07-12-2003

In this week's Mailbox: the new Franz Kafka statue in Prague's Old Town and "Mazany Filip" - a new Czech production featuring private eye Philip Marlowe. We answer questions from Thomas Barlow and Brad Warwick.

Before starting with the first question, let us thank all of you who have begun sending us Christmas wishes. We truly appreciate all the cards, letters and e-mail greetings we've been getting. If we should fail to respond to some of you, please forgive us! And to answer some of you - yes, Christmas preparations have already began in Prague. Special markets have been opened around the city and we're beginning to have a nice Christmas atmosphere. It must be said that shops had already started selling Christmas chocolates and candy in September!

Franz Kafka statueFranz Kafka statue But moving on to our first question. Thomas Barlow from the UK has sent us an e-mail in which he writes:

"I have just come back from a visit to Prague and must say it was one of the best trips I've ever had. I visited the city just after the floods a year ago and did not have the opportunity to see much of the historic centre. The Old Town, the Jewish Quarter, and the Lesser Town, are absolutely beautiful! I was told that there would be a statue of Franz Kafka in the Jewish Quarter but searched for over an hour before finally giving up."

Franz Kafka statueFranz Kafka statue You must have left Prague just a few days before the statue was actually put there at the beginning of the week. The over three-metre high bronze statue of Czech writer Franz Kafka was unveiled last Thursday and can be admired in a park between the Spanish Synagogue and the Church of the Holy Spirit. The park was specifically chosen and done up for two million crowns to symbolise the border of Jewish and Christian Prague.

Brad Warwick from Atlanta, Georgia in the USA wrote to us saying:

"Please tell us more about the new Czech film, Mazany Filip? I was told that it is about Philip Marlowe."

Mazany FilipMazany Filip Yes, it is. The film Mazany Filip, translated into English as Cunning Philip, does feature the private investigator Philip Marlowe, a fictitious character created by US detective novelist Raymond Chandler. Before it was filmed, Mazany Filip, was actually a theatre play at Prague's Sklep Theatre that has been attracting quite an audience since the mid-80s. The feature film, which premiered at the Lucerna cinema on Wednesday, was directed by Vaclav Marhoul, the former director of Prague's legendary Barrandov film studios. It stars leading Czech actors such as Tomas Hanak, who plays Philip Marlowe, Jaroslav Dusek - whom we know from other Czech films such as, Cosy Dens, Dividend We Fall, Pupendo, Vilma Cibulková and many more.

And that brings us to the end of Mailbox. And I'm happy to say that most of the entries we've received to this month's competition are correct. But the bad news is that we have so many that the probability of picking your name out of our hat is low. If you haven't answered our question yet, you have until the end of December to do so. The question is "what building near the Old Town Square in Prague is connected with cubism." We recently featured this building in our broadcast. Send your answers to the Radio Prague English Section, 120 99 Prague 2, the Czech Republic or to english@radio.cz.

07-12-2003