MARECEK, PASS ME THE PEN! (Oldřich Lipský, 1976)

Written by Ladislav Smoljak and Zdeněk Svěrák, and directed by Oldřich Lipský, Marečku, podejte mi pero! is a warm, humane Czech comedy. Jiří Sovák plays Jiří Kroupa, a fiftyish factory foreman who has just chastised his son for his latest high school grade report; “Soup!” Jiří instructs his wife for the boy’s lunch. “He deserves […]

LIGHTNING (Mikio Naruse, 1952)

The lovely breeziness of Mikio Naruse’s Inazuma (best film, best director, Blue Ribbon Awards) telegraphs the laughter of its eventual mother-daughter reconciliation and expresses optimism for daughter Kiyoko’s future; but at the same time the film, from a novel by Fumiko Hayashi, takes up Japanese cinema’s principal postwar theme: the breakdown of the Japanese family. […]