Tau

comedy

Typology

feature

Czech title

Pan Tau

Runtime

90

Country

Czechoslovakia, Federal Republic of Germany

Copyright

1988

Production year

1988

Premiere

01.01.1989

Language version

Czech

Director

Jindřich Polák

Screenplay

Ota Hofman

Screenstory

Ota Hofman, Jindřich Polák

Summary

The taciturn but nattily attired Pan Tau (“Mr Tau”) was a hugely popular 1970s children’s television character who possessed a magical bowler hat and typically communicated through pantomime. He was last discovered appearing – this time in a family fantasy film on the silver screen – in 1988. For this motion picture, the creators of Pan Tau, screenwriter Ota Hofman and director Jindřich Polák, turn to Rudolf Karásek. He portrays a forgotten actor who has become a depressed, ageing professional, drowning his anxiety in alcohol and leading a dismal family life. When Karásek tries to make a comeback, he realises that he cannot cope with his old role as Pan Tau. The filmmakers thus cast a certain Mr. Novák – an amateur actor who is indistinguishable from the veteran actor – in all the physically demanding scenes. Karásek starts to envy the double and, as he longs to match him, he starts to change. He regains his old confidence and returns to “serious” dramatic work. Mr. Novák mysteriously disappears, and the question lingers – just who was he?… Hofman and Polák had already utilised the “actor’s double” motif in several Pan Tau stories. However, the theme as used in this final tale of the man with the spellbinding bowler hat bears obvious marks of nostalgia. Distinct from the original comedy style, the feature aspires to appeal to the old fans, rather than to a new audience. Otto Šimánek, who became internationally known playing Pan Tau in the original TV series, again takes the leading role in this Czech-German co-production. Despite the fairytale ending, neither Novák nor Karásek truly embody the original, “trueborn” Pan Tau. But the film offers a comeback for Šimánek himself, an actor whom Polák frequently cast in roles both big and small during the 1980s. The feature’s nostalgic and commemorative atmosphere is reinforced by the casting of former child actor Dana Vávrová as the overworked assistant director Alena. The part of actress Barborka is played by Žaneta Fuchsová, who starred in Polák’s tales about the mischievous girl Lucie.

Synopsis

An uncontrolled explosion destroys the backdrops in a film studio. The architect has an idea: the damage can be compensated for by making a cheap film with the figure called Tau who used to be so popular several years ago. But its performer, Rudolf Karásek, has changed a lot since then. He drinks far too much, he keeps quarelling with his daugher who was abandoned by her husband, and he snarls at his two little grandsons Jirka and Honzík more than tending to them. Although excited by the new script, the aged man nevertheless cannot make the easy-going pirouettes on a roof catwalk. The exhausted assistant director Alena finds Kasárek's double in a pub in the Prague neighbourhood of Malá Strana. The eternally good-spirited Mr Novák walks everywhere with his big dog Mannikin, earns his modest living by picking up paper and does not feel like being in a film. But because it is a children's movie, he eventually agrees. The make-up woman turns him into almost a spitting image of Karásek but, unlike the real actor, the staff and the child actors soon get very fond of him. Karásek is jealous and even runs away from the location. The good-hearted Karásek finds him at a railway station but there are no trains going, so he gets him to Prague by hitchhiking. This results in a radical improvement of Karásek's relationship with his grandsons and daughter. Novák and Karásek along with the little Jirka and Honzík then leave to film in the Tatra Mountains. When Novák hurts his leg, the actor is actually able to manage the demanding scenes even without the double and he again finds his self-confidence. As soon as the filming and the successful premiere are over, the assistant director Alena tries to find Mr Novák - but it is as if the man had never existed. And there, the slim figure of a man with a bowler hat appears unobserved on the cinema roof, hidden behind a neon sign. Mr Tau.

Film online

Cast

Otto Šimánek

herec Rudolf Karásek/Josef Novák

Dana Vávrová

asistentka režiséra Alena

Ute Christensen

Hanka, dcera herce Karáska

Viktor Preiss

pyrotechnik zvaný Ohnivák/inženýr

Vladimír Kratina

režisér Dufek

Jakub Drocar

dětský herec Martínek

Michal Soukup

Jirka, vnuk herce Karáska

Karel Soukup

Honzík, vnuk herce Karáska

Jiří Kodet

produkční Šíma

Petr Pospíchal

maskér Peták

Jan Kraus

kameraman

Ludmila Roubíková

sousedka Šulcová

Pavel Šmok

choreograf Kavka

Milan Hein

herec Martin Kubát

Karel Roden

Pavel, přítel Aleny

Leoš Suchařípa

ředitel divadla

Zdeněk Ornest

ředitel studia Vágner

Karel Šebesta

filmový architekt Skála

Angelo Michajlov

řidič Zrůbek

Jan Vlasák

Josef Novák /v záběrech celků a polocelků

Pavlína Mourková

fanynka Simona v metru

Žaneta Fuchsová

herečka Barborka

Eugen Jegorov

stavěč Micka

Boris Masník

trikový výtvarník

Adolf Kohuth

prodavač v bufetu

Petr Brukner

inženýr Málek

Jaroslav Hykl

asistent režie

Božena Fixová

správcová

Rudolf Pellar

dramaturg dr. Hába

Václav Kotva

soused důchodce

Jiří Kvasnička

číšník

Hana Militká

uklízečka v pivnici

Eva Vlachová

šatnářka kina

Šárka Štembergová

žena v metru

Dana Chaloupková

kostymérka

Karel Jaroš

zvukař

Jan Řeřicha

střihač Pešík

Rudolf A. Rosenfelder

dramaturg Mašek

Michaela Koliandrová

maminka v metru

Pavel Vangeli

novinář

Ivo Niederle

řidič tramvaje

Bert Schneider

vrchní z baru

Petr Skarke

výpravčí

Vlastimil Zavřel

rozespalý muž

Marta Hrachovinová

herečka hrající v divadle maminku

Jaroslav Lehman

rekvizitář

Karel Sekera

rekvizitář

Tereza Horká

Evička

Josef Kettner

divadelní technik

Oskar Hák

technik

Jaroslav Tomsa

režisér Vaněk/dubl-potápěč

Antonín Hausknecht

trikový technik/dubl-potápěč

Pavel Vokoun

trikový technik

Dimo Lipitkovský

trikový technik

Jaroslav Šanda

trikový technik

Petr Tyc

tančící náměsíčník

Jan Porš

kluk

P. Porš

kluk

J. Polák

kluk

Marie Bohatá

tanečnice

Ivana Etzlerová

tanečnice

Iveta Hubičková

tanečnice

Johana Kavková

tanečnice

K. Rejmanová

tanečnice

Jana Szabová

tanečnice

Pavlína Železníková

tanečnice

Vratislav Hlavatý

pilot balónu Šámal

D. Králová

mladá maskérka

Hana Kolářová

loutkoherečka

Tomáš Hruška

ostřič

Simona Zbořilová

sexy sousedka

J. Nováková

pečovatelka

V. Crhová

dubl-tanečnice

Hana Forejtová

dubl-tanečnice

Naďa Chrástová

dubl-tanečnice

Hana Kocourková

dubl-tanečnice

Pavel Cajzl

dubl-tanečník

Alena Schwarcová

dubl-tanečnice

Libuše Tomková

dubl-tanečnice

Petr Sekanina

dubl-Šimánek jako Karásek

Zdeněk Barták

dubl-tanečník

Jaroslav Štercl

herec ve filmové ukázce

Jan Werich

herec ve filmové ukázce

Václav Knop

člen štábu

Dubbing

Jana Švandová

hlas Hanky

Bronislav Poloczek

hlas řidiče

František Husák

hlas Josefa Nováka

Miriam Kantorková

hlas správcové

Simona Stašová

hlas uklízečky

Michal Pavlata

hlas režiséra Vaňka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Aleš Dospiva

Assistant Director

Jaroslav Hykl, Edita Seidlová, Pavla Marková

Screenplay

Ota Hofman

Shooting Script

Jindřich Polák

Script Editor

Kristián Suda

Second Unit Photography

Jiří Ondráček

Camera Operator

František Kučera

Production Designer

Zbyněk Hloch

Set Designer

Rudolf Beneš, Bedřich Čermák, Jaroslav Lehman

Costume Designer

Šárka Hejnová

Film Editor

Dalibor Lipský

Sound Designer

Karel Jaroš

Production Manager

Jan Šuster

Unit Production Manager

Martina Krýslová, Jan Peterka

Unit Production Manager

Jan Hadrbolec

Cooperation

Michaela Kopřivová, Erika Vojáčková, Ruth Kubalíková, Petr Václavek, Jan Kuděla

Music

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

Štěpán Koníček (FISYO)

Choreographer

Pavel Šmok

Danced by

Pražský komorní balet

Production info

Original Title

Pan Tau

English Title

Tau

Parallel Title

Tau

Copyright

1988

Production Year

1988

Premiere

01.01.1989

Technical info

Format

DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Festival: 29. festival filmů pro děti Gottwaldov

1989
Zlín / Czechoslovakia
Otto Šimánek

Vítěz

Exhibition: 20. národní přehlídka filmů pro děti Ostrov

1988
Ostrov nad Ohří / Czechoslovakia
Otto Šimánek