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The New Czech Cinema 2010/ 14th Czech Film Festival Press Release

 

Now celebrating its 14th year, the annual Czech festival presents this year a selection of award-winning new Czech features, and demonstrates an increased interest in exploring subjects dealing with the years of Nazi occupation, the different decades of domination by Soviet communism and more traditionally dreams and fantasy as seen in the latest Svankmajer’s movie fresh from Venice and London Film Festival.

 

The season kicks off with Marek Najbrt’s Protector (2009) in the Gala screening introduced by screenwriter Robert Geisler and organized jointly with the UK Jewish Film Festival. Protector and Tomas Masin’s Three Seasons in Hell (2010) rightly shared this year’s Czech Lion awards. While Protector examines the lives of a radio journalist and his part-Jewish film star wife during the Nazi occupation, Tomáš Mašin’s large budget debut feature is inspired by the relationship between an avant-garde poet and a ‘liberated’ young woman in the year immediately prior to the Communist takeover. Both ‘retro’ films play careful attention to the visual recreation of their periods.

Jan ‘Divided We Fall’ Hřebejk contributes two films with political themes. Tomorrow Will Be…(2010) is an impressive film record of an opera recounting the trial (and subsequent execution) of the democratic politician Milada Horákováin 1950 while Kawasaki’s Rose (2009) unravels the story of a famous dissident and his earlier links with the secret police.

 

Mira Fornay’s striking debut film Foxes (2009) is a superbly acted and observed portrait of the lives of two Slovak sisters who emigrate to Ireland in search of a better life. Twosome (2009) another impressive debut by Jaroslav Fuit examines the relationship fatigue of young couple at the crossroad of their life. Exploring feelings of dislocation and displacement is a newly shot documentary Czechin’ London (2010) and subsequent open discussion/forum Lost in Translation?Your Story looking into personal experiences of East European immigrants in London which develops themes expressed in the Lost in Translation? Exhibition in the Riverside Studios Gallery (1– 19 November 2010)

Maria Procházková’s Who’sAfraid of the Wolf?(2008) deftly weaves reality and fantasy with animation when young Terezka comes to the conclusion that her mother may be from another world. Not a children’s films, notes its director, but one for adults to watch with children. For many, the highpoint of the season will be Jan Švankmajer’s strikingly inventive and witty Surviving Life (2010), where he uses cut out animation to tell the story of a man who seeks to perpetuate his dream life (and dream woman).

To mark the bicentenary of great Czech poet Karel Hynek Macha the season is completed with a unique screening of Karel Anton’s silent film Gypsies (1921), with live music accompaniment by Irena and Vojtěch Havel as a part of Barbican silent film series. The festival concludes with the DVD premiere of Juraj Herz’s stunning gothic melodrama Morgiana(1972) in a double bill with his chilling classic The Cremator (1968).

Organized in collaboration with the Riverside Studios, Prince Charles Cinema, Barbican Cinema, the UK Jewish Film Festival and Second Run DVD.

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About Tania Martins

Tania Martins

Filmmaker. Student. Blogger. Film Critic. Festival Organiser. Freelance Cameraperson. Explorer. Longboarder. WELCOME!

 


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