Oil Lamps

35 mmOR15
Director:Juraj Herz
Premiere:1. October 1971
Length:98 minutes
Genre:Drama

Oil Lamps

Petrolejové lampy; Juraj Herz, 1971, versions: OR,

Filmotéka špeciál: Na panstve

Director: Juraj Herz • Scenario: Juraj Herz, Václav Šašek • Kameraman: Dodo Šimončič • Actors: Iva Janžurová, Petr Čepek, Marie Rosůlková, Ota Sklenčka, Jana Plichtová

Czech filmmakers have several times been galvanised by the writings of Jaroslav Havlíček. The result in most cases was a film that merged the quality of the literary template and the personality of the particular filmmaker, whether it be Barbora Hlavsová (1942) directed by Martin Frič, Prokletí domu Hajnů (The Curse of the Hajns’ House, 1988) directed by Jiří Svoboda, or Jaromil Jireš’s Helimadoe (1992). However, the most famous adaptation of a Havlíček novel is the psychological drama Petrolejové lampy (Oil Lamps). The film is based on an eponymous novel first published in 1935 as Vyprahlé touhy (Parched Desires) and released again in 1944 following revisions and a change of title. The motion picture was made in 1971 according to a screenplay from Lubor Dohnal, Václav Šašek and Juraj Herz, the last of whom also directed the film. The director, who achieved fame in the 1960s with his excellent drama Spalovač mrtvol (The Cremator, 1968), made Petrolejové lampy into an expressive account of unfulfilled female desires. The main protagonist of the film, set in the early 20th century, is wealthy thirtysomething Štěpa Kiliánová, whose liberalism makes it difficult for her to find a suitor among her social circles in a small town. She ends up marrying her worldly cousin Pavel for whom she harbours a naïve admiration despite knowing that he is merely interested in the dowry. It is only after the wedding that Štěpa finds out that her husband suffers from syphilis. She’s now not only unable to have children, she’s also to suffer her husband’s physical and mental decline… The role of Štěpa was delivered by Iva Janžurová, 30 at the time, in one of her stand-out performances. Janžurová also starred in the main double role in Herz’s romantic drama Morgiana (1972). The actress found a worthy counterpart in Petr Čepek who performed Pavel as an impressive study of the devastation of a conquering, elegant manhood. In 2006, Herz directed a theatrical performance of Petrolejové lampy on the stage of Prague theatre Na Jezerce with Bára Hrzánová and Radek Holub in the two leading roles. In 2013, Radim Špaček and David Jařab recorded a theatrical performance of Petrolejové lampy, which Jařab staged with the Prague Chamber Theatre. The stars on this occasion were Karel Roden and Ivana Uhlířová.

Length: 98 min

Year: 1971
Local premiere date: 1. October 1971

Country of origin:

  • Czechoslovakia

Language version:

OR - Original version

Filmotéka špeciál: Na panstve

Director: Juraj Herz • Scenario: Juraj Herz, Václav Šašek • Kameraman: Dodo Šimončič • Actors: Iva Janžurová, Petr Čepek, Marie Rosůlková, Ota Sklenčka, Jana Plichtová

Czech filmmakers have several times been galvanised by the writings of Jaroslav Havlíček. The result in most cases was a film that merged the quality of the literary template and the personality of the particular filmmaker, whether it be Barbora Hlavsová (1942) directed by Martin Frič, Prokletí domu Hajnů (The Curse of the Hajns’ House, 1988) directed by Jiří Svoboda, or Jaromil Jireš’s Helimadoe (1992). However, the most famous adaptation of a Havlíček novel is the psychological drama Petrolejové lampy (Oil Lamps). The film is based on an eponymous novel first published in 1935 as Vyprahlé touhy (Parched Desires) and released again in 1944 following revisions and a change of title. The motion picture was made in 1971 according to a screenplay from Lubor Dohnal, Václav Šašek and Juraj Herz, the last of whom also directed the film. The director, who achieved fame in the 1960s with his excellent drama Spalovač mrtvol (The Cremator, 1968), made Petrolejové lampy into an expressive account of unfulfilled female desires. The main protagonist of the film, set in the early 20th century, is wealthy thirtysomething Štěpa Kiliánová, whose liberalism makes it difficult for her to find a suitor among her social circles in a small town. She ends up marrying her worldly cousin Pavel for whom she harbours a naïve admiration despite knowing that he is merely interested in the dowry. It is only after the wedding that Štěpa finds out that her husband suffers from syphilis. She’s now not only unable to have children, she’s also to suffer her husband’s physical and mental decline… The role of Štěpa was delivered by Iva Janžurová, 30 at the time, in one of her stand-out performances. Janžurová also starred in the main double role in Herz’s romantic drama Morgiana (1972). The actress found a worthy counterpart in Petr Čepek who performed Pavel as an impressive study of the devastation of a conquering, elegant manhood. In 2006, Herz directed a theatrical performance of Petrolejové lampy on the stage of Prague theatre Na Jezerce with Bára Hrzánová and Radek Holub in the two leading roles. In 2013, Radim Špaček and David Jařab recorded a theatrical performance of Petrolejové lampy, which Jařab staged with the Prague Chamber Theatre. The stars on this occasion were Karel Roden and Ivana Uhlířová.

Year: 1971
Local premiere date: 1. October 1971

Country of origin:

  • Czechoslovakia

Language version:

OR - Original version


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