Sex & Food in Cinema: Czech Film “Intimate Lighting” (1965)

Sex & Food in Cinema Series

"I like you, Stepa."

“Intimate Lighting” (Intimní osvětlení),a 1965 film by New Wave Czech filmmaker Ivan Passer (Born to Win (1971), Cutter’s Way (1981) and Stalin, starring Robert Duvall (1992)) is a delight. It’s a lovely, sublime comedy that received resounding acclaim for the director and is considered a petite masterpiece. A charming and sensual Věra Křesadlová plays Štěpa, the fiance of cellist Petr (Zdeněk Bezušek) who is back in his home town to reunite and perform with an old school friend who now plays funerals. As their quartet wobbles through a rehearsal, Štěpa has a flirtatious exchange with a man shambling by who mistakes her for a woman he “likes.”

 

Scence from Intimate Lighting, Czech film - Liquescence Sex & Food in Cinema Series

The Village Voice’s review called it “a small masterpiece…less interested in narrative than a state of being, the movie is as subtle in its emotional effects as its title would suggest.” Though the Czechoslovak New Wave film movement was short-lived, notable figures put their stamp on the stories and films created, such as Milos Forman and novelist Milan Kundera.

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