One of the Czech Republic’s biggest music awards – the annual Český Slavík or Czech Nightingale competition, voted on by members of the public – looks like it has become embroiled in a controversy over immigration. According to the preliminary poll results, the highly controversial band Ortel is currently the front-runner in the race to be the most popular band.
There has been an English-language literary scene in Prague ever since the fall of communism and in Czech Books this week we meet one of its central figures. Thor Garcia’s writings include some vivid and provocative evocations of a seedy, beery and beautiful Prague, to be found in his collection of stories, Only Fools Die of Heartbreak. The book is the focus of his discussion with Pavla Jonssonová.
The 25th Prague Writers’ Festival, which brings together prominent writers and thinkers from around the world, will address a particularly hot topic this year - fear : fear to know oneself, fear of occupation, fear of change. On the eve of the festival (November 6-9) Miroslav Krupička spoke to its president Michael March about the main theme and this year’s participants.
The plight of refugees was among the key themes at this year’s Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, with films such as Sean McAllister’s heartrending A Syrian Love Story helping bring the real lives of the hundreds of thousands of stateless persons in Europe home to audiences at the biggest event in Czech documentaries.
An exhibition in Opava, called In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes has focussed on how, in the 20th century Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective was depicted and in some cases misrepresented or even parodied in the Czech lands. The show, covering book illustration but also theatre and film, was put together by art historian Tomáš Kolich.
The Czech Republic’s biggest pop-star, Karel Gott, was taken to hospital on Monday after reportedly suffering two heart attacks. The 76-year-old singer was rushed to Prague’s Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and underwent surgery on Tuesday. His wife confirmed the news about the heart surgery on Gott’s Facebook page, without adding any further details.
Today’s Sunday Music Show is dedicated to Jan Svěrák’s low-budget road movie Jízda and the accompanying soundtrack by the band Buty. Jízda, or the Ride, is one of the most distinctive movies of the 1990s, and is a perfect embodiment of the carefree atmosphere of the early post-revolution days. With its easy-listening music and playful lyrics Buty provided a perfect backdrop to the film, which has lost none of its charm to this day.