Barking Boxshot

Czechoslovakia, 1966

Length / Feature: 71 minutes
Length / Special features: 32 minutes
1.0 Mono LPCM (48k/24-bit)
Black and white
Original aspect ratio: 1:37:1
Language: Czech
Subtitles: English

Blu-Ray: BD25 / 1080p
Region ABC (Region Free)
Blu-Ray RRP: £19.99

Release Date: 31 January 2022
Second Run BD050


A group of friends enjoying an idyllic day in the country are accosted by mysterious figures who compel them to join an unexplained lavish banquet in the woods. A barbed satire of authoritarianism and conformity unfolds, as each new guest finds their place amongst the revellers, succumbing to the will of their menacing hosts.

Jan Němec’s surreal and sinister fable was considered one of the most politically dangerous films of its era. Made during the short flowering of the Czechoslovak New Wave in the 1960s, it was subsequently ‘banned forever’ by the authorities.

Presented from the Czech National Archives new 4K restoration, The Party and the Guests makes it's world premiere on Blu-ray.

Our edition also contains Jiří Trnka's renowned animated short film The Hand (1965), another surreal and savage indictment of totalitarianism (again banned by Czech authorities), making its world premiere on Blu-ray. Additionally, our region-free Blu-ray Special Edition also features two audio commentaries on The Party and the Guests, an appreciation of the film by Czechoslovak cinema specialist Peter Hames and a booklet featuring an expansive essay by Michael Brooke.

more about the film

Blonde Stills

Special Features

• The Party and the Guests (O slavnosti a hostech, 1966) presented from an HD transfer of the new 4K restoration by
the Czech National Film Archive.

• The Hand (Ruka, 1965): Jiří Trnka's renowned animated film presented from a new HD restoration and for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

• Audio commentary by author Jonathan Owen.

• Projection Booth audio commentary with film historians
Mike White, Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger.

• A filmed appreciation by Czechoslovak cinema specialist Peter Hames.

• 24-page booklet featuring Michael Brooke's substantial essay on the film and Jan Němec.

• New and improved English subtitle translation.

• Region free Blu-ray (A/B/C)

• World premiere on Blu-ray.

Related Titles

Directed by Jan Němec

Screenplay - Ester Krumbachová and Jan Němec
Cinematography - Jaromír Šofr
Editor - Miroslav Hájek
Production Design and Art Direction - Oldřich Bosák
Music - Karel Mareš
Costume Design - Ester Krumbachová

Main cast
Jana Prachařová - Blonde hostess at picnic
Pavel Bošek - František
Karel Mareš - Karel
Helena Pejšková - Marta
Zdena Škvorecká (Salivarová) - Eva
Jiři Němec - Josef
Evald Schorm - Husband of the blonde hostess
Jan Klusák - Rudolf
Ivan Vyskočil - the ‘Host’

Related Titles

Jan Němec’s renowned Diamonds of the Night
plus many other gems of Czechoslovak cinema,
are also availble on Second Run

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Voted as one of the best films of the 1960s by the New York Times film critics

“A beautifully weighted absurdist allegory about conformity and the mechanics of totalitarianism which sounds echoes of Kafka, Ionesco, Buñuel and Havel” Kieron Corless, Sight & Sound

“A devastatingly accurate piece of political prophecy... constructed with effortless economy, sharp-edged and riveting” Monthly Film Bulletin

“Němec's film is cerebral and precise: an impression of humanity” Films & Filming

“An acute piece of historical fore-sight, and a marvellous idea” Time Out

“An extraordinary allegory.evocative of Kafka or Dostoevsky” International Film Guide

“A daring satire on power relations under the Communist government” Dave Kehr, New York Times

“Němec’s film not only criticizes the government, but also the society that brings that government about... one of the few films that were ready to sacrifice not only the hypocrisy of these ideas, but also the ideas themselves”
East European Film Bulletin

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