South House Films continues its outstanding programming this week with its three-day festival of Czechoslovak films.
Shop on Main Street, by Jan Kadar and Elmar Klos, was the first Czechoslovak film to create a bit stir in the United States. The warm reception it received in 1965 helped lead to the Museum of Modern Art's major festival of Czechoslovak films in 1967. Shop on Main street takes place in German-occupied Slovakia in 1942. A tragic story of a shopkeeper unable to fight German antisemitism. it is nevertheless, at times, whimsical and sentimental.
Milos Forman, who made Fireman's Ball, is often used as an example of a Czechoslovak director being influenced by the French New Wave, but it is likely that he was more influenced by the rich body of literature produced in Czechoslovakia during the early 60s.
Forman will appear at the festival, as will Jiri Weiss (who began as a documentary film-maker), Kadar, and Ivan Passer.
This festival is the outstanding opportunity of the past few year for people around Harvard to become acquainted with Czechoslovak film, to speak with the directors about their films and, it is to be hoped,to discuss the impact of the post-1968 political climate on the arts and on artists in Czechoslovakia.
Another important screening is at Harvard-Epworth on Thursday: Roberto Rossellini's Viva L'Iralia about the life of Garibaldi.
Plus a selection of outstanding but more frequently shown, films around town: Bergman's psychological masterpiece, Person. High Noon, possibly the finest Western ever made. Hitchcock's intriguing Dial M for Murder. The famous Betty Boop cartoons. Bogdanovich's Paper Moon, and Woody Allen hilarious Bananas.