Cutting It Short

comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Postřižiny

Runtime

93

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1980

Production year

1980

Premiere

06.02.1981

Language version

Czech

Director

Jiří Menzel

Screenplay

Bohumil Hrabal, Jiří Menzel

Summary

In 1980, the director Jiří Menzel made another of his periodic returns to the peculiar world of Bohumil Hrabal. He had previously adapted works of the writer for the shooting of Smrt pana Baltazara (The Death of Mr Baltazar, 1965) – a short film segment of the anthology motion picture Perličky na dně (Pearls at the Bottom) – and the Oscar-winning Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains, 1966). However, his adaptation of Skřivánci na niti (Skylarks on the String, 1969) was not screened until 1990 for political reasons. For the screenplay of the 1961 novel Postřižiny, Menzel had the collaboration of its author. The film is a nostalgic look at small-town life in the idyllic times of the First Czechoslovak Republic, driven by autobiographical insights and observations. The playful story concerns the beautiful Maryška and her young husband, brewery manager Francin, a character inspired by Hrabal´s stepfather. Maryška is a fragile blonde who is in love with beer, meat and also her meticulous husband who she torments with her mischievous sense of fun. Dutiful Francin is obsessed by his job but his position at work is far from secure. Members of the board of trustees disapprove of the inconsistency with which he treats his beloved spouse. When Francin´s noisy and incurably hare-brained brother Pepin comes to stay, it is Maryška who encourages his wacky poetic performances. All would be well if only Francin would assert some authority over his spouse. The story’s happy ending is further underlined by the revelation that its author (little Bohumil) is being conceived... By his ninth feature, Menzel had proved himself to be a faithful and resonant interpreter of Hrabal´s prose. His ideal domain is the tragicomic miniature, while he is able to employ a playful hyperbole to soften the rougher edges of Hrabal’s original dialogue and descriptions. Postřižiny also owes its abundant warmth to one of the director´s favourite collaborators, cameraman Jaromír Šofr. Variations of light, shade and pastel colour create a harmonious backdrop for the winsome atmosphere of nostalgia, while the vividly drawn characters are given every opportunity to come through. Magda Vášáryová (Maryška), Jiří Schmitzer (Francin) and Jaromír Hanzlík (Pepin) all warm to their roles.

Synopsis

Francin, manager of a small-town brewery, has a charming wife whose abundant blonde locks are an adornment to the town. Maryška looks ethereal but loves meat and beer, while Francin is an ascetic. The strict members of the brewery board of directors come to audit the accounts, but are diverted from concentrating on Francin's detailed reports by Maryška, who has organized a pig-killing feast and is ably assisting the butcher. When she invites the old curmudgeons on the board to enjoy the fresh pork, they are too happy to agree. Francin doesn't know whether he is going to get a permanent contract. To make things worse his brother Pepin - eccentric, noisy and garrulous - turns up on an indefinite visit. Pepin's interventions cause the maltster a whole series of accidents, and his loud talk upsets the deliberations of the board. But Pepin finds a kindred soul in Maryška. Together they climb up the brewery chimney and the firemen have to be called out. On the advice of the chairman Gruntorád, M.D., Francis tries to tame his brother's high spirits by giving him hard work. He is pleased when Maryška falls down and hurts her leg dancing with Pepin and has to stay in bed for a few days. Maryška offers to treat doctor Gruntorád's cold with a modern instrument that she has got from Francin, but only succeeds in burning his nasal glands with undiluted eucalyptus. Gruntorád forgives her. Modern times bring new hair fashions and the barber Boďa weeps when Maryška orders him to cut her hair short. A small party is held in the brewery to celebrate the purchase of a truck. Francin demonstrates a radio instrument to the company. Then he enthusiastically explains the changes he plans to his masters. The board is unhappy about the costs and decides to dismiss Francin. Maryška's new haircut causes uproar. Francin bends his wife over her bicycle and spanks her with the pump tube. This resolute response impresses the board, and they decide to let him keep his job. The young couple then go for a bicycle ride out of the town and there Maryška promises her husband a present - she is pregnant and carrying the future writer for him under her heart.

Cast

Jiří Schmitzer

správce pivovaru Francin, Maryščin muž

Jaromír Hanzlík

Pepin, Francinův bratr

Rudolf Hrušínský

MUDr. Gruntorád, předseda správní rady pivovaru

Petr Čepek

mistr kominický de Giorgi, člen správní rady

Oldřich Vlach

hoteliér Růžička

František Řehák

statkář Vejvoda

Miloslav Štibich

kovář Bernádek

Alois Liškutín

ředitel spořitelny Šefl

Pavel Vondruška

notář Lustig

Rudolf Hrušínský ml.

sladovník v pivovaře

Oldřich Vízner

kadeřník Boďa Červinka

Miroslav Donutil

kočí Martin

Josef Vondráček

výčepní

Václav Kotva

kočí kravského potahu

Zdeněk Kozák

starý bednář

Pavel Wuršer

starý bednář

Josef Otoupal

řezník

Jan Hraběta

hostinský

Jaroslava Kretschmerová

slečna účetní

Jiří Kodeš

zaměstnanec pivovaru

Václav Knop

sladovník

Alexej Okuněv

sladovník

Rudolf Stärz

sladovník

Tomáš Töpfer

sladovník

Ivan Rajmont

hasič

Rudolf Serina

pomocník řezníka

Hana Forejtová

dubl za Vášáryovou

Ladislav Lahoda

dubl za Čepka

Miroslav Lahoda

dubl za Hanzlíka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Milan Klacek

Assistant Director

Jaroslav Hykl, Olga Dostálová

Based on

Bohumil Hrabal (Postřižiny – novela)

Script Editor

Václav Nývlt

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek

Camera Operator

František Kučera

Production Designer

Zbyněk Hloch

Set Designer

Karel Kracík, Miloš Sršeň, Milan Šefrna, Pavel Šoltys

Costume Designer

Theodor Pištěk ml.

Film Editor

Jiří Brožek

Sound Designer

Karel Jaroš

Special Effects

Trikový ateliér FSB

Production Manager

Jan Šuster

Unit Production Manager

Jaroslav Bouček, Lenka Jandová

Unit Production Manager

Miloslav Doležal

Music

Music Composed by

Jiří Šust

Selected Music

Bedřich Smetana (Prodaná nevěsta /Proč bychom se netěšili/)

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Songs

Prodaná nevěsta /Milostné zvířátko uděláme z vás/, Prodaná nevěsta, Mein Herz das ist ein Bienehaus, Když počal slavíček píseň svou zpívat, My pluli dál a dál

Songwriter

Bedřich Smetana (Prodaná nevěsta /Milostné zvířátko uděláme z vás/), Bedřich Smetana (Prodaná nevěsta), tradicionál (My pluli dál a dál)

Writer of Lyrics

Karel Sabina (Prodaná nevěsta /Milostné zvířátko uděláme z vás/), Karel Sabina (Prodaná nevěsta)

Singer

Jaromír Hanzlík (Prodaná nevěsta /Milostné zvířátko uděláme z vás/), Jaromír Hanzlík (Prodaná nevěsta), Jaromír Hanzlík (Mein Herz das ist ein Bienehaus), Jaromír Hanzlík (Když počal slavíček píseň svou zpívat), Jaromír Hanzlík (My pluli dál a dál), Rudolf Hrušínský ml. (My pluli dál a dál)

Production info

Original Title

Postřižiny

English Title

Cutting It Short

Copyright

1980

Production Year

1980

Premiere

06.02.1981

Creative Group

Miloš Brož

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD, HD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 2. International Images Film Festival for Women Harare

2003
Harare / Zimbabwe

Vítěz

Exhibition: 13. mezinárodní týden autorského filmu Benalmádena/Torremolinos

1982
Benalmádena/Torremolinos / Spain

Vítěz

Festival: 2. mezinárodní festival komediálních filmů Vevey

1982
Vevey / Switzerland

Vítěz

Festival: 2. mezinárodní festival komediálních filmů Vevey

1982
Vevey / Switzerland

Vítěz

Festival: 32. filmový festival pracujících – léto ´81

1981
62 měst / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 37. mezinárodní filmový festival Benátky

1981
Benátky / Italy

Vítěz

Festival: 19. festival českých a slovenských filmů Kladno

1981
Kladno / Czechoslovakia
Magda Vášáryová

Vítěz

Festival: 3. festival československé filmové veselohry Nové Město nad Metují

1981
Nové Město nad Metují / Czechoslovakia
Magda Vášáryová

Vítěz

Festival: 3. festival československé filmové veselohry Nové Město nad Metují

1981
Nové Město nad Metují / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Menzel