Just a few days ago a Czech/Slovak/German children’s film called Modrý tygr (The Blue Tiger, released earlier this year) won the award for Best Picture at the Kinodiseea international children’s film festival in Bucharest. The film, based on a book by Tereza Horváthová, is set in a magical part of the city, focussing on a little girl and boy whose botanical garden is in danger of being demolished and can only saved by a magical tiger that the children befriend.
The BBC comedy series The Office has been sold to more than 80 countries around the world, and local versions have been made in the United States, France, Germany, Chile, Israel and Sweden. But there’s never been a stage version – until now that is. Last weekend Prague’s Municipal Theatre saw the première of Kancl, the world’s first ever stage adaptation of the cult series. Rob Cameron spoke to Office star and co-creator Ricky Gervais, and asked him for his reaction.
Czech President Václav Klaus this week vetoed a bill which would enhance state support for Czech filmmakers and increase tax incentives for foreign film productions. The president argued there was no reason why the film industry, a business like any other, should receive public funding. The bill may yet come into force, if the veto is overturned by MPs. For now, however, the industry cannot expect any public support in future. RP spoke to Matthew Stillman who is the head of Stillking Films, the country’s largest production company for foreign movies.
In this week’s Sunday Music Show we listen to music by the soulful a capella group Yellow Sisters and speak with one of its four members Bára Vaculíková (and her young daughter). Antonia, Bára, Hawa and Leňa have been singing together since 2005, using their versatile voices to create full, rhythmical and often playful music.
We have featured plenty of contemporary Czech novelists in this programme over the last decade, but we should spare a thought for their translators, patiently working at home alone, struggling at a craft every bit as challenging as alchemy. In Czech Books this week, David Vaughan talks to a translator who has done more than any other to bring the middle and younger generation of Czech novelists to English-speaking readers.
Part of Prague’s City Gallery, one of the city’s best-known venues, has been turned inside out, recently launching an exhibition of work not usually restricted by gallery walls. Entitled Stuck on the City, the show brings together work of top international street art and graffiti artists, names like Swoon, Zedz, the Czech Republic’s Pasta Oner and others.
This year’s Mezipatra Queer Film Festival gets underway on Thursday night with a ceremony at Prague’s Lucerna cinema. The event, now in its 13th year, is bringing more than 100 films with gay, lesbian and transgender themes to the Czech capital, before moving on, in smaller form, to a number of other cities in the regions. Just ahead of its opening, I asked the head of Mezipatra, Aleš Rumpel, what the main theme was this time out.
Prague’s Rudolfinum concert hall is one of Europe’s most prestigious classical music venues – it kicks off the Prague Spring International Music Festival each year, among other things. Certainly its hallowed halls aren’t open to just anyone. So an appearance at the weekend by an orchestra made up of Roma or gypsy musicians was a rare event.