• Some of the unhappy souls of the Czech documentary Matchmaking Mayor

This past weekend a touring series of recent films from the Czech Republic opened at the Gene Siskel Film Center. The six selections playing throughout the month include period pieces, satirical comedies, and one documentary, Matchmaking Mayor. As a fan of Czech movies from the 60s and 70s—namely, the comedies of Milos Forman (Loves of a Blonde, The Fireman’s Ball) and Vera Chytilova (Fruit of Paradise, The Apple Game)—I’m excited to see what this national cinema has been up to. The so-called Czech New Wave to which Forman and Chytilova belonged advanced a bitter sense of humor that made light of everyday pettiness and disappointment. That sentiment was nurtured, so to speak, by decades of life under communist bureaucracy, but the nation’s great filmmakers employed it to illuminate a universal condition. And judging from Matchmaking Mayor—a deadpan portrait of an overreaching public official—that condition remains alive and well.