The Catapulte

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1983

Production year

1983

Premiere

1 August 1984

Runtime

87 min

Category

film

Genre

comedy

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Katapult

Czech title

Katapult

English title

The Catapulte

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

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

Edgar Dutka

host na rautu

Jana Robenková

prodavačka v kiosku

Petr Drozda

dubl za Jiřího Bartošku

Oldřich Semerák

dubl – řidič

Kateřina Maýrová

hudebnice

Jana Nováková (4)

hudebnice

Markéta Kabelková

hudebnice

Jana Novotná (3)

hudebnice

Dubbing

Simona Stašová

hlas osmadvacetileté dívky

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Jan Fleischer

Assistant Director

Jan Menšík

Based on

Vladimír Páral (Katapult – novela)

Shooting Script

Jaromil Jireš

Director of Photography

Jaromír Šofr

Second Unit Photography

Karel Hejsek, Pavel Dosoudil

Camera Operator

Jan Carda

Production Designer

Jindřich Goetz

Assistent Production Designer

Olga Rosenfelderová

Costume Designer

Irena Greifová

Film Editor

Josef Valušiak

Assistant Film Editor

Jan Svoboda, Jana Šimonová

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 (klapka), Karel Ješátko (fotograf)

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)

Songs

Oliver Twist

Song Composer Karel Mareš
Writer of Lyrics Rostislav Černý
Singer Eva Pilarová

Kávu si osladím

Song Composer Ladislav Štaidl
Writer of Lyrics Jiří Štaidl
Singer Karel Gott

Ein stückchen Zucker mehr /Kávu si osladím/

Song Composer Ladislav Štaidl
Writer of Lyrics Fred Gertz
Singer Karel Gott

Ku-ku /The Cuckoo Song –⁠ motiv chůze Laurela a Hardyho/

Song Composer Marvin Hatley

Lékořice

Song Composer Jaromír Vomáčka
Writer of Lyrics Vratislav Blažek
Singer Václav Neckář

Proč právě já

Song Composer František JanečekMichal David
Writer of Lyrics Jaroslav Machek
Singer Michal DavidKroky Františka Janečka

Mít a být

Song Composer Ivo Pešák
Writer of Lyrics Ivo Pešák
Singer Ivo Pešák

Zrychlený dech

Song Composer Vítězslav Hádl
Writer of Lyrics Pavel Žák
Singer Helena Vondráčková

Production info

Original Title

Katapult

Czech Title

Katapult

English Title

The Catapulte

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

comedy

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1983

Production Year

1983

Production specifications

withdrawal from distribution 31 December 1992

Premiere

festival premiere 26 June 1984 (35. filmový festival pracujících – léto ´84 /kino Blaník, Praha/)
premiere 1 August 1984 /unsuitable for youths/

Studio

Barrandov

Creative Group

1. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupina, Jiří Blažek (vedoucí 1. dramaturgicko-výrobní skupiny)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

87 min

Original length in metres

2 499 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

colour

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

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

1985
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jiří Bartoška