×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Home Care’s’ Slavek Horak on How Mother’s Stories Inspired Movie; First Look at Pic’s Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety speaks to director Slavek Horak about “Home Care,” which is in competition at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, and premieres the film’s trailer.

The film, which is the first feature from the commercials director, was inspired by tales that the director’s mother, a local home care nurse, would bring him over the two-year course developing his script. Horak came to realize the accounts were both more authentic and wilder than anything he could have penned from his imagination, he says. The film, starring veteran Czech character actor Bolek Polivka and Alena Mihulova as the couple at the center of village life, was produced Horak’s TVORBA Films in co-production with Czech TV, Fog n’ Desire and Svoboda & Williams, and Slovakia’s Sokol Kollar. It embraces the spirit of the Czech Republic’s eastern province of Moravia, where Horak grew up.

You filmed in your native Zlin, using your parents’ house and even some of your mother’s clothes for your lead actress. How did the region’s flavor influence the story?
The culture is quite specific — it’s a region southeast of Prague, and people there are warmer and more extroverted and more expressive and at the same time they’re more “country” people in a good way without the redneckish part.

Sometimes filmmakers use this region for its picturesque quality, but it’s always too fake.

And the production basically took over your parents’ home for six weeks then?
Even my dad’s workshop. People said, “Finally these homes look like people actually live in them.” I took the two principals, Alena and Bolek, to meet my parents before the shoot. They didn’t even need to spend more time with them. Both come from south Moravia as well — they got them immediately.

But this return to small-town life is quite a departure from the luxury-brand commercial spots you’ve been shooting all over the world, isn’t it?
I traveled all around the globe with the commercial work. That was a good contrast, to see the world and to come back home and to see what’s specific to the region, and what is the region’s place in the world. I think, without this, I wouldn’t see the bigger picture.

And how did you know when you had hit just the right notes on the script?
I started with those little stories from my mother but had no spine, nothing to hold it together. Of course I read everything about script writing; I wanted to do the traditional story arc, the classic structure. Now it seems simple, but I did 15 versions, and worked with a dramaturge, someone who is seeing the bigger picture while you are deep into the thing. One was a teacher from my film school, FAMU, and another from Czech TV.

And working with some of the Czech Republic’s biggest stars, such as Polivka and Tatiana Vilhelmova, on your first feature, did you not find that intimidating?
Before this, I only worked with juice boxes! Luckily, they respected me because they loved the script. I was a little bit nervous but they were extremely helpful. Also being isolated in the region helped.

More Film

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

  • Murder Mystery

    Netflix Reveals Record-Breaking Stats for Sandler-Aniston 'Murder Mystery' Flick

    “Murder Mystery,” the latest Adam Sandler film to debut on Netflix, broke viewing records on the streaming service, the company revealed Tuesday. The film, which is co-headlined by Jennifer Aniston, was seen by close to 30.9 million households in its first 3 days, according to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon. 🚨ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Jermaine Fowler arrives at the 69th

    Jermaine Fowler to Co-Star With Eddie Murphy in 'Coming 2 America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jermaine Fowler is set to play one of the leads opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s sequel “Coming 2 America,” sources tell Variety. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is on board to direct the pic with the studio planning an August 7, 2020 release. Plot details of “Coming 2 America” are unknown, as are the [...]

  • Henry Golding attends the Fragrance Foundation

    Henry Golding Starts Long House Shingle With 'Inheritance,' 'Harrington's Greatest Hits'

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding has started Long House Productions in partnership with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group with two features in the works. Golding’s first feature under the Long House banner is action adventure “The Inheritance,” based on an original story idea by Alistair Hudson and Golding. Hudson is writing the script for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content