Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Knoflíkári; Drama/ Comedy, Czech republic, 1997; D: Petr Zelenka, S: Rudolf Hrusínský, Jirí Kodet, Eva Holubová, Borivoj Navrátil, Pavel Zajiček, Jan Haubert, Michaela Pavlatova

6 different stories: Japan, '45. Inhabitants of town Kokura are angry at the rainy weather, not even surmising that it's responsible for American bomber plane dropping an Atom bomb on Hiroshima, not on them...Czech Republic, present. A married woman loves intercourse with her lover in a taxi, while her husband later meets the taxi driver...A psychiatrist accidentally kills a young couple in a car accident and flees...Parents of a young couple plan a wedding for them. One of the parents admits his fetish: with a denture on his foot, he loves to cut buttons...A middle aged couple watches a TV programme broadcasting a launch of a rocket carrying sperm of 4 million people into space...Ghost of the American pilot who dropped the Atom bomb apologizes for his deed on the radio.

Humorous omnibus "Buttoners" won many prizes and isn't uninteresting, but it's still below the level of best films from the Czech opus. 6 brassy stories simply aren't especially funny whereas the sometimes bizarrely crazy scenes (a fetish of one of the protagonists is to dress into an airplane and hit the targets; a TV broadcasts a launch of a rocket carrying sperm of 4 million people into space...) circularize the immature and shaky impression. The best parts of Petr Zelenka's film are motives that appear in different stories, who are thus connected by it, while several brilliant moments announce hidden, great potentials. Among them is the story where a Japanese protagonist complains to his friends that their native language doesn't have words for curses, so he gives examples from Americans who have and who "relieve" themselves with swearwords. All in all, "Buttoners" are another good contribution to the list of anthology films: an amusing, light, simple, unpretentious, objective and sometimes black humoured view on life.


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