Broadening Our Horizons

        How else can we better broaden our horizons than by watching a good film? A great film besides its immediate entertainment value, will also delve into something much deeper, to root out common themes of mankind's role in life. We have films to capture truth and perhaps to distort it in such a way that even a slant of light from a bedroom window is eventually revealed throughout a plot to hold significance, a symbol of some sort.

         What we might for the sake of hastiness miss and our quotidian existence could well indeed have had a larger impact than for which we give credit. Take for example the torn upholstery of the couch so prized by the train station master in Closely Watched Trains, a Czechoslovakian film produced in 1966 and directed by Jié Menzel. The second tear in the upholstery, caused by a young man in the act of getting sexed up by a very attractive Resistance fighter, perchance signifies the young man's irrepressible desire for defiance of the norms or demands of his world at the time of Nazi occupation.

         The film, although rather quaint, is, however, rather thought-provoking. When one watches the film, one will note the dual craftsmanship of the extremely humorous and the deadly serious. These two factors both are main components of the Czech New Wave Cinema. It is reasonable to assert that the affluence of such ironies in this film are meant as sly allusions to the Soviets, who occupied the former Czechoslovakia at the time of filming. Plus, there is the very strong sense of rusticity that is emanated that one cannot help but feel.

         In fact, it felt as though I myself lived during such a time--a time when you could walk upon a housewife force-feeding a goose to fatten its liver.

John Couris

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