Karel Kachyna

Active - 1954 - 2000  |   Born - May 1, 1924   |   Died - Mar 12, 2004 in Prague, Czech Republic  |   Genres - Drama

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Distinguished Czechoslovakian filmmaker Karel Kachyna is best known for his psychological dramas that take piercing looks into the lives of children and young teens. Born in Vyskov, Czechoslovakia, Kachyna was among the first to graduate from Prague's film school FAMU, where he initially studied cinematography. During the early '50s, Kachyna collaborated on short and feature-length documentaries with former classmate Vojtech Jasný. The two collaborated on their fictional feature-film debut Dnes Vecer Vsechno Skonci/Everything Ends Tonight in 1954, but then went their separate ways. In 1956, Kachyna made his first solo film but did not make much impact until the early '60s, when he began collaborating with scenarist Jan Prochazka. Together the two made films that strained the boundaries of government-imposed strictures and subtly criticized the Communist Party. Favorite themes include war, the revolution, and psychological analysis of certain types of behavior. Kachyna and Prochazka's most famous films include Nadeje/Hope (1963), At Zije Republika/Long Live the Republic (1965), Kocar do Vidne/Coach to Vienna (1966), and Noc Nevesty/Night of the Bride (1967). In the late '60s, Prochazka was appointed head of the Writer's Union. Shortly following the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1969, two Kachyna and Prochazka collaborations, Smesny Pan/Funny Little Man and Ucho/The Ear (both 1969), were banned. After that, Kachyna made one last Prochazka-scripted film, an adaptation of Alan Marshall's I'm Jumping Over Puddles Again (1970), but another writer received screen credit. Prochazka died in 1971, and though Kachyna continued to make films, he never achieved the same prominence. In addition to working in feature films, Kachyna also directs television productions.

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