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World Cinema Series: Intimate Lighting / Intimni osvetleni

What Intimate Lighting is a dramatic comedy that charts the course of a music-, beer-, and slivovitz-fuelled weekend visit by a town mouse to a country mouse.
When 3 August 2010 (Tuesday), 7:30 pm
Where National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897

Free admission but members only -- flash your membership card to go in. You may bring up to 2 guests if you hold a SFS Reel membership card. Non-members may sign up online or at the door -- we will issue membership on the spot. No tickets will be sold. Free seating.


Intimate Lighting / Intimni osvetleni
Director: Ivan Passer
1965 | Czechoslovakia | 71 min | 35mm | PG
In Czech with English subtitles


“One of the ten films that have most affected me.” ­ Krzyzstof Kieslowski


Intimate Lighting is a dramatic comedy that charts the course of a music-,
beer-, and slivovitz-fuelled weekend visit by a town mouse to a country
mouse. Petr is a professional soloist who, along with his free-spirited
mistress, Stepa, arrives at the provincial home of his old friend from the
music academy, nicknamed Bambas, who is weighed down by the
responsibilities of the post of Head of the local music school and the
demands of family. The film’s pace of gentility proliferates as various
personal interactions ensue upon the arrival of Bambas’ guests. The gentle
flood of ironic contrasts, glaringly offered by the film, is witty and
affectionate, rather than knowing or moralistic.


Rich in amusing little incidents, and sometimes surreal quotidian details,
Intimate Lighting unassumingly sets up its contrast between town and
country, young and old, with the feel of a modern day fairy-tale. Like all
true classics it is so sharply anchored in its time and place that it
cannot help but speak, if softly, to viewers far away in every sense.

About the Director Ivan Passer


Ivan Passer started out in the film industry as a scriptwriter, and worked
as assistant director to fellow Czech director, Milos Forman, on all of
his films made in Czechoslovakia including A Blonde in Love (1965) and The
Firemen’s Ball (1967). He made his debut with the short A Boring Afternoon
(1964), which looked at the lives of soccer fans. His feature debut is a
key film of the Czech New Wave, Intimate Lighting (1965), a tragicomic
tale of two musicians facing up to their lost dreams. The film captured
international attention for its gentle story of everyday life and use of
music, winning two awards from the U.S. National Society of Film Critics.
Passer’s success on home ground was cut short when the Soviets invaded
Czechoslovakia in 1968. He moved to the United States where he has lived
and worked ever since.


Cutter’s Way (1981) is Passer’s most successful film in his adopted
country, achieving almost cult status. The movie stars John Heard as a
one-eyed, one-armed, one-legged, drunk and abusive Vietnam War veteran who
gets a new lease of life when his gigolo beach-bum friend, played by Jeff
Bridges, witnesses a body being dumped. The duo tries to expose what looks
to be a high-powered murderer in a move toward their own redemption. The
thriller is a good example of Passer’s masterful way of satirising the
absurdities of life through his camera lens. Since then, he has garnered
most praise for his TV biopic of the Soviet dictator Stalin (1992). A
recent venture into historical epic territory, Nomad (2005), is set in
eighteenth-century Kazakhstan, and was the country’s entry for the Best
Foreign Language Film Oscar.