‘Arvéd’, the movie that Czech producer Vojtěch Mašek has recently started filming, is based on the real-life of controversial occultist Jiří Arvéd Smíchovský.

With a script inspired by the book ‘The Devil of Malá Strana’ by Jan Poláček, ‘Arvéd’ is a classic Faustian story of a very ambitious smart man who, at one point, lost his sanity.

“Doctor of law and philosophy, occultist, Nazi collaborator, informer, false witness, and communist henchman,” actor Michal Kern, who portrays Smíchovský in the film, says as he describes the protagonist.

“I believe that, for many, it will be a surprising story of a man whom circumstances and the press of that period turned into the devil. But I have doubts as to whether the devils were not those who used Arvéd as a tool. Arvéd could only be a literate man dazzling society with his memory and wide-ranging knowledge. He may have been known among a small circle of people in secret occult societies, but he lived in a time of two totalitarian regimes, and they marked his character. His driving force was his immense ambition,” said Jan Poláček.

In the director’s explanation, ‘Arvéd’ will be more of “a claustrophobic tragedy about imprisonment” based on chamber dialogues. The situations in the story will bear aspects of an “absurd, Kafkaesque world” featuring grotesqueries, paradoxes, and black humor. 

The main role will be played by Michal Kern. Other roles are played by Ivana Uhlířová, Pavlína Štorková, Vojtěch Vondráček, Tomáš Kobr, Robert Jakab, Zvonko Lakčevič or Marian Labuda.

‘Arvéd’ is being produced by Kristýna Michálek Květová and Tomáš Michálek, of Cinémotif Films, and co-produced by Czech Television and Ivan Ostrochovský, of Punkchart Films, on the Slovak side. The Czech Film Fund and Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported the film. The premiere is tentatively set for January 2022.

All photos: (c) Milan Jaroš