This week’s Sunday Music show is devoted to pop singer Aneta Langerová who dominated the Czech music industry's annual Anděl awards a few weeks ago, picking up the prizes for best female singer, best album, best song and best music video. We’ll hear songs from her highly acclaimed latest album Na radosti.
Michal Bregant is the director of the National Film Archive, which is tasked with preserving the Czech Republic’s rich cinema heritage and oversees over 150 million metres of film. Previously he headed another important institution, FAMU film school. A Praguer through and through, Bregant grew up on the city centre street Celetná. His family’s kitchen window overlooked the adjacent, narrow Kamzíkova – and there we take a short trip down memory lane at the start of our tour of “his Prague”.
If you want to find out about ongoing exhibitions but also the importance of contemporary art in the Czech Republic, this week you can make use of a special helpline. From now until Sunday, well-known curators are picking up the phone to field questions. The temporary helpline is a project created by students at Prague’s Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture in conjunction with the Tranzitdisplay gallery.
Fifty years ago, on 1 May 1965, annual student festivities in Prague to mark the joys of spring culminated in the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg being declared “Král majálesu” – the King of May. A week later, Ginsberg’s visit to Czechoslovakia was cut short when the authorities labelled him an “immoral menace” and put him on a plane to London. But the Czech affection for the writings of the Beat Generation remains to this day. David Vaughan looks at some of the American writers that have captured the Czech imagination in the decades since World
In this week’s Arts, our guest is the New York-based jazz pianist and composer Dan Tepfer, who has received great acclaim for his take on J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations as well as other projects. Dan Tepfer was in the Czech Republic this week for a special performance at Prague Castle as part of the American Spring.
The new documentary The Old Man and the World explores the life of one of the greatest of Czech travellers, Miroslav Zikmund. The exploits of Zikmund (now almost 96) and his partner Jiří Hanzelka made them big stars in a period beginning in the late 1940s. The film is directed by Petr Horký, a traveller who has himself shot in around 80 countries around the world. Before we discussed the documentary, I asked Horký when his own wanderlust began.
Amanita Design is the independent Czech game design studio behind the point-and-click adventure games Machinarium and Botanicula. With beautifully hand-drawn backgrounds and richly-designed worlds, the games put players in the shoes of protagonists such as a broken little robot or a group of unusual creatures who face robotic wrongdoers and a dark parasitic force, respectively. Both titles have proven very successful. Recently, I caught up with Jakub Dvorský, and asked him not only about the games but also how he started his business.