B R I E F   S Y N O P S I S
Vlastimil Brodsky (Closely Watched Trains), the greatest Czech actor of his generation, stars in the tragicomic story of Frantisek, a seventy-six year-old man and eternal dreamer who refuses to grow old gracefully. Instead, he lives life as a never-ending challenge. Determined to live each day to the fullest, Frantisek, ever the prankster, masquerades as a ticket inspector, a mountain climber, a philanthropist, and as an eccentric maestro interested in buying an old palace. Winner of four Czech Lion awards including Best Actor (Brodsky) and Best Screenplay. Directed by Vladimír Michálek.
  Autumn Spring

I had absolutely no clue what to do with the Autumn Spring script when I read it for the first time. I put it aside on my desk thinking why on earth is such a thing being offered to me, a guy several generations younger than the theme with problems that are totally different.

For a couple of days I just walked around the desk but gradually old memories started to arise in my head, memories of my childhood when my grandparents looked after me, and memories of different people who I have met in my life and who have somehow influenced me. At this moment I realized that all these people were actually much older than me, sometimes even by several generations. In my eyes, my generation was always the generation that was born only for fulfilling some kind of strange evolutionary function. Our period was dark, flavorless and odorless and if it weren't for the older people it would have been a generation completely lost.

And then, suddenly, the script began to come alive for me. Next came a fateful meeting with Vlastimil Brodsky, my country's most beloved actor, and I realized that this man had been accompanying me my whole life. As a child I used to listen to his "goodnight" stories on the radio; his kind voice helped dispel my first nightmares. Then there was TV, my teenage years and along with that came films starring Mr. Brodsky such as Closely Watched Trains and All My Good Countrymen… and then the Russian tanks arrived and we prematurely matured into a time that strived to suffocate us. Like an apparition, an East-German film showed up called Jacob the Liar and at home there were illicit screenings of Larks on a String and then twenty years went by during which I hardly saw Mr. Brodsky in anything special. Uh… And now, suddenly, I was sitting in front of him, not knowing what to say, what to do… what could I be saying to him? I am sure he felt my unease. He vanished, returning after a moment with the script, carefully highlighted and underlined, in one hand, and a pad full of notes in the other. With a brat's smile he said, "I was quite nervous because of you and so I thought I better be properly
prepared… So shall we start?"

I pulled out my copy of the script, also heavily underlined, and said, "Sorry, but what can sometimes really bother me is pathos and…" "Sentimentality," Mr. Brodsky immediately added… and at that moment we knew we were seeing things similarly. And there, sitting in front of me, was a man with lively eyes and a prankish smile and I was happy
to meet him finally after these forty years, for once again I could be the boy in front of the radio, having his nightmares dispelled by Mr. Brodsky.

–Prague 2003


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