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PRODUZIONE / FINANZIAMENTI Repubblica Ceca / Slovacchia

Il "diavolo ceco" sarà evocato sul grande schermo in Arvéd

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- Le riprese del biopic d'epoca e thriller mistico claustrofobico di Vojtěch Mašek, sull'occultista ceco Jiří Arvéd Smíchovský, sono cominciate a Praga

Il "diavolo ceco" sarà evocato sul grande schermo in Arvéd
Arvéd di Vojtěch Mašek (© CinemArt)

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After Charlatan [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Agnieszka Holland
scheda film
]
, another period biopic is in the works in the Czech Republic. Vojtěch Mašek, the co-writer of Václav Kadrnka’s Little Crusader [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Václav Kadrnka
scheda film
]
and the winner of several Muriel Czech Comics Awards, has started shooting his feature-length debut, Arvéd, based on the real life of controversial personality Jiří Arvéd Smíchovský (1897-1951). “Doctor of law and philosophy, occultist, Nazi collaborator, informer, false witness and communist henchman,” actor Michal Kern, who portrays Smíchovský in the film, says as he describes the protagonist.

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The script is inspired by the book Malostranský ďábel (lit. “The Devil of Malá Strana”) by Jan Poláček and follows the titular key figure of Czech occultism and hermeticism. Poláček worked on the script with Mašek. The film is described as a Faustian chamber period drama. “I believe that, for many, it will be a surprising story of a man whom circumstances and the press of that period turned into the devil. But I have doubts as to whether the devils were not those who used Arvéd as a tool. Arvéd could only be a literate man dazzling society with his memory and wide-ranging knowledge. He may have been known among a small circle of people in secret occult societies, but he lived in a time of two totalitarian regimes, and they marked his character. His driving force was his immense ambition,” said Poláček.

Principal photography has already started, and the majority of the shoot will take place in Prague, on sound stages. Slovak DoP Dušan Husár is lensing the film, which is described as being “set on the verge of a surreal dream and believable reality”. Husár previously shot Adam Sedlák’s chamber “civilisation horror” Domestique [+leggi anche:
recensione
trailer
intervista: Adam Sedlák
scheda film
]
. “Doctor Smíchovský’s life story gives me the opportunity to look at historical material through the eyes of a charismatic demon who, with his complex nature, becomes entangled in a difficult time,” noted the director.

Contrary to Charlatan, Mašek has opted for a different approach to tackle the biopic genre. In the director’s explanation, he notes that Arvéd will be more of “a claustrophobic tragedy about imprisonment” based on chamber dialogues. The situations in the story will bear aspects of an “absurd, Kafkaesque world” featuring grotesqueries, paradoxes and black humour. The director conducted research into how the occult and esoteric societies functioned in Czechoslovakia during the 1930s and 1940s with a historian.

Arvéd is being produced by Kristýna Michálek Květová and Tomáš Michálek, of Cinémotif Films, and co-produced by Czech Television and Ivan Ostrochovský, of Punkchart Films, on the Slovak side. The Czech Film Fund and Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported the film. The premiere is tentatively set for January 2022. CinemArt will handle the Czech theatrical release.

(L'articolo continua qui sotto - Inf. pubblicitaria)

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