Film director Jan Schmidt has died at the age of 85, Czech Television reported citing family sources. Jan Schmidt directed sixteen films between 1960 and 1995, including Late August at the Hotel Ozone (1967),The Lanfier Colony (1969)and The Death of a Talented Cobbler (1983).The also cooperated on Miloš Forman’s Oscar-winning Amadeus.
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.
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.
Daughter, a Czech short animated film by Daria Kashcheeva, has won the U.S.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ student Oscar for best
animated film from international schools.
Kascheeva, a student of Prague’s Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts is the third Czech film director to win the prestigious award after Jan Svěrák and Marie Dvořáková, who won with their films Oil Gobblers (1989) and Who’s Who in Mycology (2017).
The award-giving gala ceremony in Los Angeles will take place on October 17.
One of the world’s most acclaimed surrealist filmmakers Jan Švankmajer turned 85 on Wednesday. His signature surreal style, which relies on stop-motion animations and exaggerated sounds, has not only created many world renowned films in the genre, but also influenced other major artists such as Terry Gilliam and Jose Garcia Moreno.
Serial Killer – billed as the first international festival of TV and web series in Central and Eastern Europe – is the brainchild of Kamila Zlatušková, a former vice-dean of Prague’s famous FAMU film school and seasoned TV professional. Inspired by the likes of France’s Series Mania and the Edinburgh television festival, Serial Killer seeks out provocative original stories with novel approaches to telling them.
For the first time in 25 years, a majority Czech feature is in the main completion at Venice, one the world’s most prestigious film festivals. Director Václav Marhoul is vying for a Golden Lion award with his adaptation of The Painted Bird, a controversial novel set during WWII about a boy subject to all manner of abuse by eastern European villagers.
EDISON Filmhub is a new boutique cinema in the heart of Prague. It exhibits top festival films, premiers, hosts debates, discussions and talks along with a modern café. The former Edison electric company venue, a functionalist building protected by UNESCO, opened its doors to the public on June 1st. I spoke to the director of Film Europe Media Company, Ivan Hronec, about what makes EDISON Filmhub so unique and how it aims to draw visitors to the cinema in the age of Netflix and other streaming services.
One of the Czech Republic’s most-highly respected film festivals – the
Summer Film School in Uherské Hradiště – wraps up on Saturday with the
screening of a documentary film by Olga Sommerová about the Czech singer
songwriter Jiří Suchý, founder of the legendary Semafor theatre.
The 45th edition of the festival featured over 200 films, as well as concerts, debates, shows and debates. Among the notable guests this year were Czech director Hynek Bočan, Polish filmmakers Lech Majewski and Wojciech Smarzowski, and the Slovak actor Milan Lasica.