Jan Nemec and the Party Poopers

It's taken 41 years but Jan Nemec's landmark Czech New Wave film The Party and the Guests (O slavnosti a hostech) has finally got a DVD release courtesy of Second Run DVD.

Extremely controversial upon its release, Jan Němec's second feature, after Diamonds of the Night, was completed in 1966 and had a belated release during the short-lived Prague Spring in early 1968. The Party and the Guests was formally "banned forever" in 1973 and this ban remained (at least in Czechoslovakia) until the Velvet Revolution of 1989. It was widely considered at the time that the film was a direct attack on the Communist government and therefore too dangerous to screen. This opinion (or fear) was one that was shared by Antonín Novotný, the Czechoslovak President at the time.

However, this ban was only to enhance Nemec's (now legendary) status as a maverick and enfant terrible in a generation of Czechoslovak directors who were all making films that were on the periphery between acceptable or in breach of the Communist Party line. After living and working in exile from the end of the 1960's, Jan Nemec was to return to his homeland after the Velvet Revolution.

Click here for more on Jan Nemec and Czechoslovak New Wave Directors.

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