Are fantasies mixed up with memories in Jan Němec's film adaptation of Arnošt Lustig's autobiographical story of surviving WWII, Diamonds of the Night (Démanty noci)? Will these babes forever be in the woods?
Attacking both state socialism and market capitalism, expressing the rage of those growing up in one system and suddenly under another, the urgency reminded me of Joyce and Pynchon more than Topol's Prague predecessor, Kafka.
A dry absurdist sense of humor mixed with moments of surrealism, satiric jabs at the Communist government disguised as a critique of corrupt and inept power in general —these were the commonalities among a group of Czechoslovak directors that could be widely disparate in their styles.
This has the patchwork quality of a work from a still gestating writer, but Tom McCarthy’s voice and chief obsessions, mainly the intersections and missed connections between people and technologies, are very much in evidence.