The Next Wave festival of independent theater and art is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Starting on Thursday, new and established performance groups and independent artists will show their works in Prague, Brno and Pardubice during the 12-day festival. The festival’s director, Jakub Matějka, spoke about some of the highlights for this year.
When one half of the Čapek brothers villa was put up for sale by the relatives of Karel Čapek’s wife on May, some were worried that the famous writer’s residence, where many important works were written, would be sold to a private owner and closed off to the public for good. The Prague 10 district council put the concerns to rest on Monday when it voted to purchase the villa for 44 million crowns. The owner, Karel Scheinpflug, was willing to lower the original asking price of 55 million, in order to make the residence a public space. Radio Prague
The poet, playwright and novelist Irena Eliášová spent her early childhood in a Romany village in south-western Slovakia. The memory of this time has become the defining experience in her writing. But Irena does not write just about the lost world of her childhood in the 1950s and 60s. She has also written powerfully and poignantly about the life of Roma in the Czech Republic today. Yet even when she writes about the present, her work is permeated with a sense of family and community that also draws us back to an older world of Roma tradition. David
Switch on your TV here in the Czech Republic and you’ll see numerous familiar shows – Dr House, Bones, Downton Abbey – but they’re invariably dubbed into Czech; rarely are they shown in the original with subtitles. A group of secondary school students wants to change that, and have launched a new campaign to petition public and private broadcasters to stop dubbing their output.
Actor Ivan Shvedoff moved to Prague at the end of the 1990s from his native St. Petersburg. Since arriving here he has extended his filmography greatly, with roles in a number of Hollywood movies and Czech productions such as Mamas and Papas. Shvedoff is also big in Germany and Austria, where he does a lot of TV work. When he stopped by at our studios, my first question for the Russian actor was what led him to move here in the first place.
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.