Friday, June 08, 2018

Evald Schorm: 'Návrat ztraceného syna' / 'Return of the Prodigal Son' (1967)

Evald Schorm's Návrat ztraceného syna / Return of the Prodigal Son (1967). Stars Jana Brejchová (who played Princess Bianca in Karel Zeman's Baron Prášil / The Fabulous Baron Munchausen / The Outrageous Baron Munchausen, 1962) and Jan Kacer.

Jan, a sensitive engineer (and architect?), has tried to commit suicide. The film explores the aftermath of his suicide attempt and its impact at his psychiatric facility and on hearth and home. All of the main characters are restless. Jan's wife Jana retains Jiří (Jiří Menzel, director of Academy Award-winning Closely Watched Trains / Ostře sledované vlaky1966) as a paramour in plain sight, while the therapist's wife has a sweet tooth for Jan. 
"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy." ~ Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942). 
Still from Evald Schorm's Návrat ztraceného syna / Return of the Prodigal Son (1967)
A case of mistaken identity forces Jan to run for his life. This scene reminds me of ones taking place when the tables have been turned, and the oppressors are hunted down by the formerly oppressed. However, Jan is mostly depressed, and now he's come alive -- if only out of a primal response to being pursued by several women with pitchforks. 
The Good Doctor and the Good Wife -- more or less. Kafka meets Jaroslav Hašek. Prague Spring is just around the corner, to be followed by a violent crackdown. 

RIP, Kate Spade (December 24, 1962-June 5, 2018) and Anthony Bourdain (June 25, 1956-June 8, 2018). 

Today's Rune: Breakthrough. 

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Just watched a movie I think you might like. I'm sure you've probably already seen it. 3 billboards outside ebbing Missouri. Have you seen it?