More than 200 masterpieces of Czech avant-garde and modern art fetched record prices at a Sotheby’s auction in London on Monday. František Kupka’s early abstract Movement, created between 1913 and 1919, sold for 1.3 million pounds, the highest sum ever paid for a Czech artwork. Monday’s auction brought 11.1 million pounds, more than double then Sotheby’s estimated. Other significant works sold at the auction included Josef Čapek’s Sailor and Phantomas and Sculptress in the Studio by Emil Filla. Jan Richter spoke about the action with Czech Radio’s reporter
When the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival gets underway in a couple of weeks, it will offer viewers hundreds of movies across three competition categories, retrospectives, and a host of other sections. The man ultimately responsible for the selection of all of those films is Karel Och, who, at only 37 years of age, will this year serve as Karlovy Vary’s artistic director for the first time.
In this edition of the Sunday Music Show we look back at one of the most successful Czech bands of the 1990s, the rock group Lucie. Founded by singer and guitarist Robert Kodym together with bass guitarist Petr Chovanec (P.B.CH), the band went on to great success in the years following the Velvet Revolution. Most recently their music featured in an episode of Cesko-Slovensko Superstar (the Czech/Slovak version of pop idol), where contestants tried to match the strength of the original.
This Friday was the 69th anniversary of one of the defining moments of World War II, the destruction of the village of Lidice near Prague by the Nazis on June 10th 1942. Over the next few weeks, the actress Veronika Hyks will be reading from the memories of Jaroslava Skleničková, one of the survivors of the Lidice massacre. David Vaughan introduces the first episode.
In today’s Arts my guest is Brian Callaghan, a Prague-based author of a new action/adventure thriller called The Seeds of Cain. Inspired by biblical themes and medieval legend, the novel throws together an unlikely group of adventurers – including the hero John McFadden – to fight an ancient evil. The story takes them from a quiet corner of Prague to an archaeological dig in the Middle East and beyond, and it doesn’t let-up for 400 pages. Brian Callaghan came into the studio earlier this week and the first thing I asked him about was the threat
For decades, most Prague residents would automatically associate the tall Nusle Bridge, which connects a motorway with the city center, with the suicides that occurred there. Some 300 people are said to have jumped to their death from it. Now, a leading Czech artist has installed an unusual work right under the bridge, which towers over a park in the city’s Nusle neighborhood. The sculpture is meant as a reminder of those who lost their life there.
The Pavel Koutecký Award for best Czech documentary went this year to the film Earthlings, Who Are You Voting For? The movie shows, among other things, what happens when a group of mentally handicapped people come up to politicians in the middle of an election campaign and ask them questions they might not be ready for. Directed by an experienced filmmaker Linda Jablonská, parts of the movie were in fact shot by her students at a workshop run by Inventura, a Prague based NGO that supports people with learning disabilities. RP spoke to the film’s
Lída Baarová was one of the most famous and successful Czech actresses to have ever lived. Her career spanned over 70 years, in the course of which she starred in a whole number of both Czech and German film classics. She even made it into Federico Fellini’s ‘I Vitelloni’ in 1953. But she is perhaps best known for her life off-screen, as one of Czech film’s most unhappy characters. Lída Baarová’s beauty attracted the attention of Joseph Goebbels, and her career - tragically for her - reached its peak in Nazi Germany shortly before World War
One of the highpoints of last month’s Bookworld international book fair in Prague was the presentation of the first George – or Jiří – Theiner Award. Named after a Czech who devoted much of his life to promoting Czech literature abroad and to drawing attention to the corrosive power of censorship, the award aims not just to promote the memory of George Theiner himself, who died just before the fall of communism, but also to support those who continue in his footsteps. David Vaughan finds out more in this week’s Czech Books.