With the movie Kawasaki’s Rose you were nominated for the second time for an Oscar for Best foreign movie. In your opinion, how important is this award, especially for movie that come form non-English speaking countries? Have these nominations helped you in your career, particularly in collecting funds for future movies?
- Oskar academy award´s advantage is that even people that are not particularly interested in movies know this award and therefore it helps the movie to get into the people´s awareness. It makes it easier to spread abroad and sell the movie. Our movies in the recent years are being financed as follows-we are having gentleman agreement, the producer says if the movie does not exceed 800 thousand euro, you can do whatever you want, the money we will always be able to gather. And for me it is important that you are given creative freedom, because when we don’t go over the budget we are free in our moves. Our (Hrebejk and Jarchovsky) first movies in the CR had huge commercial public acceptance, if 1/10 of inhabitants came it was considered successful. Robert Altman shot at the beginning of his career movie M.A.S.H. which did not cost any money and had huge success and earned a lot of money. Later on he was shooting films according his taste that did not be able to earn such fortune. And we in the relations of the Czech cinematography are trying to the something similar. Our first four movies were comedies that had big commercial success and now we are making dramas / more serious movies that do not have such high attendance by public, but our producers are still waiting if the success of the early years won’t repeat itself.
Your movie discusses a topic that is still research in many post-communist countries? Do you think that is still current?
- Life under totalitarian regime is a very powerful source of inspiration for movie makers. It can be a comedy as Good bye Lenin or drama as Lives of the others. I think that for the movie makers of small countries is the most important to tell your own experience, that is what we are trying to do. I suppose nobody is expecting such a movie as Avatar from a Czech film director. The directors are creating a picture but are not writing a verdict.
Your movie is the second movie that comes from the Czech Republic and is part of the Contemporary Trends programme in this year’s Kustendorf. What is the “secret” in contemporary Czech cinematography?
- I think that the best tradition of the Czech cinematography (Forman, Menzel, Kadar) reflects tragic past and also the current time in a humanistic way. The most tragic moments of our history are capable to talk about in a funny-comedic way. In this tradition it is important that there is no significant difference between an easy understandable narrative and the artistic view, the really artistic pieces of work in the Czech cinematography also had high public acceptance. As a result of this fact there wasn’t a big gap between the independent art movie and popular cinematography. We would like to continue in this tradition, when it is possible to share-tell heavy artistic confessions understandable, simply.