Vojtech Jasny

Director, Screenwriter, Instructor
Central figure of the Czech New Wave. Jasny entered the acclaimed Prague film school (FAMU) in its inaugural year, worked in documentaries with early collaborator Karel Kachyna, and began turning out fiction features in ... Read more »
Born: 11/30/1925

Filmography

Director (11)

Ernst Fuchs 2014 (Movie)

(Director)

Hell on Earth 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Director

Gladys 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Which Side Eden 1999 (Movie)

(Director)

Why Havel? 1991 (Movie)

(Director)

Milos Forman: Portrait 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Director

The Great Land of Small 1985 (Movie)

(Director)

Fluchtversuch 1975 (Movie)

(Director)

Ansichten Eines Clowns 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

All My Good Countrymen 1968 (Movie)

(Director)

The Cassandra Cat 1962 (Movie)

(Director)
Writer (8)

Gladys 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Which Side Eden 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Why Havel? 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Great Land of Small 1985 (Movie)

screenplay consultant (Other Writer)

The Peanut Butter Solution 1985 (Movie)

screenplay collaboration (Screenplay)

Ansichten Eines Clowns 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

All My Good Countrymen 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Cassandra Cat 1962 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Camera, Film, & Tape (1)

Gladys 1999 (Movie)

cinematography (Cinematographer)
Actor (1)

Freezing Sunlight 1995 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Other (1)

Dead Silence 1987 (Movie)

(Technical Advisor)

Biography

Central figure of the Czech New Wave. Jasny entered the acclaimed Prague film school (FAMU) in its inaugural year, worked in documentaries with early collaborator Karel Kachyna, and began turning out fiction features in the mid-1950s.

Jasny's first solo feature, "September Nights" (1957), is generally considered a seminal work of the New Wave, but it was his next film, "Desire" (1958), which propelled him into the international spotlight. "Desire" displayed a lyrical, poetic quality that found its greatest expression, three features later, in "Cassandra Cat" (1963).

An infectious mixture of children's' fairy tale and political satire, "Cat" whimsically chronicles the arrival in a small town of a magical cat, whose unshielded gaze turns people the color of their true character; thus lovers turn red, adulterers yellow, cheats and thieves grey, etc. The film won a Special Jury Prize at Cannes and remains the director's best known work in the West.

Just before the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968, Jasny crafted another exceptional work, "All My Good Countrymen" (1968), a satirical take on life in a small town between 1945 and 1968. "Countrymen" won best director honors at Cannes in 1969 but also precipitated Jasny's departure from a now Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia. He made a beautifully orchestrated "farewell to my homeland," the 20-minute "Czech Rhapsody" (1969), before landing in the West. Jasny's subsequent films (including a 1975 adaptation of Heinrich Boll's "The Clown") have been more sporadic and less highly regarded than his earlier, Czech works.

Jasny taught film in Prague, Germany and Austria and, since 1984, has been lecturing at Columbia University in New York, where his old pupil, Milos Forman, is co-chairman of the film department.

EDUCATION

Charles University

transferred to FAMU after one year

Charles University

transferred to FAMU after one year

FAMU

1946 - 1950
applied to screenwriting department but accepted into directing department; entered in first year of school's existence; classmate of Karel Kachyna

Milestones

1984

Began teaching film at Columbia University

1968

Made final film in Czechoslovakia, "Czech Rhapsody" (22 mins)

1957

Solo feature directing debut, "September Nights"

1954

Ended creative partnership with Kachyna after co-directing fiction feature "Everthing Ends Tonight"

1950

Feature film co-directing debut with Karel Kachyna, "It's Not Always Cloudy" (graduation project)

1950

Worked as documentary cameraman and director (often in collaboration with Kachyna); assigned to China with Kachyna to make documentaries (1952)

Film instructor at Vienna Film Academy

Film instructor at Universtiy of Salzburg

Retained in labor camp during WWII

Film instructor at Munich Film Academy

Made first (amateur) films aged 14

SIMILAR ARTICLES