The Czech Republic’s premier film showcase, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, came to an end on Saturday night. In its 45th year, Central Europe‘s biggest film event drew some 127,000 viewers with its selection of over 200 films, about a quarter of which were premieres. So who took home the Crystal Globes this year?
Over the last twenty years, Ron Yerxa has produced a number of films hits. Together with his business partner Albert Berger, he has put out audience favorites such as the drama Cold Mountain or the massively successful road movie comedy Little Miss Sunshine, which won two Oscars. This year, Ron Yerxa was invited to preside over the Grand Jury at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Just after the halfway point of the Czech Republic’s biggest film event, I asked him about his taste in movies, the festival as such and what the experience
A book entitled “Czech-Irish Cultural Relations 1900-1950” may sound a little obscure, but this slim volume published last year by the Centre for Irish Studies of Prague’s Charles University is anything but a dull, dry thesis. The book covers a hugely interesting and complex period, during which Ireland emerged from centuries of rule from London and Czechoslovakia arose from the ashes of the Habsburg Empire. David Vaughan picks up the story, in this week’s Czech Books.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicked off in the west Bohemian spa town for the 45th time on July 1st. And while the event itself is reaching middle age it is still displaying its power to pull in a remarkably young audience as the turnout in the crowded Hotel Thermal, the heart of the festival where most of the films are shown, testifies. Sarah Borufka was among the guests and reports on the festival’s special role.
One of the most significant composers of modern times, Gustav Mahler, was born on July 7, 1860, in a small village near the eastern town of Jihlava where he grew up. On Wednesday, both places staged a jubilee gala celebration on the composer’s 150th birthday anniversary, attended among others by the Czech president.
One of the sections of the official competition at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is East of the West – a showcase for films from Eastern and Central Europe. This year, it features ten different films from countries like Armenia, Slovenia and Azerbaijan. Sarah Borufka talked to Lenka Tyrpáková, who works for the festival’s program department, about what East of the West is all about and what we can expect from it this year.
One of the most acclaimed books to be published in the last couple of years is the Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel, The Glass Room, by the British writer, Simon Mawer. It is a book with more than a passing relevance to the Czech Republic, as the hero is a building that stands to this day on the edge of the city of Brno.
On Friday, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival once again kicks off in the west Bohemian spa town. In its 45th year, the country’s biggest and most renowned film festival will show 205 films, a quarter of which are world premieres. We hear from our reporter Ian Willoughby, who is currently in Karlovy Vary, about what we can expect this year and what the atmosphere is like there ahead of the opening ceremony.
Opposed, later persecuted – and finally forgotten. That was the fate of many Czech Catholic writers, who stood outside the literary mainstream. In one of Europe’s most atheist nations, the impact of these authors gradually diminished throughout the 20th century although in their heyday, in the interwar period, they managed to convey many original ideas and intriguing artistic expressions.