Prague’s FAMU has been ranked fourth best international film school in the Hollywood Reporter’s annual Top Film Schools list. The publication praises the film and TV academy as an institution with a great tradition that has produced such names as the Oscar-winning directors Miloš Forman and Jiří Menzel. It also highlights FAMU’s international programme, which is attended by around 100 aspiring filmmakers from around the world. FAMU dean Pavel Jech welcomes the news.
An expert on the history of Prague, architect Petr Kučera regularly posts fascinating galleries on Facebook documenting the city’s development. He draws on an extensive archive of photos and plans to show how districts have changed, as well as highlighting unrealised projects that would have transformed Prague even further. In addition, the 29-year-old works for Cigler Marani, the architecture firm charged with rejuvenating Wenceslas Square. When we met at his office, I asked Petr Kučera what had led him to start creating his online galleries.
Over the last nearly five decades, Ivan Mládek and his Banjo Band has been amusing fans with his original music style, combining elements of Dixieland and country with humour and comedy. Perhaps the best-known of his tunes, Jožin z Bažin, has earned him cult following in the Czech Republic and, more recently, Poland and other countries.
One of the curious things about Central Europe is how little people from the various countries of the region know about each other. A recent sociological study suggested that Czechs and Poles have very similar views of the world and similar sets of values. They share a border five hundred miles long, speak languages that are close enough for them to be able to understand each other without too much difficulty, and yet the two nations have a habit of acting as if the other didn’t exist. Even in these days of open borders, assumptions and prejudices
Almost eighty years after her ordination, the world’s first woman rabbi, Regina Jonas, has been honoured at the former Nazi concentration camp in Terezín. Several of her successors, including the first American female rabbi Sally Priesand, attended the ceremony in Terezín. Since Jonas’ times, women have been serving the religious needs of hundreds of congregations around the world – but for the largely secular Czech Jewish community, there are no women rabbis in sight.
Steve Fisher has a humorous column in the weekly Reflex that regularly provides a highly amusing take on Czech life from a foreigner’s perspective. The US-born author has had a host of other jobs in over two decades in Prague, including radio DJ, bit-part actor and voiceover artist. In recent years, however, he was forced to work less, after surviving an extremely serious illness that left him handicapped. We discussed all of those things at his Prague 3 apartment last week. But I first asked Fisher about his initial impressions of the city, when
It’s hard to say when the Karel Zeman Museum in Prague is busier: during the school year or the summer months. The museum, dedicated to the work of visionary Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman who created legendary children’s films like Journey to the Beginning of Time, was only opened less than two years ago but has become a major attraction.
Some of the best Czech films of the 1960s and 70s, such as Markéta Lazarová, Shop on Main Street, and The Cremator, have one thing in common, besides the country of origin: the author of the score, Zdeněk Liška. Only a few recordings of his music came out independently; most recently, the British label Finders Keepers published his soundtrack of The Little Mermaid. In this edition of Panorama, we look the life and work of this prolific composer, and one of the most versatile artists in the field.
The Prague Vitruvius is an extremely useful website for anybody interested in perhaps the Czech capital’s greatest asset: its unparalleled wealth of architecture. The blog is the work of Englishman Alex Went, who has created close to 300 entries taking in both tourist sights and largely unknown gems in the suburbs. When we spoke at the Vinohrady Pavilion – designed by one of his favourite Prague architects – I asked Went what had brought him to the city in the first place.