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Vražda Ing. Čerta

Murdering The Devil
Ester Krumbachová, Czechoslovakia 1969, 72 Min., OV with English subs

Ester Krumbachová was a key figure of the Czech New Wave, an art director and costume designer who also co-wrote some pivotal films of the era, including Věra Chytilová's seminal Daisies (1966). Murdering the Devil is her sole directorial effort, a weirdly hilarious, groovily stylish and delightfully tongue-in-cheek exploration of the feminine mystique, with a supernatural spin. Set almost entirely in one beautifully decorated apartment, watching Murdering the Devil is like stepping into the filmmaker’s wonderfully twisted mind. A glamorous woman on the cusp of middle age (Jirina Bohdalová) receives an unexpected call one day from an old flame, who invites himself to dinner. When the boorish Mr. Devil (Vladimír Mensík) arrives, she is both horrified and transfixed as her gluttonous date from hell eats his way through her apartment, bringing chaos to her pristine life. Released at a moment of crackdown from the Soviet authorities, this triumphantly anarchic film was pushed to the margins of film history. Now thankfully restored, Murdering the Devil is ready to be celebrated as the delicious curio it is. (RP)


MURDERING THE DEVIL, Ester Krumbachová