One of Prague’s defining buildings of the late communist era is set for demolition, its new owners, the PPF group, have confirmed. Hotel Praha, a large, curved concrete structure, will make way for a park for pupils of an elite school run by PPF. However, many architecture enthusiasts say the building is of great value and are up in arms over the decision.
This week we take a look at an established Czech band November 2nd, whose red-headed front-woman and song writer Saša Langošová combines rock, country and pop in her melodic and often fiery songs. Although it has not really found a place in the Czech mainstream music world, November 2nd has been steadily making music for over 10 years, exploring different genres and working with international big names like Suzanne Vega, Tchad Blake, Doug Yowell or Steve Walsh.
The sultry voice of young Sara Vondrášková there in the song Lay Down, which has launched her from the cafes and clubs of Prague to the silver screen, as the title song for the new Czech film noir Ve Stínu. The jazz student’s bewitching contralto and modern compositional sensibility is giving her some well earned prominence in the next generation of singer/songwriter/composers. Our guest in this edition of One on One, Sara Vondrášková tells us first of all how she’s begun to move away from her home ground in jazz.
The White Carpathian Mountains, straddling the border of Moravia and Slovakia, are one of the most beautiful and rural parts of the Czech Republic. Towns are few and far between and for centuries local people would take their aches and pains to old women renowned in the region for their special healing powers. They were known as “goddesses” and passed their knowledge from generation to generation. But Czechoslovakia’s post-war communist rulers saw the world these women represented as a threat and within two generations they were wiped out. Their
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicks off on Friday night in the West Bohemian spa town. This year’s festival, the 48th, will give audiences the chance to catch hundreds of movies they would never otherwise get to see on the big screen, while fans can also look forward to seeing some big stars on the red carpet. Ahead of the gala opening, Ian Willoughby, who is there, told us what is happening at the moment.
Vojtech Jasný’s lyrical masterpiece All My Good Countrymen is the third classic Czech film to have been digitally restored in recent years, and, like its predecessors, the new version will be seen for the first time at the Karlovy Vary film festival. Ahead of Saturday’s gala screening, I discussed the movie and its restoration with the person who oversaw the project, Anna Batistová, head of the Audiovisual Collection at the National Film Archive.