Welcome to the ICM Forum. If you have an account but have trouble logging in, or have other questions, see THIS THREAD.
Podcast: Talking Images (Episode 16 released September 13th)
Polls: Romance (Results), 1951 (Results), 500<400 (Sep 23rd), 2008 (Oct 4th)
Challenges: Animation, Silent Era, Russia/USSR
Film of the Week: L'inhumaine, October nominations (Sep 25th)
World Cup S4: QF Schedule, Match QFB: India vs Greece (Sep 20th), Match QFC: Germany vs Italy (Oct 1st)

Obrazy starého sveta AKA Pictures of the Old World (1972) FotW #338

Post Reply
User avatar
Cocoa
Donator
Posts: 1862
Joined: Jul 17, 2013
Location: Chicago, USA
Contact:

Obrazy starého sveta AKA Pictures of the Old World (1972) FotW #338

#1

Post by Cocoa » June 21st, 2020, 8:18 pm

Film of the Week #338: Obrazy starého sveta AKA Pictures of the Old World (1972)

Image

Summary:
Pictures of the Old World is an unquestioned masterpiece of European documentary cinema, with existential radicalism that offers a contrast to the shallowness of hundreds of other documentary films showing images from the outskirts of civilization. The outskirts here are a Slovakian town in the Tatra Mountains. Though censored for 17 years, Dusan Hanáks poetic visual essay is not a political or even social film. It goes to far deeper and more fundamental levels of human experience. Inspired by the photographs of Martin Martinek, the films power lies in its unusual portraits of people whose raw visual beauty radiates from their very souls. Some, like the village cosmos aficionado or the disabled old man who climbs stairs on his knees, are hard to forget.

#100 on 500<400, with 258 checks.
Nominated by blocho, Cocoa, and Minkin.
On IMDb
On iCM

From the 500<400 resultsShow
#100(⇩36, #64) Obrazy starého sveta (1972)
[Pictures of the Old World]

Image
Directed by: Dusan Hanák
(535.28 Pts, 14 Votes) , Top 1–10–50: 0–2–4
History: 1006474374232←38
ICheckMovies: 247 Checks , 48 Favourites , 5 Official lists
List of Voters:Show
Smoover (5)
klaus78 (7)
jeroeno (25)
bal3x (33)
sushantv10 (53)
Traveller (61)
Dolwphin (NA)
funkybusiness (76)
russa03 (115)
Mothravka (117)
Rokp (262)
joachimt (277)
Lilarcor (301)
xianjiro (365)

Here is a schedule of all the FotW.
Last edited by Cocoa on June 22nd, 2020, 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 331
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#2

Post by prodigalgodson » June 22nd, 2020, 2:13 am

Sounds way up my alley! Is it available anywhere other than invite-only sites?

User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 4403
Joined: Jun 03, 2014
Location: Malaysia
Contact:

#3

Post by Fergenaprido » June 25th, 2020, 7:27 pm

Saw it almost exactly a year ago, but I don't remember anything from it. Not bad, but not great either. I gave it a 6.8, which is slightly below average for me. It's relatively short, though, so I think it's still worth viewing.

User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 331
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#4

Post by prodigalgodson » June 27th, 2020, 9:35 am

“What is of value? I wasn’t taught that.”
“I’ve forgotten.”
“I’ve got a headache, I can’t tell you anymore.”

Despite some tender and profound moments, a little underwhelming. I'm not crazy about the quickly-flipped-scrapbook style, which gives it the feeling of a preview for a great, very long film; as it is I feel I have some sense of the inhabitants of this old world but only intriguing glimpses of the place itself. I don't know if it's the (lack of) context or how they're filmed, but many of these little tableaus -- eg a cat slinking out of its door, then its owner walking out of his, with three chickens following him onto the threshold -- feel like they should have some poetic appeal, but end up feeling just pedestrian, which is maybe part of the point. There are some amazing shots though: a cow with blinders, a glowing graveyard, sheep in the forest, and a makeshift bagpipe performance on a misty field are among the highlights. I love the omnipresence of animals and the recurring presence of folk music. The classical score, on the other hand, feels a bit overstated for the otherwise detached, gritty style, as do some of the dubbed-in sound effects. There's also a bizarre detour into space exploration inspired by one interview, especially out of place given the film's otherwise excessive tightness, maybe to comment on the backwardness of progress or to contrast old and new worlds. Anyhow I'm left with more questions than answers, but it's a solid piece of fragmentary documentary art that probably influenced a number of films I like more. Wish this rip had had better subtitles too, if only to learn what's credited to Jan Svankmajer.

User avatar
Fergenaprido
Donator
Posts: 4403
Joined: Jun 03, 2014
Location: Malaysia
Contact:

#5

Post by Fergenaprido » June 27th, 2020, 10:46 am

prodigalgodson wrote:
June 27th, 2020, 9:35 am
Wish this rip had had better subtitles too, if only to learn what's credited to Jan Svankmajer.
The copy I have has rather good subtitles in 8 languages, including for all of the credits. I just checked and Svankmajer is only credited with a number of other people as "Collaborator" or "Cooperator", depending on your preferred translation.

User avatar
prodigalgodson
Posts: 331
Joined: Jul 30, 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

#6

Post by prodigalgodson » June 27th, 2020, 7:11 pm

Fergenaprido wrote:
June 27th, 2020, 10:46 am
prodigalgodson wrote:
June 27th, 2020, 9:35 am
Wish this rip had had better subtitles too, if only to learn what's credited to Jan Svankmajer.
The copy I have has rather good subtitles in 8 languages, including for all of the credits. I just checked and Svankmajer is only credited with a number of other people as "Collaborator" or "Cooperator", depending on your preferred translation.
Ah nice, thanks for the info!

blocho
Donator
Posts: 3489
Joined: Jul 20, 2014
Contact:

#7

Post by blocho » August 25th, 2020, 2:30 am

I really enjoyed this, even though I wouldn't normally say this is my type of movie. There were just so many arresting images and snippets of narration/dialogue.

Post Reply