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Highlight of The Projection Booth Podcast: Birds, Orphans, and Fools (1969)

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The Projection Booth Podcast
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Last Played: December 22, 2020
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We continue #Czechtember 2020 with the 1969 Slovakian film Birds, Orphans, and Fools by Juro Jakubisco. It’s a story of three young people in the turbulent year and place of 1968 Slovakia. There are birds, the characters are orphans, and they often play the fool as we experience a slice of their lives. Kat Ellinger and Jonathan Owen join Mike to discuss the film, Jakubisco's other work, and his fellow Slovakian filmmakers.
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interesting in silent or early cinema. I feel really terrible, actually, because a confession to May. But I remember when you you recommended me this film, the Baton Botanical Garden, was there were other one You said I should check out. So I got both of them and I watched this one and the other one got stashed away on a hard drive which, ironically, I found by accident about a week ago and thought, Oh, Christ, I haven't watched this yet. I should watch it before the episode on I didn't get time, but I'm definitely gonna fit that one in because I've seen still from it and it just looks as wonderful and outrageous is is this one And just seeing the pictures on Oh God, I do need to see that So I'm going to schedule that in very soon. It's gorgeous, and it's almost like, kind of a nice antidote to the ending of this film in that that it is a much more kind of positive, uplifting experience. And I think what's telling for me in terms of the kind of motif of flight is that party in the botanical garden also is very interested in flying as, ah, metaphor. I think the difference is that here in birds, orphans and fools, characters don't really managed to get off the ground. Or what actually happens is that they tend to fall or plummet, whereas in party in the botanical garden at the end of that, the characters do actually fly. So I think that, to me tells us a lot about the differences, I think between these two films. And I think this film is all about the failure of flight in a way, which again, I guess, relates to the figure of Stefanik who, of course, died in a plane crash. So I think that, uh, says something about this. You know that the idea that flight or you know, this this sense of uplift is it's it's an ambition. It's an ideal to be able to fly to be able to escape. But it doesn't tend Thio succeed. Well, you know, Mac available. Tell you, man, it's not a bird. E want to talk about that bizarre scene when your gets arrested? I mean, what is going on there? This is just wild. That is he taking a bullet for the other two Are they doing something wrong, or is it just this fear of cops? All that's happened to them is that they run out of petrol, isn't it? And the car is stopped. You do see that weird. I think it's like Is it like a grenade Launchers? Or it's some kind of weapon that MARTA is holding, which just sort of comes out of nowhere. But I think that's after the car after the police have already come out. So it's not really clear what they've done to attract the attention of the police. Maybe they just about there dressed a bit weirdly, that they're in this. I think what looks like a Cadillac to me, or like some big American car? Probably. It could just be that they kind of look a bit freaky in Slovakia in 1969. But yeah, it is strange that he just immediately assumes they're going to get into trouble, and he's gonna take the blame for it to go back to what Mike said about the sea demand. Though it kind of reminds me of that in that way, because the police in that oh, you know, we'll just stop and then all of a sudden take over your life and question you, and it has a similar sort of anti establishment, sort of. I've been that way, although Italy culturally was very different thin Slovakia. But this like, like you said, like a fear of the police or authority that you know, that sort of almost paranoia, that it's not good to be stopped like even if you're not doing anything. Think Seed of Man definitely has that same vibe and it tends to pop up in a lot, I think around 68 69 even in America and Britain, there was becoming like a a growing sort of suspicion alone. Ernie's about authorities and law enforcement and staff. And of course, we've seen a lot of protests. Aziz. Well, which kind of parallels to what we're experiencing now. It's just that sense of kind of omnipresent threat, isn't it? On Dvir violence and persecution that sort of surrounds the characters all the time, so I guess it's natural that the police would just be another element of that. Andi, Uh, one of the other kind of weird, omnipresent presences in the film is the nuns, which I think is really weird. You know, you have these nuns who usually I think male actors aren't they in non costumes. And even in the climactic scene of the murder, there is a non outside shooting. I think like you said, it's like a flagon. Yeah, they're like vigilante nuns. Like, what is this place where marauding men's? Yeah, in the way that this cross cut is very purposeful. I mean, the film that Yacoub Isco made after this one, which is called See You in Hell, my friends, is all about this group of characters who, actually they do a similar thing to the characters in this film and that they try to escape from the world and live this kind of very bohemian life that they keep being kind of pursued and basically harassed by this pair off. I think there were 30 was like red nuns who are kind of always trying to get them to
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