When the Cat Comes

Made in Prague: Hommage to Vojtěch Jasný (7-26 November 2015)

Celebrating Vojtěch Jasný’s 90th birthday and lifetime achievements, the annual Made in Prague Czech film festival pays tribute to this outstanding filmmaker, hailed as “the spiritual father of the Czech New Wave” by his fellow filmmaker Miloš Forman. Starting with a trio of Jasný´s Cannes International Film Festival Winners (Desire, 1958; When the Cat Comes,…

Robin Ashenden | 02/11/2015
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CEE Films at the UK Jewish Film Festival (7-22 November 2015)

19TH UK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES EXCITING GLOBAL LINE UP AND LAUNCH OF BEST DEBUT FEATURE AWARD The UK Jewish Film Festival returns 7th-22nd November with a packed 2 week festival programme of powerful, inspiring and moving films, featuring outstanding new talent at home and abroad, aiming to reflect and share a greater understanding of…

Robin Ashenden | 29/10/2015
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Golos: Ukrainian Voices (Gavanski & Levchenko 2015) reviewed by Judith Fagelson

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Bulgarian actor Dolya Gavanski and Ukrainian filmmaker Fedor Levchenko have teamed up to make Golos: Ukrainian Voices, a sensitive and insightful documentary about modern-day Ukraine. Although the film takes the Euro-Maidan demonstrations of late 2013 and 2014 as its starting point, the unrest is really just a pretext. In fact, Golos: Ukrainian Voices would be…

Judith Fagelson | 27/10/2015
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Grand Prix award-winner ‘Son of Saul’ (László Nemes, 2015) reviewed by Nick Barlay

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The opening moments of Son of Saul are blurred. Immediately, we are deprived of clarity, for the world of the film is uncertain, indistinct, disordered, chaotic. History, too, can seem out of focus. History is gone. It has passed. It belongs to another country in which things were done differently. It, too, is a blur…

Nick Barlay | 13/10/2015
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Free Event: SSEES Centenary Film Festival 12/10-17/12 Bloomsbury Theatre

SSEES CENTENARY FILM FESTIVAL: 100 YEARS OF EAST EUROPEAN CINEMATIC EXCELLENCE To celebrate one hundred years since its founding, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (University College London) is organizing a season of films to showcase Eastern European cinema during the last 100 years. The twenty-three films have been chosen to reflect the…

Robin Ashenden | 29/09/2015
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Second Run at the ICA: ‘The Cremator’ (Herz, 1969) reviewed by Julia Secklehner

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Most introductions to Juraj Herz’s The Cremator, based on a novel by Ladislav Fuks (1967), describe it as a ‘surrealist horror comedy,’ – something which doesn’t prepare you in the slightest for what you get when you actually watch it. The film starts slowly, with flashing images set in a zoo: leopard eyes, snake teeth,…

Julia Secklehner | 17/09/2015
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Sarah Hurst: ‘The Way to Ukraine’, reviewed by Judith Fagelson

“Nobody reads articles anymore,” says Sarah Hurst, bluntly. And she’s right – even this piece is written with the full knowledge that most readers will probably only skim through it. Nowadays, we’re so overloaded by information that anything more than 140 characters long can go overlooked. We’re increasingly getting our news online rather than in…

Judith Fagelson | 16/09/2015
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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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Second Run at the ICA: ‘The Red and the White’ (Jancsó, 1967) reviewed by Alan Hart

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The Red and the White – Miklós Jancsó’s 1967 film about the Russian Civil War – was originally intended as a Russian-Hungarian co-production to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution, and was also listed to compete at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival. Yet events conspired to derail these objectives. First Jancsó set the story…

Alan Hart | 15/09/2015
Jaroslava Pokorná as Libuse Palachová

Made in Prague: ‘The Burning Bush’ (Agnieszka Holland, 2013) reviewed by Robin Ashenden

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The 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, putting an end to the fabled ‘Prague Spring’ and  Premier Aleksandr Dubček’s ‘socialism with a human face’, was a landmark in post-war political history: a moment of crisis in which communists the world over tore up or threw away their party cards in disgust. It seemed to echo 1956…

Robin Ashenden | 03/09/2015