The digitally restored version of Ecstasy, a 1933 film by Czechoslovak
director Gustav Machatý, is due to be screened at Lucerna cinema in Prague
on Friday evening. The screening will be preceded by a performance of the
Czech Radio’s Symphony Orchestra.
The film, featuring Hedy Lamarr in her first major role, was first screened
at the same cinema on January 18, 1933. It was highly controversial in its
time because of nude scenes and its portrayal of sexual intercourse and the
Ecstasy was digitally restored by the National Film Archive in cooperation with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Last year, it won an award for best-digitally restored film at the international film festival in Venice.
Following the premiere, the film will go into distribution in cinemas all around the Czech Republic.
Daria Kashcheeva’s 15-minute long animated puppet movie Dcera (Daughter)
has been nominated for an Oscar in the best animated short category. The
33-year-old Kashcheeva, is a Russian student currently studying at FAMU
film school in Prague.
In an interview with Radio Prague International after she won the student Oscar in the same category in September, she said the Dcera is about the relationship between a father and his daughter, but could also be interpreted as about “relationships between people who are close in general. How one small misunderstanding can influence such relationships for a long time and why it is important to be able to forgive those who are close to us.”
On February 10, when the awards are announced, she will be up against Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver, Kitbull by Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson, Memorable by Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre and the stop-motion short Sister directed by Chinese born Siqi Song.
One of the most compelling and stylish Czech films of 2019 was A Certain Kind of Silence, the feature debut from Michal Hogenauer. The largely English-language work depicts a Czech girl who becomes an au pair in an unnamed Northern European state only to discover her host family are members of a sinister sect. When we spoke, the conversation took in the challenges of shooting abroad and the ways in which directors can pander to festival programmers. But I first asked Hogenauer about the inspiration for the story in A Certain Kind of Silence.
The pictures Old-Timers and Owners have received the most nominations, five
each, in the Czech Film Critics’ Awards. Old-Timers is about a geriatric
pair seeking revenge on a communist-era prosecutor, while Owners centres on
a meeting of people who all have apartments in the same building. WWII
drama The Painted Bird got four nominations.
The winners of the Czech Film Critics’ Awards will be announced on February 1.
The 1966 film Daisies by Věra Chytilová has come sixth in an extensive new BBC poll of the 100 greatest works by female directors. But what makes the surreal, anarchic Czechoslovak New Wave film such a classic? I discussed Daisies with journalist Hynek Pallas, who wrote a description of it for the BBC project.
The Czech film director Václav Marhoul has joined CAA, a top Hollywood talent agency, Deadline reported. His latest movie, The Painted Bird, was in competition at the Venice International Film Festival and is the Czech Republic’s submission for the Best International Feature Film in the Academy Awards. Marhoul’s previous works include the war drama Tobruk.
One of the most striking aspects of director Václav Marhoul’s new film The Painted Bird is the language spoken in it. The characters communicate in Interslavic, or Medžuslovjansky, an artificial language combining elements from several Slavic languages that fits with the WWII story’s unspecified Eastern European setting. Interslavic has in large part been developed by academic Dr. Vojtěch Merunka, who was closely involved in the movie. When we spoke, I first asked him about earlier attempts to create a Slavic lingua franca.
Vaclav Marhoul’s film The Painted Bird has been selected as the Czech
Republic 's official Oscar entry in the international feature film
category. The Czech Film and TV Academy announced its decision on Monday,
saying the film had been selected from a shortlist of ten entries. The
Oscar nominees will be announced on January 13, 2020.
The American magazine The Hollywood Reporter included the The Painted Bird, in its selection of the top twenty films from this year's film festivals. The film, which the magazine described as "a grim and violent reflection on the cruelty of human nature," was selected alongside movies such as the psychological thriller Joker with Joaquin Phoenix, the historical drama The King, starring promising young actor Timothée Chalamet, the comedy drama Marriage Story with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver or The Two Popes with Anthony Hopkins.
The Painted Bird was screened at festivals in Venice and Toronto and premiered in Prague on September 11.
Released in 1964, Starci na chmelu is the first and perhaps most famous Czechoslovak film musical. The film’s songs were written by Vratislav Blažek and were recorded with some of the country’s most popular singers at the time, including Karel Gott, Josef Zíma, Jana Petrů and Karel Štědrý. With a story that transcends time, Starci na chmelu was one of the country’s commercially most successful movies and initiated a period which would produce many more film musicals.