Czechoslovakia’s communist authorities kept a tight control of all aspects of life, including the arts, and of course, rock music. Only officially sanctioned artists were allowed to perform publicly or record albums. But some people had the courage to defy the system and organize illegal concerts. In 1985, a group of rock fans in Brno staged an illegal concert by the legendary singer Nico whose recording, only now, is about to be released on vinyl.
Organisers have unveiled plans for the Czech Olympic House in the area of Islington in London which will serve as a hub for thousands of visitors including, of course, sports fans during the upcoming summer Olympics. But the aim of the venue will not only be to meet Czech and other competitors (for example Usain Bolt) but also to present the Czech Republic in a modern light. The overall design was inspired by a famous abstract work by painter František Kupka, and the space itself will show works by contemporary Czech artists including David Černý,
Independent documentary director and producer Petr Lom was born in Czechoslovakia but spent most of his life abroad – in Canada and the U.S. His latest film, “Back to the Square” was selected as the opening film at this year’s edition of the One World International Film Festival, where he is also on the jury. Before becoming a film maker, Petr Lom was actually an academic – until one day he quit his job and never looked back. I asked him about his films, which focus on countries such as Iran and Egypt, his connection to One World and his big career
If you’re looking for an overview of the current Czech literary scene in English – everything from surrealist poets to second-hand bookshops – the new “Czech Literature Guide” should be just the book for you. As it states in its introduction, the book’s aim is to present a “panorama of the contemporary life of Czech literature”. David Vaughan reports.
Bohdan Sláma, born in 1967, has long been described as one of the most important up & coming directors in the Czech Republic. The filmmaker received early recognition and acclaim for work like Wild Bees, Something Like Happiness and Country Teacher and has become known for a naturalistic social dramas with elements of comedy – a trademark he upholds in his latest movie Čtyri slunce (Four Suns), which had its US premiere earlier this year at Sundance and its European premiere at Rotterdam. On Thursday, after much anticipation, Four Suns opened in
The One World International Human Rights Film Festival has just started in Prague. This year’s edition brings over a hundred films from 72 countries to the Czech capital, where documentary lovers can visit special festival screenings until March 15. With such an abundance of interesting documentaries, it’s something difficult to determine what to see first – we asked program director Kateřina Bartošová about her highlights and about the theme of this year’s main category.
Prague’s wealth of traditional coffeehouses is a legacy from the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. But even in today’s hectic time, grabbing a quick cup on the run is fortunately not the only option for coffee lovers in the Czech capital. Probably the best-known café in the golden city is Kavárna Slavia, or Café Slavia. We recently visited this traditional coffeehouse.