burning hbo

‘The Burning Bush’ (Agnieska Holland, 2013) reviewed by Robin Ashenden


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 | 02/09/2014
Peter Kerekes's 'Cooking History'

Floating Cinema: ‘Cooking History’ and ‘Across the Border’ reviewed by Jesse Kirkwood

Last weekend Floating Cinema presented a series of films at their Open Air Weekender West event, in association with the Czech Centre and the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. I was lucky enough to climb aboard the cinema barge and watch Cooking History (2008) and Across the Border (2004), two films dealing with themes of…

Jesse Kirkwood | 23/08/2014

Jonathan Karstadt reviews Mythmaking at the Floating Cinema


Czech conceptual artist Kateřina Šedá creates works using some of the vastest canvases imaginable: a whole village in Moravia, a suburb of San Francisco, a vast chunk of central London; yet, centred as they are around the committed involvement of community members, they are also definitively intimate, allowing only the few who take part to…

Jonathan Karstadt | 22/08/2014
The Floating Cinema

Ollie Buxton reviews Martin Mareček’s ‘Solar Eclipse’ at the Floating Cinema


This summer, away from the spotlight glare of the Edinburgh Festival, London has nevertheless been treated to its own share of culture, presented with an ambitious programme of events at London’s Floating Cinema. Their quaint canal boat has toured the Capital’s extensive and often underappreciated man-made network of waterways delivering a series of performances, talks, workshops and…

Oliver Buxton | 20/08/2014
dangerous acts

‘Dangerous Acts Starring the Unstable Elements of Belarus’: review by Jesse Kirkwood


‘Belarus is not sexy. Sexy countries have oil, gas, diamonds, sea, mountains … Belarus has only people.’ This is the problem faced by Belarusians seeking to attract attention to their plight in Europe’s last dictatorship. With countless other cases of inequity and human rights abuses occurring daily across the globe, why should people care about…

Jesse Kirkwood | 12/08/2014
ruth maclennan the future is ours

Crimea and Odessa: Valeriya Stepanuyk reviews Ruth Maclennan’s New Short Films

On July 14 I had the privilege of being present at one of the last events of the Pushkin House summer programme – Video Art & Discussion on Crimea. Artist Ruth Maclennan, inspired by the works of Chekhov, Tsvetaeva and Tolstoi, decided to get out there herself and live through some of the experiences described…

Valeriya Stepanuyk | 30/07/2014

Caitlin Tymukas Spence reviews ‘Transport from Paradise’ (Zbyněk Brynych, 1962)


Transport from Paradise  (1962) is a vivid look at life in a Czech Ghetto, and an account of the life of Arnost Lustig who spent time at Terezinstadt camp-ghetto before being sent to Auschwitz. Pairing the atrocious treatment of the Jews with scenes from Nazi propaganda films, we see how the world was deceived as to the…

Caitlin Spence | 22/07/2014
cabaret hrabal

Oliver Buxton reviews ‘Cabaret Hrabal’ at the Horse Hospital


Bohumil Hrabal, the Czech novelist, is a tenderly shared secret among those who read him. He is not nearly as well known as Kundera, his contemporary, but created a world just as intoxicating: one of marginal, at times humiliated people whose constricted outer lives – as waiters, railway men, paper-pulpers – masks the boundlessness of…

Oliver Buxton | 14/07/2014
diary for my children janos and juli

Robin Ashenden reviews ‘Diary for My Children’ (Márta Mészáros, 1982)


Diary for My Children is the first in Márta Mészáros’s autobiographical Napló trilogy, which also includes Diary for My Loves (1987)  and Diary for My Mother and Father (1990).  Banned for a time in Mészáros’s native Hungary, it was first shown in Britain in 1984. Now it’s released as a single work on DVD, the arrival…

Robin Ashenden | 07/07/2014