foreign body rooftops

Kinoteka 2015: ‘Foreign Body’ (Zanussi, 2014) reviewed by Valenka Navea


Trying to fathom Foreign Body is a bit like trying to unpick an intellectual and emotional rant. Director Krzysztof Zanussi’s highly ambitious morality tale attempts to explore the spiritually bereft corporate world via two star-crossed lovers, but fails in the process, as the sermon gets lost in too much convoluted detail.A shame, as the narrative includes…

Valenka Navea | 05/04/2015
camouflage featured

Kinoteka 2015: ‘Camouflage’ (Zanussi, 1977) reviewed by Judith Fagelson


Set against the idyllic backdrop of a university summer camp in the Polish countryside, Krzysztof Zanussi’s 1977 film Camouflage shows a young teaching assistant, Jaroslaw Kruszynski (Piotra Garlicki) struggling to come to terms with the politics of Polish academia. As students vie for the top prize in a linguistics competition, debate bubbles between Jaroslaw and his…

Judith Fagelson | 05/04/2015

‘The Lilpop Sisters and their Passions’ (Garus-Hockuba, 2005) reviewed by Jo Varney


On the third Tuesday of every month Ognisko Polskie hosts a film club for members and guests to watch classic and contemporary Polish cinema; this week they screened acclaimed director Bożena Garus-Hockuba’s hour-long documentary The Lilpop Sisters and Their Passions,  a portrait of the lives and loves of four beautiful sisters who grew up in…

Jo Varney | 22/03/2015
tmej kitten (2)

Věra Chytilová Festival: ‘Flights and Falls’ (2000), reviewed by Valenka Navea


‘The aesthetic side needs to be connected to the spiritual side’ –  thus says the elderly Václav Chochola in Věra Chytilová’s documentary Flights and Falls, an attempt to document a slice of the boho Czech photographic scene from the fifties to the seventies. This 2-part film is rare on so many levels – in the way it attempts…

Valenka Navea | 20/03/2015

Věra Chytilová Festival: ‘Prefab Story’ (1980) reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt


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
apple game doctor and anna

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


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


‘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