DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ… – OUR DAILY DAY… (1969)
Director: Otakar Krivánek
Script: Otakar Krivánek
Cinematography: Jozef Grussmann
Cast: Michal Ravinger, Gerta Ravingerová,
Michaela Ravingerová, Marcel Ravinger
Otakar Krivánek made a strong statement with his timeless debut Slovakian feature film DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ about the banality of everyday life. His talent stemmed from crossing many areas of directing, starting with theater and moving on to newsreels and then to documentaries. Among the people he worked with, he was known for his authenticity and desire to get people to think creatively. DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ blurs the line between documentary and narrative film, with both scripted and improvised scenes acted out by a real family instead of actors. Originally planned as a short, which allowed them to get the project approved without a script, enough footage was shot to allow them to complete a feature film. DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ was created with a three-person crew over twenty days on a budget that was minuscule in comparison to other feature films of the time.
Set in a small village, DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ.is the story of the family Ravinger as they cope with problems over several days. The issues begin with the parents, Gerta and Michal, discussing who should teach their children about sex. Michal is a professor at the university while his wife Greta is a music teacher who also plays weddings and other events for extra income. Their daughter, Michaela, wants to go to a graduation party, but both she and Greta believe she needs a new dress that Michal thinks the family can’t afford. Marcel, who is normally shy, begins to show interest in a new girl at school and even lies to his parents so he can go to the cinema with her. As the graduation party approaches, Gerta picks up more gigs playing at weddings to afford fabric for Michaela’s dress. The family of the girl Marcel has been spending time with visits the Ravingers over concern of their daughter’s new relationship, but is reassured of Marcel’s shyness. Later on at the graduation party, things begin to boil over for the Ravingers. Nobody seems interested in dancing with Michaela and Gerta and Michal fight over ordering champagne. Michal even attempts to get some men to dance with his daughter.
In Slovakia, DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ is often critically compared to Czech director Miloš Forman for its use of focusing on ordinary people with the humor and tragedy residing in mundane events. Outside of that basic framework, Krivánek builds a much more complex and layered story that is seemingly more authentic in feel to Forman’s films. DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ begins in a single narrative line and soon spins into something more complex, straddling realty and fiction, young and old, as each family member uses their personal experience to cope with issues that arise. Krivánek reinforces this point through the use of music in the film. For example, Gerta’s role as a music teacher can be seen as a metaphor in that, just like music, life requires patience, practice, and repetition to learn.
In the same way the musical process is timeless, so are the problems of the Ravinger’s. Whether they’re worrying about finances or how to teach their kids about sex, these situations are just as relevant now as in 1969. It is the universality in these experiences that helps cement the audience’s belief in the authenticity of Krivánek’s chracters. This atmosphere helps to create the more powerful moments in DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ, the bedroom dialogue between Greta and Michal. These bedroom scenes convey their innate goodness as they show concern for their children and overcome their petty daily quarrels. They expound the real intelligence of the film, the difficulty in transitioning into adulthood.
DEŇ NÁŠ KAŽDODENNÝ is available in an English friendly, PAL, region free DVD by SME.