10 December 1935|
|Died||24 October 2001
Prague, Czech Republic
During the 1960s, Jireš was often in conflict with censors, limiting his output. 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, adapted from a novel by Milan Kundera. The Joke 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, set in the early nineteenth century, was based on a novel by Vítězslav Nezval and released in 1970. It is a film in a Gothic style concerning the onset of menstruation and the sexual awakening of a thirteen-year-old girl.
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.
- Fever (Documentary short, 1958)
- Uncle (Short, 1959)
- The Hall of Lost Steps (Short, 1960)
- Footprints (Short, 1960)
- Don Spagát (Short, 1962)
- The Cry (1963)
- The Log Cabin (Short, 1965)
- Pearls of the Deep (segment "Romance", 1966)
- Citizen Karel Havlicek (Short, 1966)
- The King Game (Short, 1967)
- Don Juan 68 (Short, 1968)
- The Joke (1969)
- The Journey of Vincence Mostek and Simon Pesl of Vlcnov to Prague A.D. 1969 (short, 1969)
- Grandpa (Documentary short, 1969)
- Court of Justice (film) (Short documentary, 1969)
- Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
- And Give My Love to the Swallows (1972) - chamber drama depicting the story of the Czech resistance member Marie Kudeříková
- Leos Janácek (TV Movie, 1973)
- People from the Subway (1974)
- The Safe Cracker (Short, 1974)
- Il divino Boemo (Short, 1974)
- Island of the Silver Herons (TV Movie, 1976)
- Talíre nad Velkým Malíkovem (1977)
- The Young Man and Moby Dick (1979)
- The Diary of One Who Disappeared (TV Movie, 1979)
- Payment in Kind (1980)
- Úteky domu (1980)
- Svet Alfonse muchy (1980)
- Bohuslav Martinu (TV Movie, 1980)
- Opera ve vinici (1981)
- Kouzelná Praha Rudolfa II (TV Movie, 1982)
- Incomplete Eclipse (1983)
- Katapult (1984)
- Prodlouzený cas (1984)
- Milos Forman - Das Kuckucksei (TV Movie documentary, 1985)
- Lev s bílou hrívou (1986)
- Sidney Lumet: I Love New York (TV Movie documentary, 1987)
- O Háderunovi a víle Elóre (TV Movie, 1987)
- Po zarostlem chodnícku (Documentary, 1987)
- Nadeje má hluboké dno (TV Movie, 1988)
- Antonín Dvorák (TV Mini-Series, 1990)
- F. Murray Abraham (TV Movie documentary, 1991)
- Labyrinth (1991)
- Beschreibung eines Kampfes (1991)
- Rekviem za ty, kteri prezili (Documentary, 1992)
- Hudba a víra (TV Movie documentary, 1992)
- Hudba a bolest (TV Movie documentary, 1992)
- And If There Are Angels Here (TV Movie, 1992)
- Helimadoe (1994)
- The Dance Teacher (1995)
- Double Role (1999)
- Leonard Quart. "'The Joke'". Cineaste. Fall 2003: 60–1.
- Michael Koresky. "Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave". The Criterion Collection. Archived from the original on 28 October 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Festival de Cannes: The Cry". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
- Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell (1994). Film History: An Introduction. McGraw-Hill. p. 541. ISBN 0070064458.
- Francisco López. "Jaromil Jires, The Joke, 1969". Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- Tanya Krzywinska. "Transgression, transformation and titillation".
- "11th Moscow International Film Festival (1979)". MIFF. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- "Berlinale: 1983 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-11-20.