Prague Selection

music

Typology

feature

Czech title

Pražákům, těm je hej

Runtime

93

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1990

Production year

1990

Premiere

01.04.1991

Language version

Czech

Director

Karel Smyczek, Michael Kocáb

Screenplay

Michal Pavlíček, Michael Kocáb, Karel Smyczek, Miloslav Zapletal

Screenstory

Michael Kocáb, Michal Pavlíček, Karel Smyczek, Miloslav Zapletal

Summary

This stylised docudrama is a fanciful tale presenting the rock band Pražský výběr (Prague Selection) in the spirit of the relaxed atmosphere that immediately followed the November 1989 Velvet Revolution. The film, combining reality, fiction and parodies of both, was directed by Karel Smyczek together with the popular band’s frontman Michael Kocáb. It hyperbolically recaps on the band’s fortunes and misfortunes since 1984. Kocáb not only delivers the part of himself, but also that of a narrator, the oaf Ropotámo, who was an integral part of the band’s stage performances. The band endures bans imposed by the communist regime, as well as an internal conflict between Kocáb and guitarist Michael Pavlíček. The film’s narrative culminates with a concert at the Prague Lucerna venue on the eve of the November revolution. The totalitarian regime has met its demise, but the united performances of the band have not… In addition to members of Pražský výběr, the film also features other showbiz celebrities, such as Lucie Bílá, Bára Basiková and Frank Zappa.

Synopsis

It is 1984. A rubber mask of an ugly old man – Ropotamus – lies on the street. It is later worn by the guide throughout the film. The musician Michael Kocáb is at home, throwing a drawn ball at a member of his music group, Prague Selection, Michal Pavlíček. Ropotamo picks up the phone and someone tells him that the group can perform again after having been banned. Its concert in the Lucerna music hall is interspersed with the journalist Lipčík's interviews with the participants. Those who decide about the bans are various officials holding various positions; they are represented as the Small, Medium and Big Tie in the film. During the bands' ban, its members had to find their living elsewhere in order to provide for their families. Kocáb composes stage music, the bass guitar player Vilém Čok plays in a bar, the guitar player Pavlíček performs with the group Stromboli. When the Prague Selection plays in the Karlín Musical Theatre, the organizers call the police with dogs to calm down the high-spirited fans. Work disputes between Kocáb and Pavlíček develop into a fight in a mud ring. Pavlíček phones to apologize for his absence from a rehearsal due to drunkenness. Kocáb is angry and leaves the group to work on the musical Ulysses. Pavlíček, sleeping on a bench, is woken up by a policeman. Čok and the percussionist David Koller go to a pub together. Prague Selection records the song Strainer in a TV studio, but the musicians and the director run into conflict. Pavlíček, drunk, destroys an India rubber-fig plant in a hotel. The percussionist quarrels with the manager. Kocáb opens the door and jumps to the water behind it. As soon as Pavlíček sobers up, he tries to recover the destroyed plant. He must see a doctor because his hearing has significantly worsened. In his idyllic fantasies, he sees himself standing by a weir with drawn swans and Ropotamo cruising around. The officials – the Ties – discuss the group's next potential ban. Kocáb, Pavlíček and Čok hide in dustbins before the gushing water cannon. The group refuses the offered tour in the Ostrava region – they have no substitute for the percussionist who has fled the country in the meantime. The performance, which they are forced to make, is not successful and ends up in yet another quarrel. The desperate Čok punches a hole in a pane of glass with his hand and is severely wounded. He is taken to Prague from a regional hospital which refuses to carry out any surgery. Kocáb is with him and, on the way, hallucinates about meeting the Big Tie who appoints him as the president of music. At a place of execution, he can choose the gallows, electric chair, or guillotine. Ropotamo appears next to the guillotine which was Kocáb's choice. The film director and the group are in the cutting room, discussing shots from the Lucerna concert, held on November 16, 1989 – on the eve of the outbreak of the Velvet Revolution. After the revolution, Kocáb becomes a parliamentary deputy and the others have other commitments, too. But they still want to perform with Prague Selection from time to time. At the next Lucerna concert, Kocáb sings in the Ropotamus mask, but the odd man is in the audience as well. The closing titles are followed by shots of Kocáb meeting the American musician Frank Zappa in Prague.

Film online

Cast

Michael Kocáb

Kocáb Michael, on sám

Michal Pavlíček

Pavlíček Michal, on sám

Vilém Čok

Čok Vilém, on sám

David Koller

Klaudius Kryšpín

Roman Skamene

manažer Béďa Pokrovský

Miloslav Štibich

Střední kravata

Otomar Dvořák

Velká kravata

Vlastimil Zavřel

Malá kravata

Simona Stašová

sekretářka

Lucie Bílá

Čokovka

Boleslav Polívka

strážmistr VB

Arnošt Goldflam

MUDr. Kalvoda

Roman Lipčík

reportér

Bára Basiková

Basiková Bára, ona sama, zpěvačka

Frank Zappa

Zappa Frank, on sám, zpěvák

Jan Foll

Foll Jan, on sám, hudební kritik

Michal Suchánek

fanoušek Pražského výběru

Jitka Smutná

vrátná

Oldřich Kaiser

Kaiser Oldřich, on sám, herec

Michal Prokop

Prokop Michal, on sám, zpěvák

Valerie Kaplanová

babka na Žižkově

Marsha Kocábová

ona sama, Kocábova manželka

Natálie Kocábová

Kocábová Natálie, ona sama, dcera

Jessica Kocábová

Kocábová Jessica, ona sama, dcera

Petra Špalková

dívka v kroji

K. Krautwurmová

dívka v kroji

D. Kratochvílová

dívka v kroji

Jiří Lábus

Lábus Jiří, on sám, herec

Vladimír Merta

Merta Vladimír, on sám, hudebník

Zdenek Merta

Merta Zdeněk, on sám, hudebník

Michal Horáček

zraněný muž v hospodě

Karel Smyczek

agresivní muž v hospodě

Jan Hraběta

číšník

Miroslav Kolín

Jaromír Hiadlovský

Vladimír Vyšín

Dagmar Andrtová-Voňková

Evžen Černý

Otto Rambousek

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Petr Hartl, Jan Menšík

Assistant Director

Renata Čihulková, Jarmila Čajová

Script Editor

Martin Bezouška

Second Unit Photography

Martin Grošup

Camera Operator

Vladimír Křepelka

Production Designer

Boris Halmi

Art Director

Pavel Koutský

Set Designer

Ivan Břešťák, Jaroslav Česal, Petr Průša, Marek Šíma

Costume Designer

Simona Rybáková

Film Editor

Zdenek Patočka

Sound Designer

Václav Vondráček

Special Effects

Jiří Šimunek, Miroslav Šnábl

Production Manager

Václav Eisenhamer

Unit Production Manager

Hana Štefanová, Slavomíra Jílková, Ladislava Kašáková

Unit Production Manager

Martin Kuk, Milan Maňák

Cooperation

Šimon Caban, Olga Rosenfelderová, Gabriela Pitráková, Jiří Berger, Václav Kuba (pyrotechnik), Alice Šafránková, Jitka Zvirocká, František Čásenský, Hana Hrabětová, Ivo Špalj

Music

Selected Music

Carl Maria von Weber (Čarostřelec /Der Freischütz/ – opera)

Music Performed by

Pražský výběr

Songs

Hrabě X, Můj koníček, Zubatá, Pražákům, těm je hej, Snaživec, Tatrman, Veliké lalulá, Košilela, Člověk bez talentu, Sbal si to svý ráno, Na václavským Václaváku, Smolař, Chvastoun, Proč jen já, Odysseus, Fine Girl, Vídeňský valčík, Tango Ropotámo, S.O.S., Malovaný džbánku

Songwriter

Michael Kocáb (Hrabě X), Michal Pavlíček (Hrabě X), Michael Kocáb (Můj koníček), Michal Pavlíček (Můj koníček), Michael Kocáb (Zubatá), Michal Pavlíček (Zubatá), Michael Kocáb (Pražákům, těm je hej), Michal Pavlíček (Pražákům, těm je hej), Michael Kocáb (Snaživec), Michael Kocáb (Tatrman), Michal Pavlíček (Veliké lalulá), Michal Pavlíček (Košilela), Michal Pavlíček (Člověk bez talentu), Michael Kocáb (Člověk bez talentu), Michael Kocáb (Sbal si to svý ráno), Michal Pavlíček (Sbal si to svý ráno), Vilém Čok (Sbal si to svý ráno), Vilém Čok (Na václavským Václaváku), Michael Kocáb (Smolař), Michal Pavlíček (Smolař), Michal Pavlíček (Chvastoun), Michal Pavlíček (Proč jen já), Michael Kocáb (Proč jen já), Michael Kocáb (Odysseus), Frank Zappa (Fine Girl), Michael Kocáb (Vídeňský valčík), Michael Kocáb (Tango Ropotámo), Michal Pavlíček (Tango Ropotámo), Michal Pavlíček (S.O.S.), Michael Kocáb (S.O.S.), Jindřich Brabec (Malovaný džbánku)

Writer of Lyrics

František Ringo Čech (Hrabě X), František Ringo Čech (Můj koníček), František Ringo Čech (Zubatá), František Ringo Čech (Pražákům, těm je hej), Michael Kocáb (Snaživec), Michael Kocáb (Tatrman), Christian Morgenstern (Veliké lalulá), Christian Morgenstern (Košilela), Vilém Čok (Člověk bez talentu), Michael Kocáb (Člověk bez talentu), Michal Pavlíček (Člověk bez talentu), Vilém Čok (Sbal si to svý ráno), Michael Kocáb (Sbal si to svý ráno), Michal Pavlíček (Sbal si to svý ráno), Vilém Čok (Na václavským Václaváku), Vilém Čok (Smolař), Vilém Čok (Chvastoun), Michael Kocáb (Chvastoun), Michal Pavlíček (Chvastoun), Klaudius Kryšpín (Chvastoun), Vladimír Pokorný (Chvastoun), J. Novotný (Proč jen já), Michal Horáček (Odysseus), Michael Kocáb (Tango Ropotámo), Michal Pavlíček (Tango Ropotámo), Jiří Aplt (Malovaný džbánku)

Singer

Pražský výběr (Hrabě X), Pražský výběr (Můj koníček), Pražský výběr (Zubatá), Pražský výběr (Pražákům, těm je hej), Pražský výběr (Snaživec), Bára Basiková (Veliké lalulá), Bára Basiková (Košilela), Pražský výběr (Člověk bez talentu), Pražský výběr (Sbal si to svý ráno), Vilém Čok (Na václavským Václaváku), Pražský výběr (Smolař), Pražský výběr (Chvastoun), Pražský výběr (Proč jen já), Pražský výběr (Odysseus), Frank Zappa (Fine Girl), Pražský výběr (Tango Ropotámo), ženský hlas (Malovaný džbánku)

Choreographer

Michal Caban

Danced by

Baletní jednotka Křeč

Production info

Original Title

Pražákům, těm je hej

English Title

Prague Selection

Copyright

1990

Production Year

1990

Premiere

01.04.1991

Creative Group

Josef Císař

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD, HD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Prémie Českého literárního fondu za filmovou tvorbu

1990
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Zdenek Patočka