Jaromil Jireš

Jaromil Jireš (10 December 1935 – 24 October 2001) was a director associated with the Czechoslovak New Wave movement.[1]

Jaromil Jireš
Born(1935-12-10)10 December 1935
Died24 October 2001(2001-10-24) (aged 65)
OccupationFilm director
Years active1958–1999

His 1963 film The Cry was entered into the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.[2] It is often described as the first film of the Czechoslovak New Wave, a movement known for its dark humor, use of non-professional actors, and "art-cinema realism".[3]

Another of Jireš's prominent works is The Joke (1969), adapted from a novel by Milan Kundera.[4] It tells the story of Ludvik Jahn, a man expelled from the Czechoslovakian Communist Party for an idle joke to his girlfriend, and the revenge he later seeks through adultery. The film was produced during the political liberalization of the 1968 Prague Spring and contains many scenes which satirize and criticize the country's communist leadership. Released after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the film had initial success in theaters but was then banned by authorities for the next twenty years. Amos Vogel wrote that the film was "possibly the most shattering indictment of totalitarianism to come out of a Communist country".[5]

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970), set in the early 19th century, was based on a novel by Vítězslav Nezval. It is a film in a Gothic style concerning the onset of menstruation and the sexual awakening of a thirteen-year-old girl.[6]

His 1979 film The Young Man and Moby Dick was entered into the 11th Moscow International Film Festival.[7]

Following the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia, Jireš continued to work in the country, making less controversial material. In 1971, he directed My Love to the Swallows, a World War II film about a Czech resistance fighter.[5] His 1982 film Incomplete Eclipse was entered into the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival.[8] He continued making films through the '80s and '90s, including ballet and opera documentaries for television.[5]



Television filmsEdit



  1. ^ Leonard Quart. "'The Joke'". Cineaste. Fall 2003: 60–1.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Cry". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
  3. ^ Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell (1994). Film History: An Introduction. McGraw-Hill. p. 541. ISBN 0070064458.
  4. ^ Francisco López. "Jaromil Jires, The Joke, 1969". Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  5. ^ a b c Michael Koresky. "Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave". The Criterion Collection. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  6. ^ Tanya Krzywinska. "Transgression, transformation and titillation".
  7. ^ "11th Moscow International Film Festival (1979)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
  8. ^ "Berlinale: 1983 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-11-20.

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