© Kool/Central

Leergut - Vratné Lahve (Empties, Vratné Lahve)
Czech Republic/U.K. 2007

Opening 24 Jan 2008

Directed by: Jan Sverák
Writing credits: Zdenek Sverák
Principal actors: Zdenek Sverák, Tatiana Vilhelmová, Daniela Kolárová, Alena Vránová, Jirí Machácek

Literature teacher Josef (Zaenek Sverák) can cope neither with the modern attitude of students nor with the new technological advances of the computer. He retires to stay at home with his wife Eliska (Tatiana Vilhelmova). She is not entirely ready to have him at home. Josef is bored with retirement and refuses to accept that he has nothing left to give back to the community. He becomes a bike currier as well as a bottle recycler and during this time changes many people’s lives including his own. He also has strange sex fantasy dreams which lead nowhere. In the end he realizes he needs to do something dramatic in order to shake his wife out of her retirement slump so that they can finally have fun together. The couple’s relationship is complicated and full of miscommunications.

At the Filmfest Hamburg, director Jan Sverák gave us insight into this wonderful third part of a trilogy on human aging which his father wrote. He explained that his father, a well known actor in Prague, was growing older and wanted to capture not only the essence of aging but also the importance of continuing with life. Sverák said that his father took a hard look at his own marriage and tried to write as much as possible from his side. So the film is really taken from the man’s point of view. He said that this was because his mother was unwilling to open up and explain her side. It was interesting that this husband-wife team acted in theater some thirty years ago, and they used photos from that time on this set. So, if any of you remember how good the film Kolya was, you won’t want to miss this one. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)

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