Karel Kachyňa’s darkly satirical, long-suppressed political-noir, is available for the first time anywhere on Blu-ray, and presented from a new HD transfer.
A high-ranking Communist official and his wife begin to suspect that their home has been put under surveillance by the Party. Over one night, the growing tension exposes a bitter fault-line in their relationship, feeding an atmosphere of paranoia and dread.
Daring to address the taboos of the Stalinist era, The Ear was banned soon after completion and remained unseen until the fall of Communism twenty years later. Combining a blackly-comic portrait of a disintegrating marriage with a searing critique of totalitarianism, this landmark film is an extraordinary indictment of life under an oppressive system and remains starkly relevant today.
Our region-free Blu-ray Special Edition also features a filmed introduction to the film by author Peter Hames and also includes Vlastimil Venclík’s banned 1969 short The Uninvited Guest (Nezvaný host), an original Projection Booth commentary recorded especially for this release with Mike White, Ben Buckingham and Martin Kessler, and 20-page booklet featuring writing on the film by Peter Hames, producer Steven Schneider and journalist Graham Williamson.
• The Ear (Ucho, 1970) from a new HD remaster and transfer from original materials by the Czech National Film Archive.
• A filmed introduction to The Ear by Peter Hames.
• A new Projection Booth commentary with Mike White,
Ben Buckingham and Martin Kessler.
• The Uninvited Guest (Nezvaný host, 1969): Vlastimil Venclík’s satirical short film which was banned by the State authorities.
• 20-page booklet featuring writing on the film by Peter Hames, author and producer Steven Jay Schneider and journalist Graham Williamson.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C)
• World premiere on Blu-ray
Director - Karel Kachyňa
Screenplay - Jan Procházka & Karel Kachyňa
Based on a story by Jan Procházka
Director of Photography - Josef Illík
Editor - Miroslav Hájek
Design - Ester Krumbachová, Oldřich Okáč
Production Manager - Karel Vejřík
Make up - Stanislav Petřek
Set Design - Ladislav Winkelhöfer
Sound - Jiří Lenoch
First Assistant Director - Milada Mikešová
Music - Svatopluk Havelka
Jiřina Bohdalová - Anna
Radoslav Brzobohatý - Ludvík
Gustav Opočenský - Comrade
Luboš Tokoš - Pučák
Bořivoj Navrátil - Cejnar
Jiří Císler - Stanislav
Jaroslav Moučka - Vagera
1990 Cannes Film Festival / Palme d’Or nomination
1990 Plzeň Film Festival / Winner: Golden Kingfisher
“A boldfaced, haunting satire in the vein of Juraj Herz’s wicked, legendary The Cremator, Karel Kachyňa’s Czech New Wave classic is as arresting as early Cassavetes and as paranoid as The Conversation, which came four years later” UCLA
“By far the best of the Czech movies banned when Dubček was toppled in 1969... the bitterest and most scathing account of what it takes to get ahead in a Communist bureaucracy”
"One of the most politically incendiary films to emerge from the Czechoslovak New Wave" EEFB
"Kachyña’s study of paranoia and desperation was understandably held from release by the Warsaw Pact immediately upon its completion in 1970, and has only been screened for audiences in the last decade or so. It’s worth the wait [...] As a historical object lesson, it’s invaluable."
"The central, present tense plot of The Ear – its ferocious account of the disintegration of a marriage as untold tensions, resentments and problems are forced to the surface – has the intensity of Edward Albee or Eugene O’Neill and the intimate honesty of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage" Senses of Cinema