Rok ďábla (Year of the Devil)
Classic Movie Review: Petr Zelenka's mockumentary successfully combines comedy, music and metaphysics
Writer: Petr Zelenka
Starring: Jaromír Nohavica, Čechomor, Jan Prent, Jaz Coleman
Likened by some to a Czech Spinal Tap, Rok ďábla shares little with its supposed forebear beyond the rockumentary format and a minor fixation with spontaneous combustion. Petr Zelenka's magical-realist mock doc spuriously chronicles the rise of Čechomor - actually a long-popular trad-rock outfit, cloaked here as a busking funeral band - through the offices of an angelic folkie (Karel Plíhal), a devilish punk vet (Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman) and an enigmatic bard (Jaromír Nohavica), whose various collisions and collaborations grow ever more musically and metaphysically intense.
Save for Jan Prent as a Dutch filmmaker who becomes fascinated with fellow alcoholic Nohavica, all the principles play themselves, or versions of themselves, in a fictitious story that incorporates real events while playing on the public personae of its stars (particularly the Dylanesque Nohavica). If it all sounds a bit circular and insular, Zelenka "and his friends" (as all his films are credited) eschew postmod gaming for deft deadpan comedy imbued with unexpected stabs of grace, touching on matters of addiction, fame, transcendence, ghosts and grooming with surprising, engaging results. (They even milk a funny, revealing scene out of the eternal boxers/briefs debate.) The refreshingly matter-of-fact approach to questions of spirituality and self-knowledge contrasts nicely with the gossamer eccentricity of too many recent Czech films, including Zelenka's inferior follow-up, Příběhy obyčejného šílenství. Good music too.
Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Video on YouTube
Movie Review: The Bye Bye Man by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
An attempt at creating a new horror series offers nothing new
Movie Review: Life by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Lifeless drama on the International Space Station copies too much from other films
Febiofest tickets go on sale by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The biggest film festival in the Czech Republic starts March 23
Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
A new live action version from Disney clears up some plot points but takes few risks
Movie Review: Masaryk by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Biopic of the Czech politician is likely more meaningful for a local audience
Movie Review: Kong: Skull Island by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Bigger is necessarily better in this rather one-dimensional reboot of King Kong
Masaryk wins big at Czech Lions by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Český lev - Karel Roden with Ana Geislerova)
The biopic about the Czech politician took a record number of awards
Bulgarian Film Festival starts by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Films will be at Lucerna and Evropský dům cinemas
Movie Review: Logan by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
An aging Wolverine is at the heart of a surprisingly introspective action film
Amadeus returning to screens by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The 1984 Miloš Forman film will play in a digital version
Translator and interpreter of the English language -...
Looking for a memorable experience in Prague?
Kids Indoor Playground in Prague 5, OC Zlicin
27 taps with excellent craft beers and ciders in the center...
Send cash around the world in minutes with no bank account...
Antiques, collectibles and more ...
Expats do you find the Prague real estate market...
It is great to be beautiful, yet it is even greater to be...