An annual showcase of contemporary Czech films called Czech That Film is currently underway across the United States. The festival is the largest Czech cultural event in the country and offers both Czech expats and local film enthusiasts a unique chance to get acquainted with present-day Czech cinematography.
If you enjoy noir crime stories with their troubled, ambivalent heroes and creepy, underworld settings, you are in for a treat. Akashic Books in New York have just added Prague to their award-winning series of original noir anthologies. The collection includes some of the biggest names in Czech contemporary fiction and is full of surprises, offering us a Prague that lurches deliciously from the magical to the seedy, from a misty past to a hi-tech future. The book had its Prague launch a few days ago in the Globe English-language bookstore, and David
The annual international book fair and literary festival Book World Prague got underway on Thursday at the city’s Výstaviště grounds, featuring over 400 exhibitors from 22 countries. I spoke to Radovan Auer, the head of Book World Prague and asked him to tell me more about this year’s main topics, comics and the revolutionary 20th century.
The Czech Republic is known for its skilled glassmakers, getting commissions for lighting installations and glass artworks from palaces, luxury hotels and residences the world over. However this year the studio of Czech glassmaker Zdeněk Lhotský concluded work on a truly unique project – a four-tonne glass case that will serve as a sarcophagus for Denmark’s Queen Margarethe II.
Final preparations are underway for the Prague Spring music festival, which begins on Saturday evening with the traditional rendition of Smetana’s My Country at the Municipal House. As always, it will showcase a plethora of major names in classical music. But this year there will also be a special focus on the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Pavel Trojan, the festival’s spokesperson, told me more.
The Czech Republic’s Mikolas Josef has advanced to the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest with his offering Lie to Me. The 22-year-old singer, who performed despite sustaining an injury during rehearsals, is one of nine participants to make it out of the first semi-final and only the second Czech in history to reach the finals.
How did Karel Gott become the only artist from a communist state to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest? What was Czechoslovakia’s role in the Eastern Bloc’s parallel Intervision? And why were rockers Kabát such a bad fit for the Eurovision? Ahead of next weekend’s final of the pan-European extravaganza these were some of the subjects I discussed with Vienna-based historian Dean Vuletic, author of Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest.