Currently running the arts website Proti šedi (Against the Grey), Jana Kománková has been a well-known figure on the Prague music scene for over two decades. The critic and Radio 1 DJ was born in the city and has lived her whole life in the Žižkov district. But our tour of “Jana Kománková’s Prague” starts in the adjacent neighbourhood of Vinohrady, specifically at the airy and stylish La Boheme café on Sázavská St.
When they made their first appearance on Czechoslovak film screens in 1976, they were known simply as Kuťáci (The Handymen). Today, they are known in the Czech Republic as Pat and Mat: two bumbling stop-motion characters who never fail to surprise with hair-brained D-I-Y schemes, which, against the odds, usually work out okay in the end. A new film featuring the duo is now in cinemas.
The annual festival of Arab culture, or Arabfest, got underway this week in the west Bohemian city of Pilsen. Now in its seventh year, the event offers a number of lectures by Czech and foreign experts, exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and more. The title of this year’s Arabfest is Together, and it focuses mainly on the topics of migration and refugees.
Each year, the Brno Philharmonic invites music lovers as well as those who want to reflect on the spiritual dimension of Easter to embark on a musical journey through the Moravian capital. The annual Easter Festival of Sacred Music, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, takes place over the two sacred weeks of Easter and its programme is determined by the liturgy for the festival of Easter. The concerts are situated in various venues around the city of Brno.
The Slav Epic is a cycle of 20 enormous canvases by the great Czech painter Alfons Mucha, depicting the history and mythology of the Slav peoples. Mucha regarded the works as his lifetime achievement but controversy remains over how the canvases are being exhibited and why it has been seemingly impossible to reach a decision on a permanent space where they could be displayed.
Known for his often intense performances in the dramas My Name is Joe and Tyranosaur, actor Peter Mullan has also appeared in movies such as Trainspotting, War Horse and the final parts of the Harry Potter series. Mullan is in addition an accomplished director, with his 2002 film The Magdalene Sisters taking the top prize at Venice and helping win belated recognition for the “fallen” women whose terrible story it recounts. The charismatic, working class Glaswegian, who studied economic history alongside acting at university, is a Socialist and supporter
It is perhaps fitting that the Human by Yann Arthus-Bertrand is the only film to have had its premiere at the UN General Assembly. Based on over 2,000 interviews shot around the globe, the documentary does nothing less than attempt to capture mankind in three hours and 20 minutes. Arthus-Bertrand intersperses testimonies on everything from war to love with stunning images of nature, reflecting his background as a pioneer of aerial photography. When we spoke at Prague’s One World festival of human rights documentaries I asked the French director
The Slav Epic is the monumental work of Czech painter Alfons Mucha in which he traces the history of the Slav peoples. But over the years the fate of the 20 massive canvasses, which Mucha regarded as his lifetime achievement, has also turned into something of a saga between the descendants of the painter and the City of Prague. And the latent tension between them has just taken a new twist.