Jaromil Jireš (10 December 1935 – 24 October 2001) was a director associated with the Czechoslovak New Wave movement.His 1963 film The Cry was entered into the 1964 Cannes Film Festival.
It is often described as the first film of the Czechoslovak New Wave, a movement known for its dark humor, use of non-professional actors, and "art-cinema realism".Another of Jireš's prominent works is The Joke (1969), adapted from a novel by Milan Kundera.
It tells the story of Ludvik Jahn, a man expelled from the Czechoslovakian Communist Party for an idle joke to his girlfriend, and the revenge he later seeks through adultery.
The film was produced during the political liberalization of the 1968 Prague Spring and contains many scenes which satirize and criticize the country's communist leadership.
Released after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the film had initial success in theaters but was then banned by authorities for the next twenty years.
Amos Vogel wrote that the film was "possibly the most shattering indictment of totalitarianism to come out of a Communist country".Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970), set in the early 19th century, was based on a novel by Vítezslav Nezval.
It is a film in a Gothic style concerning the onset of menstruation and the sexual awakening of a thirteen-year-old girl.His 1979 film The Young Man and Moby Dick was entered into the 11th Moscow International Film Festival.Following the Soviet takeover of Czechoslovakia, Jireš continued to work in the country, making less controversial material.
In 1971, he directed My Love to the Swallows, a World War II film about a Czech resistance fighter.
His 1982 film Incomplete Eclipse was entered into the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival.
He continued making films through the '80s and '90s, including ballet and opera documentaries for television.