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Part One cuts between rehearsals/performance by rival brass bands and the competing attraction of a cross-country motorbike race. Part Two anticipates the audition scenes in Taking Off, as a throng of female singers try out for a part in a show. Though originally made as separate featurettes, the two episodes form a plausible entity, being so similar stylistically and thematically. The approach is documentary with some fictional elements gently interpolated - in the first the defection of two youthful trombonists, in the second the lightly sketched backgrounds of two of the singers. Extremely assured for an apprentice work, this displays the same mix of shrewdness and tenderness that marked all Forman's early films. But as with many East European movies of this era, one suspects that a political allegory is concealed at the heart of it all.

Release details

Duration: 79 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Milos Forman
Screenwriter: Milos Forman, Ivan Passer
Cast: Frantisek Zeman
Valdimir Pucholt
Ladislav Jakim
Jiri Slitr
Vaclav Blumenthal
Vera Kresadlova
Jan Vostrcil

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

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John Gallas

A pair of gentle, human films that give 'reality' a good name. The film-maker is involved, yet apart : and the audience treated to a kind of observation with heart. Highly recommended.