Expectations high for new Czech film 3 Seasons in Hell
Just a few days after the Czech film Protektor took a prize at a festival in Denver, another ambitious project is just entering the cinemas across the country. Thursday night will see the official premiere of 3 sezóny v pekle or 3 Seasons in Hell. The feature debut by Tomáš Mašín, a Czech, Slovak and German co-production, has already received praise by Czech reviewers.
Tomáš Mašín is a respected director of commercials and music videos. The screenplay for his feature film, 3 Seasons in Hell, was inspired by the youthful memoirs of Egon Bondy, one of the most important figures of the Czechoslovak literary scene, who also happened to be the author of song lyrics for the Plastic People of the Universe. Producer Monika Kristl outlines the story:
Ivan Heinz, the film’s main protagonist, who is both young and good-looking, leaves home to join his bohemian friends. While putting together his first collection of poetry, he falls madly in love with Jana, who initiates him into her decadent lifestyle. Meanwhile, the new communist regime starts showing its repressive face. Ivan and Jana plan an escape to Paris, but the borders are unexpectedly closed.
“Originally Tomáš Mašín studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He is a painter, actually. And I think that his view is very visual. I think in this film it is a combination of story telling and his visual approach.”
While Mašín garnered awards for his commercials and music videos, it took him nearly six years to finish the feature film, which is his first. Producer Monika Kristl explains why it took him so long:
The filmmakers are now hoping that their love story based in Communist Czechoslovakia will appeal not only to domestic but also to international audiences.