Monday, May 12, 2014

International Film Festival

Your private guide in Prague and Karlovy Vary

A festival that along the years is getting more internatinal relevance is the festival that I´ll write about above. Don´t miss it, you will have the opportunity to meet famous actors, directors, to participate to discussions about films and of course to see films for the first time at the cinema!
I already scheduled to go, as I do every year :-)

Karlovy Vary

51th International Film Festival 1-9/7 2016

A brief Festival history

1946 - 1947

A film festival had been considered in Czechoslovakia even before the Second World War. The Ministry of Information and Culture supported the idea, aware of film´s social importance, and because of the favorable situation resulting from the nationalization of the Czechoslovak film industry in 1945. In August 1946 the first non-competition festival took place in Mariánské Lázně and Karlovy Vary.
In addition to the films presented by the nationalized film industry, films from countries with a strong movie making tradition like England, Sweden, the USA, and France were included. The number of films in the modest program (each day one film was screened three times at the Festival Theater in Mariánské Lázně and was then shown the next day at the new Open Air Cinema in Karlovy Vary) was compensated for by the quality of the movies selected and by the accompanying program of social events.
The festival´s second year in 1947 differed very little from the first.

The best of 51th MFF KV

A retrospective of an iconic female-director

Larisa Shepitko

The life of the legendary director of Ukrainian-Iranian origin Larisa Shepitko (1938 – 1979), whose student film Heat (1963) won the prize for best debut at the 14th Karlovy Vary IFF, ended all too soon in an automobile accident. The five films that Shepitko managed to make in her lifetime nonetheless made her an icon among female directors.
The fascinating filmmaker who, together with her no-less-esteemed husband Elem Klimov, was a part of Moscow’s cultural elite, reasserted her talent in her second film, Wings, a sombre portrait of a woman and former wartime pilot living out an “ordinary” life as a school headmistress. Then she contributed to the filmBeginning of an Unknown Era, commissioned to mark the 50-year anniversary of the October Revolution. In spite of the Party’s expectations, however, the propaganda work was left uncompleted and remained in the vault for the next twenty years. 

She tried out working with colour film on the unconventional psychological drama You and Me(1971), but five years later went back to the characteristically bewitching black-and-white images that she mastered in her studies at VGIK under Alexandr Dovženko in her sublime The Ascent. One of the most often cited cinematic reflections on the Second World War, The Ascent won four prizes at the Berlinale, including the Golden Bear. Her next film was to be an adaptation of Valentin Rasputin’s novel Farewell to Matyora - it was finished by Elem Klimov, who also created a 30-minute commemorative film about his wife called Larisa.

A Week of Lebanese cinema

With this year’s A Week of Lebanese cinema, the KVIFF ties in with its successful series of previous years (Young Greek Cinema or A Female Take on Russia) and presents a programme of eight titles filmed over the last 25 years in a country with one of the longest cinematic histories in the Middle East.

The selection will be ushered in by an absorbing drama about the abduction of a French journalist, Hors la vie(1991), for which director Maroun Bagdadi received the Jury Prize in Cannes. Director and actress Nadine Labaki has won over audiences with the gentle humour and enchantingly picturesque approach she takes to serious issues, best depicted in her second film Where Do We Go Now (2011).

One of the biggest hits in the history of Lebanese cinema, good-humoured drama West Beirut (1998), remembers the beginning of the long Civil War. The documentary film Sleepless Nights (2012) also deals with echoes of this conflict, as is the acclaimed drama A Perfect Day (2006). A vivid indictment of destructive military conflict, Under the Bombs, emerged a year after the outbreak of the 2006 Lebanese War.

The love lives of two girls in their twenties in modern Beirut are portrayed in an intimate documentary E muet(2011). The programme will end with The Valley (2014) that takes an original look at the theme of the “man without a past“.

Official website :

Visit Prague and Karlovy Vary with private  guide

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