Of Parents and Children

The conversations of an aging father and his 40-ish son provide fodder for poignant comic drama as they perambulate the peaceful (and pub-filled) urban landscapes of Prague in "Of Parents and Children."

With:
With: Josef Somr, David Novotny, Mariana Kroftova, Lubos Kostelny, Zuzana Stivinova, Jiri Labus.

The conversations of an aging father and his 40-ish son provide fodder for poignant comic drama as they perambulate the peaceful (and pub-filled) urban landscapes of Prague in “Of Parents and Children.” Smoothly helmed by Vladimir Michalik, this expert adaptation of a prize-winning literary novel provides a visual equivalent for author and co-screenwriter Emil Hakl’s anecdotal stream-of-consciousness. With pic’s bittersweet subject matter already skewing toward more mature auds, its extensive dialogue makes it more likely to achieve fest and ancillary success than arthouse export. Opening domestically in March, pic pulled in respectable numbers.

Stopping frequently for beer as they make merry over medical problems and the mysteries of women, a father (Josef Somr) and his son Jan (David Novotny) progressively reveal more about themselves. The discussion ultimately provides a cathartic airing of the guilt and anger each still carries over a long-ago divorce and custody arrangement. Meanwhile, back at Jan’s apartment, a familiar-looking 20-something stranger, Robert (Lubos Kostelny), develops a complicated relationship with Jan’s willowy and neglected g.f., Marta (Mariana Kroftova). Attractive lensing by Martin Strba keeps the focus on the powerhouse thesping; behind-the-scenes credits are uniformly strong.

Of Parents and Children

Czech Republic

Production: A Bioscop release of an Open Field Pictures production, in co-production with Czech TV Nova, RWE, Barrandov Studios, Soundsquare Studio, Agana, UPP, supported by the Czech State Fund for the support and development of Czech cinematography. (International sales: AQS, Prague.) Produced by Michal Smrek, Jan Dobrovsky. Directed by Vladimir Michalek. Screenplay, Emil Hakl, Jiri Krizan, Michalek, based on the novel "Of Kids & Parents" by Hakl.

Crew: Camera (color), Martin Strba; editor, Jiri Brozek; music, Michal Lorenc; production designer, Martin Vackar. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (East of the West), July 8, 2008. Running time: 112 MIN.

With: With: Josef Somr, David Novotny, Mariana Kroftova, Lubos Kostelny, Zuzana Stivinova, Jiri Labus.

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