Thursday saw the opening of a small international film festival called Water, Sea & the Oceans in Hluboká nad Vltavou in South Bohemia. In its tenth inception, it is dedicated to undersea adventure and underwater life. Steve Lichtag, a diver and award-winning filmmaker who has made documentaries about everything from Great Whites to endangered crawdads, is the festival’s founder and president; I spoke to him about the event’s history and aims.
Boris Carloff first came to broader attention earlier this year when his debut LP under that name, The Escapist, took the prestigious Apollo award – voted on by a panel of music critics – for best album of 2012. Previously active under the name Knot Photogenic, Carloff, whose sometimes bombastic music draws on a European synthpop tradition, is also renowned as a producer of big name Czech artists such as Kryštof and Sunshine.
There was much sadness last Friday at the news of the death of the great Irish poet, Seamus Heaney. He will be missed in the Czech Republic: his poetry was widely read here and the poet had a fondness for Central Europe that went back several decades. David Vaughan takes a look at Seamus Heaney and the Czechs.
It’s not every film student that gets his premiere at the International film festival in Berlin, to be sure, but such was the fortune of Olmo Omerzu, a FAMU graduate from Ljubljana, Slovenia, and our guest in this week’s Arts. His graduate film called A Night Too Young (Příliš mladá noc) had its world premiere in the Forum section of the Berlinale, which generally selects highly original, highly provocative works. A Night Too Young is both of those things: a story of a party of three consternated adults, shared by two twelve-year-old boys, who have
This week the heads of Czech cultural centers from around the world met in Prague to exchange ideas and discuss joint projects. The head of the Czech centre in London Tereza Porybná visited Radio Prague’s studio to talk about the centre’s past achievements and future projects. I began by asking her about this year’s cultural highlights.
Originally from Bratislava, architect Barbara Bencová found a home in Prague quite a few years ago. But in the 30 years of her life, she has also had a chance to study in work in the major European centers of design and architecture. Having tried out remodeling flats, luxury interior design, student housing, Barbara has gained international success this year with a design of a kindergarten in Milan.
The month of August was nothing if not turbulent for the Czech National Theatre, which saw its new director recalled from his position on day one by the government, before uproar led to his hasty reinstatement. His return – and the guarantee the theatre will retain its independence – means most actors who quit in protest came back for the new season.
The rock and blues singer and song writer Michal Prokop has been part of the Czech music scene for over 50 years. With their clever lyrics, his songs have always appealed to sophisticated audiences but he has also scored a series of major hits. While strictly apolitical during the communist era, Michal Prokop went into politics in the 1990s but quit, and recorded his latest album which came out in 2012.
Anyone interested in the history of athletics will have heard of Emil Zátopek, the greatest Czech long-distance runner of all time. His life story is the subject of a short novel by the Prix Goncourt winning French writer, Jean Echenoz, called simply “Running” – “Courir” in the original French. The book is an account of the life of an athlete whose quiet, determined attitude towards his sport contrasted with the complex political dramas going on around him in mid-20th century Europe. David Vaughan looks at the book and at the life of Emil
This week the 45th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia was commemorated in this country. What some may not realize is that many of the iconic images from the tumultuous August of 1968 appearing in the media belong to one person – Josef Koudelka. A world renowned photographer whose career spans almost six decades and across all of Europe, Mr. Koudelka decided six years ago that he wants his life’s work to have a home in the Czech Republic.