Čaroděj OZ – The Blessed Cleaner
1980, film Normal-8, sound, black and white, 6 min 13 sec

Producer: Čarodějné filmy pro lid
Directed by: Lubomír Drožď (Čaroděj OZ)
Photography: Jiří Vnouček (Giorgionne), Vladimír Gaar (subtitles)
Cast: Pavel Veselý (Pablo de Sax) and others
Music: Gregorian chant, Patti Smith (We shall live again), J. S. Bach
Sound introduction 7 min 18 sec, sound finale 1 min 42 sec

The film focuses on the idea of the possibility of being purified through a journey which has to be undertaken. Such is the adventure experienced by the protagonist of the film whose journey leads from the dark pit of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

“The film (the debut of Čaroděj OZ) was inspired by a metre deep and three-metre wide hole dug in the garden of the director’s house. One morning he woke up and found that the hole would be a suitable symbol of the world, dug and delimited in the ground of the Earth […] Its main protagonist is a cleaner (the actor was working as a cleaner in real life) – which should result in a transcendent symbiosis of reality and symbolism embodied by the protagonist.” (Vladimír Gaar, Meliés Anthology, 1983)

“I asked my friends to come over for a weekend in the countryside and bring a camera because I would like to shoot a film. And, in the meantime, I was thinking about the topic. I walked around my flat, the attic, the garage and was trying to find some decoration or costumes – meant to be used ironically. I used what I found to create the story. At that time, I was digging a small and round swimming pool in the garden. I said to myself, this would be a good film setting – the hole. So it was clear that the whole thing would take place in a dug out hole. Then I gathered all the items that I found to play the extras – chairs, hangers, suitcases and umbrellas. The last thing was the film protagonist who would play the leading role amongst all of these things. When my first actor and cameraman arrived and the weather was fine, we started to shoot. I had the actor stand in the hole in women’s clothes, we set the camera on a tripod and started shooting. We animated the things around. They emerged, disappeared, were replaced by others, and in this way we were sort of animating the actor and the things. This was the origin of The Blessed Cleaner, my first real feature film contribution to the “group work”. (from an interview of A. Moralesová with Čaroděj OZ, 7 August 2012)

The film was awarded the Best Film and received the Zlatý Sürrek award at the 1st annual Zlaté Brýle festival in 1980.

Text: Alexandra Moralesová, Martin Blažíček
Latest update: 16. 2. 2013

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Čaroděj OZ in The Blessed Cleaner

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