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ArtsMakers of Czech Dream turn sights on abandoned US radar plan in new documentary Czech Peace

07-05-2010 11:28 | Ian Willoughby

In 2004 Vít Klusák and Filip Remunda made a big splash with Český Sen, or Czech Dream, about a hoax they pulled on shoppers in Prague, using a big advertising campaign to draw them to a non-existent hypermarket. The documentary, originally their final project at film school, received a good deal of international attention for the way it raised questions about consumerism in a post-communist society.   More

Current AffairsFilm producers look to public collection to save “Lidice” from development hell

30-04-2010 15:52 | Christian Falvey

The extermination of the village of Lidice by the Nazis is one of the most harrowing tales of WWII, and Czech filmmakers are have long wanted to bring it to the screen. The acclaimed director Alice Nellis is set to helm the project, with some of the country’s top actors already on board. But still what would be an important historical film has been in a proverbial development hell for some years now. Amid a dearth of sponsors, the film’s producers are now looking to the public to help complete the budget. Earlier today, Radio Prague spoke with producer Adam Dvořák.   More

Current AffairsNew Svěrák movie and 3 Seasons in Hell in competition at 45th Karlovy Vary IFF

21-04-2010 12:29 | Ian Willoughby

'Kooky' Preparations are in full swing for the 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Though much is still being decided, the organisers revealed a lot on Tuesday: there are not one but two Czech films in competition, veteran director Juraj Herz will get a lifetime achievement award, and there will be special sections dedicated to the great British filmmakers Powell and Pressburger, contemporary Belgian film and Australian schlock-horror movies. I caught up with senior programmer Karel Och and asked him what he felt would be the highlights at this year’s Karlovy Vary.   More

One on OneKryštof Hádek – “shooting star” of Czech film

19-04-2010 17:02 | Ian Willoughby

Kryštof Hádek first made waves nearly a decade ago when he played a fresh-faced young pilot in the World War II drama Dark Blue World. Since then the Prague-born actor has appeared in films of varying quality, though he has recently been enjoying a purple patch; Hádek won a Czech Lion award for his part in the acclaimed 3 Seasons in Hell, and was acknowledged as one of European cinema’s new talents when he was invited to this year’s Berlin Film Festival as one of its “Shooting Stars”.   More

Current AffairsFilm captures thwarted plans for futuristic Jan Kaplický building in Prague

15-04-2010 15:18 | Ian Willoughby

The documentary Oko nad Prahou (The Eye Above Prague), which premiered in the city on Wednesday night, is about Jan Kaplický winning the contract to build a new National Library building in the Czech Republic’s first ever international architecture tender. However, his futuristic design – nicknamed the Blob – soon met opposition from the president and others and the plan was abandoned. Tragically, the Czech-born architect died last year on the day his wife gave birth to their first child. I spoke to Kaplický’s widow Eliška Kaplický Fuchsová, who produced the film, and asked her what she felt the fate of the Blob told us about the Czech Republic today.   More

PanoramaMamas & Papas – an intimate new film by director Alice Nellis – to premiere in Czech cinemas

08-04-2010 16:33 | Jan Velinger

Alice Nellis, the writer and director of the awarding-winning feature Tajnosti (Little Girl Blue) will next week see the release of her highly-anticipated new film called Mamas & Papas, a story of four couples whose lives, intertwined, are changed through parenthood (or aspects of it), events both within and outside of their control: childbirth, adoption, abortion or loss. The couples, connected but also “atomized”, all deal differently with their situation to greater or lesser degrees of success – and no solution in the film is ideal.   More

ArtsDVD series resurrects 1950s Czechoslovak Socialist Realist films

02-04-2010 16:33 | Ian Willoughby

Filmy patří lidu (Films Belong to the People) is the title of a series of Socialist Realist pictures that have been released on DVD in the Czech Republic in recent months. These propaganda-filled films are from the 1950s, the harshest decade of the communist era, notorious for its brutal repression, show trials and forced labour camps.   More

Czechs in HistoryThe rise and fall of the King of Comedians, Vlasta Burian

31-03-2010 15:07 | Christian Falvey

For all the funny people who have contributed to a century of Czech filmmaking, the title “King of Comics” belongs to only one. Vlasta Burian would be 119 years old next month, and he would be very proud of his reputation indeed, still a star of the Czech television screen today. But his career as a comedian went hand in hand with the tragedies of the 20th century, and in his lifetime he was a pauper, a prince, and a pauper again.   More

One on OneFAMU dean Pavel Jech: sometimes it’s too easy to make a film here

29-03-2010 17:16 | Jan Richter

The Czech Film and Television Academy, or FAMU, has been educating filmmakers for over 60 years. Among its students were such personalities of Czech and international cinema as Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, Agneiszka Holland and Jan Svěrák. In this edition of One on One we talk to Pavel Jech, the dean of the famed film school. Pavel Jech was born in Prague but grew up in the United States, where his parents moved after 1968, when he was only two months old. After graduating in history at Columbia University in New York, Pavel Jech returned to Prague in 1990 where his life took a different turn.   More

Current AffairsOnly Czech film in main competition at One World captures transformation process in Kyrgyzstan

12-03-2010 15:37 | Ian Willoughby

All that Glitters by Tomáš Kudrna is the only Czech film in the main competition at the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague. The film is about what happens when Western investors take over a gold mine in a town in the ex-Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan which is also threatened by environmental disaster. I spoke to the director of All that Glitters ahead of its world premiere on Saturday.   More

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