The Cobweb

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1986

Production year

1980—1982, 1985

Premiere

1 April 1987

Runtime

91 min

Category

film

Genre

psychological

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Pavučina

Czech title

Pavučina

English title

The Cobweb

Summary

This unique project was completed by director Zdeněk Zaoral at Gottwaldov Film Studios (today Zlín) in 1986. Work on Pavučina began at the start of the decade as part of a semi-professional project at Prague's FAMU film school, where Zaoral worked as a teacher. The subject matter of drug abuse was controversial enough within an “ideal” socialistic society. Zaoral tackles the issue in an open, honest manner (unlike Zbyňek Brynych in crime drama Mravenci nesou smrt – Ants Bring Death, 1985), through an effort at presenting raw documentary-style realism. Eighteen-year-old drug addict Radka serves as the central character in this depressing story. Unable to shake-off the habit alone, Radka goes into rehab. There, while undergoing therapy, she tries to get to the roots of her familial angst – her disinterested parents being a major factor in her current drug dependency. Eva Kulichová takes the lead role in this drama; many of Zaoral’s personal friends helped to fill key positions in this film enterprise.

Synopsis

The night police patrol arrests two young men robbing a pharmacy in the centre of Prague. The girl Radka, who is the lookout outside on the street, manages to run away. Her divorced mother has no time for her daughter. Radka vainly looks for her friend Lenka in a junkie cellar den. She also does not get along with her father, a renowned music conductor. She ends up in the place of the photographer Karel, her mother's ex-boyfriend, who gives her drugs in exchange of sex. But she finds a psychiatrist who recommends detoxification therapy. Radka arrives at the asylum intoxicated. The woman consultant locks her in a room where she undergoes the detox. The psychiatrist Helena who is also on treatment here keeps her company. Radka is hallucinating. As soon as she sobers up, she is moved to the room with Helena, the alcoholic Marie and also Marcela, who takes drugs even in the asylum. Radka struggles to adapt to the severe program: warm-ups, showers, lining ups, interviews with a psychologist, psycho-gymnastics, group conversations in the park, psychodrama. All the patients, including Radka, tend to embellish their memories in their group confessions, and they are painfully affected when the unflattering truth surfaces. Radka talks about her passionate love for Ivan, who left for Sweden and died there. The former educator in a children's home, Marie, blames herself for the suicide of one of her wards. Radka talks to Helena and recalls that she actually had no love affair with Ivan. She was in fact deflowered by Karel who also got her into drugs. Helena's therapy is over and she is leaving the asylum. Radka soon runs away. But her parents still have no time for her. The intoxicated Radka wanders through the rainy night. She strips herself naked and ends up unconscious, lying in the gutter. A police patrol hands her over to the psychiatry department, where Helena is on duty. Radka steals some vials from her consulting room. She later learns that her best friend Lenka died on drugs. The father comes to visit the mother who is drunk as always. He wants to take care of their daughter but the mother only heaps accusations on him. Radka returns to the asylum and finally accepts the therapy. She clears up the relationship with her mother during a psychodrama with the much older Marie. Helena returns to the asylum because she became addicted again after the loss of the medication. Radka confesses to her about the theft, returns the rest of the medication to her and, in an unguarded moment, Helena overdoses of the contents of the returned vials. Marie guards the stunned Radka. The patients, with Radka among them, peel potatoes in the garden. Radka's father arrives at the asylum.

Note

The director Zdenek Zaoral filmed four fifths of the movie on 16mm inverse material under amateur conditions and in his own production between 1980 and 1982. The Film Studios Gottwaldov then provided him with professional support and he was able to finish the additional shooting in Prague locations. The material was then successfuly transferred to 35mm size. It was the first case of employing this technology in, what was then, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

Cast

Eva Kulichová

Radka Waltrová

Jiřina Třebická

pacientka Marie Vostřáková

Milena Svobodová

pacientka MUDr. Helena Krejčová

Jiří Zahajský

dirigent Waltr, Radčin otec

Radka Fidlerová

Radčina matka

Miroslav Macháček

primář psychiatrie

Jana Kremanová

Dubbing Zuzana Fišárková
primářka protidrogové léčebny

Jana Kulendová

terapeutka Jana

Zdeněk Dušek

fotograf Karel, drogový dealer

Yvetta Kornová

pacientka Marcela Knitlová

Renáta Doleželová

pacientka Zuzana Sedláková

Věra Boudníková

Dubbing Marta Malá
pacientka Vlasta

Jana Lišková

Dubbing Vida Skalská
pacientka Alena

Václava Lébrová

Dubbing Miriam Kantorková
pacientka Vendula

Milan Tahotný

Dubbing Igor Smržík
feťák zvaný Prorok

Kateřina Lojdová

feťačka Lenka, Radčina kamarádka

Eva Loučímová

pacientka Dagmar

Liana Kubičková

pacientka Milada

Lucie Frantová

milenka Radčina otce

Alena Dvořáková

pacientka

Renata Franková

pacientka

Barbora Hocková

pacientka

Milada Kaufmanová-Hrabalová

pacientka

Květa Černá

pacientka

Zdena Feriová

pacientka

Hana Nyklová

pacientka

Dagmar Faltysová

pacientka

Marta Mieglová

pacientka

Světlana Fikarová

zdravotní sestra v léčebně

Helena Klečková

zdravotní sestra

Marie Gajdošová

zdravotní sestra

Dušan Slanina

feťák

Milan Staněk

feťák

Marie Hlavatá

feťačka

Elena Masariková

feťačka

Veronika Exnerová

feťačka

Česlav Žyla

feťák

Stanislava Bartošová

vedoucí prodejny Supraphon

Ivan Douda

ošetřovatel

Jiří Havel

strážmistr VB

Zdena Čuboňová

Mária Dzurušová

Jaroslava Fidríková

Věra Krejčová

Marie Losenická

Marie Petričáková

Marta Vajsáblová

Jiří Kadlus

kapelník

kapela Steamboat Stompers

kapela v klubu

Jiří Lábus

host v klubu

Libuše Palková

bláznivá

Michael Málek

host v klubu

Jiří Schenzer

hudebník

Rudolf Suk

hudebník

Otto Kotýnek

hudebník

Vladislav Kozderka

hudebník

Vladimír Tymich

hudebník

Jan Verner

hudebník

Vladimír Balatka

hudebník

Josef Jelínek (3)

hudebník

Pavel Chramosta

hudebník

Jiří Kohák

hudebník

Jaroslav Rys

hudebník

Jiří Ryba

hudebník

Jiří Sušický

hudebník

Josef Štěpánek

hudebník

Jaroslav Tománek

hudebník

Miroslav Kympl

hudebník

Tomáš Mikulecký

hudebník

Vladimír Nacházel

hudebník

Václav Bechyně

hudebník

Jaromír Bělor

hudebník

Vladimír Klimeš

hudebník

Vladimír Bednář

hudebník

Jiří Holeňa

hudebník

Josef Jelínek (4)

hudebník

Hana Brejchová

ona sama u plakátu

Eduard Fischer

otec

Jiří Cieslar

host na večírku

Karel Hábl

předseda soudu

Natálie Mikušková

dubl za Kulichovou

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Josef Loučím

Screenstory

Zdenek Zaoral

Director of Photography

Michal Kulič

Camera Operator

Jiří Pechar, Jiří Kazda

Production Designer

Jana Kremanová

Set Designer

Renata Králová

Make-Up Artist

Ivo Strangmüller

Film Editor

Jan Chaloupek

Sound Designer

Josef Hubka

Assistant Sound Designer

Zdeněk Bobek

Production Manager

Vojtěch Kunčík

Unit Production Manager

Jitka Perůtková

Unit Production Manager

Kamila Vedrová, Milan Sedláček, Kamil Spáčil

Consultant

MUDr. Jaromír Rubeš, MUDr. Vladimír Kubíček, pplk. Jaroslav Svoboda

Cooperation

Klaudie Hepnerová (klapka), Renata Bobková (klapka), Hana Daňková (klapka), Ludvík Malý (zvětšení obrazu 16/35 mm), Karel Handl, Stanislav Kadoun, Alena Kravková, Eva Zaoralová

Music

Music Composed by

Václav Hálek

Selected Music

Ludwig van Beethoven (Symfonie č.3 Es dur /Eroica/), Luboš Andršt (Ráno)

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by Štěpán Koníček), Steamboat Stompers, Pavel Kühn

Songs

Řekni mi, lásko

Songwriter Miki Volek
Writer of Lyrics Miki Volek
Singer Miki Volek

I am going down to river Jordan

Songwriter tradicionál
Singer Eva Hodinová

Štěstí ti přálo, dostalas málo

Singer Hana HanákováAlena RychetskáMarta JirkalováRůžena Pelcová

Francka a Johny

Songwriter lidová americká píseň
Writer of Lyrics Josef HiršalJosef Škvorecký
Singer Jan Foll

K pětadvaceti

Songwriter Vladimír Merta
Writer of Lyrics Vladimír Merta
Singer Vladimír Merta

Vínečko bílé

Songwriter František Hřebačka-Mikulecký
Singer Jiřina Třebická

Ó, hřebíčku zahradnický

Singer ženský sbor

Production info

Original Title

Pavučina

Czech Title

Pavučina

English Title

The Cobweb

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

psychological

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1986

Production Year

1980—1982, 1985

Premiere

premiere 1 April 1987

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

91 min

Original length in metres

2 589 meters

Distribution carrier

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

Festival: 14. festival zdravotnických filmů Podbořany

1987
Podobřany / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 25. festival českých a slovenských filmů Bratislava

1987
Bratislava / Czechoslovakia