Czech Centre London.
A month of exciting cinema, innovative theatre, art performances and music from the Czech Republic: More details and full programme.
I, OLGA HEPNAROVA
+ Q&A with director Tomáš Weinreb and actress Machalina Olszanska
Fri 11 Nov, 7pm | Regent Street Cinema
Tomáš Weinreb, Petr Kazda, CZ/ PL/ SK/ F 2016, 104 min, English subtitles
Set in 1970s Prague, and shot in glorious black & white, I Olga opened the prestigious Panorama Section of this year’s Berlinale. Based on real events, it’s the story of a deeply troubled woman unable to fit in or find a place in the world. At the age of 22 she took revenge on society and killed eight people, becoming a mass murderer. Condemned to death she was the last woman to be publicly executed in Czechoslovakia. Was Olga a monster or a victim? The UK premiere is followed by the UK general release on 18 November.
Sat 12 Nov, 4pm | Regent Street Cinema
Helena Třeštíková, CZ 2015, 90 min, English subtitles
A terrific study follows the rise and fall of actress Lída Baarová, whom beauty propelled into movie stardom and whose affair with Goebbels overshadowed the rest of her life. Expelled from Germany but considered a Nazi collaborator back in Prague, she is later imprisoned and forced to live in exile. Recalling her tea with Hitler and the ill-fated affair, Baarová’s view of herself as a victim is juxtaposed with archive footage and movie extracts questioning the tragedy of her fate. More info.
THE NOONDAY WITCH
Sat 12 Nov, 6pm | Regent Street Cinema
Jiří Sádek, CZ 2016, 89 min, English subtitles
A modern version of Karel Jaromír Erben’s 19th century poem follows the young widow Eliška (Anna Geislerová) who moves into her late husband’s home village. With grief still fresh and lacking money Eliška relies heavily on her new neighbours while building a new home and keeping her father’s death from her daughter. The stress of lies, a blisteringly hot summer and ‘the curse of the Noonday Witch who steals children midday’ all add to the atmosphere of unease in this sinister psychodrama which explores the real threats to the family.
Bookended by live music by Tom Oldfield (cello) exploring the musical themes of the film composed by Ben Corrigan. More info.
“combines stunning 35mm cinematography, elegant storytelling and dark themes…”
+ Q&A with director Slávek Horák and actor Bolek Polívka
Sat 12 Nov, 8pm | Regent Street Cinema
Slávek Horák, CZ 2015, 90 min, English subtitles
Vlasta, a dedicated home care nurse, works long hours travelling all over the countryside to visit her patients while her retired husband Láďa (Bolek Polívka) potters about at home waiting for his dinner. After a freak accident involving frogs this 30 year old routine comes to an abrupt end and Vlasta is forced to reevaluate her life and face mortality. Beautifully written and performed, full of wry humour and acute observation, this is a life-affirming drama in the style of Miloš Forman and Jiří Menzel. More info.
“Beautifully written and performed… an examination of what is important in life”
Alissa Simon, Variety