The 17th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival has just taken place in the capital of the central Vysočina region. Far and away the most important event of its kind in the country, it draws scores of directors from home and abroad and plays a key role in the thriving Czech documentary scene.
David Mrazek, is an award winning American writer and film producer. David, whose grandfather was a Czech American émigré, made an award winning documentary film in 1990 called ‘My Prague Spring’, which documented the lives of some of his Czech relatives in the heady months after the Velvet Revolution. In an interview for Radio Prague he talked about how the documentary was made and what inspired him to document this heady period of Czech modern history.
The award-winning composer and conductor, Carl Davis has made his name around the world as a composer of musical scores for films and television series. Mr. Davis is also a regular visitor to Prague, appearing often at the popular Prague Proms festival and recording many of his albums with Czech orchestras. Last Monday, he conducted the season opener for the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, which features his own piece ‘Last Train to Tomorrow’.
The 17th Made in Prague Film Festival is due to kick off in London this Saturday. In the course of the next five weeks film buffs and music lovers will be able to take their pick from a dozen Czech and Slovak contemporary films and classics as well as six concerts. I spoke to the festival’s organizer, the head of the Czech centre in London, Tereza Porybná about the festival’s agenda and why this year is a celebration of Czech-Slovak dialogue.
Freddy Ruppert is an alternative electronic songwriter from Los Angeles living in Prague. At times, ambient, at times melodic and at times wildly inaccessible to the unsuspecting ear; Ruppert’s music always makes for interesting listening. Previously releasing material with the electronic band Former Ghosts, Ruppert went solo when he moved to Prague two years ago, where he has succeeded in making a name for himself with his solo material.
In this week’s Arts my guest is New York-based landscape architect Martin Barry who last year launched a new festival and conference in Prague called reSITE, focussing on urbanism and rethinking the public space. To this aim, he and organisers involved everyone from internationally recognised designers and urban planners, to students of arts and architecture, and last, but not least, politicians.
Restoration work at the famous Palác Lucerna in Prague has taken an unusual turn – combining modern street art with the ancient technique of window decoration. The feature that has attracted attention is a stained glass window that was designed by one of the best known local graffiti artists, Pasta Oner.
The centre of Prague will be transformed for several nights this week, when it hosts the first ever Signal Light Festival. From Thursday to Sunday, leading European practitioners of video mapping will be turning some of the city’s buildings into giant screens, while a number of well-known Czech artists have also created special installations. The man behind the whole thing is Martin Pošta, former director of the Fresh Film Fest. When we spoke, I first asked Pošta how he had got into the field of light art.