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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

Old 02-12-08, 09:57 AM
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The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988)

I couldn't find a thread addressing this film:

I watched this for the first time the other night (after reading the novel a few months ago). I must say I can't remember a film which stays as true to its source material as this. Daniel Day Lewis was tremendous as always, and Lena Olin plays Sabina in as sexy a role as I've seen. I would highly recommend it.

I do have a question that struck me afterwards. The film definitely shows off the sights and sounds of Prague, a setting where over half of the film takes place. My question is: How were they able to film in Prague with the Communists still in power? Granted, the Communist regime fell a year later in a relatively bloodless revolution. But the fact remains that the film (and book) does include some anti-Communist sentiments, and I'm surprised they would allow filming under those conditions. Does anyone have any insight?
Old 02-12-08, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Tommy_Harn
I couldn't find a thread addressing this film:

I watched this for the first time the other night (after reading the novel a few months ago). I must say I can't remember a film which stays as true to its source material as this. Daniel Day Lewis was tremendous as always, and Lena Olin plays Sabina in as sexy a role as I've seen. I would highly recommend it.

I do have a question that struck me afterwards. The film definitely shows off the sights and sounds of Prague, a setting where over half of the film takes place. My question is: How were they able to film in Prague with the Communists still in power? Granted, the Communist regime fell a year later in a relatively bloodless revolution. But the fact remains that the film (and book) does include some anti-Communist sentiments, and I'm surprised they would allow filming under those conditions. Does anyone have any insight?

First, wonderful film! But I just checked on IMDB. It doesn't show Prague as one of the filming locations:

Bèze, Côte-d'Or, France


Gare, Senlis, Oise, France


Geneva, Canton Geneva, Switzerland


Lyon, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France


Magny-Saint-Médard, Côte-d'Or, France


Paris, France


Studios de Boulogne, Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine, France
(studio)
Old 02-12-08, 01:09 PM
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Hmmm. They sure did a good job making it look like Prague. Shots of the Charles Bridge, Church of Our Lady Before Tyn and the Astronomical Clock in Old Town looked pretty authentic to me.
Old 02-12-08, 02:18 PM
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I've been meaning to watch this film again. The thing I remember about it is that everytime I expected the movie to end - it kept going. It was a very long movie. Now that I'm older, I'll probably appreciate it more.
Old 02-12-08, 03:35 PM
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I just watched this the other day, after not seeing it for awhile. Definitely one of my favorites, as well as favorite endings.

As far as the location shooting, did they perhaps use stock footage from the original Soviet occupation? That could account for seeing actual sights from Prague in the movie.
Old 02-12-08, 03:36 PM
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It's an interesting question, and I don't recall if this is discussed in the commentary (a great commentary, by the way, and RIP Sven Nykvist while on the subject of that particular commentary). I'm sure Tommy's referring to some other scenes where key landmarks may be apparent, but don't forget that the historical footage of the Soviet crackdown is exactly that... historical footage. With cutaways to the characters in the film made to look like the historical footage.

One of the best American films of the 80s. I see this at least once a year, and find myself very moved every time.
Old 02-13-08, 11:59 AM
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I'll have to check this one out again. I saw it only once back in 88' at the Cineplex Odeon in LA and was rather unimpressed. I'll give it another try perhaps now, I'll find something to appreciate.
Old 02-13-08, 12:41 PM
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Ah the memories. I took my wife (girlfriend at the time) to see that on our first date.
Old 02-13-08, 04:18 PM
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Ironic. I just Netflix'd this to start off my See Everything with Daniel Day-Lewis You Possibly Can mission. Can't wait to watch it.
Old 02-13-08, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Zen Peckinpah
Ironic. I just Netflix'd this to start off my See Everything with Daniel Day-Lewis You Possibly Can mission. Can't wait to watch it.
I guess you could say that the Czech is in the mail!

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