For all the funny people who have contributed to a century of Czech filmmaking, the title “King of Comics” belongs to only one. Vlasta Burian would be 119 years old next month, and he would be very proud of his reputation indeed, still a star of the Czech television screen today. But his career as a comedian went hand in hand with the tragedies of the 20th century, and in his lifetime he was a pauper, a prince, and a pauper again.
The Czech Film and Television Academy, or FAMU, has been educating filmmakers for over 60 years. Among its students were such personalities of Czech and international cinema as Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, Agneiszka Holland and Jan Svěrák. In this edition of One on One we talk to Pavel Jech, the dean of the famed film school. Pavel Jech was born in Prague but grew up in the United States, where his parents moved after 1968, when he was only two months old. After graduating in history at Columbia University in New York, Pavel Jech returned to Prague
Monday night will see the opening of Prague Photo Fair. Until the end of the week, the Mánes Exhibition Hall will present a wide range of photographers, galleries and art schools from Central Europe. For the first time this year, the Prague Photo Fair is part of a larger event – the Prague Photo Festival - that will be held simultaneously at twelve venues in Prague. Tomáš Hájek is the event coordinator:
Since the fall of communism, Prague has been a very international city, and this has had a deep impact on the city’s literary culture. Many Prague writers today have their roots outside the Czech Republic and are not necessarily writing in the Czech language. At the same time, Czech writers themselves have been strongly influenced by the growing cosmopolitanism of the city, which contrasts starkly with the stifling political atmosphere of the 70s and 80s. In a few weeks’ time Prague’s international literary scene will be celebrated with the publication
Alphonse Mucha’s grandson John Mucha is the head of the Mucha Foundation, which manages the legacy of the great Czech Art Nouveau artist. He launched the successful Mucha Museum in the centre of Prague during the 1990s, and has recently being holding talks with the city’s authorities on the long-delayed creation of a dedicated home for Mucha’s extensive work the Slav Epic.
A new sculpting project is to open up one of the few original streets of Prague’s former Jewish ghetto to the public. Sculptor Aleš Veselý’s “Three Gates” will be located in what used to be the heart of the neighborhood, near Pinkas synagogue. The project is slated to be finished in 2011. Sarah Borufka has the story.
John Mucha is the grandson of the great Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist Alphonse Mucha. His parents are also noteworthy; his late father Jiří was a journalist and writer, while his Scottish mother Geraldine, who is 92, still composes music. John himself heads the Mucha Foundation, which conserves the family’s collection and promotes the artist’s work internationally. His home in the Czech capital, situated opposite the gates of Prague Castle, contains a breathtaking array of Alphonse Mucha memorabilia and artworks and is described
The National Museum has opened a major new exhibit on St. Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech lands, who was also one of their earliest and most important rulers. What is particularly significant about this exhibit is that it brings together a collection of the most precious manuscripts and items relating to Saint Wenceslas over the course of roughly 700 years.
Sunday night was the opening night for the top three submissions to this year’s Prague Playwriting Contest at the city’s Divadlo Ponec. The winner of the contest, who will take home a cash prize, will be announced at the closing night next Tuesday. One of the playwrights in the race for the award is Josh Kaston. His submission “The Great Indoors” is set in the rural Southern United States, where a Czech-British couple gets stranded. Sarah Borufka talked to Josh Kaston about the process of seeing his play produced and why he decided to participate