- DIAMONDS OF THE NIGHT Nemec's 1964 feature film debut.
Called the "enfant terrible of the Czech New Wave," filmmaker Jan Nemec drew from Bresson, Faulkner, Hemingway, Resnais, and Buñuel to create the style of his 1960s films, a style he labeled "dreamy realism." Despite the dreaminess, the reality of Nemec's work was subversive enough in both its "incomprehensible" style and political substance to result in a 15-year exile from his country. Independent of Reality: Jan Nemec Retrospective at Northwest Film Forum draws from both Nemec's pre-exile period (1964's Diamonds of the Night, 1967's Martyrs of Love, 1966's Pearls of the Deep) and post-exile rebirth (2001's Late Night Talks with Mother, 2009's Ferrari Dino Girl). Rounding things out: Golden Sixties: Jan Nemec, a documentary portrait of the artist created for Czech television, here copresented with the Center for Czech Education and Culture.
For now, here's a six-minute stretch of Diamonds of the Night, Nemec's debut feature film of 1964, concerning two boys fleeing a train bound for a concentration camp.