The fourth and final entry in vet Czech iconoclast Karel Vachek's decade-long "Small Capitalist" series, ambitious docu "Who Will Guard the Guard?..." is really, really, long. Brave avant-garde fests may prowl around, but obvious home is the tube, where cablers can fill about a week's worth of airtime with glacially-paced tetralogy.
The fourth and final entry in vet Czech iconoclast Karel Vachek’s decade-long “Small Capitalist” series, ambitious docu “Who Will Guard the Guard?…” is really, really, long. Brave avant-garde fests may prowl around, but obvious home is the tube, where cablers can fill about a week’s worth of airtime with glacially-paced tetralogy.
In Prague’s National Theater, onstage rehearsal of Smetana’s opera “Dalibor” (involving slow persecution and death of an innocent) is intercut with unidentified talking heads seated in various loges discussing recent Czech social and political issues. Helmer Vachek seems to like big old trees — there are lots of hand-held shots of those, with, cryptically, a red velvet footstool placed in each shot. Kudos to the artist for sheer scope alone, though why non-Czech auds — and, for that matter, his less tolerant countrymen — would want to sit through four-plus hours of this remains open to debate. Tech credits are workmanlike, though Karel Slach’s fisheye close-up probing of onstage singers gets annoying quickly.