Kostadin Bonev

Kostadin Bonev’s ‘Five Stories about a Shooting’ reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt

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On 23rd July 1943 Nikola Vaptsarov, a 32-year-old former naval machinist and communist collaborator, was found guilty of his part in a plot to supply arms to Bulgarian antifascist military groups and shot dead by firing squad. At the time of his death, he had published a single volume of poetry, its print limited to…

Jonathan Karstadt | 29/09/2014
The Vit Kristan Trio at the Spice of Life.

Vit Kristan Trio at Spice of Life: review by Jesse Kirkwood

Last Thursday marked Vit Kristan’s second appearance at Soho’s Spice of Life music bar, and the first since the release of his debut album earlier this year. The exciting young Czech pianist, accompanied by veteran double-bassist Jaromir Honzak and Roman Vicha on drums, plays a bewildering range of genres, veering from post-bop and straight-ahead to…

Jesse Kirkwood | 25/09/2014
night will fall cameraman

Frontline Screening: ‘Night Will Fall’ reviewed by Nick Barlay.

A British soldier, standing in Bergen Belsen concentration camp shortly after its liberation on 15 April 1945, speaks directly to the camera: ‘Now I know what I’m fighting for.’ His words echoed General Eisenhower’s statement after visiting Ohrdruf concentration camp only three days earlier: ‘We are told that the American soldier does not know what…

Nick Barlay | 21/09/2014
anthony

A Man for East and West: Anthony of Sourozh, by Eugenia Ellanskaya

Last week Pushkin House hosted an interesting event touching upon the Russian world in England – often so unfamiliar and mysterious to outsiders. With the rise of Russia-West hostilities over the past year the hearts of many long for stability and more warmth within Anglo-Russian affairs. But how to avoid polarised and aggravated opinions? How not…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | 20/09/2014
The Maids of Wilko

Wajda’s ‘The Maids of Wilko’ reviewed by Jesse Kirkwood

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Andrzej Wajda is perhaps best known as a director of epic films explicitly tackling national issues. His ‘war trilogy’ (1954-58) is celebrated as a nuanced depiction of the Nazi occupation of Poland and the aftermath of the Second World War, while his more recent works include uncontroversial versions of canonical Polish texts, such as Pan Tadeusz…

Jesse Kirkwood | 18/09/2014
Magda Vásáryová  as Marketa Lazarová

‘Marketa Lazarová’ 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 | 15/09/2014
burning hbo

‘The Burning Bush’ (Agnieska 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 | 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