The writer/star of Kolya wrote and stars in this expertly gag-laden comedy about the hyperactive retirement of a charming old rogue. "Exceptionally funny and touching." — The Globe and Mail
Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
Working once again with his director son, the writer/star of Kolya wrote and stars in this expertly gag-laden comedy about the hyperactive retirement of a charming old rogue. Josef retires from teaching after being reprimanded for pouring water over an insolent kid. Staying at home with his permanently disappointed wife is the last thing he wants to do. He finds work as Prague’s oldest bike courier and then, more fittingly, in a supermarket, where he checks in bottles for recycling. When not fantasising about women half his age, he’s matching up his teacher friend with his own newly separated daughter, unbeknownst to both of them, and stumbling, unbeknownst to himself, towards reconciliation with his wife. A festival hit the world over, and the Czech Republic’s biggest success of all time, Empties eschews pathos by indulging its unrepentant old reactionary to the hilt. — BG.