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Made in Prague: ‘Fair Play’ (Sedláčková, 2014) reviewed by Ollie Buxton


On the first Wednesday of every month, at precisely 12 noon, an eerie metallic voice blares out over the public address system in every town and city of the Czech Republic, before a one-minute test of the air-raid siren. The scream’s unsettling, somehow taking you by surprise every time, upsetting your notions of safety and…

Oliver Buxton | 07/08/2015
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Made in Prague: ‘Into the Clouds We Gaze’ (Dušek, 2014), reviewed by Ollie Buxton


Though little known outside of the Czech Republic, Martin Dušek, is swiftly gaining a formidable reputation within his native land. Director of the award winning A Town Called Hermitage, he’s once again struck gold with his latest effort K Oblakům Vzhlížíme (Into The Clouds We Gaze), which scooped Best Czech Documentary Film at the 2014…

Oliver Buxton | 12/07/2015
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Shostakovich Playwright Lewis Owens announces new Mayakovsky play for Autumn 2016

BLACK, WHITE AND RED ALL OVER By Lewis Owens The Grand Ballroom, New York Plaza Hotel, Saturday November 26, 2016. “I stood with the crowd outside the Plaza and watched all the notables go in – it was a marvellous spectacle and it was all reported most handsomely in this morning’s press – somehow I…

Robin Ashenden | 08/07/2015
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Screening: ‘Gottland’ at the Frontline Club reviewed by Julia Secklehner


‘Gottland is about interesting people,’ Mariusz Szczygiel said at the opening discussion of Frontline cinema’s screening of the film modelled on his stories. Joined by Bloomberg News writer Doug Lytle and translator Antonia Lloyd-Jones, Szczygiel told us there are only two kinds of people in this world: those that are quiet and calm, and those that…

Julia Secklehner | 04/07/2015
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The Excursionist (Juzėnas, 2013) reviewed by Agne Dovydaityte


Hearing about The Excursionist (2013), a Lithuanian historical drama of the post-war years in Lithuania,  I remembered a short conversation I’d had with a young Russian student: ‘Why do a lot of older Lithuanians understand the Russian language?’ he asked. ‘Well, because we were occupied for 50 years,’ I said. ‘So that’s what you call it,…

Agne Dovydaityte | 04/07/2015
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‘Toto and His Sisters’ (Nanau, 2014) reviewed by Depo Olukotun


Toto and His Sisters’, the title of the new documentary from Alexandre Nanau, is,  as titles go, unremarkable and innocuous enough. Likewise the Emmy Award-winning director, in the promotional text accompanying it, merely promises  “the astonishing family story of Toto (10) his sisters Ana (17) and Andreea (15)”. Neither of these things prepares you in…

Depo Olukotun | 29/06/2015
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‘Diaries and Communities’ – Czech Underground Cinema of the 1980s, reviewed by Jo Varney


Since the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Czechoslovakia’s underground movements have been slowly rediscovered and the numerous communities of musicians, poets and fine artists accorded their proper place in history. Meanwhile, underground films from the 1980s – and the stories of the men and women who made and watched them  – have languished undiscovered for nearly…

Jo Varney | 25/06/2015
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OPEN CITY DOCS 2015: ‘Together’ (Shabaev, 2014) reviewed by Robin Ashenden


Watching Denis Shabaev’s Together, his documentary about a road trip from Russia to Scandinavia with his nine-year-old daughter, you remember the words of the late, great television writer Dennis Potter: ‘Present tense… that’s all a small child lives in. So a wet Tuesday afternoon can actually be years long, and it – childhood – is…

Robin Ashenden | 21/06/2015
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OPEN CITY DOCS 2015: ‘Daniel’s World’ (Lišková, 2015) reviewed by Ollie Buxton


In the wake of the convictions of Gary Glitter and Rolf Harris, the post-mortem dissection of Jimmy Savile’s character, and murmurings of a historic cover-up that protected and enabled paedophiles going right to the heart of British politics,  the topic of sexual criminality has perhaps never been such an acutely sensitive area, at least within…

Oliver Buxton | 16/06/2015