Slavic and Eurasian Studies

Film Retrospective: Jan Nemec, "A Loaf of Bread" (Sousto) and "Diamonds of the Night" (Demanty noci)

Wed, December 4, 2013 | Marchesa Hall & Theater, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road

7:00 PM

Film Retrospective: Jan Nemec,



Wednesday, December 4th at 7:00pm

A Jan Nemec Czech Film

Part of the North American tour of "Independent of Reality:
The Film World of Jan Nemec"


Location: Marchesa Theater, 6226 Middle Fiskville Rd, Austin, TX 78752

The first full-career U.S. retrospective of director Jan Nemec, the enfant terrible of the Czechoslovak New Wave. The Austin leg of the North American Tour is presented by the Austin Film Society and Center for Russian, East European, Eurasian Studies. Produced by Comeback Company in partnership with National Film Archive, Prague, and Aerofilms. Curated by Irena Kovarova. 

Check out the trailer for the retrospective here!

All films on rare imported archival 35mm prints, in Czech with English subtitles. Directed and written by Jan Nemec, unless noted otherwise. All screenings will take place at the Marchesa Cinema

Tickets: $10 regular price, **$5 with a UT student ID**


DIAMONDS OF THE NIGHT (Demanty noci) (1964, 64min) With Antonin Kumbera and Ladislav Jansky. Believing that director must create “a personal style” and “a world independent of reality as it appears at the time”, Nemec employed his visions already in his first feature length film. DIAMONDS follows an escape of two young concentration camp prisoners through the woods of Sudetenland and the ensuing hunt for them. Employing devises of ‘pure cinema’, Nemec depicts the state of distressed human mind, moving freely between the present, dreams and flashbacks. This true surreal masterpiece comes closer to the truth of human experience, than any works of realism.  Newly struck archival 35mm print! To be screened with A LOAF OF BREAD (Sousto) (1960, 11min) Nemec’s school graduation film is based on a story from the same book by Arnost Lustig and could be seen as a prequel to DIAMONDS as it follows a story of starving prisoners plotting to steal a piece of bread from a parked train.


Upcoming in the Retrospective:

Friday, December 6th at 7:30pm:  PEARLS OF THE DEEP

PEARLS OF THE DEEP (Perlicky na dne) (1966, 107min) includes story directed by JN: THE IMPOSTORS (Podvodnici) With Milos Ctrnacty, Frantisek Havel. Considered a manifesto of the Czechoslovak New Wave, this anthology of five short films by five rising directors is based on a book by the venerable Bohumil Hrabal. Absurdist in style and turning attention to the individual, the writer broke with the socialist realism that was the dictate of the times. Nemec’s story is the most stylistically simple, about two elderly men sharing their illustrious life careers while spending time in hospital. The conclusion reveals that one of their best qualities was mastering the art of embellishment.

Sponsored by: Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies and the Austin Film Society

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