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
Fans of Czechoslovak cinema, in particular the Czech New Wave, will most likely be familiar with many of the films of director Jiří Menzel. From the Oscar-winning Closely Watched Trains to Larks on a String and Capricious Summer, Menzel changed Czech film forever. This Friday, he celebrates his 80th birthday.
The 20th anniversary of the death of Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal, on February 3, is being marked across the country. Hrabal, the most translated Czech author, is being recalled in exhibitions, discussions, film and tv screenings. A discussion will take place at Prague’s Charles University looking at his work from a 20th century context. Events are also being staged in the Central Bohemian town of Nymburk, where Hrabal lived for much of his adult life. Many of Hrabal’s works were made into films, including the Oscar winning Closely Observed Trains. Hrabal died in 1997 after falling from a hospital window.
An exhibition of photographs of the internationally renowned author Bohumil Hrabal is currently on show at Lucerna Café in Prague. The collection of photos was taken by the Czech-born documentary filmmaker and photographer Jan Kaplan, based in London, who became friends with Hrabal in the 1990s, after giving him a tour of London. I spoke to him on the phone to London to find out more about how had come to befriend and photograph a man who valued his privacy and who rarely allowed strangers into his chosen circle of friends.
In 2007 Genevieve Anderson brought out a short animated film based on Too Loud a Solitude, a novella by the great Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal. Now the US director has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a feature-length version of the magical story, which centres on Haňťa, a reclusive paper crusher who over the years has absorbed a great deal from the books that have crossed his path. Like the short, the new movie will be puppet-based – and voiced by the charismatic US actor Paul Giammati, known for the Oscar-winning Sideways and
The centenary of the great Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal’s birth is being marked by film screenings, book readings and literary debates at home and abroad. One of the most original events has been organized by the Czech Centre in London – a groundbreaking literary experiment going under the name Cabaret Hrabal. Ahead of the big night I spoke to the head of the Czech Centre Tereza Porybná to find out more about the show.
Events around the Czech Republic are commemorating internationally renowned author Bohumil Hrabal who would have turned 100 this day. On the occasion I spoke to the Czech-born documentary filmmaker and photographer Jan Kaplan, now based in London, who was just a student when he first met the writer. He then became closer friends with Hrabal in the 1990s, giving him a tour of London. He has now opened a new exhibition of previously unpublished portraits of Hrabal at Prague’s Lucerna Palace.
This Friday marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the most significant Czech authors, Bohumil Hrabal, who died in 1997. Events commemorating the author of Closely Watched Trains and I Served the King of England, are being held at venues around the country. I took the opportunity to discuss Hrabal’s life and work with Jakub Chrobák, a professor and specialist on Czech literature at the Silesian University in Opava.
Celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Czech novelist Bohumil Hrabal have kicked off in his birthplace, the city of Brno. The series of events, leading up to Friday’s anniversary, include theatre performances and film screenings of his works, lectures and exhibitions documenting the authors life and work. The celebrations will culminate with a street party outside Hrabal’s family house in Židenice during which the organizers plan to release a hundred pigeons.
Closely Watched Trains, director Jiří Menzel’s masterwork which won the 1967 Best Foreign Language Oscar, will be digitally restored in time for the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival next year. The decision was announced on Monday by festival organisers together with representatives of the National Film Archive. The film is one of the best-known to come out of the Czech New Wave in the 1960s. It was based on a book of same name by Bohumil Hrabal and starred a young Václav Neckář in the lead role.