At Home with a Film

The Slovak Film Institute also carries out publishing activities and, in addition to publications, it offers DVDs and Blu-ray Discs with Slovak films on the market.

In 2002, the Slovak Film Institute (SFI) issued its first DVD with Dušan Hanák’s Pictures of
the Old World (Obrazy starého sveta). Since then the SFI has offered audiences many other films on DVD, but last year it also launched its first Blu-ray Disc on the market. This contained Martin Hollý’s drama Signum Laudis (1980) which is set on the Russian front at the end of World War I. The protagonist is the Austro-Hungarian Corporal Hoferik. “It is the story of a human being who became a soldier. The story of a soldier who had all the opportunities to become a human being, but militarism and its mechanisms prevented him from doing so,” said director Hollý. Among others, his film won the Special Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. It was issued on BD with subtitles in English and four other languages.

At the end of last year, the SFI re-issued a DVD with Slovak films of the 1980s, Another Love (Iná láska, dir. Dušan Trančík) and The Southern Mail (Južná pošta, dir. Stanislav Párnický). As for last year’s new books, the SFI published Film as Free Verse (Film ako voľný verš) written by the prestigious representative of Slovak cinema of the 1960s, Eduard Grečner, director of the films Dragon’s Return (Drak sa vracia) or Nylon Moon (Nylonový mesiac). In the present volume he deals with personalities of domestic and foreign film, specific works, but also with the nature of various historical periods and their relation to film art. The SFI was also involved in the publication of another book of essays, this time about the Slovak language and its use in the media; The Pitfalls and Highpoints of the Language (Úskalia a slasti jazyka) was written by the renowned film publicist Pavel Branko. The History of Slovak Television (Dejiny slovenskej televízie) was also issued in collaboration with the SFI; in it its author, Ivan Stadtrucker, details the trends in the development of the public- service television from 1956 to 1989. In addition, the SFI continues to publish the monthly and to collaborate in the publication of the magazine for science on film and moving images Kino-Ikon.

On the occasion of Slovakia’s Presidency of
the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2016, the SFI plans to issue a collection of ten Slovak films on BDs. The collection contains films made over a period of several decades, wherein The Sun in a Net (Slnko v sieti, dir. Štefan Uher), The Boxer and Death (Boxer a smrť,
dir. Peter Solan), Birdies, Orphans, and Fools (Vtáčkovia, siroty a blázni, dir. Juraj Jakubisko),
I Love, You Love (Ja milujem, ty miluješ, dir. Dušan Hanák) and A Path Across the Danube (Chodník cez Dunaj, dir. Miloslav Luther) were made in the period of state cinematography of socialist Czechoslovakia, while Everything I Like (Všetko čo mám rád, dir. Martin Šulík), Paper Heads (Papierové hlavy, dir. Dušan Hanák), The Power of Good: Nicholas Winton (Sila ľudskosti
– Nicholas Winton, dir. Matej Mináč), Blind Loves (Slepé lásky, dir. Juraj Lehotský) and Soul at Peace (Pokoj v duši, dir. Vladimír Balko) were made after the fall of communism. The above films reflect the auteur, thematic and stylistic diversity of Slovak cinema; several of these films won prestigious world awards (for instance, the Silver Bear from the Berlin IFF for Best Director for I Love, You Love or the International Emmy Award for Best Documentary for The Power of Good: Nicholas Winton) or they managed to appeal to a broad domestic audience as was the case of Soul at Peace (2009). The collection of films on BDs will be launched in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Russian language versions.

Daniel Bernát