Sunday April 6th brings a new film series at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). Titled Diamonds of the Night, this series features the film of Czech New Wave filmmaker Jan Nemec, whose movies were so controversial in his native land of Czechoslovakia, he had to flee to other parts of the world (including West Germany and the United States) to make them. Nemec’s films have been known to go inside the cinema aesthetic, grounded by fantasy and nightmare, as well as the Czech Surrealist movement and the political paranoia that was all around him.
Diamonds of the Night begins with Nemec’s 1964 debut, which bears the same name, and does not contains much of a dialogue, but tells the story of two boys escaping a Nazi concentration camp train. That is followed by the experimentally personal Late Night Talks with Mother (2001) on April 9th, and then two 1966 films on April 11th; A Report on the Party and Guests (banned “forever” by the Czech Republic) and Pearls of the Deep.
On April 13th, the film series continues with 1988’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being (which stars Daniel Day-Lewis). That is followed on April 16th by the film Toyen (2005), which is a tribute to the Czech Surrealist painter, then the romantic Martyrs of Love (1967) on April 18th, and finally concluding with Ferrari Dino Girl (2009).
Diamonds of the Night will also feature a few free screenings following the scheduled films, including the recent Czech TV documentary on Nemec and the Czechoslovak New Wave, to come after the screening of Ferrari Dino Girl. Log on to bampfa.berkeley.edu for more information.