Friday, June 20, 2014

476. Ostře sledované vlaky

Ostre sledovane vlaky
Closely Watched Trains
Directed by Jiri Menzel

Today when I went to tick this one off my List, I was surprised to see I already had.  When did this happen?  I watched the entire film yesterday without having a single instance of deja vu.  I think I need to start doing memory exercises.

Milos is on his way to his first day of work as a station guard.  He briefly tells us about the history of his family (which includes a particularly unfortunate hypnotist).  He decided to become a station guard because he really just wanted to do nothing with his life but sit and watch other people work.  He has a crush on a pretty train conductor, but has performing.  Does this sound like a Judd Apatow movie to you?  It did to me...well, at least until the Nazis showed up.

I knew going in that a comedy from 1967 Czechoslovakia wouldn't exactly have me doubled over laughing.  I was right on that score; I hardly even cracked a smile.  So on that level the filmed failed for me, although I realize that that is not really the filmmakers' fault.

However, if I view this film as a drama, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  The cinematography is absolutely beautiful and it managed to show the war in a way that didn't make caricatures out of anyone.  Milos was a fun character to watch, even though his actions seemed a bit contrived at times.

I will enjoy the memory of this film until it goes away, which will apparently only be a few weeks.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

We got a horror film coming up next.  Yay!


  1. OK.. well, glad you found one of this bunch to be good. I quite liked it as well.. if calling it 'pleasant' doesn't sound too condemnatory with feint praise, I'd like to say that...

  2. I think I will watch this because of your review. I like the idea of seeing a different view of the war and the beautiful cinematography. I may not remember it later, but I think i will give it a try. :)

  3. There was a deadpan element to this movie that made me only appreciate the jokes after they happened. Not sure if that is a good criteria, but consider the grandfather hypnotist. As the story was presented I was thinking: what?! Then afterwards I found it absolutely hilarious. And that is the film in a nutshell.

    1. Yeah it's difficult not to be delighted by this one!