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KVIFF A listers attending

Some of KVIFF 04 A-list visitors

This year was no exception and Karlovy Vary’s Grand Hotel welcomed again many film industry A-listers for the International Film Festival. Among them was Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction and Thelma and Louise star Harvey Keitel, the world’s favourite little hobbit Elijah Wood, Monty Python’s most memorable, John Cleese and many others. Prominent Czech political figures visited the festival too such as president Vaclav KLAUS, and former president Vaclav Havel.

Harvey Keitel
Harvey Keitel received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Karlovy Vary IFF at the opening ceremony.
Harvey Keitel began his career working with director Martin Scorsese, with whom he made a number of films, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974), and in particular Taxi Driver (1976). In the mid-seventies he worked with Ridley Scott on the military drama The Duellists (1977). He teamed up with Scorsese once again at the end of the eighties during the filming of the controversial The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) in which he played Judas. In 1991 he was nominated for an Oscar for his supporting role in the gangster movie Bugsy. During the 1990s he worked with Quentin Tarantino on Reservoir Dogs (1991) and Pulp Fiction (1994). He appeared in the same period in Jane Campion’s The Piano (1993) and Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise (1992). He also featured in Robert Rodrigez From Dusk till Dawn and in John Irvin’s City of Industry (1997). In 1999 he appeared in Campion’s Holy Smoke.
Harvey Keitel has appeared mainly in films which belong to the Hollywood mainstream. However, he has always been a keen supporter of independent works. For his performance in the film Bad Lieutenant (1992) by director Abel Ferrara he won an Independent Spirit Award. On many occasions his support or share in production enables young filmmakers to realise their film projects, such as Three Seasons (1999) by the young Vietnamese director Tony Buy. He has also appeared in more personal independent films like Wayne Wang’s Smoke (1995), which won a Silver Bear at the Berlin IFF in 1995 and Paul Auster later cast Keitel in his own film Lulu on the Bridge (1998). The Gaze of Odysseus (1995) by director Theo Angelopoulos is an important work in his filmography and was awarded the Grand Prix at the Cannes IFF.
Elijah Wood

Elijah Wood was a guest of the KVIFF presenting Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2003) featuring Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey and written by Charlie Kaufman. The film features in the Horizon’s category.
Elijah Wood is a 23 year old actor who was recently propelled to stardom thanks to the epic trilogy of the Lord of the Rings. He had already had a successful career as a child-star in films such as Forever Young (1992), The Good Son (1993), North (1994) and Flipper (1996). Wood has spent the last few years filming The Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003) in which Peter Jackson entrusted him the role of Frodo in the Tolkien epic. He is currently working with director Liev Schreiber in an adaptation of the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer Everything is Illuminated.
Gary Lewis
The Scottish actor Gary Lewis, acting one of the main parts in Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s Niceland (official competition) has come to this edition of the KVIFF to introduce the film.
Gary Lewis appeared in My Name Is Joe (1998), in the critically acclaimed Billy Elliot (2000) by Stephen Daldry where he acted Billy’s father, a role which won him a nomination at the BAFTAs. He also played in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York (2002). He held main roles in The Elevator (2000, dir.: Alrick Riley), One Life Stand (2000, dir.: May Miles Thomas), The Escapist (2001, dir.: Gillies Mackinnon), The Rocket Post (2002, dir.: Stephen Whittaker).

John Cleese
John Cleese came to present Shrek 2 in which he was the voice for the King. Shrek 2 was screened at the closing ceremony.

John Cleese was born the son of an insurance agent and studied law at Downing College, Cambridge University, where he was a member of the Footlights revue. During the sixties he co-wrote several entertainment shows for both radio and television. He co-founded the cabaret group Monty Python’s flying circus in 1969. This now cult troupe created a show of the same name which was aired on television for five consecutive years. John Cleese began his career in film with the Monty Python’s in features such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974), Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979), Monty Python live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982) and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983). Cleese and his first wife Connie Booth wrote and starred in the television series ‘Fawlty Towers’ (1975). After the Monty Python’s split up, Cleese set off on a solo career. He co-wrote, co-produced and acted in the comedy A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and was nominated for an Oscar for Best screenplay. Recently Cleese has appeared in countless films in minor roles such as an assistant to inventor Q in the James Bond The World is Not Enough (1999) and after the death of Desmond Llewelyn he took his place in the film Die Another Day (2002). He has appeared in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Rat Race, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Vaclav Havel
President of the Festival Jiri Bartoska and Vaclav Havel
Former president of the Czech Republic
Vaclav Havel is one of the best known citizens of the Czech Republic. He became famous during the Velvet Revolution, and in December 1989 he was elected President of the Czechoslovakia and later on of the Czech Republic. He was awarded numerous international prizes and honorary doctorates.
His relation to the Arts goes back a long way. After completing his military service, he worked as a stage hand at the ABC Theatre and later, from 1960, in the Theatre on the Balustrade. The latter theatre produced his first plays, most importantly The Garden Party (1963), a piece representing in an outstanding manner the strong regeneration tendencies prevailing in Czech culture and Czech society in the 1960s which culminated in the so-called Prague Spring of 1968. At that time Vaclav Havel was taking part in public and cultural life as one of the standard-bearers of the democratic concepts of Czech culture and society. In the second half of the 1960s his next plays, The Memorandum (1965) and The Increased Difficulty of Concentration (1968), were performed.

James Reid


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