I don’t usually review short films by themselves,
but this is such a gem.
A pearl, if you will.
The Junk Shop.
By director Juraj Herz.
Truth be told, I assumed it would be feature-length.
So when it ended, I was surprised.
But it was nice.
Just the right length.
It’s a very charming first film which delves into the depth only ragpickers can evoke.
There are, indeed, very few inventors who can claim to have “invented” the garbage can.
One (or the one) lends his name to the bin in French: Eugène Poubelle.
Just like Joseph-Ignace Guillotin.
But let’s back to director Herz.
It might be more proper to call him a Slovakian director.
Though this film hails from the Czechoslovak days.
Born in Kežmarok: “cheese market”.
And so what is the difference between Czechia (the new name for the Czech Republic) and Slovakia? Why the split?
Not to be confused with the city in Croatia. Split.
1918-1993. One country. Czechoslovakia.
But you’re here for film. Perhaps.
Long before The Holy Mountain in 1973.
Iconoclasts. Plastic Jesus. Flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark.
I assume my audience knows when I am quoting.
If this had been a full-length film, it would have been neck-and-neck with Closely Watched Trains and A Report on the Party and the Guests.
But there’s also something “cute” about The Junk Shop.
It has a wry smile which is usually found only in children’s films.
Oh, to see her shake out her sheets.
To beat her rug.
Leaning over the railing.
An old man’s one joy.
Such priceless joys in the messy actuality of the everyday.
Anna Karina is on the wall.
She has been rescued from metric tons of paper.
She is recycled visually. But not literally.
To keep the ragpicker company.
And the forerunner of American montage (by way of Eisenstein).
Stop motion Dadaism.
Synchronized on the beat.