One of the highlights of the Czech cultural calendar, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, gets underway in the west Bohemian spa town on July 3. While the list of special guests this year has not been completed, some names were revealed – along with the programme highlights – at a news conference in Prague on Tuesday morning. I spoke there to KVIFF’s programme director Julietta Sichel.
In this week’s edition of One on One we talk to the artist, sculptor, painter, musician and actor Jaroslav Róna. In the 1980s, he was one of the founders of the art group Tvrdohlaví, or The Stubborn but today, he is perhaps best known as the author of the Franz Kafka Monument in Prague’s Old Town. I talked to Jaroslav Róna in his studio and asked him was why he decided to base the highly acclaimed Kafka memorial on his short story, Description of One Struggle.
Less than six months ago, a disastrous fire reduced an entire wing of Prague’s historic Industrial Exhibition Hall to a pile of twisted metal and masonry, but the building has made a remarkable recovery. In a few days’ time it will be housing the Czech Republic’s biggest annual book fair, Svět knihy or Bookworld, which will be taking place for the fifteenth year running, and seems remarkably unscathed either by the fire or the rages of the world economic crisis. To find out more, I managed to steal a few minutes with the busy and energetic Bookworld
The Cirkus totality (or Totalitarian Circus) was one of the cultural projects chosen to accompany the Czech Republic’s EU presidency. As part of the project, a new textbook about Central Europe’s communist past has been written, there will be a series of plays and performances staged, and a giant ‘communism timeline’ has been unveiled on Prague’s náměstí Republiky. I went along to have a look:
The studio Bratři v triku, or “Brothers in T-Shirts”, has been the major producer of Czech animated film since the 1940s. Virtually every talent in Czech cartooning has gone through the studio, and it has won essentially every national and international award available to animators. But most importantly perhaps, the work of the studio has influenced generation after generation of Eastern Europeans and audiences elsewhere in the world as well. In this week’s Arts, Christian Falvey takes a peek into the cradle of Czech animation.
A novel theatre production where poetry meets drama, original music and modern ballet has just opened in Prague. Additionally, the big draw for many audiences coming to Posedlost, or Obsession, will be the continued transformation of one of the Czech Republic’s leading actresses, Tatiana Vilhelmová, into a popular and accomplished dancer. Christian Falvey was at the show’s premiere.
Czech bluegrass has a long tradition going back to the 1960s but it took several more decades before it was acknowledged in the land of its origin, the United States. Our guest in this edition of One on One is Robert Křesťan, the banjoist, lead singer and the founder of a bluegrass legend, the band Druhá Tráva, formed in the early 1990s. Their latest album Dylanovky, features songs by Bob Dylan translated into Czech by Robert Křesťan, and he and his band set the scene before the public speech of the US President, Barack Obama at Prague Castle earlier
“Patience with God”, a new book by Tomáš Halík, a Catholic priest and a renowned Czech theologian, has been put out by the US publisher Doubleday and hit the bookshelves in English-speaking countries around the world. A reflection on faith and atheism, “Patience with God” will be officially launched at the seat of the UN in New York on Tuesday. Radio Prague spoke to Mr Halík about some of the issues he deals with in his latest work.