Capricious Summer

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Time Out says

Menzel's second feature is adapted from a novel by Vladislav Vancura, rated alongside The Good Soldier Schweik as one of the twin masterpieces of Czech comic literature. Some of the dialogue's subtler social and philosophical relevance may prove elusive, but it hardly matters as three middle-aged friends - priest, retired army officer, and owner of the bathing-station - enjoy some end-of-season bathing in a small provincial watering-place, meanwhile discoursing desultorily on their favourite topics (philosophy, strategy, and fleshly pleasures). Suddenly, like a visitation from another planet, a caravan arrives, bringing a sad, stick-like showman who sets up in the village square. His tacky little tightrope-and-conjuring show is suddenly illuminated by real magic when his wife appears, a delicate, honey-haired vision of beauty in black mask and yellow dress. From that moment, with its glimpse of something lost and forgotten, a kind of autumnal madness invades the trio, until the caravan moves on, leaving them brooding again as the sun goes down on their last Indian summer of romance. Menzel's evocation of place and mood, of soft summer days threatened by winter, of regret for lost youth and opportunity, of hope for things to come, is perfection.
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Release details

UK release:

1968

Duration:

75 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Jiri Menzel

Cast:

Jirí Menzel, Frantisek Rehák, Vlastimil Brodsky, Rudolf Hrusínsky, Jana Drchalová

Music:

Jiri Sust

Production Designer:

Oldrich Bosak

Editor:

Jirina Lukesova

Cinematography:

Jaromir Sofr

Screenwriter:

Vaclav Nyvlt, Jiri Menzel

Producer:

Vladimir Kalina, Jan Libora

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