Wednesday night will see the opening of the fifth Prague Festival of Short Films. The event will be held at Prague’s Světozor cinema and over the next four days it will offer the best of last year’s short film production from all over the world. The Prague Festival of Short Films was established five years ago by the producers of the international film festival in Karlovy Vary. I spoke to Radka Weiserová, one of the festival’s organizers, about its history and highlights:
The novel “Peníze od Hitlera” (Money from Hitler), is one of the best Czech books I’ve read for a long time, and luckily for English-speaking readers, it has just been published in an excellent English translation by Women’s Press in Toronto. When it first appeared in Czech over three years ago, Money from Hitler caused quite a stir; it won the prestigious Magnesia Litera award, but Czech critics remained divided. Perhaps this is no surprise. The author, 41-year-old Radka Denemarková, chose one of the most sensitive and painful episodes of modern
The Plastic People of the Universe are back with a new album entitled Maska za maskou [The Mask behind the Mask], their first release in nearly a decade, and the first written since the death of their previous lead songwriter Milan “Mejla” Hlavsa. The group are absolute legends of the Czech rock underground, and it was their imprisonment by the communist authorities which famously sparked the Charter 77 protest movement. But while they may now feature in modern history books, the Plastic People always insisted they just wanted to be allowed to
Hunt Kastner Artworks in Prague 7 is a private gallery owned and run by Camille Hunt, who is Canadian, and Katherine Kastner, who is from the US though her mother is Czech. The two represent 10 Czech artists, among them Eva Koťátková, Josef Bolf and Daniel Pitín. This week I stopped by to talk to the owners about their work, both curating shows and helping their artists find buyers overseas. I first asked Hunt what had led them to open the gallery in the first place.
Lucie Seifertová is one of the Czech Republic’s best-known children’s book authors and illustrators, whose work has been translated into numerous languages including English, Russian, German and Japanese. Now her award-winning History of the Brave Czech Nation - voted Children’s Book of the Year in 2003 - is being made into a 100-part animated series. Produced by Czech TV, the series, like the book, covers broad stretches of Czech history using humour and adventurous characters and if the premiere last Saturday is any indication, is likely to be
Stephan Delbos is a Prague-based poet. Five years ago, he moved to the Czech capital, where he edits the Prague Review, teaches literary writing at Charles University, works as a business reporter at the English language newspaper The Prague Post and occasionally hosts the Alchemy poetry reading series at the Globe café. I talked to Mr. Delbos about the English language poetry scene here in Prague and what initially drew him to the city.
Today in Mailbox we quote from your e-mails answering December’s quiz question and announce a new mystery person contest for January. Listeners quoted: Hans Verner Lollike, S. J. Agboola, Ian Morisson, Sergei, Gordon Martindale, Jayanta Chakrabarty, Charles Konecny, Charlie Cockey, Henrik Klemetz, Colin Law, Keith A. Simmonds.
In this special New Year’s Day programme, we look back at some of the best of our interview programme One on One in 2009. Among those featured: Catholic intellectual Martin C Putna, historian Igor Lukeš, academic Peter Demetz, former Radio Prague man John Tregellas, jazz musician Rudy Linka and the great American cartoonist Robert Crumb.
If you have ever seen the Czech National Theatre then surely you have noticed the modernistic glass cube lodged between it and an 18th century convent. That is the Nová Scéna, the seat of the well known Laterna Magika, or Magic Lantern, experimental theatre. Long one of Prague’s top attractions, Laterna Magika’s popularity has diminished over the years, and as of 2010 the building and the its programme management will be transferred to the National Theatre, which is quite literally giving it a new lease on life.
Prague’s famous 15th century astronomical clock, known as Orloj in Czech, is one of the oldest and most elaborate clocks ever built and one of the city’s best known attractions. Few tourists leave Prague without seeing it. However the crowd that assembled to hear it chime last Sunday was in for a shock. Due to a technical error the procession of apostles that appears in the windows above the clock failed to make its usual exit – instead it was spinning like a crazy merry-go-round.