Most Beautiful Age

Jaroslav Papoušek, 1968

Film at Filmový přehled


Jaroslav Papoušek is a famous screenwriter of the 1960s Czechoslovak New Wave. Together with Ivan Passer, he wrote several of Miloš Forman’s films, as well as the screenplay for Passer’s remarkable directing debut, Intimní osvětlení (Intimate Lighting, 1965). Papoušek made his own directing debut with Nejkrásnější věk (The Most Beautiful Age, 1968, released in February 1969). Unfortunately, in the aftermath of Jan Palach’s tragic self-immolation, the apolitical bitter comedy largely fizzled out, overshadowed by other works of the popular trio, as well as Papoušek’s other films, especially the popular Homolka family trilogy (1969–1972). In Nejkrásnější věk, Papoušek’s favorite theme of fragile everyday life is “elevated” by its academic setting. The simple, episodic story takes place in the sculptor’s studio at the Art Academy. Vladimír Šmeral stars as the old professor whose students are learning to work with live models. First they try to portray the aged pensioner Hanzlík, who promptly falls asleep; work with the beautiful Mrs Vránová is disrupted by her jealous husband, dead set against her posing in the nude; the jovial coalman Vošta is chosen as an ideal model of an injured fighter. As an Art Academy graduate, Papoušek draws from his own experience. In form and style, the film owes much to Forman’s early films, especially Černý Petr (Black Peter, AKA Peter and Paula, 1963), which was actually based on Papoušek’s novel. Papoušek, who had also worked as Forman’s assistant director, had even engaged some of Forman’s famous non-actors (Josef Šebánek, Milada Ježková and Jan Stöckl). Ladislav Jakim and Věra Křesadlová (known for Forman’s Konkurs [Talent Competition, 1964] and Passer’s Intimate Lighting) star as students. Hana Brejchová, famed for her performance as the “blonde” in Forman’s Lásky jedné plavovlásky (Loves of a Blonde, 1965), plays the beautiful amateur model.
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1968
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres comedy
Form feature
Duration 76 min
Director Jaroslav Papoušek
Cast Hana Brejchová, Jan Stöckl, Josef Šebánek, Milada Ježková, Vladimír Šmeral
Director of photography Jozef Ort-Šnep
Screenplay Jaroslav Papoušek
Editor Jiřina Lukešová
Production designer Karel Černý
Music Karel Mareš
Sound designer Adolf Böhm, František Fabián