (with English subtitles)
Tuesday, August 15:
- 14:00: Kuky se vrací
- 18:00: Akumulátor 1 (with English subtitles)
Wednesday, August 16:
- 14:15: Tři bratři (Three Brothers)
- 18:30: Obecná škola (The Elementary School) (with English subtitles)
Check the Kino Mat official website for more information.
From next Thursday, Po strništi bos (Barefoot) will hit cinemas throughout the Czech Republic, and should screen in many central Prague locations with English subtitles.
Pictured: Zdeněk Svěrák in Tři bratři