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Autumn Spring (Babí léto)

Director(s): Vladimir Michalek

Theatrical Release: 2002

Cast: Vlastimil Brodsky, Stella Zazvorkova, Stanislav Zindulka, Ondrej Vetchy, Zita Kabatova, Zuzana Fialova

Genre(s): Comedy, Drama, conmen, Dean's List

Countries: Czech Republic (Czechoslovakia)


Location in store: Eastern European Cinema

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Running Time: 95m.

Fanda (Vlastimil Brodský of Larks on a String), an elderly former actor, can't resist playing practical jokes on everyone around him. As Autumn Spring opens, Fanda and his best friend and co-conspirator, Eda (Stanislav Zindulka), have convinced a real estate agent that Fanda is a retired star from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. As they tour an opulent mansion, Fanda pronounces it "very shabby." Fanda doesn't mean any harm with his pranks. He's just trying to amuse himself. But his wife, Emílie (Stella Zázvorková) doesn't understand his childish behavior, and resents the way he squanders money and wastes his time while she scrimps and saves and makes preparations for their eventual burial. Their selfish son, Jára (Ondrej Vetchý), wants them to move out of their apartment so that his ex-wife and her kids can move in. When one victim of Fanda's pranks realizes he's been had and demands payment for his time and expenditures, Fanda calmly agrees. Unable to come up with the money, he dips into Emílie's funeral fund. When she finds out about it, she decides to take drastic action, which has a profound effect on Fanda's carefree existence. Autumn Spring was directed by Vladimír Michálek from a script by Jirí Hubac. It marks the final performance of renowned Czech actor Brodský, who committed suicide shortly after the film was made. Autumn Spring won several Czech Lion awards in 2001, and has been shown at festivals throughout the world, including the 2003 installment of New Directors/New Films. — Josh Ralske (allmovie.com)
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