Czech culture this week: Italian and Asian film take over Prague cinemas

Plus: Anastacia sings, Czech drama premieres, and nostalgic pop from Canada.

Ioana Caloianu

Written by Ioana Caloianu Published on 27.11.2022 18:26:00 (updated on 27.11.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

Art

Conscious fashion | The aftermath of Black Friday and launch of the holiday shopping season is a great opportunity to ponder on the benefits of slow fashion, and learn a trick or two for breathing new life into old bits and pieces. The Fashion Upcycling meetup takes place at on Nov. 31 at Kampus Hybernská, with pop-up stands, a flea market, and numerous creative workshops – in Czech, tough.

Modern love stories | The drama "Hordubal," based on Karel Čapek's novel with the same name, premieres at the National Theater with performances on Dec. 1 and 2 that include English subtitles. The Czech author's psychological love story, which doubles as a murder mystery, come to life in a modern adaption with sophisticated dramatic facets under the direction of Michal Vajdička.

Elegant brushstrokes | Don't miss the chance to acquaint yourself with Japanese Zen Paintings before the end of an exhibition dedicated to them that runs until Dec. 4 at the Salm Palace. The artworks are part of a collection that Dutch collector Felix Hess donated to the National Gallery Prague in 2019. The Zen theme of the exhibition is completed by tones of a shakuhachi flute, the sound of frogs croaking, and a corner with tatami mats. Its accompanying catalogue is in Czech with an English summary.

Film

Back to Chelsea Hotel | A legendary hotel in New York stars in the "Dreaming Walls: Hotel Chelsea" movie that plays on Nov. 30 at Komorní kino Evald.

While the Chelsea Hotel is known for its famous tenants of yore, like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, or Dylan Thomas, the film focuses on its present-day residents and their eccentricities. The film is in English with Czech subtitles.

A new film focuses on tenants of the Chelsea Hotel. Photo via Flickr/Victoria Pickering.
A new film focuses on tenants of the Chelsea Hotel. Photo via Flickr/Victoria Pickering.

In the mood for Asian Films | The Asian Film festival takes place between Dec. 1 and 6 at the Lucerna and Bio Oko cinemas, with movies focused on the diversity of Hong Kong cinema in the last 25 years. Revisit classics like Wong Kar-wai's "In the Mood for Love," and discover new releases like the 2022 "To My Nineteen-Year-Old Self," followed by a Q&A with director Mabel Cheung. All the movies are English-friendly.

"I will find you, and I will kill you" | Revisit Luc Besson's international hit "Taken" on Dec. 5 at Kino Aero. The movie relaunched Liam Neeson's career, and added another string to his bow with the role of a father frantically trying to rescue his daughter from sex traders in an action-packed thriller. The movie is in English with Czech subtitles.

Joys of Italian cinema | MittelCinemaFest 2022 comes to Kino Lucerna between Dec. 2 and 8 with a selection of contemporary Italian films. The tenth edition of the festival will show films and documentaries presented in 2021 and 2022 at the most prestigious festivals in Italy and abroad, plus a concert dedicated to Italian composer Ennio Morricone, known for his movie scores. The movies are in Italian with Czech and English subtitles.

Performance

Soundtrack of Greater Prague | Commemorate a century since the Czech capital's expansion into Greater Prague on Nov. 29 with an audiovisual evening of unique archival film footage, photographs and land plans together with contemporary electro-acoustic music at the Center for Architecture and Urban Planning. The video essay (in Czech) was created by historian Jaroslav Hrdlička, while its live musical accompaniment is by Jan Burian ml & mʊdʌki. 

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Classic love triangle | Experience a modern take on French dramatist Edmond Rostand's "Cyrano of Bergerac" on Nov. 30 at Švandovo divadlo na Smíchově. The play is a "new rewrite of a romantic story in a beat box rhythm" that incorporates the classic's themes of "word as a means of love" and "word as a weapon." The performance is in Czech with English subtitles.

Iconic female figures | The Losers Cirque Company premieres a new acrobatic-dance performance on Dec. 1 at the BRAVO Theater! "Žena, růže, píseň, kost" (Woman, Rose, Song, Bone) brings together the seemingly unrelated personalities of Frida Kahlo, Madonna, and the characters Grandma and Coach in a show about female patterns that aims to inspire future generations.

Music

Nostalgia with a Canadian touch | Cœur de Pirate comes to Palác Akropolis on Nov. 28 for an evening of French music. The project of singer and songwriter Béatrice Martin received numerous accolades in her native Canada since its 2008 debut. Her retro vibes and sound, drawing on the tradition of chanson française, create a dream-like landscape that taps into the 1980s nostalgia trend.

Feel-good indie pop | German duo Milky Chance bring their contagious good cheer to Forum Karlín on Dec. 2. Despite an impression of lightness, Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch don't shy away from serious topics, while still retaining a positive vibe in their songs, which make the artistic connection between the two musicians all the more apparent.

A voice like no other | Pop icon Anastacia is ready to rock the O2 universum on Dec. 2 with her "I'm Outta Lockdown tour," a nod to her hit "I’m Outta Love" that's still on radio rotation more than two decades after its release. As a testimony for her enduring fan appeal, Anastacia has sold over 30 million records worldwide, while six of her albums reached the UK Top 10.

Creedence Revived | The keepers of the legacy of John Fogerty's legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival band come to Pražská křižovatka on Nov. 30. While the original band broke up in 1972, the concert is an occasion to hear CCR hits like "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," "Proud Mary," "Green River," "Looking At My Back Door," "Who'll stop the rain," and "I Put a Spell On You."

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