huba old man (2)

Play Poland: ‘Parasite’ (Sasnal, 2013) reviewed by Evgeniya Yarkova

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The fuming suburban landscape of Moście district in Poland becomes the scenery for the third film from Polish directors, Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal, Parasite (Huba, 2013). Premiered at the Berlin Film Festival last year, Parasite is now one of the films included in the Play Poland Film Festival in London. Their two previous films, the prize-winning It Looks Pretty…

Evgeniya Yarkova | 15/11/2014
the good driver smetana

Made in Prague Special Event: Free Streaming of ‘The Good Driver Smetana’

Made in Prague Bonus film: The Good Driver Smetana (Dobrý řidič Smetana) As a special bonus of the Made in Prague festival the Czech Centre is offering to all the visitors of its website free streaming of The Good Driver Smetana (Dobrý řidič Smetana). The bizarre case of the Olomouc bus driver Roman Smetana, who…

Robin Ashenden | 14/11/2014
romanian imaginarium landscape

‘The Romanian Imaginarium’ at the RCC, reviewed by Julia Secklehner

The Romanian Imaginarium – a magical title! And indeed, when entering the room on the first floor of the Romanian Cultural Centre, I’m confronted with shadow-creatures, flowery skulls and birds that ride on faceless humans. Even though the exhibition space is not purpose-built, the period-style chandelier and stucco decoration on the ceiling add to the…

Julia Secklehner | 14/11/2014
'The Left Hander,' image by MARK ALLAN/BARBICAN

Mariinsky Opera’s ‘The Left-Hander’ at the Barbican, reviewed by Eugenia Ellanskaya

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Conductor Valery Gergiev, composer Rodion Shchedrin and the Mariinsky Opera itself – these names have long been brands of quality and style in Russian theatre culture. The title of their latest production at the Barbican – The Left-Hander – is perhaps unfamiliar to many, but its fantastical plot is undoubtedly topical for Russia’s relationship with…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | 12/11/2014

‘Capturing Carpathia’ at the Romanian Cultural Institute, reviewed by Eugenia Ellanskaya

George Butler is a talented young illustrator, with a special focus on travel and current affairs. Having previously explored such hot subjects as the oil fields of Azerbaijan, soldiers in Afghanistan and the Syrian civil war, his latest exhibition at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London was dedicated to the lush region of Transylvania. This…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | 10/11/2014
havel portrait cropped

Made in Prague: ‘Citizen Havel’ reviewed by Robin Ashenden

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‘It’s almost as though I’m an impostor in this job…I feel at any moment as thought someone will come along and divest me of office and throw me back into prison.’ So spoke Václav Havel of his Presidency of the Czech Republic which came, a month or so after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, as…

Robin Ashenden | 10/11/2014
The Way Out

Made in Prague: Petr Václav’s ‘The Way Out’, reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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With an estimated population of around 10 million, Romani people constitute what is arguably Europe’s largest ethnic minority – and the high level of impoverishment, dire living conditions and systematic exclusion from employment and education that blight the group are among Europe’s most pressing social problems. Though Europe’s Roma primarily reside in the centre, east…

Jonathan Karstadt | 09/11/2014
marta kubisova singly (3)

Marta Kubišová: ‘The Magic Voice of a Rebel’. Olga Sommerová’s new film reviewed by Robin Ashenden

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Among Eastern European nations, the Czechs are an anomaly. While neighbouring countries like Hungary and Poland seem to romanticise martyrdom and self-sacrifice, the Czechs – brave when the circumstances demand it – have throughout their history put survival first. Budapest and Warsaw were flattened in World War Two, but Prague was left unscathed, much of…

Robin Ashenden | 04/11/2014