Acclaimed Czech film director Jiří Menzel is in critical condition in
hospital in Prague's Střešovice according to commercial broadcaster
TV Nova. According to the weekly Týden, the 79-year-old underwent an
emergency brain operation lasting six hours and is now in an induced coma.
His family has not commented on his condition.
Mr Menzel is one of the best-known directors to come out of the Czech New Wave in the 1960s. He won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1968 for Closely Watched Trains.
František Vláčil, Karel Kachyňa, Vojtěch Jasný, Jiří Menzel and several more of the greatest ever Czech film directors honed their craft in the army during the communist period. And as the Czechoslovak New Wave was blossoming, the country’s military were producing the kind of short films that were the envy of their counterparts elsewhere in the Eastern Bloc. That’s according to historian Alice Lovejoy, author of the book Army Film and the Avant Garde. We spoke when Lovejoy, who teaches at the University of Minnesota, was in Prague recently.
Jana Počtová’s documentary Non-Parent offers an intimate exploration of unorthodox family life in the Czech Republic today. A follow-up to her earlier film Generation Singles, it tells six stories of non-nuclear family setups, from a lesbian couple who conceive with the help of gay friends to a heterosexual pair who have made a conscious choice not to have children. When Počtová came to our studios the conversation took in everything from the challenges of step-parenting to the experiences of her 99-year-old grandmother. But I first asked the director,
US actor Harvey Keitel is currently in the Czech Republic, shooting a
supporting role for the film The Painted Bird by Czech director Václav
Marhoul. The Oscar-nominated actor, who will be staying in the country for
the next ten days, appears in the role of a Catholic priest.
The film, an adaptation of Polish writer Jerzy Kosiński’s 1965 novel, is slated for release in 2019. The cast includes other acclaimed international actors such Stellan Skarsgård and Udo Kier.
A Russian top politician turned opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in central Moscow in 2015. Following his murder his daughter Zhanna Nemtsova moved to Germany, where she works as a journalist and runs a foundation named after her father. At the weekend Nemtsova appeared at a packed theatre at the Jihlava documentary festival as part of its Inspiration Forum talks series. Afterwards, she shared her own sources of inspiration.
The 21st edition of the annual Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival has got underway. The festival opened with a film by Tereza Nvotová called The Lust for Power about the controversial Slovak politician Vladimir Mečiar. The former Slovak prime minister is not the only politician focused on by documentary film makers this year.
The granddaughter of the artist Zdeněk Miler, author of the famous Czech cartoon character Krteček, can no longer grant licenses for the production of Little Mole collectibles. In its ruling on Tuesday, the Prague Municipal Court upheld an appeal by Milena Fišerová, who was authorised to administer Miler’s copyrights in 2006.