Celebration in the Botanical Garden / Slávnos v botanickej záhrade
Czechoslovakia 1969

Info Trailer
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directed by Elo Havetta, comedy, 83 min, eng subtitles written by Œubomír Dohnal, Elo Havetta
with Jiøí Sýkora, Nina Divíšková, Dušan Blaškoviè

A not-so-well-known treasure of the Czechoslovak New Wave. Maria, the innkeeper in the town of Babindol in the Little Carpathians, has eight daughters by the same father, Pišta, who lives in a hermit’s hut outside the vineyards. Their lives are disturbed by the arrival of Pierre, a wanderer from France, who brings new life to the village. Pierre (a counterpart of Pierrot from the Commedia dell’Arte) becomes a rival of the botanist Gašpar (whose counterpart is Casper, the jester from puppet theatre). Pierre achieves a miracle during the celebration of the vintage when local legends about a spring of red wine come to fruition. The film’s episodic structure and liberated style express a freewheeling sense of creativity, joy, and freedom. Elo Havetta admits to the influence of René Clair’s An Italian Straw Hat (Un chapeau de paille d’Italie) and of French cinema of the ‘golden era’, and the film opens with an extract from the Lumière brothers. Like Jakubisko, Havetta draws on folk traditions but there are also visual links to le Douanier Rousseau, Monet, and Renoir. With its elephant, tightrope walkers, and ambling musicians, the whole film evokes the spirit of carnival.

Awards
Mannheim FF 1969 (Grand Prix)

L'histoire des habitants d'un paisible village viticole slovaque où se côtoient Pista, Maria, son éternelle future épouse, leurs huit filles, un charpentier, un prêtre et sa sœur. L’arrivée de Pierre, un Français, et de son orchestre perturbe la paix du petit village car il montre aux habitants comment profiter de la vie. Brossant un monde imaginaire, plein de bonne humeur et de joie, ce premier film d’Elo Havetta a été inspiré par l'art naïf, l'impressionnisme français ainsi que les traditions folkloriques de l’Ouest de la Slovaquie. C'est une féerie haute en couleur sur l’importance des miracles dans nos vies et une perle moins connue de la nouvelle vague tchécoslovaque. 

Prix 
Mannheim FF 1969 (Grand Prix)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6rWDAvc8_Y http://www.sfd.sfu.sk/main.php?idf=127