Year of the Devil

Scattershot humor marks this 2002 mockumentary from the Czech Republic, about an obscure folk band that plays mostly funerals until a popular singer-songwriter (real-life musician Jarek Nohavica), just out of rehab, decides to use the group for his comeback tour. (The material is obviously near and dear to director Petr Zelenka: his 1996 film Mnaga—Happy End covered similar subject matter.) This begins and ends with some deadpan nonsense about spontaneous combustion that has very little to do with the loosely structured narrative, but the film also includes several inspired performance sequences that combine Nohavica's folk music with hard rock. Comparisons to This Is Spinal Tap are inevitable, though Zelenka's perspective is a lot weirder than Rob Reiner's. In Czech with subtitles. 88 min.

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