Talented up-and-coming Czech designers presented their work at London’s International Fashion Showcase for the fourth year now. Following last year’s huge success with their Fata Morgana collection, they pulled out all the stops in order to stand out amidst tough competition in one of the leading fashion capitals of the world.
Fifteen buildings were just recently added to the list of Czech Cultural Monuments, including an early 20th century power station in Poděbrady and Prague’s famous Lucerna Palace. The list also includes buildings from earlier periods, such as the Invalidovna complex, which featured prominently in Miloš Forman’s Amadeus.
Czech folk legend Jarmila Šuláková, who died this week at the age of 87, brought Moravian folk music to audiences around the world. The „queen of folk“ sang from the heart as she liked to say and she had the same esprit at 30 as she did at 80, singing both with traditional folk ensembles as well as the folk-rock group Fleret which opened the world of folk music to younger audiences. In the course of a career spanning more than six decades she recorded over a dozen albums and performed thousands of concerts at home and abroad.
The great Czech film director Miloš Forman – who turned 85 today – is perhaps best-known around the world for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus, massive movies that won him Best Director Academy Awards in 1976 and 1985. Prior to his Hollywood career Forman had been a prime mover in the groundbreaking 1960s Czechoslovak New Wave. With movies like Black Peter, Loves of a Blonde and The Firemen’s Ball, he developed a remarkably fresh, vérité style, frequently casting non-professional actors.
Fans of contemporary art should not miss an exhibition of paintings currently on show at the Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava. An exhibition titled Disruptive Imagination, and subtitled Making Windows Where There Were Once Walls, shows 36 paintings by leading European contemporary artists, among them Jonathan Wateridge, Martin Eder, Tim Eitel, Robert Fekete, Michael Kunze, or Justin Mortimer.
The latest album of Martinů’s compositions by one of the Czech Republic’s leading chamber ensembles, the Smetana Trio, has received nomination for a prestigious BBC Music Magazine Award. The album, featuring the complete piano trios by Bohuslav Martinů, was released on the Supraphon label last year and has already been chosen as the magazine’s Disc of the Month in June 2016. Smetana Trio was founded back in 1936 and currently comprises pianist Jitka Čechová, violinist Jiří Vodička and cellist Jan Páleníček.
In a Europe of growing nationalism, Marie Iljašenko is a young Czech poet who defies categorization. She was born in Kiev into a family with both Ukrainian and Polish roots, but has lived in the Czech Republic since she was nine. Her poetry is in Czech, but her writing is filled with the rich influences of the languages, experiences and cultures that form part of her identity. In Czech Books, Marie Iljašenko talks to David Vaughan about the bonds between her life and work.
A new biopic exploring aspects of the life of Jan Masaryk will be the most keenly anticipated Czech-produced film at this year’s Berlinale, which gets underway in the German capital on Thursday. A Prominent Patient depicts the famous politician and diplomat at a low point as the clouds of World War II draw near.