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"The Unbearable Lightness of Being" at PFA


Dir. Philip Kaufman, U.S., 1988, 200 min. (with Nemec short)

Adapted from Milan Kundera’s novel, this grand romance begins its vaporous plot during the Prague Spring of 1968, an optimistic moment when socialism had a gentler hand. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Tomas, a philandering surgeon who favors “lightness,” a disconnection from the weight of history. His sexual appetite is an aspect of this flight from commitment, and rarely does he repeat himself, frolicking instead from woman to woman with the seductive command “Take off your clothes.” This ends when he meets two women of weighty will: Sabina (Lena Olin), whose own appetite is ravenous; and Tereza (Juliette Binoche), an innocent from the country with a more provincial palate. Then the Soviet tanks arrive and lightness becomes a luxury. With the handsome trio of thespians at the center of the film, cinematography by the great Sven Nykvist, a script by Buñuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carrière, and cutting by master editor Walter Murch, The Unbearable Lightness of Being finds just the right balance between weighty aesthetics and the desires of the soul. Jan Nemec, who served as an advisor on the film, provided footage of the invasion; watch for his cameo appearance as a photographer during this sequence. —Steve Seid

You can buy tickets online or at the theater.

If you're interested in post-film coffee and discussion note it in your RSVP or comment section.

Meet at the PFA lobby at 1:45 to get our seats before the Jan Nemec short begins at 2:00. I will be wearing a red shawl and will email my cell # the day before the meetup.

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  • Julie

    I'm running a bit late. I may not get there by 1:45; but I'll definitely be there by 2. See ya'!

    April 13, 2014

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