Jaromil Jireš, 1983



As well as being a source of inspiration for several adaptations at various levels, novelist Vladimír Páral left his mark on the modern history of Czech cinema as a screenwriter. Alongside Soukromá vichřice (Private Gale) (1967), Radost až do rána (Taking Pleasure Until Broad Day) (1978) and Playgirls (1995) he worked on Katapult (The Catapulte), a 1983 Jaromil Jireš picture inspired by his 1967 novel Catapult: a Timetable of Rail, Sea, and Air Ways to Paradis… The film’s hero, 33-year-old Jacek Jošt (in an appealing performance by Jiří Bartoška) is – like the majority of Páral’s heroes – a rebellious prisoner of the monotony of everyday life. Though he has an apartment, a nice wife and a problem-free daughter he places a classified ad and begins relationships with five women selected by computer. It coldly creates a timetable according to which Jacek has to balance them all. Revenge is sweet, however: Each woman soon starts laying claim to him. The vibrant Tina even gets her lover mixed up in a blackmail plot. The hero’s at first pleasant existence is thus transformed (in the end literally) into a nightmare… The experienced director Jaromil Jireš had filmed Páral’s book Mladý muž a bílá velryba (The Young Man and the White Whale) in 1978. By contrast with the thesis-based picture inspired by the novel from his “white” series, Catapult (regardless of its forced optimistic ending) is faithful to the novelist’s humour-infused “black pentalogy”. Jaromír Šofr’s camera contributed to the persuasiveness of The Catapulte, one of Páral’s most impressive movie titles, as did the casting of period stars. Kateřina Macháčková, Jiřina Jirásková, Barbora Štěpánová, Dana Homolová, Johana Tesařová and Jarmila Urbištová successfully support Bartoška in the parts of Jacek’s women.
Read more


About a film

film_production_year 1983
film_countries Czechoslovakia
film_genres comedy
film_form feature
film_duration 87 min
film_director Jaromil Jireš
film_cast Jiří Bartoška, Kateřina Macháčková, Oldřich Vlach, Jiřina Jirásková, Barbora Štěpánová, Johana Tesařová
film_director_of_photography Jaromír Šofr
film_screenplay Vladimír Páral, Jaromil Jireš
film_film_editor Josef Valušiak
film_production_designer Jindřich Goetz
film_music_composed_by Zdeněk Pololáník
film_sound_designer Antonín Kravka