new czech cinema

FilmWatch Weekly: Men, Math, Chicken, and Czechs

Alternatives to this week's superhero spectacle include zany Danish comedy, offbeat family dysfunction, and the secret stars of "Star Wars"

It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that about a million times more people will see “Captain America: Civil War” this weekend than any of the films listed below. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s a crackerjack action film, designed to release a flood of serotonin into the brain of any Marvel Comics fan who watches it. But viewers looking for other options may feel stymied by its ubiquity. That’s what we’re here for.

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Film Review: New Czech Cinema at the Northwest Film Center

Highlights include the droll comedy "Schmitke" and the visually stunning rediscovery "The Fabulous World of Jules Verne."

Writing about the Northwest Film Center’s annual New Czech Cinema series, the temptation is always there to resort to groan-inducing puns. “Czech these movies out.” “Cash these Czechs.” That sort of thing. But only a reviewer desperate for some pizzazz in their prose would do such a thing. Right?

This is usually one of the more enjoyable recurring programs on the Film Center’s calendar, and this year’s crop of five films is no exception. The opening night selection, “Home Care,” (Friday, May 6) played during February’s Portland International Film Festival. It’s about a nurse in a small Czech town who travels the countryside to care for her patients. When she ends up on the other side of the health care equation, it proves to be a challenge both for her and for her hapless, schnapps-loving husband. What could have been a sappy, manipulative melodrama is, in the hands of first-time director Slávek Horák, a grounded, poignant, and occasionally very funny film.

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