Saturday, May 27, 2006

Today the whole family went to a delightful film. We rarely attend movies in the theatre, but felt compelled to see a well-recommended film which premiered at the Plzen Film Festival earlier this year.
The story follows the adventures of a little girl named Pavka (played by precocious newcomer Marla Yojáková) who has quite an adventure after her uncle (portrayed with his usual flair for the understated by Swedish film staple Hans Alfredson) misplaces his apple cart after a visually disturbing late night drunken run in with a pair of meth-addicted prostitutes.
In tracking down the cart, little Pavka meets the most amazing and delightful characters in and around the beautiful scenery film-makers return to again and again, the ecologically protected Zdar Hills.
First, she meets Pablo the Spanish runaway (played by none other than Madrid's new darling celebrity Agapito Balduino who is unfortunately starting to look his age) who agrees to help her find the cart in exchange for her used socks. That's an odd request, but I guess it leaves room for a sequel.
Pavka then meets the Gypsy Queen Madame Corinna (played by Abegal Movoskava, who obviously needs the money) and her band of hooligans, kept off the streets by putting on shows of contortionism.
Finally, what I can only assume is an angel or fairy or something returns her Uncle's cart. The angel is uncredited and for some reason appears in backless pants.
Throughout Pavka's journey, there are cinematic statements that I found refreshing, if a tad overdone. The Director (Polish genius
Andrzej Wajda) loves shots of insects so there are random scenes where the dialog (of course, subtitled) is in the background while he chooses to focus on a spider eating some kind of worm. The random shots of raw meat hanging out of bird baths is a tad pedestrian. Time to find a new hook, Andrzej.
The title of the film is Smultronstället, which is translated (roughly) to Dude! Where is My Cart?

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