Tucked within the rich tapestry of Czech cinema is the delightful Cutting It Short (Postriziny). A film that transports its audience back to a simpler time, capturing the intricacies of life in a quaint Czech town. This classic is brought to life by the legendary director Jiří Menzel, taking inspiration from Bohumil Hrabal's novel.
Set against the backdrop of a tranquil town where Hrabal's father once managed a brewery, the narrative is a mosaic of humorous episodes. From the charming brewery manager's wife (M. Vášáryová) and her doting husband Francin (J. Schmitzer) to the boisterous antics of his brother Pepin (J. Hanzlík), the story exudes warmth and nostalgia. It's a tale juxtaposing Francin's earnest endeavors against the city's representatives with his career threatened not just by Pepin's raucous escapades, but also by the irresistible charm of the manager's wife that seems to captivate every man in sight.
Upon its cinematic debut in early 1981, Cutting It Short resonated profoundly with audiences, drawing unparalleled interest. Surprisingly, despite its deeply nationalistic theme, the film was celebrated internationally, being featured in numerous European and overseas distribution networks. As years passed, the film's enduring charm was further amplified, invoking a delightful sense of nostalgia for a bygone era.
Its vivid portrayal of life, whether it's a piglet's transformation into a mountain of delicacies, the poetry of a chimney escapade, or the magnetism of Magda Vašáryová's character, paints a gallery of the most genuine and enduring scenes. Jiří Menzel's flawless direction ensures that the poetic essence of Hrabal's narrative is retained, resulting in a film that captivates even when the plot meanders without a clear trajectory.
A noteworthy tidbit is Menzel's original intention to adapt Hrabal's book immediately after its publication in 1974. However, due to the prevailing atmosphere at Barrandov, where both Menzel and Hrabal's names were taboo, it took years before the adaptation saw the light of day. The project only took off after Menzel presented the script for The Snowdrop Festival (1983) and was humorously advised to better go with Cutting It Short.
For those who have had the privilege of witnessing this exceptional film, moments like the iconic chimney scene, the comedic medical examination, and the playful twist on words towards the film's end remain indelible.
Don't miss out on the masterpieces by greats like Hrabal, Menzel, and Hanzlík.