Hysterie kolem hollywoodských trháků Avengers a Temný rytíř povstal jasně ukazuje, že být pouze hrdinou v 21. století prostě nestačí. Kandidátům na post prezidenta České republiky, kteří rozjíždějí své předvolební kampaně, proto ČESKÁ POZICE doporučuje: Vykašlete se na vyhazování peněz za billboardy a vydejte se po stopách superhrdinů! Kdo by byl ideálním Batmanem, a kdo spíš Iron Manem? A co na to Mirek Dušín?
Shortly before Václav Havel passed away, a mammoth book was published containing hundreds of letters the late president exchanged with Vilém Prečan, the exiled founder of the Czechoslovak Documentation Centre. Prečan, a historian who was key in smuggling and archiving dissident writers’ work, says the letters shed new light on facets of Havel’s work that have faded from the Czech public’s consciousness.
Once a closely guarded crossing point on the Iron Curtain, Rozvadov on the Czech-German border lost some of its sinister significance with the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the opening up of the border between East and West. It was here that former Czechoslovak Foreign Minister Jiří Dienstbier and his German counterpart Hans-Dietrich Genscher cut the barbed wire fence that formed part of the barrier.
Initially established by anti-communists in America, who aimed to foster the democratic tradition of free speech in Eastern Europe when communism took hold after the WWII, Radio Free Europe actually made its ever first broadcast to Czechoslovakia, six decades ago. It also faced censure in the West, where some considered it more a mouthpiece for US propaganda than an independent news service.
For many Slavia Prague fans it is the final insult following a series of injuries, a former Sparta player and manager, František Straka, has been put in charge of the first team. Setting Straka’s Sparta pedigreee aside, his managerial record is patchy at best. Slavia fans are debating how to respond with there being little doubt that continued poor form from the team will spark a reaction.
Does mass housing have the potential to be beautiful? After more than 16 years of research, Dutch architect Bart Goldhoorn has proposed a new concept incorporating the advantages of large-scale production while allowing for design diversity. His concept, called Block City, is the name of an exhibition now at Prague’s Jaroslav Fragner Gallery that looks at the history of mass housing and presents the results of a competition designed to test his work.
Over two decades after George Lucas announced his interest in making “Red Tails,” a film about the famous group of African-American pilots in World War II known as the Tuskegee Airmen, it has finally been completed. Not only was most of the film shot in the Czech Republic, but the visual effects and score were done here as well, producer Rick McCallum told Czech Position in an exclusive interview.
“The Heart of Europe” is arguably a rather trite cliché, but it’s one that the Czech Republic often proudly proclaims when advertising its central position within the variegated continent. “Welcome to the heart of Europe! Welcome to Prague!” declares one four-star hotel in its brochures. Simply put, it makes for good copy. But is it true, culturally, politically or even geographically?
Speculation that former Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek (Civic Democrats, ODS) might join junior coalition party TOP 09 has been quietly circulating and may have some foundation. But most managers contacted by Czech Position say that the move would do more harm than good to TOP 09, and that Topolánek would be reluctant to take a back-seat role.
If there’s one undeniable trait to describe many of the Czech Republic’s leading politicians — figures such as President Václav Klaus — it’s that they take themselves very seriously. In the country’s second-largest city, Brno, a team of makeshift satirists are doing their best to bridge the ‘democratic deficit’ by empowering citizens to take local authorities down a peg through humor.
In the winter of 1968-1969, a few months after the Kremlin sent tanks to crush the Prague Spring, two men who would go on to become the most famous Czech countemporary writers in the world, Václav Havel and Milan Kundera, waged a fierce battle in print about what, if anything, could be salvaged from the wreckage. There are some delicious ironies in the Havel-Kundera polemic, writes Benjamin Herman for RFE/RL.
Political polls continue to show broadening support for the main two Czech left-wing parties, the Social Democrats (ČSSD) and Communists (KSČM), and give them a majority in the Lower House. But that creates a pretty big dilemma for ČSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka, who is prevented from party rules from forming any coalition with the party to his left even if there may be no real alternative on his right. The low risk of relying on “silent” Communist support also carries its own hazards.
So much has been written about Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his imprisonment over the past eight years it may seem everything there is to say has already been said. Having met the jailed oligarch on several occasions and learnt of some of his business dealings, the author of this article does not agree. He thinks that the widespread portrayal of Khodorkovsky as the victim and Putin as culprit isn’t exactly valid.
A restaurant in the birthplace of singer Ema Destinnová is a bit off the beaten track but it makes up for the effort to get there by having a warm fire and quality international meals that go beyond the fusion items in many other Prague restaurant. Steven Trumpfheller, the chef at U Emy Destinnové, uses French and Italian techniques done in a new way, with “just a hint of Asia.”
Although it is essential to prepare the logistics of relocation, most people forget to pay attention to the aspects of their lives that help them cope with the relocation itself. Remembering what you need doesn’t only mean figuring out what to pack.
Prague’s FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts) has been named the world’s seventh best film school and tops in Europe by the US magazine The Hollywood Reporter in its annual ranking. Founded in 1947/1948, FAMU is the world’s fifth-oldest film school after those in Moscow, Berlin, Rome and Paris; among its most famous graduates are Miloš Forman, Ivan Passer, Agnieszka Holland, Emir Kusturica and Jiří Menzel.
Red Museums shows how a new crowd of museum-goers and a new ideology were linked by the then Stalinist regime in an attempt to create communist “temples of knowledge.” Through photographs, videos and a wide range of displays with excellent documentation in Czech and English, the exhibition tells the story of how the communist period affected Czech historical knowledge — and still influences it.
Czech Senator Jiří Dienstbier died on Jan. 8 at Vinohrady Hospital in Prague after a long illness. The Charter 77 signatory was the first foreign minister of Czechoslovakia following the Velvet Revolution. The nature of his illness was not disclosed and had been kept from the public. His career was praised by people from all sides of politics.
Ronald Reagan’s centennial this year is a good opportunity to remember what sort of a man he was, what he achieved and the era in which he lived. This is particularly true for Central Europeans. His contribution – which was a significant one – to the fact that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe live in freedom today should never be forgotten, writes Jiří Brodský, the Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Department in the Office of the President of the Czech Republic.