The Catapulte

comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Katapult

Runtime

87

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1983

Production year

1983

Premiere

01.08.1984

Language version

Czech

Director

Jaromil Jireš

Screenplay

Vladimír Páral, Jaromil Jireš

Summary

As well as being a source of inspiration for several adaptations at various levels, novelist Vladimír Páral left his mark on the modern history of Czech cinema as a screenwriter. Alongside Soukromá vichřice (Private Gale) (1967), Radost až do rána (Taking Pleasure Until Broad Day) (1978) and Playgirls (1995) he worked on Katapult (The Catapulte), a 1983 Jaromil Jireš picture inspired by his 1967 novel Catapult: a Timetable of Rail, Sea, and Air Ways to Paradis… The film’s hero, 33-year-old Jacek Jošt (in an appealing performance by Jiří Bartoška) is – like the majority of Páral’s heroes – a rebellious prisoner of the monotony of everyday life. Though he has an apartment, a nice wife and a problem-free daughter he places a classified ad and begins relationships with five women selected by computer. It coldly creates a timetable according to which Jacek has to balance them all. Revenge is sweet, however: Each woman soon starts laying claim to him. The vibrant Tina even gets her lover mixed up in a blackmail plot. The hero’s at first pleasant existence is thus transformed (in the end literally) into a nightmare… The experienced director Jaromil Jireš had filmed Páral’s book Mladý muž a bílá velryba (The Young Man and the White Whale) in 1978. By contrast with the thesis-based picture inspired by the novel from his “white” series, Catapult (regardless of its forced optimistic ending) is faithful to the novelist’s humour-infused “black pentalogy”. Jaromír Šofr’s camera contributed to the persuasiveness of The Catapulte, one of Páral’s most impressive movie titles, as did the casting of period stars. Kateřina Macháčková, Jiřina Jirásková, Barbora Štěpánová, Dana Homolová, Johana Tesařová and Jarmila Urbištová successfully support Bartoška in the parts of Jacek’s women.

Synopsis

Thirty three year old engineer, Jacek Jošt, is tired of his stereotyped life: waking up in the morning in the housing estate, breakfast with his daughter and good wife Lenka, regular business trips, watching TV in the evening, chatting with his neighbour, Trošt, sleeping. No, not like this, he wants to experience something extraordinary! He puts an ad in a dating agency and from the answers he chooses five women: a teacher Boženka, an older Anna, director of a research institute, exuberant Tánička, Ludmila, widow of a gamekeeper, a waitress, Tina. During his business trips he visits them in turns and he changes according to the demands of his lovers. First Jacek is happy, but after a while he gets into troubles. All women count on him in their life, every woman wants to be with him permanently. Jacek interlocks in their fates and is getting tired. Moreover, the energetic Tina forces him to take pictures and then to blackmail her lovers. Jacek also finds out that his neighbour, Trošt, often visits his wife while Jacek is not at home. One day Jacek comes home early, but nobody pays attention to him, although he finally brought the promised white plush for Lenka. Jacek decides to end his life by jumping off of the balcony. He starts running and falls down. Suddenly he wakes up from a terrible dream. With relief, he happily falls into the family stereotype.

Cast

Jiří Bartoška

inženýr Jacek Jošt

Kateřina Macháčková

Lenka, Joštova manželka

Oldřich Vlach

soused Trošt

Jiřina Jirásková

ředitelka výzkumného ústavu Anna Bromová

Barbora Štěpánová

extravagantní Táňa Hájková

Johana Tesařová

vdova Ludmila Radalská

Dana Homolová

servírka Tina Velová

Jarmila Urbišová

učitelka Boženka Kohoutková

Adriana Wachsmanová

Lenička, dcera Joštových

Pavel Stach

Véna, Boženčin bratr

Kateřina Urbancová

Janička, dcera Lídy

Jakub Šolín

Arnošt, Ludmilin manžel na fotografii

Zdeněk Ornest

cizinec, Tinin zákazník

Jiří Hálek

úředník, Tinin zákazník

Dana Balounová

matka Boženky

Miroslav Vrba

otec Boženky

Jana Viščaková

Troštova žena

Tomáš Halík

psycholog

Zdeněk Dítě

Tinin zákazník

Oldřich Velen

řidič náklaďáku

Jana Leichtová

Jackova kolegyně

Zlata Adamovská

dívčí tvář

Barbara Šalamounová

dívčí tvář

Marie Kadeřábková

dívčí tvář

Ivana Chýlková

dívčí tvář/dívka ve vlaku

Monika Křišťová

dívčí tvář

Ladislav Lahoda

frajer Tony, přítel Tiny

Jaroslav Bouček

starý profesor na rautu

Václav Kukla

Josífek

Václav Kotva

výpravčí

Pavla Rodeslyová

Tánina spolubydlící

Jana Matiášková

Tánina spolubydlící

Mirka Hendrichová

Tánina spolubydlící

Zdeněk Hurník

příslušník VB

František Hausner

pomocník

Václav Wittmann

starší kolega

Stanislav Jelínek

cvičící jogín

Tomáš Jančařík

kolega

Bedřich Lomoz

řidič

Rudolf A. Rosenfelder

strýc Fanouš

Eliška Nejedlá

teta Olga

Edgar Dutka

host na rautu

Jana Robenková

prodavačka v kiosku

Petr Drozda

dubl za Bartošku

Oldřich Semerák

dubl – řidič

Kateřina Maýrová

hudebnice

Jana Nováková (4)

hudebnice

Markéta Kabelková

hudebnice

Jana Novotná (3)

hudebnice

Dubbing

Simona Stašová

hlas dívky 28 let

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jan Fleischer

Assistant Director

Jan Menšík, Dagmar Švejdová

Based on

Vladimír Páral (Katapult – novela)

Shooting Script

Jaromil Jireš

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek, Pavel Dosoudil

Camera Operator

Jan Carda

Production Designer

Jindřich Goetz

Set Designer

Jiří Forst, Petr Dostál, Miloslav Dvořák, Vladimír Ježek, Karel Vaňásek

Costume Designer

Irena Greifová

Film Editor

Josef Valušiak

Sound Designer

Antonín Kravka

Special Effects

Ludvík Malý

Production Manager

Eliška Nejedlá

Unit Production Manager

Jana Koubová, Jarmila Tomišková

Unit Production Manager

Aleš Komárek

Cooperation

Zuzana Čvančarová, Karel Ješátko, Olga Rosenfelderová, Jana Šimonová, Jan Svoboda (střih)

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Pololáník

Selected Music

Antonín Dvořák (Rusalka /Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém/ – árie), Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (Svatební pochod), Paul Pearl (Suita pro čtyři zobcové flétny)

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Mario Klemens (FISYO)

Songs

Oliver Twist, Kávu si osladím, Ein stückchen Zucker mehr /Kávu si osladím/, Ku-ku /The Cuckoo Song/ (motiv chůze Laurela a Hardyho), Lékořice, Proč právě já, Mít a být, Zrychlený dech

Songwriter

Karel Mareš (Oliver Twist), Ladislav Štaidl (Kávu si osladím), Ladislav Štaidl (Ein stückchen Zucker mehr /Kávu si osladím/), Marvin Hatley (Ku-ku /The Cuckoo Song/), Jaromír Vomáčka (Lékořice), František Janeček (Proč právě já), Michal David (Proč právě já), Ivo Pešák (Mít a být), Vítězslav Hádl (Zrychlený dech)

Writer of Lyrics

Rostislav Černý (Oliver Twist), Jiří Štaidl (Kávu si osladím), Fred Gertz (Ein stückchen Zucker mehr /Kávu si osladím/), Vratislav Blažek (Lékořice), Jaroslav Machek (Proč právě já), Ivo Pešák (Mít a být), Pavel Žák (Zrychlený dech)

Singer

Eva Pilarová (Oliver Twist), Karel Gott (Kávu si osladím), Karel Gott (Ein stückchen Zucker mehr /Kávu si osladím/), Václav Neckář (Lékořice), Michal David (Proč právě já), Kroky Františka Janečka (Proč právě já), Ivo Pešák (Mít a být), Helena Vondráčková (Zrychlený dech)

Production info

Original Title

Katapult

English Title

The Catapulte

Copyright

1983

Production Year

1983

Premiere

01.08.1984

Creative Group

Jiří Blažek

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: 14. ročník čtenářské ankety týdeníku Květy, Československé televize a Ústřední půjčovny filmů

1985
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Bartoška