Joseph Kilian

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1963

Production year

1963

Premiere

4 September 1964

Runtime

38 min

Category

film

Genre

absurd, allegory

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionmedium

Original title

Postava k podpírání

Czech title

Postava k podpírání

English title

Joseph Kilian

English parallel title

A Character in Need of Support

Summary

“In one word, describe the difference between man and animal.” “Reason?” “No! Discipline!” The allegorical motion picture, Joseph Kilian, rousingly exposes how human obsession with order leaves him sour and dull. The central character, a man who, having leased a feline companion for a single day, laboriously tries to return him the next to avoid a fine and in the process, experiences endless drama. The rental shop is nowhere to be found so the man, with the cat in his briefcase, treads through a labyrinth of hallways, waiting rooms and offices, finally growing accustomed to his burden. Joseph Kilian is a middle length film shot by the creators in perfect Kafkaesque style. Kafka has been back in fashion for some time in Czechoslovakia; it is of great significance that he has been reevaluated in his homeland […] Everything is narrated in an entertaining manner with humor that penetrates through the images. Postava k podpírání is one of the most successful films we have seen in some time. [“Křik”, “O něčem jiném”, “Postava k podpírání” in the Italian Press. Czechoslovakian Cinematographey in the Light of the Foreign Press.1964, no. 9, pg. 21.]

Synopsis

Jan Herold is looking for comrade Kilián. He must tell him that someone has died. He asks different people but to no avail. He wanders the streets of old Prague indecisively All of a sudden, he sees a strange sign - Cats for Rent. Driven by curiosity, he walks in and gets himself a tabby kitten for fifteen crowns. The next day he wants to return it but the rental shop has disappeared in the meantime. He enquires with the passers-by and then goes to ask at official places. He is worried about having to pay penalties for keeping the kitten. Nobody can help him. Finally, Jan remembers Kilián. He wanders the endless corridors of an administrative building until he finally reaches the waiting room in front of Kilián's office. There is an entire crowd of people already waiting there. One of them, a man with a gas boiler, storms into the office that has Kilián's name on it. The office is deserted, even the furniture is missing. Exhausted, Jan goes to the local pub. Next to his table he sees a man who looks a lot like Kilián. When he asks the man, he denies it and leaves in a hurry. Before losing him in the crowd, Jan sees that the man is carrying a kitten under his arm.

Note

The text of the short story, which became the impetus for the film, was written by Pavel Juráček in February 1958. The film was distributed to Czech cinemas along with the film Museum of Miracles (1964) by Rudolf Jaroš and Vladimír Sís.

Film online

Cast

Consuela Morávková

prodavačka v půjčovně koček

Ivan Růžička

Dubbing Jaromír Spal
úředník

Jiří Stivín

hudebník s klarinetem

Pavel Šilhánek

muž s kotlem

Jaroslav Zrotal

muž v kartotéce

Stanislav Michler

Dubbing Jan Pohan
muž na ulici

Eduard Pavlíček

brýlatý muž na magistrátě

Karel Čáslavský

muž na schodech

Dubbing

Pavla Maršálková

hlas Heroldovy matky

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Pavel Horák

Assistant Director

Zdenka Pešulová

Script Supervisor

Jiřina Matiasková

Screenstory

Pavel Juráček

Based on

Pavel Juráček (Prostřednictví kočky – povídka)

Script Editor

Václav Nývlt

Director of Photography

Jan Čuřík

Second Unit Photography

František Uldrich

Camera Operator

Jiří Macák

Production Designer

Oldřich Bosák

Assistent Production Designer

Bohumil Nový

Set Designer

Miloslav Dvořák, Jan Drvota (rekvizitář)

Film Editor

Zdeněk Stehlík

Assistant Film Editor

Ludmila Náprstková

Sound Designer

Adolf Nacházel, Bohumír Brunclík (zvukové efekty)

Assistant Sound Designer

Jan Wahle

Production Manager

Miloš Bergl

Unit Production Manager

Zdeňka Černá, Ladislav Dražan

Unit Production Manager

Zbyněk Bartoš

Cooperation

Jiřina Znamenáčková (klapka), Václav Kovařík

Music

Music Composed by

Wiliam Bukový

Songs

Tralala

Songwriter americká lidová píseň
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Suchý
Singer Pavlína Filipovská

Production info

Original Title

Postava k podpírání

Czech Title

Postava k podpírání

English Title

Joseph Kilian

English Parallel Title

A Character in Need of Support

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

absurd, allegory

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1963

Production Year

1963

Production specifications

literary Screenplay approved 1 April 1963
start of filming 20 June 1963
end of filming 19 July 1963
projection approval 8 October 1963

Premiere

preview 9 April 1964
premiere 4 September 1964 /suitable for youths/ (celostátní)
premiere 13 November 1964 /suitable for youths/ (kino Paříž /2 týdny/, Praha)
renewed premiere 11 June 1990 /suitable for youths/ (kino 64 U Hradeb, Praha)
renewed premiere 3 March 2016 /suitable for all ages without limit/

Distribution slogan

no caption (1964) / no caption (1990) / A satirical reflection not only on the disappearance of the Stalin monument on Letná. Back in cinemas in a digitally restored version. (2016)

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Ústřední půjčovna filmů (původní 1964 a obnovená 1990), Národní filmový archiv (obnovená 2016)

Creative Group

Tvůrčí skupina Šmída – Fikar, Ladislav Fikar (vedoucí dramaturg tvůrčí skupiny), Bohumil Šmída (vedoucí výroby tvůrčí skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

medium length film

Duration in minutes

38 min

Original length in metres

1 055 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm, DCP 2-D, BRD

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

black & white

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Exhibition: 10. západoněmecké dny krátkého filmu Oberhausen

1964
Oberhausen / Federal Republic of Germany

Vítěz

Festival: 13. mezinárodní filmový týden Mannheim

1964
Mannheim / Federal Republic of Germany