Czech Center New York and Film Society of Lincoln Center present the work of the Czech costume and set designer, scriptwriter, and director Ester Krumbachová.


Though Ester Krumbachová was considered by director Věra Chytilová to be the boldest personality of the Czechoslovak New Wave, her contributions to the movement have been largely overlooked. A costume and set designer, scriptwriter, and director, the multi-hyphenate artist shared her puckishly surreal and trenchant, radical vision with such trailblazing directors as Chytilová (Daisies), Karel Kachyňa (The Ear), Jaromil Jireš (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders), and Jan Němec (Diamonds of the Night).


But shortly after making her directorial debut with the hilarious yet criminally underseen fantasy The Murder of Mr. Devil, she was blacklisted by the Czechoslovak Communist government. This May, the Czech Center New York looks back on Krumbachová’s singular imprint on the Czechoslovak New Wave, and reexamines some of the movements’ most beloved, important works in a new light. Presented in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center.





Krumbachová’s singular imprint on the Czechoslovak New Wave has done some of the most beloved, important works .

Czech Center New York and the Film Society of Lincoln Center present a selection of ten films to pay an homage to the extraordinary artistic triptych of Ester Krumbachová, the boldest figure of the Czechoslovak New Wave according to one of the most recognized Czech directors Věra Chytilová. Multiple screenings at the Lincoln Center will show her work as the influential costume designer and the screenwriter (such as the iconic film Daisies or Valerie and Her Week of Wonders), and even as the director (as in The Murder of Mr. Devil) of the Czechoslovak New Wave film movement.

“When everything is being spoiled… we’ll be spoiled too!” proclaim Marie I and Marie II and accordingly they embark on a series of destructive pranks pursuing hedonistic pleasure, gustatory excess, and patriarchy-smashing destruction.


May 24 – May 29 at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center 



When you’re getting fucked in the ass you get an
experience that is exposing. And there is the feeling of
being impaled, of being split in half. And there is a
splitting of personality. Or one could say a spitting of
personality, into the asshole.



Here we witness the same obsessive body
reconfiguring itself over and over again. Grafted
shapes descended from solar dust mowing through the
frame, separating the inorganic from organic. “Bodies
are bags of shit and teeth,” said Stefan.



At first we are submerged in a wash of fragile greys
and blues with splashes of red. It seems like the lines
want to disappear but the faces and bodies linger
nonetheless, smiling and wanting in pain. Wanting something and not having it, so much so that it
becomes grotesque. Pagliacci watches from the rafters.



There is something fleshy about this world, maybe we are inside a body, or we are very small exploring a
giant one. Or we are a very small giant. Are these figures all part of the same universe. What’s the
opposite of a cinematic universe? The cinematic universe cannot and will not respond to any and every
question you may have prepared. We asked the golem to answer in its own way.



The most tellurian of lifeforms, cloaked and grim. Humanoid figurines dance, they are of the golem
family, and we travelled great distances to meet them.

—Ada O’Higgins and Alexander Iadarola


Stefan Schwartzman (b. 1991, US) lives and works in New York City.