Snowboardaci' or 'Snowboarders' as it is known in English was the biggest-grossing Czech film of last year. It was an unexpected smash hit, making several of its young actors into idols among the nation's teenagers. For generations, skiing has been taught by Czech schools. But now in the wake of the film's success, many pupils are demanding snowboarding lessons instead. Rosie Johnston has the story.
Any film student or film lover knows something about Czech film of the 1960s. The unforgettable directors of the Czech New Wave, Chytilova, Forman, Nemec, Menzel and many others emerged at that time, creating their very best works. Kate Barrette has more on a comprehensive new book which documents this period of Czech film.
Following the revolution, Czech society went through a whirlwind of change. Jiri Svoboda's new film Sametove Vrazi, Velvet Murderers, examines the shadow of the post-revolutionary euphoria. The film is based on the true story of five men whose drive to take advantage of the new market opportunities spun out of control and led them to commit a series of unprecedented gruesome murders for relatively insignificant amounts of money.
The 12th annual Days of European Cinema film festival has just got underway in Prague. It opened on Thursday night with a screening of the Hungarian film Kontroll, attended by the producer and two of the film's stars. After it ends in the capital on February 6, the festival moves on to the Czech Republic's second city Brno.
Czechoslovakia as well as other Central European countries had a large Jewish community before the Second World War. Many of its Jewish citizens perished in concentration camps and survivors had to face up to the horrors of what they had been through. Many also felt a need to tell others about what had happened in the death camps. This helped to originate a lot of good films in post-war Czechoslovakia.
The Czech Republic is a country with a huge film-making tradition, and the New Wave of the 60s has gone down in film legend. With the end of communism, many predicted that the film industry would collapse, especially with the sharp fall in state subsidy. But, as Kate Barrette reports, the Czech film industry is very much alive and kicking, despite only very limited state support.
On Wednesday night Milos Forman's film, "Taking Off" premiered in the Czech Republic, no less than 35 years after it was made. Milos Forman was one of the pioneers of the Czech new wave in cinema in the 1960s. Following the Soviet invasion in 1968, he emigrated to America where he launched a successful career with films One Flew over a Cuckoo's Nest, Hair, the People vs Larry Flint and more recently Man on the Moon.
A new documentary called Zeny pro meny (The Beauty Exchange in English) looks at how the media makes contemporary Czech women feel conscious of their appearance, and the ways they try to conform to stereotypes of feminine beauty. Zeny pro meny's director Erika Hnikova, who is 28, explains why she chose this topic.
Czech Norwegian film director, Margareta Hruza, recently released her documentary film, "Nocni Rozhovory" or "Night Talks." The film is an intimate journey into her family life. She examines her complex relationship with her mother and her father's alcoholism with brutal honesty. She also tackles the question of "home" as a bi-cultural person. Even though her journey is confusing and painful she punctuates it with a wry sense of humor and manages to achieve some kind of reconciliation. I was at one of the first screenings of her film and was extremely
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
Shabby pub profits from nostalgia
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary