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"Menzel's greatest work, and indeed the pinnacle of all Czech New Wave films."
"Filmed in minimalist style, it's far more interesting visually than most cluttered and clunky modern Hollywood fare"
~ JM Nesbit, Old School Reviews
Few European films are so affectionately remembered as Closely Watched Trains, one of the pinnacles of the Czech New Wave of the 60s, brutally cut short by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August, 1968, which caused Milos Forman, one of its chief exponents, to flee to America. Jiri Menzel, its director, stayed and was unable to make films for some time. Closely Watched Trains, however, won Hollywood's Best Foreign Language film.The film was shot in and around the Bohemian train station of Lodenice and set near the end of the second world war. The central character is a shy young clerk with a love life he can't manage. But the triumph of the film is to show us that our petty destinies are inextricably linked to bigger events outside our lives and that we can never escape them.That Menzel does this with such tenderness, charm and guile, as well as producing an extremely funny film, is a measure of the longevity of its appeal.