Jiří Menzel  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Jiří Menzel (born 23 February 1938, Prague) was a Czech film director, theatre director, actor, and screenwriter. His films often combine a humanistic view of the world with sarcasm and provocative cinematography. Some of these films are adapted from works by Czech writers such as Bohumil Hrabal and Vladislav Vančura.

Menzel, a member of the Czech New Wave, became internationally famous in 1967, when his first feature film, Closely Watched Trains, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. His film Larks on a String was filmed in 1969, but was banned by the Czechoslovakian government. It was finally released in 1990 after the fall of the Communist regime. The film won the Golden Bear at the 40th Berlin International Film Festival.


Filmography as director

Year English title Original title Notes
1960 Prefabricated Houses Domy z panelů School film
1963 Our Mr. Foerster Died Umřel nám pan Foerster School film
1965 Concert '65 Koncert 65 Short documentary
1965 Crime at the Girls School Zločin v dívčí škole Segment "Crime at the Girls School"
1966 Pearls of the Deep Perličky na dně Segment "Smrt pana Baltazara" (The Death of Mr. Balthazar)
1966 Closely Watched Trains Ostře sledované vlaky Academy Award winner
1968 Crime in a Music Hall Zločin v šantánu
1968 Capricious Summer Rozmarné léto
1969 Larks on a String Skřivánci na niti Banned and not released until 1990
1974 Altered Landscapes Proměny krajiny Short documentary
1974 Who Looks for Gold? Kdo hledá zlaté dno
1976 Seclusion Near a Forest Na samotě u lesa
1978 Those Wonderful Movie Cranks Báječní muži s klikou
1980 Cutting It Short Postřižiny
1981 Tři v tom TV theatre
1982 Krasosmutnění TV film
Dr. Johann Faust, Praha II., Karlovo nám. 40 TV theatre
1983 Best Wishes From Planet Earth Srdečný pozdrav ze zeměkoule
1984 The Snowdrop Festival Slavnosti sněženek
1985 My Sweet Little Village Vesničko má středisková Nominated for Academy Award
1986 Chocolate Cop Die Schokoladenschnüffler
1989 End of Old Times Konec starých časů
1981 Audience TV film
1991 Beggar's Opera Žebrácká opera
1993 Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin Život a neobyčejná dobrodružství vojáka Ivana Čonkina
1998 Jacobowski a plukovník TV film
2002 Ten Minutes Older Segment "One Moment"
2006 I Served the King of England Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále
2013 The Don Juans

TV series

  • Hospoda (The Pub) (1996). A sitcom in which Menzel played a psychiatrist, who went to the same Prague pub every day. He had much fun with his friends.


  • Škvorecký J. Jiří Menzel and the history of the "Closely Watched Trains". Boulder: East European Monographs, 1982

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jiří Menzel" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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