Czech Radio’s youth and alternative station Radio Wave has just begun broadcasting from a glass-fronted studio right on Vinohradská St. that allows it extremely close contact with the public. What’s more, the futuristic-looking studio will be launched with a free street party on the adjacent Balbínova St. this coming Saturday. As preparations for it were being finalised, I asked Wave’s director of programming, Robert Candra, how the public had been reacting to such proximity to the station’s studio.
Today’s edition of Sunday Music Show is dedicated to one of the legends of Czech 20th century music, Jaroslav Ježek, who is best known for the songs he composed for the legendary avant-garde satirical cabaret, the Liberated Theatre. This year marks 110 years since Ježek’s birth and on that occasion we will be listening to three unique albums that pay homage to the great composer and pioneer of Czech jazz music.
Jiří Brdečka is remembered above all for the screenplay of one of the best loved Czech comedies. The 1964 film Limonadový Joe (Lemonade Joe) is a parody of the western; the hero of the title is a teetotal sharpshooter, who turns out to be the Wild West sales rep – with a gift for the one-liner – of a soft drinks company called Kola Loka. The film is full of quirky humour and this is something that we also find in a side of Brdečka’s work that has been neglected since his death over thirty years ago. Perhaps his greatest contribution to cinema are
Friday, April 8, is International Romani Day, celebrating Roma culture and raising awareness about Roma issues. This week, organisers behind the Sobě blíž (Closer Together) project for high school children – brought interested kids to Lety, South Bohemia, to see performances by Roma groups, but also to learn about a dark chapter in Czech history. Lety was the site of a Romany internment camp in WWII where more than 300 people died and many more were sent to the death camp Auschwitz.
The Czech Republic is trying to re-establish itself as a prime destination for international film and television projects. During his recent trip to the United States, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka met with American film representatives to discuss the incentives programme for foreign filmmakers hoping to attract more foreign productions to the country. RF has more:
The Czech film industry is currently enjoying something of a renaissance. Last year, cinema operators sold nearly 13 million tickets, which is the highest number since 2010, when the figure reached over 13.5 million. Sales reached a record 1.67 billion crowns. With over 600 cinemas, the Czech Republic boasts one of the densest networks of cinemas per person in Europe.
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.