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.
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.
"The Painted Bird" by Czech director Václav Marhoul received the
Cinema for UNICEF award from a student jury at the international film
festival in Venice on Friday.The award is traditionally given to the film
that best addresses children's rights issues.
Adapted from the 1965 novel of the same name by Polish-American writer Jerzy Kosinski, "The Painted Bird" is set in the Eastern Europe's countryside in the final phase of World War II, seen through the eyes of a little boy who encounters cruelty and violence.
Václav Marhoul said the award was fantastic news because it showed that young people had understood his film and its message.“Some critics wrote that the movie is all about brutality and violence, but the young audience saw exactly what I intended them to see: hope, light and humanity, so they actually counterbalanced some people's opinions,"Marhoul told the ctk news agency .
"The Painted Bird is not a war film, nor even a Holocaust film... the story forces us to ask ourselves many unpleasant questions, and to seek often very painful answers," Marhoul explained at the movie's presentation.
The film is competing for the festival‘s main award, the Golden Lion.
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.
The world premiere of The Painted Bird by Czech director Václav Marhoul
received long ovations at the Venice International Film Festival, where it
is in the main competition, on Tuesday evening. The premiere was attended
by several of its stars, including Julian Sands, Stellan Skarsgard, Udo
Kier and Barry Pepper. Its Czech lead Petr Kotlár appeared on the red
carpet but did not watch the gruelling film in view of his young age.
While some critics reportedly walked out of a press screening, The Painted Bird has received positive reviews from such outlets as The Guardian and Variety.
The Painted Bird, Vaclav Marhoul’s adaptation of the 1965 novel by
Polish-born writer Jerzy Kosiński, a controversial novel set in WWII about
a boy subject to physical, emotional and sexual abuse by ignorant and
superstitious peasants, will have its journalists’ premiere at the
International Film Festival in Venice on Monday night.
The film is competing for a Golden Lion Award, the first Czech movie to do so in a quarter of a century.
Its first public screening is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3.
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