apple game doctor and anna

Věra Chytilová Festival: ‘The Apple Game’ (1977) reviewed by Eugenia Ellanskaya

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When the beautiful young Anna joins a busy birth ward in Prague’s hospital, everything seems to go wrong. She drops things and fusses, gets in everyone’s way and can’t perform even mundane tasks like plugging in a device in an operating theatre. The doctors despair in eye-rolling  frustration, but the obstetrician, Dr. John, soon sends…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | 17/03/2015
daisies on the bed

Věra Chytilová Festival: ‘Daisies’ (1966) reviewed by Julia Secklehner

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‘If everything is going bad in this world, so will we,’ Marie says to Marie as they sit against a wall, pulling funny faces. And so their theatrical, surreal, destructive odyssey starts. The girls have dinner with older men, scoffing down copious amounts of cake, getting drunk and annoying strangers in careless and carefree nights…

Julia Secklehner | 09/03/2015
fruit of paradise suspenders oranges

Věra Chytilová Festival: ‘Fruit of Paradise’ (1969) reviewed by Depo Olukotun

Věra Chytilová’s 1969 film The Fruit of Paradise (Ovoce stromu rajských jíme) is a Czech avant-garde interpretation of the Biblical Expulsion from Eden. Chytilová in her cinematic experiment – which raised a political storm on its release and gained her a cult following – puts female desire at the centre of a modern tryst between…

Depo Olukotun | 09/03/2015
jan kott thermal

Jan Kott Our Contemporary: Contexts, Legacies, New Perspectives – reviewed by Valenka Navea

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‘Shamanistic charlatanism!’ ‘A pernicious influence on Peter Brook!’ Like a Greek chorus the accusations flung at Polish critic Jan Kott when his ground-breaking book ‘Shakespeare Our Contemporary’ exploded onto the international theatre scene in 1964 were almost apocalyptic in their virulence. Which begs the question – why the need for an all-day conference on Jan…

Valenka Navea | 01/03/2015
songs of the goat 3 sisters

‘Songs of Lear’ at the BAC reviewed by Valenka Navea

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In the wake of last week’s conference at the Rose Theatre Kingston on  Shakespeare Our Contemporary, Jan Kott’s mouldbreaking 1964 book which juxtaposed the Bard with Ionesco, Beckett and post-war political reality, comes Polish company Song of the Goat’s Songs of Lear. The show, we’re told, will bring ‘to life the subtle energies and rhythms…

Valenka Navea | 01/03/2015
maidan3 (3)

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
Freak-Show

Florin Piersic Jr’s ‘Freak Show’ reviewed by Camelia Ciobanu

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Humanity is by no means short of afflictions and artists never tire of exposing them. One of these exposés is Florin Piersic jr.’s latest theatre project Freak Show, which has just made it to London’s West End. The play is in Romanian, and is the ultimate one-man show –  written, directed and acted by Piersic…

Camelia Ciobanu | 02/02/2015
ida 3 (together) (2)

‘Ida’ (Pawlikowski, 2013) at Ognisko Kinoclub reviewed by Patricia Manos

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There are many reasons to see  Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida (2013) aside from the impressive list of awards and nominations attached to it, and the lead performance is one of them. It must be difficult to give substance to a character with so little dialogue, but Agata Trzebuchowska conveys the reticence and awkwardness of the main…

Patricia Manos | 26/01/2015
savic dark

Serbian Month 2015: ‘(un)decorated’ reviewed by Jo Varney

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(Un)decorated  is the opening event from the seventh ‘Serbian Month in Great Britain′, which this year runs between 13 January and 28 February. It’s a drama set on the Balkan front in 1915, and at its heart are the stories of three women:  British adventuress Flora Sandes (1876—1956);  Serbian shepherdess-turned-fighter Milunka Savić (1890—1973) and the…

Jo Varney | 19/01/2015