Vintage Czech musical kicks off English-friendly cinema in Prague this summer

Edison Filmhub is rolling out new screening cycles this summer including an English-friendly Czech film series and a comedians introducing comedies.

Jules Eisenchteter

Written by Jules Eisenchteter Published on 18.06.2024 17:12:00 (updated on 20.06.2024) Reading time: 6 minutes

With summer finally here, Prague cinema staple Edison Filmhub has let us in on its exciting schedule of top English-friendly screenings planned for the next few months, a selection of indie classics and new releases for all those who can’t make it to Karlovy Vary in July.

Note that some have not been made public on their website yet, and tickets may still not be available for all, but film fans can plan their summer watch schedule and follow Edison across its channels for the latest updates.

Certified Czech cycle is back

There is no summer pause for Edison’s popular Certified Czech cycle, treating Prague’s cinephile community to timeless classics and contemporary new Czech and Slovak cinema releases.

On June 18, the ageless 1939 black-and-white gem Christian (Kristian) will be screened followed by a discussion between programmer Marie Barešová and Šárka Jelínek Gmiterková, a film historian and expert on cinematic romances. Based on a French play by Yvan Noé, this playful romance follows Alois (played by superstar Oldřich Nový) as a bland married man and uninspired travel agency clerk who, once a month, transforms himself into high-flying seducer and womanizer Kristian as he woos ladies in luxury bars.

Next up, on July 24, another all-time classic of Czech cinema with The Hop-Pickers (Starci na chmelu), the 1964 iconic movie by director Ladislav Rychman, widely considered one of the best and first Czech musicals. Following the rebellious love of two teenagers, the film has enthused generations of Czechs since becoming an instant hit upon release, celebrating love, freedom, and rebellion to the catchy tunes of Jirí Malásek, Jirí Bazant, and Vlastimil Hála.

Comedies presented by comedians

As part of its series Metro Goes to the Movies – comedians presenting comedies!, a collaboration with the Metro Comedy Club, Edison will host an exciting screening of Lucky Winners, a French comedy divided into four independent stories about lottery winners and how their respective dreams morph into nightmares after their one-in-a-million win. Comedian Julia Cantel will introduce a dark comedy that has already been compared to the genius 2014 Argentinian anthology Wild Tales.

Edison Filmhub’s Kids Kino is back on July 14 with the long-anticipated Inside Out 2, the sequel to the hugely popular 2015 Pixar and Disney animation hit (screened in English). Catching up with Riley as she goes through the ordeals of adolescent life, we follow the familiar antics of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust as they deal with the arrival of new, potentially trouble-making emotions: Envy, Ennui, Embarrassment, and Anxiety.

A beautiful coming-of-age story suitable for viewers of all ages, Inside Out 2 has already broken box-office records over the weekend, achieving the highest-grossing global opening by an animated film of all time.

Screenings followed by Q&A

Movie Barf Monday, a well-established near-weekly cinematic rendezvous organized annually by Edison, continues during summer. It is always followed by a Q&A and discussion between Edison’s in-house film critic, Ryan Keating, and a special guest.

Other People’s Children, the fifth feature film by French director Rebecca Zlotowski, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2022, will be shown on July 8. With Virginie Efira in the lead role, supported by Roschdy Zem, Chiara Mastroianni, and others, this gripping and universal tale sketches the complex portrait of a woman navigating her maternal instincts, related social pressures, and the fear of missing out on the “collective experience” of motherhood.

Two weeks later, on July 22, love and affection will take on a whole new meaning: brought to audiences by A24 studio, Love Lies Bleeding is the second feature film of English director Rose Glass (Saint Maud, 2019).

Based in 1989, it follows the passionate, world-shifting, and crime-obsessed love story between reclusive gym manager Lou (played by Kristen Stewart) and ambitious bodybuilder Jackie (Kary O’Brian in her first leading role). Supported by a star-studded cast which includes Ed Harris, Jena Malone, Anna Baryshnikov, and Dave Franco, Czech screenwriter Anna Bobreková will follow the film with a discussion.

Cinematic journeys

When all else fails, time to hit the road. On June 24, dive into the often-misrepresented world of the motorcycle subculture with The Bikeriders, directed by Jeff Nichols and starring Jodie Comer, Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon, or Mike Faist, who recently played opposite actress Zendaya in the tennis-driven love triangle Challengers.

Inspired by Danny Lyon’s 1967 photo book of the same name, The Bikeriders chronicles and dramatizes the way of life of the Midwestern biker gang The Vandals. Also part of the Movie Barf Monday cycle, the screening will be followed by a discussion with film journalist Martin Pleštil.

Held in cooperation with Prague Pride, Crossing (Aug. 6) tells the tale of retired teacher Lia as she sets out to fulfill her promise of finding her long-lost niece, a search that takes her to Istanbul, where she meets trans-rights lawyer Evrim. Directed by Swedish filmmaker of Georgian origins Levan Akin (who directed And Then We Danced), Crossing opened the prestigious Panorama section of the Berlinale earlier this year.

From Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, with the exact program still being laid out, Edison Filmhub will host the second edition of its Al Qamar Film Festival, a bonanza of cinema, food, and culture from the Middle East and Northern Africa. The event will bring a selection of classic and contemporary films from the region, moonlight markets, traditional food stands, and more cultural happenings.

Last year's films included the celebrated Algerian drama Houria, the Iranian docufiction and Golden Bear winner Taxi Tehran, and the Persian-language crime thriller Holy Spider.

Hollywood reboots, festival warmups

A reboot of the classic 1996 disaster film starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, Twisters (July 29) will take us in the eye of the storm as we follow a pair of tornado chasers risking their lives to test an experimental weather alert system. Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, the sequel is led by British actress Daisy Edgar-Jones (who starred in Normal People, Where the Crawdads Sing) and Glen Powell (featuring in Anyone but You) as first-hand witnesses to a climate falling into chaos.

A warmup to Edison and Film Europe's Be2Can Festival in October – bringing together a collection of the best films from the Berlin, Venice, and Cannes film festivals – the screening of Sasquatch Sunset (Aug. 26) promises to be a cinematic experience. Directed by brothers David and Nathan Zellner and starring Jesse Eisenberg and Riley Keough, this oddball, absurdist, and quirky drama follows the lives of four nomadic Sasquatches in the wilderness of Northern California.

Some might be put off by the lack of dialogue – although groans and grunts are aplenty. Knowing that the actors spent weeks training with a movement and mime coach to keep a consistent behavior and body language and find a balance between human and ape-like movement will make the experience even more real.

Head into fall with horror

And finally, a nicely wrapped selection of psychological horror and supernatural frights. The third and final film in director Ti West’s trilogy after X and Pearl, MaXXXine (July 15) brings back Mia Goth as an adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx in 1980’s Hollywood as the murderous spree of a starlet-serial killer threatens to reveal her blood-soaked past.

Aug. 16 sees a treat for fans of supernatural horror films, with a special screening of Suspiria, the 1977 cult movie by director Dario Argento. The first of the Italian's so-called Three Mothers trilogy, Suspiria, follows the arrival of a young American student (played by Jessica Harper) in a prestigious German dance academy, which turns out to be only a front for a much more sinister type of gathering. It is an absolute classic by the "master of thrill" himself, followed by a discussion with Czech film critic Antonín Tesař and an afterparty not to miss.

Directed by Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Álvarez (who also directed Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe), the seventh installment of possibly one of the most well-known horror franchises, Alien: Romulus (out Aug. 19) goes back to the roots of the original films’ claustrophobic action. Set between the first two movies of 1979 and 1986, the film stars Cailee Spaeny leading a team of space colonists about to come face-to-face with the nastiest life form in the universe.

For more information, tickets, and updated program, visit Edison Filmhub’s website.

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