Shortcuts - Kurzgeschnitten
The enchanting atmosphere of familiarity reins in this sleepy yet jolly provincial town at the beginning of the 1920s. It seems as if inherited traditions would rule in the distinct world of the brewery, but in reality change slowly reaches everything. Francin, the young janitor in the brewery buys a radio, and this brilliant invention once for all proves that the time of “shortcuts” has arrived: everything is getting closer, distances decrease. The firm exchanges the horses for an automobile, Pepin saws off the legs of the table, and Mariska cuts her once to-the-thighs-long hair fashionably short. This is the dawn of a new world.
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«Wenn man bei uns von „dem tschechischen Film“ spricht, meint man das Genre des Menzel-Films, diese merkwürdigste Verbindung von Weltweisheit, Einfalt, Bosheit, Poesie und Witz.» Tagesspiegel
«“Bored? Get a racoon.” This phrase appeared on firewalls around Budapest in the 1990s. There are only a few films from which so many, and so many brilliant, catch-phrases derive than from the Menzel classic. There is something very Central-Eastern European in the Hrabal and Menzel oeuvres, due to which we Hungarians feel both artists are honorary Magyars. The release of Hrabal works was always an event, and this good-humoured and at the same slightly sad, hopeless world, although the residents were not embittered by the hopelessness, this mentality discovering magnificence and beauty in everyday moments of life even amidst the dullness, was invented in order for survival in the region dominated by the Soviet empire. When the wife of the brewery director, that is, the beautiful Magda Vasaryova, climbs up the chimney with uncle Pepin, or when she downs a pint of beer, then it encapsulates everything that is worth knowing about our world. These were not simply beautiful or memorable scenes, they were as if they were happening to us. Because we wanted so much that they should happen to us. Because this was truly how it was possible to survive. In short, this film is a part of the collective memory.» Hungarian Film archive
«Jiří Menzel verfügt nach meiner Meinung über eine Eigenschaft, die vielen anderen Filmemachern fehlt: Einerseits schafft er es, in seinen Filmen eine gewisse Humanität zu zeigen. Er interessiert sich nicht für grosse Helden, sondern für die kleinen, die er aber gross herausbringt. Andererseits haben seine Filme eine einzigartige Poetik. Diese beiden Eigenschaften sind auch typische Merkmale des tschechischen Films. Vorrangig stehen sie aber für das Schaffen von Jiří Menzel. Und das macht ihn nicht nur für das tschechische Publikum interessant.» Martina Vacková