On Thursday, Sázavafest kicked off in the Central Bohemian town of Kácov. Its site is located near the Sázava river, which provides both the name and the scenic backdrop for one of the country’s most popular music festivals. It drew some 20.000 visitors in 2009 and organizers are expecting a similar turn-out this year.
The 15th International Organ Festival got underway at Prague’s St James’ Basilica on Thursday night with a recital by the American organist John Scott. In a series of eight concerts over a month and a half, the city’s music lovers will have the chance to hear some of the world’s best players perform on greatest organ in the Czech capital.
This Wednesday saw the premiere of the highly-anticipated Czech crime thriller Kajínek, partly based on events surrounding one of the Czech Republic’s most notorious convicts. Found guilty of two contract killings in the ‘90s, Jiří Kajínek would probably have remained forgotten behind bars had it not been for a daring escape from the country’s toughest prison he has also always maintained he was innocent.
The former president Václav Havel has had many professions in his life – poet, playwright, dissident, revolutionary, president, and published author. Now, at the tender age of 73, he’s adding a new string to his bow – film director. He’s currently directing a feature film version of his most recent play, Leaving, which is about – what else? - a politician trying to adjust to a new life after leaving politics.
Daphne Carr is an American music expert and writer. The focus of her research is not classical but popular music, a field that only recently has warranted attention from academics. Carr’s passion for writing started within what is commonly referred to as the zine culture, zines being small and often underground publications that became popular in America in the 1980s and 1990s. She has stayed true to the underground and found a new favorite in the Czech Republic: the Plastic People of the Universe, who she learned about when she first came to Prague
The future is not what is used to be. This popular statement was the inspiration for a fresh exhibition that opened at Prague’s DOX Center for Contemporary Art this week. It is titled The Future of the Future and explores not just our visions of the future, but also how our understanding of the actual concept has changed. On display are works by artists from Austria, England, Germany and the US. Sarah Borufka went and took a look at what the future holds.
The Czech Republic’s pavilion at the Expo2010 fair in Shanghai is proving an enormous success. Attendance figures have surpassed expectations and on Tuesday the pavilion welcomed its 4 millionth visitor. Radio Prague asked the Czech pavilion’s spokeman Jiři F. Potužník for the latest news from Shanghai.
A new film hits the cinema screens next week about the Czech Republic’s most notorious prisoner - Jiří Kajínek. In 1998, Kajínek was sentenced to life in prison for the gangland killings of a Plzeň businessman and one of his bodyguards, a crime he’s always denied committing. His daring escapes from several of the country’s high security prisons – and persistent doubts about the conviction – have made him something of a popular hero among Czechs.
For many Czechs, the eastern Bohemian town of Dobruška evokes the Czech National Revival, a time when the Czech language was on the verge of extinction. A local merchant, immortalized in the novel F.L.Vek by the Czech writer Alois Jirásek, worked tirelessly in and around Dobruška to promote the Czech language and literature. Today, a different kind of Czech revival is taking place in the town. For the last 20 years, Prague’s Charles University has been organizing summer language courses for expats at this particular venue.
Looking at the sales for Czech cinemas for the last half year, it seems there’s no business like show business for riding out an economic crisis. This week, the Union of Film Distributors released the results of domestic cinemas for the first six months of 2010, and they showed record earnings – a whopping 747 million crowns – as well as nearly a million more movie-goers. Christian Falvey has this report.