April 30 is Čarodějnice, or Witches’ Night. In the past, this date was believed to bring the arrival of spring. People would gather to burn bonfires in order to dispel evil spirits. Nowadays, the celebration is still popular among Czechs, and the organizers of Prague’s biggest witches’ night celebration at Ladronka park are getting ready for a night full of magic and fire.
The extermination of the village of Lidice by the Nazis is one of the most harrowing tales of WWII, and Czech filmmakers are have long wanted to bring it to the screen. The acclaimed director Alice Nellis is set to helm the project, with some of the country’s top actors already on board. But still what would be an important historical film has been in a proverbial development hell for some years now. Amid a dearth of sponsors, the film’s producers are now looking to the public to help complete the budget. Earlier today, Radio Prague spoke with
Divadlo Hurvínka a Spejbla – the theater of Hurvínek and Spejbl – has been a favorite destination for children in Prague for the past 65 years. It is home to the country’s most popular puppets, father Spejbl and his son Hurvínek. The Dejvice theater just returned to its original location that was closed down for two years due to renovation. Sarah Borufka visited the new space and even met the voice behind the puppets.
It is hard to believe that it has been ten years since the Forman brothers’ Loď Tajemství (Mystery Boat), an avant garde theatre with performances held on an 84-metre long barge, first set out on the Vltava River. But over that period, the theatre, which runs from May through October, has become a Prague favorite. The 10th season has promised shows not only by the Forman brothers but close partners Theatre Aqualung and Dno (The Bottom), as well as international performers.
One of Prague’s best known German-language authors was Egon Erwin Kisch, who was born in the Czech capital 125 years ago this Thursday. His excellent style and original choice of stories, together with his dramatic life, earned him a reputation of the ‘Raging Reporter’ that is still very much alive today.
The renowned Australian-born conductor, Sir Charles Mackerras received the Artis Bohemiae Amici Award from the Czech Culture Ministry on Tuesday, for promoting Czech music abroad. A champion of Czech classical music, Sir Charles has conducted the works of Leoš Janáček, Antonín Dvořák and other Czech composers throughout his career spanning over five decades.
The late architect Jan Kaplický has been in the news a lot recently. A new documentary was released last week about the collapse of his dream to finally see one of his designs realised in Prague: the futuristic yellow structure, nicknamed the Blob, was to have served as a new National Library building, but met opposition from politicians. Now an exhibition at the city’s Dox gallery – featuring plans, models and more – gives Czechs a chance to see some of the ultramodern designs Kaplický created at his world renowned Future Systems studio in the
Preparations are in full swing for the 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Though much is still being decided, the organisers revealed a lot on Tuesday: there are not one but two Czech films in competition, veteran director Juraj Herz will get a lifetime achievement award, and there will be special sections dedicated to the great British filmmakers Powell and Pressburger, contemporary Belgian film and Australian schlock-horror movies. I caught up with senior programmer Karel Och and asked him what he felt would be the highlights at this
A racist passage from a popular Czech children’s book recently sparked a heated debate in the Czech media after a Romany activist asked for it to be withdrawn from the school curriculum. Thousands of Czechs publicly opposed the request, which was also dismissed as unjustified by some Romany organizations. But others believe the issue of racist undertones in some Czech literary works should be taken seriously.
Kryštof Hádek first made waves nearly a decade ago when he played a fresh-faced young pilot in the World War II drama Dark Blue World. Since then the Prague-born actor has appeared in films of varying quality, though he has recently been enjoying a purple patch; Hádek won a Czech Lion award for his part in the acclaimed 3 Seasons in Hell, and was acknowledged as one of European cinema’s new talents when he was invited to this year’s Berlin Film Festival as one of its “Shooting Stars”.