Just to Whistle a Bit

Karel Smyczek, 1980

Film at Filmový přehled


After his successful debut Housata (Goslings) (1979), exploring the tribulations of a vocational school girl, director Karel Smyczek explored the problems of two Prague 13-year-old boys in this picture. It was while working on Jen si tak trochu písknout (Just to Whistle a Bit) (1980) that he first encountered the screenwriters Ivo Pelant and Radek John, with whom he collaborated in the 1980s on Jako zajíci (Like Rabbits) (1981) and Sněženky a machři (Snowdrops and Daredevils) (1982). Smyczek later worked with John alone on the social drama Proč? (Why?) (1987); the latter’s profession as a journalist added greatly to the authenticity of the films mentioned, which revolved around young characters. The story of Pavel Voříšek and Petr Moravec (based on several motifs from the novel Denim World) also explores the fates of teen protagonists against a broader sociological backdrop. The boys are looking for fun beyond the activities offered at school; when they come across organ pipes in an old church they decide to set up a class orchestra. However, their concert is interrupted by police searching for the stolen pipes. Pavel doesn’t give his friend away and takes the rap. Petr’s parents, however, bar their son from contact with the “thief”, whose father – a waiter – is not a good role model either. Therefore Petr doesn’t even get to go to a party his friend holds at home in his father’s absence. When Pavel looks in vain for shelter from his raging father at the Moravecs’ and Petr admits complicity in the theft his parents main concern is to keep the whole matter hushed up… The hypocrisy and utilitarian lies that the adults drag their children into becomes the theme of a narrative in which the writers create a mosaic of humorous and dramatic episodes. Smyczek added to the appeal of his lightly provocative picture by casting convincing child actors Michal Suchánek (Petr) and Daniel Šedivák (Pavel). The two also appeared in his Snowdrops and Daredevils. The parts of the parents went to actors who were not overexposed – Zdeněk Dryšl, Eva Lecchiová (the Moravecs) and Bronislav Poloczk (Voříšek).
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Film data

About a film

Production year 1980
Countries Czechoslovakia
Categories film
Genres narrative
Form feature
Duration 79 min
Director Karel Smyczek
Cast Michal Suchánek, Daniel Šedivák, Pavel Kohout (2), Libuše Heczková, Lucie Bártová, Renata Pokorná
Director of photography Viktor Růžička
Screenplay Ivo Pelant, Radek John, Karel Smyczek
Editor Josef Valušiak
Production designer Jiří Hlupý
Music Zdeněk John
Sound designer Jiří Moudrý