Famous Czech cinematographer Kučera in focus

28. 3. 2019, 15:57
Febiofest 2019

Jaroslav Kučera is one of the most important cinematographers in Czech film history and left his mark on such works as Diamonds of the Night, Daisies and The Cassandra Cat. It was high time, therefore, that he be made the focus of a documentary. That challenge was grasped by young filmmakers Tomáš Michálek and Jakub Felcman and the resulting film Jaroslav Kučera – A Portrait enters Czech cinema distribution on 4 April.

“For us it’s the repayment of a debt to somebody who influenced our decision to dedicate ourselves to film,” said Felcman. The film screened in Febiofest’s Docs section is based on archival materials that Michálek and Kučera’s children unearthed and digitalised and that have also given rise to a monograph and an exhibition.

The two filmmakers previously worked together to complete Jan Neměc’s final picture The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street. “That gave us the courage to also make this documentary. Even though in doing so we’re encountering the work of somebody who’s no longer with us, we still find it inspiring. We focused on producing a portrait of the artist that would be timeless,” said Felcman. Also involved in the project were editor Jiří Brožek and cameraman Peter Zeitlinger. “He decided that all the pick-ups should take place on a grey background with natural lighting. Kučera was famous for his unorthodox work with colour. Our film also conveys his genius through the minimal use of colour. Even the people who speak in the film were supposed to come in black, white or grey,” Felcman said.

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