Lost in Munich to be unveiled at the BFI London Film Festival
by Martin Kudláč
- The new film by Petr Zelenka is heading to London
The new film by Czech director Petr Zelenka, who has acclaimed dramedies such as Buttoners and Wrong Side Up under his belt, as well as the memorable and unorthodox Dostoyevsky adaptation The Karamazov Brothers [+see also:
film profile], is making his return to the big screen with the equally tempting and unusual comedy Lost in Munich [+see also:
interview: Petr Zelenka
film profile]. Set to roll out on 22 October on its home turf and in Slovakia, the film was picked for a world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. The movie is programmed in the Laugh section and is scheduled to screen at the beginning of October. “It could be said that the humour of our film is in a certain sense British, so it’s logical that the younger colleague of Monty Python’s Dead Parrot will have his world premiere there,” joked the director.
The movie is described as a political satire, a comedy with absurd elements and a film about film. The official synopsis is as follows: “It is 2014 and ‘Sir P’, a 90-year-old talking grey parrot that once belonged to Edouard Daladier, finds himself in Prague at the invitation of the director of the French Cultural Institute as a living relic of the time of the Munich Agreement. The Czech side organises a rather absurd press conference, at which the ‘gentleman’ does indeed repeat certain key statements ascribed to his erstwhile owner. Under dramatic circumstances, the parrot is kidnapped by Pavel, a Czech journalist, and his controversial statements on Edouard Daladier cause something of an accidental political scandal. Against the backdrop of these events, we follow Pavel’s struggle to deal with a mid-life crisis, leaving his job and his wife, while bonding with the feathered media star. In the second part, conceived as a ‘behind the scenes’ film, we see that it was all a difficult Czech-French co-production project that kept running up against problems.”
Lost in Munich was produced by David Ondříček on behalf of Lucky Man Films, with Czech Television and Barandov Studio serving as co-producers. The Czech State Cinematography Fund has supported the project, while Falcon and Continental will handle the distribution in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, respectively.
Besides Lost in Munich, the 59th edition of the London gathering will also screen the Czech and Slovak co-produced documentary wave vs shore, written, directed and shot by Slovakian cameraman Martin Štrba, which follows the trail of a generation of Slovakian photographers, the so-called Slovakian New Wave. A short student film by Jan Vondráček, At the Jiznak Estate, will be shown as part of the Last Man Standing is a Girl selection, which scrutinises the role of young women in contemporary society, and the Treasures section, which aims to revive material from the world’s archives, features Old Czech Legends, a digitally restored anthology of six stories by Jiří Trnka, a pioneer of puppet animation.
The BFI London Film Festival runs from 7-18 October.