A Bucket of Blood, The Bride of the Monster and Blood Feast: what do these rather unusual titles have in common? Apparently they’re some of the worst movies ever made, and this week you have the rare chance of seeing them on the big screen. The Shockproof Film Festival got underway at Prague’s Aero cinema on Tuesday; I spoke to the festival’s organiser Petr Šaroch.
As a writer Jiří Stránský has never had to look far beyond his own extraordinary life story for inspiration. He was born in 1931 into an influential Prague political family – in fact his maternal grandfather even served for three years as prime minister in the 1930s. During the German occupation Jiří’s father Karel survived Auschwitz, and as a teenager Jiří took part in the Prague Uprising in the last days of the war. But ironically, the family suffered just as much under the communists after the war as they had under the Germans. They had never
In 2007 almost all of the Czech Republic’s national newspapers began offering their readers cheap DVDs. Such movies are not free supplements as you might get in the UK for instance, but are sold separately at an extremely low cost. These DVDs have become a real phenomenon, with almost 60 million entering distribution last year. What does this mean for the industry? And can the boom last?
As one art critic once said, the paintings of Josef Lada accompany Czechs from cradle to grave. He is as well known for his illustrations of fairy tales and children’s readers as he is for his landscapes, which each Christmas are printed thousands of times over on the front of the nation’s Christmas cards. Lada was also the artist who gave the grinning, rotund Good Soldier Švejk his form.
Citizen Havel – a fly-on-the-wall documentary following former head of state Václav Havel through two presidential terms - has been a big success amongst Czech cinemagoers since its release two weeks ago. But how will foreign audiences react to the film? Last night, Citizen Havel was premiered to an international audience at the Berlin Film Festival. Czech journalist Tereza Brdečková was there, she described the atmosphere at the event:
Lenka Vochocová is twenty-eight, but looks more like eighteen. She may not look like it, but she has already managed to establish and successfully run an NGO called Inventura which helps people with learning disabilities. She has also organized a film festival screening animated films made by some of the people her NGO has helped. I met Lenka Vochocová at her office in Prague’s Smíchov district, to ask her more about her activities:
Lamis Khalilová is half Czech and half Palestinian. She is the head of the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at the Metropolitan University in Prague and is a member of the board of directors of Amnesty International for the Czech Republic. The battle for human rights is something that she cares about passionately and she has taken a particular interest in the complex problems faced by women in many parts of the Middle East. Lamis Khalilová also writes poetry and took part in the Poetry Festival that was held in the Czech Republic last November.
Last week Prague’s Barrandov studios celebrated 75 years of movie-making. On January 25, 1933, filming started on the thriller ‘Vrazda v Ostrovni ulici’ (Murder on Ostrovni street), a film which dazzled Czech critics and cinemagoers at the time with its state of the art sound effects. Over the years, the studios have played home to the famous Czech new-wave films of the 1960s, and in more recent years Hollywood blockbusters like James Bond and The Chronicles of Narnia. Earlier this week I paid Barrandov a visit to wish it a happy birthday and talk
After months of anticipation, and several unauthorized versions finding their way onto the internet, the Czech translation of the seventh and final Harry Potter book has been released. On Wednesday night, hundreds queued for a copy of Harry Potter a Relikvie Smrti – the Czech version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The official launch was held at Kanzelsberger bookshop, and organized by Klára Honzíková, to whom I spoke earlier today. She said she was happy with attendance at the launch:
Citizen Havel, a new fly-on-the-wall documentary about the former Czech president, premiered on Wednesday night in Prague. The film draws on 45 hours of unique behind-the-scenes footage of Václav Havel shot over a period of 13 years. The result is a film that lifts the curtain on the Havel presidency, in a way that no other politician has been captured on screen before.