Smoke

satire

Typology

feature

Czech title

Kouř

Runtime

89

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1990

Production year

1990

Premiere

01.02.1991

Language version

Czech

Director

Tomáš Vorel

Screenplay

Lumír Tuček, Tomáš Vorel

Screenstory

Lumír Tuček, Tomáš Vorel

Summary

Tomáš Vorel’s Kouř (Smoke) enjoys a special position among the pictures produced by the generation of filmmakers that emerged at the turn of the 1990s. The comedy, subtitled “A musical of the totalitarian age”, has cult status with both contemporaries of its then 33-year-old non-conformist creator and viewers who were just coming of age in 1990. Vorel based Smoke on his legendary short film Ing. (1985), though only the basic plot remains in the feature version. The protagonist of the narrative is idealistic young engineer Miroslav Čáp (Jan Slovák), who starts his first job determined to fulfil his duties to the best of his abilities. However, his new colleagues don’t take their work at all seriously. Instead denunciations, favouritism, scheming, fraud, alcoholism and promiscuity are rampant. Miroslav refuses to play the game and unwittingly sparks an uprising against the incompetent management. However, both the character and makers of the film are sceptical of “revolutionary changes” for the good… Lumír Tuček of the Onwards Recital Group, which appeared in his 1988 portmanteau film Pražská 5 (Prague Five), worked with Vorel on the screenplay of this sarcastic comedy inspired by omnipresent totalitarian “smoke”. While the presentation of five Prague theatre companies in the former picture functioned as five solo projects tied together by Vorel’s direction, Smoke delivers a compact story infused with the playfully ironic perspective characteristic of Sklep, the theatre group of which the director was a member. Nevertheless, actors and other artists from other members of the Prague five – the Mimóza Mime Group, Onwards Recital Group and the Křeč ballet troupe – also left a harmonious mark on the project. In addition the cast includes the likes of Jaroslav Dušek, an actor and director from the Vizita theatre. Cinematographer Martin Duba contributed to the radical visual form of Smoke, while the songs of Michal Vích, with lyrics by Tuček, are an integral part of the picture.

Synopsis

A lanky young man with a cigarette is walking around the ironworks. It is gloomy; in the air is the acrid smell of smoke. Miroslav Čáp, the engineer, starts his first job. He is welcomed by the jovial engineer, Glosner who, in vain, tries to learn if he is a relative of Mr. Čáp from the ministry. Mirek is walked around the building by the head of the development department, Karel Šmíd, a jovial gypper. Everything is grubby, even the room at the boarding house where Mirek gets accommodation. While looking for cheap cigarettes, Mirek meets Helenka, a loose and warm hearted shop assistant in the canteen and the bearded beer-drinker, Béďa, from the archives department. Mirek gets drunk with him and his friends and in the morning he sleeps over. It does not matter he comes late, anyway no one is working. At the meeting, a bloated director with a heavy Russian accent is solving the problem with air pollution. Helenka brings cheap cigarettes to Mirek, even to his room. Glosner assigns the new employee a preparation of the project for air de-sulphurization. Helenka invites Mirek to an aerobic class, but she does not practise, as she is ashamed. Later they get drunk with vodka and both fall asleep in his bed. The old maid constructor, Běhalová, tells Mirek that this project had been worked out already years ago by the engineer, Křížek. After Šmíd turned him in, Křížek went to prison and in the end he ended up in the boiler-room. Mirek goes to the archives to find his project. He meets an attractive girl called Kitten; she invites him to a discoth?que. The local star, the coordinator of cultural activities and DJ, Arnoštek, drags Mirek to the Socialist Youth Union club. But Kitten is dancing only with Arnoštek. Mirek finds out thar Křížek's project was ingenious and that he cannot think of anything better. Šmíd brings an invitation for the non-officially obligatory celebration of Women's day. The aerobic teacher, Šmíd, welcomes Helenka, who overcame her shyness and does the exercises. In a wine bar Mirek sits down next to Kitten and some man, who quickly leaves. It is Kitten's father, the engineer Křížek. Šmíd catches Běhalová filling in work reports for her colleagues and he cruelly beats her up. Arnoštek is filming a video clip for the Women's day celebration. Křížek tries to persuade his daughter to leave for her mother, who is living abroad in emigration. The girl refuses, she wants to stay and take care of her father. In the gym, Šmíd glimpses a half-naked Helenka and he pounces on her. The Secret Police have a "friendly talk" with Mirek and they beat him up. Běhalová forces Křížek to apply with his project again, but he is sceptical. At the Women's day celebration, a clip called The River of Life is screened and there are shots of fat gymnasts. Then there is a performance by children, with the People's Militia, commanded by Šmíd. In the air full of smoke, the director collapses and after an asthma attack, he dies on the stairs. At the mourning meeting, Šmíd makes fun of Mirek. He votes that the project is bad. Běhalová runs to the boiler-room for Křížek and persuades him to step in. On the way, other employees join them. Mirek attacks Šmíd, who is protected by the militia. But the will of the people is strong, the functionaries resign and Křížek stays to hear ovations. Mirek sits with bound hands, next to Šmíd's dead body and he lights a cigarette.

Film online

Cast

Jan Slovák

ing. Miroslav Čáp

Jaroslav Dušek

šéf oddělení výzkumu Karel Šmíd, velitel milicí

Monika Šeligová

kantýnská Helenka

Jan Fuchs

personální náměstek Rudolf Glosner

Ladislav Myslivec

kotelník ing. Václav Křížek

Eva Holubová

konstruktérka ing. Lída Běhalová

Šimon Caban

kulturní referent Arnoštek Verecký

Jiří Fero Burda

archivář Béďa/sbor

Milan Dvořák

generální ředitel

Petr Čtvrtníček

Ondra, Glosnerův syn/sbor

Zdeněk Vronský

stavitel Mráz

Jana Tučková

laborantka Zdena/sbor

Alena Tesařová

laborantka Běta/sbor

Jindřich Narenta

vyšetřovatel

Aleš Najbrt

fízl 1

Jiří Sova

fízl 2

Jan Foll

fízl 3

David Vávra

barman

Radomil Uhlíř

poskok Standa

Věra Víchová

sekretářka Vlasta/sbor

Zdeněk Běhal

hospodský

Tomáš Hanák

číšník/sbor

Miloš Šustr

vrátný ubytovny

Božena Störová

strážná

Pavel Mastný

krysí muž

Olga Jargusová

uklízečka

Marie Soukupová

manželka generálního ředitele

Olga Michálková

manželka Glosnera st.

Alena Krpatová

tlustá prostitutka

Hana Drobilová

Micina

Jiří Patočka

děda u popelnice

Michal Bartůšek

mládežník

Milan Kruml

mládežník

Martin Faltýn

mládežník

Ladislav Bašta

mládežník

Ivo Helikar

mládežník

Marie Milerová

mládežnice

Lumír Tuček

mánič/sbor

Michal Caban

mánič

Petr Vašíček

mánič

Karel Kulhánek ml.

mánič

Robert Volf

mánič

Jiří Kratochvíl

šéf

Jaroslav Brůha

šéf

Jiří Vorel

šéf

Blažena Linková

šéfová

Karel Pecián

šéf

Štěpán Banko

šéf

Marie Tučková

kuchařka

Stanislava Kratinová

kuchařka

Anna Dražanová

kuchařka

Petra Lustigová

zaměstnankyně

Jana Hanáková

zaměstnankyně/sbor

Roman Ťalský

zaměstnanec

Martina Schmidtová

zaměstnankyně

Hana Pafková

zaměstnankyně

Martina Křenková

zaměstnankyně

Dana Slováková

zaměstnankyně

Tereza Kučerová

zaměstnankyně

Lada Odstrčilová

zaměstnankyně

Lenka Andelová

zaměstnankyně

Lída Marková

zaměstnankyně

Petra Zelenková

zaměstnankyně

Jana Krňanská

zaměstnankyně

Emma Letovová

zaměstnankyně

Dana Morávková

zaměstnankyně

Marie Ledvinková

zaměstnankyně

Ivo Kačaba

zaměstnanec

Petr Koutecký

zaměstnanec

Otakáro Schmidt

zaměstnanec

Ondřej Lutych

zaměstnanec

Radan Wágner

zaměstnanec

Kryštof Trubáček

zaměstnanec

Radomír Dočekal

zaměstnanec/sbor

Luboš Veselý

zaměstnanec

Jan Boháč

zaměstnanec

Zdeněk Žampa

zaměstnanec

Jaroslav Ešpandr

zaměstnanec

Pavel Auerbach

zaměstnanec

Jarmila Zámyslická

zaměstnankyně

Eva Kutinová

zaměstnankyně

Nikola Štefan

zaměstnanec

Petr Zadražil

zaměstnanec

Leopold Šrubař

zaměstnanec

Ladislav Ondruška

zaměstnanec

Ladislav Vondruška

zaměstnanec

Antonín Staněk

závodní armáda

Miroslav Štěpán

závodní armáda

Ivo Bojanovský

závodní armáda

Milan Pražák

závodní armáda

Alois Zkoupil

závodní armáda

Kristýna Černá

sbor

Kateřina Mohoritová

sbor

Mariana Koláčková

sbor

Jakub Černý

sbor

Nikola Mohorita

sbor

Ariana Shameti

sbor

Dubbing

Martin Zbrožek

hlas Arnoštka

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Vladimír Michálek, Eva Kadaňková

Assistant Director

Roman Fara, Jana Goetzová

Second Unit Photography

Tomáš Hruška

Camera Operator

Jan Smolík

Production Designer

Michal Krška

Art Director

Jiří David

Set Designer

Milan Bábik, Miroslav Buberle, Jindřich Rada, Karel Vaňásek

Costume Designer

Simona Rybáková

Film Editor

Jiří Brožek

Special Effects

Miroslav Šnábl, Pavel Kryml

Titles Designed by

Aleš Najbrt

Production Manager

Jaroslav Bouček

Unit Production Manager

Václav Marhoul, Michal Přikryl, Jitka Hoferková

Unit Production Manager

Eva Dymáková, Ondřej Nerud, Novotný František (výroba), Emil Sirotek ml.

Consultant

Jaroslav Tomsa, Josef Ouřada, Ing. Jiří Vojník

Cooperation

František Stupka, Jiří Kuba, Jiří Kraus, Milan Zaváhal, Richard Pešán, Vladimír Čermák, Jan Sabad, Pavel Petra, Josef Staněk (2), Rudolf Bareš, Eva Blažková (2), Jan Zázvorka ml., Eva Horázná, Martin Kulhánek (pyrotechnik), Lada Odstrčilová, Jana Krňanská, Jiří Zobač

Music

Music Composed by

Michal Vích

Music Performed by

Lubomír Horňák (/kytara a okapová roura/), Petr Pavlík (/basa/), Petr Venkrbec ( /altsaxofon/), Jiří Isan Novotný (/tenorsaxofon/), Roman Kubát (/trubka/), Martin Staněk (/tuba/), Josef Kocůrek (/flétna/), František Havlíček (/tenorsaxofon/), Marie Purgerová (/violoncello/), Václav Kalhaus (/pozoun/), Vlastimil Vorel (/samplery/), Petr Drešer, Juraj Ďurovič, Richard Dvořák, Jaroslav Kořán, Michal Vích

Songs

Divnej jsem a sám, Hele, kotě, vo co ti de, Jedu dál, Chodím s tváří bílou, Kdyby něco, bereme kramle

Songwriter

Michal Vích (Divnej jsem a sám), Michal Vích (Hele, kotě, vo co ti de), Michal Vích (Jedu dál), Michal Vích (Chodím s tváří bílou), Michal Vích (Kdyby něco, bereme kramle)

Writer of Lyrics

Lumír Tuček (Chodím s tváří bílou), Lumír Tuček (Divnej jsem a sám), Lumír Tuček (Hele, kotě, vo co ti de), Lumír Tuček (Jedu dál), Lumír Tuček (Kdyby něco, bereme kramle)

Singer

Jiří Burda (Divnej jsem a sám), sbor (Divnej jsem a sám), Lucie Zedníčková (Hele, kotě, vo co ti de), Jan Slovák (Hele, kotě, vo co ti de), Šimon Caban [dab] (Jedu dál), Martin Zbrožek (Jedu dál), sbor (Jedu dál), Eva Holubová (Chodím s tváří bílou), Lucie Zedníčková (Kdyby něco, bereme kramle), Jiří Burda (Kdyby něco, bereme kramle), Jan Slovák (Kdyby něco, bereme kramle)

Choreographer

Michal Caban

Production info

Original Title

Kouř

English Title

Smoke

Working Title

Ing. 89 / Kuřáci

Copyright

1990

Production Year

1990

Premiere

01.02.1991

Distribution

Lucernafilm

Creative Group

Jiří Blažek

Technical info

Format

Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: Cena Českého filmového a televizního svazu FITES

1992
Praha / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Festival: 29. festival českých a slovenských filmů Bratislava

1991
Bratislava / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Event: Prémie Českého literárního fondu za filmovou tvorbu

1990
Praha / Czechoslovakia
Jiří David