A week with one of the most original and controversial writers and directors of the Czech cinema in the 1960s.

Pavel Juráček (1935-89) was one of the ‘New Wave’ generation that also included Miloš Forman, Ivan Passer, Věra Chytilová, and Jan Němec. After studying screenwriting, he wrote scripts for other directors across a range of genres.  These included a realist adaptation of Milan Kundera’s No Laughing Matter, a fantastic tale for Karel Zeman’s part-animated The Jester’s Tale, and the science fiction subjects, Voyage to the End of the Universe and The End of August at the Hotel Ozone. He also co-scripted the world’s first interactive feature film, Kinoautomat; Man and His Home, which won awards at the World’s Fair in Montreal in 1967. His three feature films as director (A Case for the Young Hangman, inspired by the third book of Gulliver’s Travels; Josef Kilian; Every Young Man), however, with their realist sense of the absurd and dry humor, show a marked affinity with the world of Franz Kafka.

His refusal to collaborate with the regime established after the Soviet invasion of August 1968 led to his dismissal from the studios and, in 1977he was hounded out of the country by the secret police. He returned, a disillusioned man, in 1983 and died shortly before the fall of the regime in 1989.

Peter Hames                                       

Czech center – London – 2006