Blu-Ray BD50 / 1080p / 24fps / Region ABC
Release Date: 20 October 2023
A manifesto for a new generation of young filmmakers, Pearls of the Deep is one of the delights of the Czechoslovak New Wave. Based on stories by Bohumil Hrabal, the film is a compendium of five films each demonstrating the differing styles of five emerging filmmakers: Jiří Menzel (The Death of Mr Batazar), Jan Němec (The Imposters), Evald Schorm (The House of Joy), Věra Chytilová (At the World Cafeteria), and Jaromil Jireš (Romance).
Each vignette displays unique approaches to Hrabal's multi-faceted tales of ordinary people and odd obsessions. Ranging from the surreal to the satirical and the romantic, the films capture the essence and spirit of Hrabal's work, and emerge as a joyous rallying cry for subversion and artistic expression.
Second Run present the world Blu-ray premiere of Pearls of the Deep from a brand new 4K restoration. Our region-free Blu-ray also includes
Ivan Passer's A Boring Afternoon and Juraj Herz's The Junk Shop, two additional films based on stories by Hrabal that were originally intended to be included in the film, a 1967 short film interview with Hrabal, plus a booklet with new writing on the films by author and Czechoslovak cinema expert Peter Hames.
• Pearls of the Deep (Perličky na dně, 1965) presented from an HD transfer from the new 4K restoration created by the Czech National Film Archive.
• The two additional films based on stories by Bohumil Hrabal that were originally intended to be included in Pearls of the Deep: Ivan Passer's A Boring Afternoon (Fádní odpoledne) and Juraj Herz's The Junk Shop (Sběrné surovosti)
- all seven films presented together for the very first time.
• About Cats, Beatniks and All Sorts of Other Things
(O kočkách, beatnicích a všeličems jiném): Rudolf Růžička’s 1967 short film on writer Bohumil Hrabal.
• Restoration trailer.
• Booklet featuring a substantial new essay by Peter Hames.
• New and improved English subtitle translations.
• World premiere on Blu-ray.
• Region Free (A/B/C) Blu-ray.
Directed by Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec, Evald Schorm, Věra Chytilová, Jaromil Jireš
Screenplay – Bohumil Hrabal, Jiří Menzel, Jan Němec,
Evald Schorm, Věra Chytilová, Jaromil Jireš
Based on stories from Bohumil Hrabal’s Pearls of the Deep (Perličky na dně, 1963) and The Palaverers (Pábitelé, 1964)
Cinematography - Jaroslav Kučera, Miroslav Ondříček
Editors - Jiřina Lukešová, Miroslav Hájek
Production Design and Art Direction - Oldřich Bosák
Music - Jiří Šust, Jan Klusák, Bedřich Nikodém,
Johann Strauss Jr.
Pavla Maršálková - Woman
Ferdinand Krůta - František
Jan Pech - Old man
Miloš Čtrnáctý - Patient 1, a former opera singer
František Havel - Patient 2, former journalist
Josefa Pechlátová - Mother
Václav Žák - Painter
Ivan Vyskočil - Insurance salesman 1
Antonín Pokorný - Insurance salesman 2
Věra Mrázková - Bride
Vladimír Boudník - Karlík
Alžběta Laštovková - Barmaid
“Generally anarchist and scaldingly farcical, the films look totalitarian life square in the eye, but they’re also living testaments to the era’s lovable, grungy Euro-slacker esprit...
all five films are compelling time capsules of defiance and love” Village Voice
“Fascinating... lucid and hallucinatory”
Penelope Houston, The Spectator
“Effectively representing the ambition and freewheeling disregard which would come to mark the entirety of the Czech New Wave” Jordan Cronk, Slant Magazine
“A turning point for the young New Wave... all of the film’s directors would immediately go on to make major, internationally recognized works” Michael Koresky
“Hrabal’s darkly comic, allegorical stories made him an inspiration to the New Wave directors. In his writing, one can find elements that they all used in their films, notably his dry absurdist sense of humor mixed with moments of surrealism and his satiric jabs at the Communist government disguised as a critique of corrupt and inept power in general” Pop Matters
“Such was the variety in aesthetic and narrative approaches, indicative of the breadth of directions the New Wave filmmakers would pursue overall, that Pearls of the Deep came to be regarded ipso facto as a manifesto of the Czechoslovak New Wave” Senses of Cinema
“Uniformly excellent. Each director revels in the possibilities of Cinéma vérité-style filmmaking, making great use of evocative natural lighting and real-world locations... they display a rich and energetic interest in the lives of ordinary people, and all the joys and woes that come with them” Czech Film Review
“Pearls in the Deep, was in a certain sense, the Manifesto of the New Wave. With the exception of Miloš Forman, who was at the time working on A Blonde in Love, all the major representatives of the movement took part in the film”