Juraj Jakubisko
Stories & Ideas

Fri 29 Jul 2022

Gallows Bacchanalias, Fractious Fairy-Tales and the Rule Of Three: the cinema of Juraj Jakubisko

Film Melbourne Cinémathèque Retrospective
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Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society

Notes for the 5–12 October 2022 Melbourne Cinémathèque program. Co-presented by the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia

The irrepressible Juraj Jakubisko (1938–) represents the baroque vanguard of the Czechoslovak New Wave’s Slovak contingent. After assisting on early works by fellow students Jaromil Jireš and Věra Chytilová at Prague’s FAMU film school, Jakubisko soon made his own mark with a succession of acclaimed, flamboyant and provocative films which saw him dubbed “the Slovak Fellini” at the 1968 Venice Film Festival, but which also earnt him the sustained wrath of his nation’s censors, with three of his four 1960s features shelved until after 1989’s Velvet Revolution, including the extraordinary Birds, Orphans and Fools that opens this season.

His similarly exuberant contemporary Elo Havetta said: “Jakubisko was the first to show that folklore is something more than songs and dances – a living tradition.” Moreover, his ludic, carnivalesque cinema – a clear influence on latter-day FAMU alumnus, Emir Kusturica – is also steeped in magical realism, symbolism and intertextuality and has habitually been highly engaged with the often-precarious times in which it was made. This season of imported prints principally focuses on the director’s feature-length works from the 1960s to the close of the 1980s, which typically position their lead characters in manic, triangular relationships amid trying times, but also includes the sumptuous fairy-tale Perinbaba starring Giulietta Masina, emphasising Jakubisko’s great affinity with Federico Fellini, on- and off-screen.


Gallows Bacchanalias, Fractious Fairy-Tales and the Rule Of Three: the cinema of Juraj Jakubisko

Birds, Orphans and Fools – Wed 5 Oct, 7pm
Sitting on a Branch, Enjoying Myself – Wed 5 Oct, 8.35pm
Perinbaba – Wed 12 Oct, 7pm
The Prime of Life – Wed 12 Oct, 8.40pm

Person laying on sand, with their face reflected in a puddle

Melbourne Cinémathèque

Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.

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