Saturday, February 27, 2010

Honourable mentions: Dívka na Kosteti


Dívka na Kosteti is a Czech film from 1972 that was directed by Václav Vorlícek (who appears to be making either a sequel or remake, due in 2010 according to imdb). The film was known in the US as the Girl on the Broomstick and is focused on the character Saxana (Petra Cernocká) a witch.

In terms of content it feels a touch like The Worst Witch and the film begins in a witches’ school. As such the entire thing has a monstrous (and yet comedic) Hogwarts feel.

Petra Cernocká as SaxanaSaxana is not the best student in the world and is caught receiving a note – that will help her cheat in her lessons. When brought to the front of the class she is unable to remember the spell to become a raven and becomes a chicken and then a cow. As a result she is punished and kept back in class for 300 years.

a busman's holidayShe is bored and speaks to the Janitor (Vladimír Mensík) who reveals how she can escape to the human world for 44 hours. She goes in owl form, is captured by a zoo and given to the head keeper’s son Honza (Jan Hrusínský) a nice young boy who, when she transforms into a girl again, takes her to his school with him. The janitor has been sent to keep an eye on her and he warns her not to drink a hag’s ear brew as it will keep her in the human world permanently. She determines to get a hag’s ear and, due to this, falls in with a bad crowd. A farcical comedy then follows.

Vladimír Mensík as the janitorIt is the janitor who is the reason for this mention. He is described, in credit, as a retired vampire. In truth he shows very little by way of vampiric traits (and his spell casting is akin to the witches) but then he is retired. However he does mention drinking blood in the human world (as a reminiscence) and has one fang that hangs over his lip. Not very vampiric all told but worth a mention if only to highlight this unusual children’s film.

The imdb page is here.


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