This delightful comedy is the debut film of director Ivan Passer and a signature work of the Czech New Wave. The film follows two old friends, both musicians, reunited when one returns to the small village where they grew up. Finding humour in every aspect of ordinary life, the film shows true affection and understanding for all its characters. Addressing the concerns of living in a totalitarian state with a beguiling lightness of touch, and enchantingly shot by Miroslav Ondricek, 'Intimate Lighting' is a subtle and beautifully observed drama of the everyday.
Who could resist this film ? Why would they want to ? Gentle, human, comic, inspired and sometimes completely brilliant, it has a kind of low-key wonder in the little acts and emotions of life that leaves the watcher smiling, laughing, crying, gasping, nodding and, yes, thinking. The whole film is a collection of brilliant touches, quiet but telling. Characters are both naive and thoughtful, funny but never mocked. The story is slight but perfectly enough. And the ending is one of the most wonderful moments you are ever likely to see in cinema. And how often do you see people playing musical instruments in a film (about music, after all) who are actually playing : a casting choice typical of the realistic delights of this wonderful piece of work.