With this simultaneously harrowing and lyrical debut feature, Jan NÄmec established himself as the most uncompromising visionary among the radical filmmakers who made up the Czechoslovak New Wave. Adapted from a novel by ArnoÅ¡t Lustig, Diamonds of the Night
closely tracks two boys who escape from a concentration-camp transport and flee into the surrounding woods, a hostile terrain where the brute realities of survival coexist with dreams, memories, and fragments of visual poetry. Along with visceral camera work by Jaroslav KuÄera and Miroslav OndÅÃÄekâtwo of Czechoslovak cinemaâs most influential cinematographersâNÄmec makes inventive use of fractured editing, elliptical storytelling, and flights of surrealism as he strips context away from this bare-bones tale, evoking the dizzying plight of consciousness lost in night and fog.
- Interview from 2009 with director Jan Nemec
- A Loaf of Bread, NÄmecâs 1960 student thesis film, based on a short story by ArnoÅ¡t Lustig
- ArnoÅ¡t Lustig Through the Eyes of Jan NÄmec, a short documentary on Lustig from 1993
- New interview with film programmer Irena Kovarova
- New video essay on the filmâs stylistic influences by scholar James Quandt
- An essay by film critic Michael Atkinson