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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
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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
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DVD Release: ‘Pictures of the Old World’ (Hanák, 1972) reviewed by Mark Crossey

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Pictures of the Old World, Dušan Hanák’s intensely moving documentary about elderly rural folk, mostly alone in their last days, was voted the best Slovak film of all time, and this intensely moving and original film is more than worth an hour of your life. Banned at first in the period of repression following 1968’s…

Mark Crossey | 25/08/2015
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‘Chuck Norris vs. Communism’ (Calugareanu, 2015) reviewed by Jo Varney

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In 1985 Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Romanian dictator, was in his twentieth year of Communist rule. The country was culturally isolated, all forms of external media choked off, and in a cost and energy-saving exercise Ceaușescu cut state TV from two channels to one, limiting broadcasting to two or three hours a day. As in other Eastern Bloc…

Jo Varney | 20/08/2015
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Made in Prague: ‘Nowhere in Moravia’ (Krobot, 2014) reviewed by Eleanor Janega

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Czech cinema has a long and celebrated tradition of dramatic comedies based on village life.  Director Miroslav Krobot has added the dark, apathetic, and enjoyable Nowhere in Moravia (Dira u Hanusovic)  to this canon, with a cast taken primarily from Prague’s award-winning Dejvice Theater. Set in the Jesenik Mountains in Northern Moravia, the film centres…

Eleanor Janega | 17/08/2015
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Made in Prague: ‘Fair Play’ (Sedláčková, 2014) reviewed by Ollie Buxton

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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

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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