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Black Peter (1964)

Cast: Ladislav Jakim, Ladislav Jakim, Pavla Martinkova, more...
Director: Milos Forman, Milos Forman
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Studio: Facets
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Czech, Coming of Age
Running Time: 85 min.
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Czech director Milos Forman won first prize at the Locarno film festival for his first feature film, Black Peter. This coming-of-age story about a shy teenager who falls in love, bears the heavy influence of Francois Truffaut, as do most other "new wave" productions of the era. Even at this early stage, however, Forman's film-making prowess enabled him to transcend any and all imitations. In some areas, the film bore the title Peter and Pavla, reflecting the fact that pretty young Pavla Martinkova played the girl. Black Peter was originally released in Czechoslovakia in 1963 under the title Cerny Petr. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Strong film, lame subtitling by mtoscano December 4, 2004 - 6:10 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
So what am I rating, the film or the DVD? The film, though not as gut-bustingly funny and brilliant as Loves of a Blonde, nevertheless is prime Czech-period Forman somehow finding a way to give us the sweet, unpretentious humor and moving earnestness of "ordinary" folk and their confused attempts to address normal problems in an abnormal society, yadda blah blah....

...but alas, the DVD, well, kind of sucks. Facets, not exactly a company known for admirable business practices or good-hearted customer appreciation, gives us a DVD that, despite its good image and sound quality, features some of the most idiotic and frustrating subtitles this reviewer has ever experienced on a DVD. They're very late-'80s dot-matrix-printery, bright yellow, consistently out of step with the dialogue, and frequently awkward. It's also curious that apparently the character generator used to make the subtitles was clearly incapable of producing a question mark, or any other punctuation besides a period, for that matter.

I don't want this to dissuade people from checking out the film, though - it's well worth it, and you can certainly follow the dialogue fine as long as you're not too passive a viewer...

But I mean, come now, how much more costly would it have been to have someone read through the rough subtitle copy to smooth them out, and make sure they're actually in sync with the dialogue? Eh? Eh, Facets?! Eh?!!

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.73)
15 Votes
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