The death of Miloš Forman this year marked the passing of one of Czech cinema’s greats. He was an integral part of the Czech New Wave. His countryman Ivan Passer worked closely with him on several films, most notably on The Fireman’s Ball and A Blonde in Love. Passer went on to make films in his own right. However, he only made one film in his homeland before defecting to the West. Intimate Lighting in 1965.
Petr (Zdenek Bezusek) and Bambas (Karel Blazek) are musicians and friends. Petr left his hometown and made a successful career for himself. Bambas stayed behind and became a music teacher and plays at funerals. Petr visits the small town along with his girlfriend Stepa (Vera Kresadlova). The pair bond over old times, reminiscing about the past whilst creating new adventures for themselves. Finding pleasure in the ordinary and mundane.
Intimate Lighting is a charming and beguiling tale of friendship, humour in the quotidian and the innate understanding of family. Despite feeling relatively harmless, it was banned by the authorities for twenty years.Beautifully shot by Miroslav Ondricek, it’s a film which basks in a summer haze. Most of all, it’s simply great fun. The sense of bonhomie shines through and Passer ensures that there’s a playful camaraderie on screen. Intimate Lighting is a colourful portrait of an intimate relationship between two old comrades.
Intimate Lighting is released on Blu-Ray and DVD by Second Run on 7 May.