The biggest star at the opening of the 53rd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was Hollywood actor Tim Robbins. On receiving the event’s lifetime achievement award, Robbins, a well-known liberal, took aim at Donald Trump’s presidency – but he also praised the special role that film festival’s play in today’s culture.
David Lawson had never heard of Ostrava when, fifteen years ago, his London synagogue received a Sefer Torah that had belonged to a once vibrant community in that industrial city. Now, it’s fair to say, he is an expert on both the history of Ostrava and the key role Jews played in its development over centuries. I asked Mr. Lawson, co-author of the new book “Ostrava and its Jews: Now no-one sings you lullabies”, how it all came about.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Friday paid tribute to the work of the late Czech film director Miloš Forman. Forman had a knack for making great movies, be it on a generous Hollywood budget or a skimpy one in communist Czechoslovakia, with censors on his back. And music was an indelible part of the film magic he weaved.
The 53rd edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will kick off with a glitzy opening ceremony on Friday evening. Over the next eight days, the spa town in West Bohemia will be the centre of the domestic arts world, with many tens of thousands of people flocking to the festival from the Czech Republic and further afield.
The Czech Republic’s top film event, the Karlovy Vary festival, gets underway on Friday. As every year, it promises scores of movies from around the world and both Hollywood names and lesser-known but no less interesting guests. Ahead of the opening, I got some tips on what to watch out for during the 53rd Karlovy Vary’s from its artistic director, Karel Och. I first asked Och if there were any festival sections he would particularly like to highlight this year.
David Short first came to Prague as a student over fifty years ago. He remained for the best part of six years, experiencing at first hand the Prague Spring and then the Soviet-led invasion. He went on to become a mainstay of Czech and Slovak studies in Britain, over nearly four decades giving students at the University of London insights into the quirks of the Czech and Slovak languages. Since his retirement and with a bit more time on his hands David has focused on his work as a literary translator. It was in acknowledgement of his huge contribution
The two-day Metronome music festival kicks off on Friday evening at the Výstaviště exhibition grounds in Prague. Among the most awaited acts this year will be Massive Attack and Chemical Brothers. In addition to the main stars, people can see a number of local formations, such as the cult band Sexy Dancers, who are returning to the stage after 20 years. As final preparations were underway, I spoke to Metronome’s organizer David Gaydečka:
After a two-year break, the annual Landscape Festival will return to Prague over the summer months after launching on Thursday on Vítkov hill. Featuring a wide range of musicians and artists, the free festival aims to draw attention to forgotten public spaces and urban landscapes in the capital by transforming them into cultural hubs. The festival’s coordinator, Jakub Hepp, told me more about why Vítkov is seen as so special, and how the organisers intend to bring forgotten parts of Prague back into the spotlight.