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.
This summer, director and screenwriter Ivan Fíla’s historical novel about Dr. František Kriegel – the only Prague Spring leader not to sign the Moscow Protocol validating the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia – became a bestseller. That success led Fíla to return to a “fairy tale thriller” film script he’d set aside long ago and turn it into a novel.
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.
Director and script writer Vojtěch Jasný, one of the leading individuals involved in Czechoslovak New Wave cinema has died at the age of 93. Mr. Jasný was resposible for films such as All My Compatriots and When the Cat Comes for which he won the Cannes Special Jury Prize. Following the Warsaw Pact invasion in 1968, Jasný emigrated to the United States where he continued to work as a film maker.
The annual Mezipatra Queer Film Festival gets underway on Thursday evening
in Prague, with the main theme called Wind of Change.
The event, which is now in its 20th edition, will present around a hundred Czech and foreign films focusing on the LGBTQ issues, before moving on to the Moravian metropolis of Brno.
The opening film will be Adam, a coming-of-age comedy by U.S. director Rhys Erns.
One of the highlights of this year’s Jihlava festival of documentary films was the Czech premiere of Kings of Šumava, which combines real interviews with animation to tell the gripping story of Josef Hasil. A native of the mountain range, Hasil was a border guard turned cross-border agent whose derring-do in smuggling defectors across the Iron Curtain led Czechoslovakia’s secret police to list him as the “king of Šumava” in their files.
The 23rd edition of the annual Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival gets underway on Thursday evening. Over the course of the next five days, the festival will showcase a total of 277 films, including a section dedicated to the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. I spoke to Marek Hovorka, the festival’s director, and asked to tell me more about the opening film, a tribute to the great Czech cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera:
The 6th edition of the Central European film festival 3Kino will feature
some 60 films under the theme ‘Islands of Freedom’.
Films will screen from 10 to 15 October in the Prague cinemas Lucerna, Světozor, Atlas and Evald, and include new features by Czech director Václav Marhoul (‘The Painted Bird’) and Polish director Agnieszka Holland (‘Mr. Jones’).
The 3Kino festival jury will first award prize to the best feature film, selected from 11 competition films. The award ceremony will take place on 14 October at the Lucerna cinema.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague
Film about tragic fate of great Czech actress highlights communist atrocities in the 1950s