Tomáš Vorel, 1990



Tomáš Vorel’s Kouř (Smoke) enjoys a special position among the pictures produced by the generation of filmmakers that emerged at the turn of the 1990s. The comedy, subtitled “A musical of the totalitarian age”, has cult status with both contemporaries of its then 33-year-old non-conformist creator and viewers who were just coming of age in 1990. Vorel based Smoke on his legendary short film Ing. (1985), though only the basic plot remains in the feature version. The protagonist of the narrative is idealistic young engineer Miroslav Čáp (Jan Slovák), who starts his first job determined to fulfil his duties to the best of his abilities. However, his new colleagues don’t take their work at all seriously. Instead denunciations, favouritism, scheming, fraud, alcoholism and promiscuity are rampant. Miroslav refuses to play the game and unwittingly sparks an uprising against the incompetent management. However, both the character and makers of the film are sceptical of “revolutionary changes” for the good… Lumír Tuček of the Onwards Recital Group, which appeared in his 1988 portmanteau film Pražská 5 (Prague Five), worked with Vorel on the screenplay of this sarcastic comedy inspired by omnipresent totalitarian “smoke”. While the presentation of five Prague theatre companies in the former picture functioned as five solo projects tied together by Vorel’s direction, Smoke delivers a compact story infused with the playfully ironic perspective characteristic of Sklep, the theatre group of which the director was a member. Nevertheless, actors and other artists from other members of the Prague five – the Mimóza Mime Group, Onwards Recital Group and the Křeč ballet troupe – also left a harmonious mark on the project. In addition the cast includes the likes of Jaroslav Dušek, an actor and director from the Vizita theatre. Cinematographer Martin Duba contributed to the radical visual form of Smoke, while the songs of Michal Vích, with lyrics by Tuček, are an integral part of the picture.
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About a film

film_production_year 1990
film_countries Czechoslovakia
film_genres satire
film_form feature
film_duration 90 min
film_director Tomáš Vorel
film_cast Jan Slovák, Lucie Zedníčková, Jaroslav Dušek, Monika Šeligová, Jan Fuchs
film_director_of_photography Martin Duba
film_screenplay Lumír Tuček, Tomáš Vorel
film_film_editor Jiří Brožek
film_production_designer Michal Krška
film_art_director Jiří David
film_music_composed_by Michal Vích
film_sound_designer Tomáš Janeček, Jiří Moudrý, Jiří Kříž