Archive: Culture | Film Film

Europe's biggest human rights documentary festival gets underway in Prague

05-03-2008 16:06 | Ian Willoughby

The 10th Jeden Svět (One World) festival of human rights documentary films begins in Prague on Wednesday night. The focus of the 2008 festival is on dictatorships, while other highlights will include rare Czechoslovak documentaries from the 1960s hidden away for decades. And this year’s One World is – for the first time – also set to visit a number of world cities.  More

Alice Nellis film wins Czech Lion

03-03-2008 16:17 | Dominik Jůn

Alice Nellis, director of the film Tajnosti, photo: CTK Saturday night saw the Czech Republic host its annual national film awards, known as the Český Lev, or Czech Lion. No single film swept the board, but director Alice Nellis’s film Tajnosti, or Little Girl Blue came away with best film.   More

Shockproof Film Festival: the very best of B-movies

21-02-2008 17:55 | Ruth Fraňková

Photo: CTK A Bucket of Blood, The Bride of the Monster and Blood Feast: what do these rather unusual titles have in common? Apparently they’re some of the worst movies ever made, and this week you have the rare chance of seeing them on the big screen. The Shockproof Film Festival got underway at Prague’s Aero cinema on Tuesday; I spoke to the festival’s organiser Petr Šaroch.   More

Jiří Stránský: a doctor of prison sciences

17-02-2008 | David Vaughan

Jiří Stránský As a writer Jiří Stránský has never had to look far beyond his own extraordinary life story for inspiration. He was born in 1931 into an influential Prague political family – in fact his maternal grandfather even served for three years as prime minister in the 1930s. During the German occupation Jiří’s father Karel survived Auschwitz, and as a teenager Jiří took part in the Prague Uprising in the last days of the war. But ironically, the family suffered just as much under the communists after the war as they had under the Germans. They had never made any secret of their dislike of both political extremes. Jiří was not allowed to study and in 1953 was arrested on fictitious charges of spying. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, much of which he spent working in a uranium mine. Paradoxically, it was here that Jiří Stránský found the inspiration to write. This was the time of the Stalinist purges, and he found himself alongside some of the writers he most respected, including the well known Brno poet, Jan Zahradníček. In a busy Prague café, Jiří told me about how these writers became his role model.   More

Cheap DVDs distributed by newspapers flooding Czech market

15-02-2008 12:25 | Ian Willoughby

Photo: Khalil Baalbaki In 2007 almost all of the Czech Republic’s national newspapers began offering their readers cheap DVDs. Such movies are not free supplements as you might get in the UK for instance, but are sold separately at an extremely low cost. These DVDs have become a real phenomenon, with almost 60 million entering distribution last year. What does this mean for the industry? And can the boom last?  More

Citizen Havel premieres at Berlin Film Festival

12-02-2008 15:45 | Rosie Johnston

Photo: CTK Citizen Havel – a fly-on-the-wall documentary following former head of state Václav Havel through two presidential terms - has been a big success amongst Czech cinemagoers since its release two weeks ago. But how will foreign audiences react to the film? Last night, Citizen Havel was premiered to an international audience at the Berlin Film Festival. Czech journalist Tereza Brdečková was there, she described the atmosphere at the event:   More

Lenka Vochocová: checking out people’s prejudices

11-02-2008 16:59 | Ruth Fraňková

Lenka Vochocová Lenka Vochocová is twenty-eight, but looks more like eighteen. She may not look like it, but she has already managed to establish and successfully run an NGO called Inventura which helps people with learning disabilities. She has also organized a film festival screening animated films made by some of the people her NGO has helped. I met Lenka Vochocová at her office in Prague’s Smíchov district, to ask her more about her activities:   More

Seventy-five years of film at Barrandov studios

01-02-2008 15:10 | Rosie Johnston

Photo: Barrandov Studios Last week Prague’s Barrandov studios celebrated 75 years of movie-making. On January 25, 1933, filming started on the thriller ‘Vrazda v Ostrovni ulici’ (Murder on Ostrovni street), a film which dazzled Czech critics and cinemagoers at the time with its state of the art sound effects. Over the years, the studios have played home to the famous Czech new-wave films of the 1960s, and in more recent years Hollywood blockbusters like James Bond and The Chronicles of Narnia. Earlier this week I paid Barrandov a visit to wish it a happy birthday and talk to Mr Vladimír Kuba, the studios’ CEO:   More

Citizen Havel lifts curtain on playwright-turned-president’s decade in office

31-01-2008 16:58 | Rob Cameron

Citizen Havel, a new fly-on-the-wall documentary about the former Czech president, premiered on Wednesday night in Prague. The film draws on 45 hours of unique behind-the-scenes footage of Václav Havel shot over a period of 13 years. The result is a film that lifts the curtain on the Havel presidency, in a way that no other politician has been captured on screen before.   More

Tomáš Baldýnský – film critic AND chair of state film support body

28-01-2008 17:20 | Ian Willoughby

Tomáš Baldýnský Tomáš Baldýnský is one of the Czech Republic’s leading film critics and is known for not pulling any punches in his reviews. He is also the unpaid chairman of the government body which supports Czech film-making, though his term in the post ends soon. When we met the other day we discussed how he manages to reconcile those two activities. But that was after I put it to Tomáš Baldýnský that given the fact most movies aren’t particularly good, it must be hard to maintain his enthusiasm for reviewing.   More

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