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Second Run at the ICA: ‘Marketa Lazarova’ (Vláčil, 1967) reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

Citizen Kane has long been referred to as “the greatest film ever made,” a view which was until recently corroborated by Sight & Sound‘s prestigious decennial poll of critics and filmmakers (it was displaced by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo in the 2012 edition after 50 years in the top spot.) Regardless of whether this epithet is deserved, some argue that such rankings…

Jonathan Karstadt | 16/09/2015
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Věra Chytilová Festival: ‘Prefab Story’ (1980) reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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Every year, millions of tourists flood to Prague to gaze in wonder at the city’s breathtaking medieval architecture. Practically untouched by the bombing that devastated so many of Europe’s historical cities during two world wars, the city’s picturesque beauty is augmented by the relative lack of modern, high-rise buildings in the city centre. But few…

Jonathan Karstadt | 19/03/2015
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Sergei Loznitsa’s Maidan (2014), reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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If you’ve read a newspaper, browsed the internet or watched television in the last twelve months, it’s unlikely you’ll have failed to hear the dreadful news emanating from Ukraine. The civil war that broke out in the east there, following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsular in March last year,  has claimed over 5000 lives…

Jonathan Karstadt | 26/02/2015
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Made in Prague: ‘Velvet Terrorists’ reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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For Czechoslovakia, the 1980s ended in a mood of optimism as its citizens anticipated a future of freedom and democracy:  the peaceful Velvet Revolution had disposed of the country’s 41-year communist regime. But the rest of the decade was not covered in such glory. Since the quashing of the Prague Spring by the Soviets in…

Jonathan Karstadt | 23/11/2014
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Made in Prague: Zdeněk Jiráský’s ‘In Silence’ reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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On the 26th November 1941 Anna Flachová, an aspiring ballerina who had been studying the discipline at Ivo Váňa Psota’s prestigious ballet school in Brno, received the order to be transported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. She was 13 years old. She survived the horrors of internment at Theresienstadt, Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and went on…

Jonathan Karstadt | 15/11/2014
The Way Out

Made in Prague: Petr Václav’s ‘The Way Out’, reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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With an estimated population of around 10 million, Romani people constitute what is arguably Europe’s largest ethnic minority – and the high level of impoverishment, dire living conditions and systematic exclusion from employment and education that blight the group are among Europe’s most pressing social problems. Though Europe’s Roma primarily reside in the centre, east…

Jonathan Karstadt | 09/11/2014
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Kostadin Bonev’s ‘Five Stories about a Shooting’ reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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On 23rd July 1943 Nikola Vaptsarov, a 32-year-old former naval machinist and communist collaborator, was found guilty of his part in a plot to supply arms to Bulgarian antifascist military groups and shot dead by firing squad. At the time of his death, he had published a single volume of poetry, its print limited to…

Jonathan Karstadt | 29/09/2014
Magda Vásáryová  as Marketa Lazarová

‘Marketa Lazarová’ reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

Citizen Kane has long been referred to as “the greatest film ever made,” a view which was until recently corroborated by Sight & Sound‘s prestigious decennial poll of critics and filmmakers (it was displaced by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo in the 2012 edition after 50 years in the top spot.) Regardless of whether this epithet is deserved, some argue that such rankings…

Jonathan Karstadt | 15/09/2014