Prague Dog Eat Blog

Bollywood Film Festival in Prague

Oct 3, 09:58 (Filed under: Prague events, Film )

Bollywood Film Festival in Prague Once a year, Prague celebrates India’s massive film industry, by organizing Bollywood Film Festival, where we present a wide range of movies that are somehow influential in India. 14 films are screened, among them Krrish (a superhero Krishna has to save a world), Dhoom 2 (policemen Jai and Ali are trying to catch Mr. A all the way to Rio de Janeiro, or Zubeida (young woman fighting for her freedom and her new love).

This year the festival takes place at Svetozor cinema, from 11th to 14th October. It is also a reminder of India’s 60 years of independence anniversary (by the way, the independence celebration already happened on 15th August at Strelecky Ostrov).

The festival started five years ago when several students of Film and TV Department of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague organized screening of Bollywood movies for other students, and it became so popular that they organized whole festival for the next year.

Svetozor cinema is located at Vodickova 41, very close to the middle of Wencelas Square. There are going to be Indian food served during the festival. Films are in two screening rooms, and the entry fee is either 80 or 100 CZK (3€), depending in which room the movie is going to be shown. The accompanying program includes Bollywood party in P.M. Club; Trojicka 8, and the entrance fee 150 CZK (5 €).

The films are in Czech translation, with English subtitles.

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Festival Days of European Film has already started

Jan 25, 14:30 (Filed under: Film )

The idea to show the Czech audience the best of contemporary European cinematography has been already successfully running for 13 years, and this year is not the exception. The festival ?Days of European Film” has started with the screening of Ken Loach movie “The wind that shakes the barley”. There are presented around 50 long and short all genres films every year, very often not older than four years and many of them won an international award. The films are shown in their original version and they are simultaneously translated into Czech through headphones! Most of them have also Czech subtitles.

The festival takes place in two cinemas. Cinema Aero, located in the street Biskupcova 31 (trams 1, 9, 16 to stop Ohrada), and Cinema Svetozor, street Vodickova 41 (metro A station Mustek or trams to stop Vaclavske Namesti). The price for ticket is 90 CZK for any film.

Some films will be presented by their filmmakers who will enjoy discussing it with the audience afterwards. Accompanying event includes a “Marathon of European Film” (twice!), which is weekend all-night screening of five films, and a discussion. This marathon will take place on Saturday Jan 27 in cinema Svetozor and a week later on Feb 3 in cinema Aero. The tickets to the marathon cost 150 CZK for the whole night.

After the festival ends on Feb 4, It starts in Brno the next day, and will last until Feb 13.

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I went to see Borat movie..

Dec 2, 10:26 (Filed under: Film, Culture )

Borat movie ‘Jagshemash! I like you! Do you like me?’

Last night, I went to see the movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Its popularity is spreading very quickly, I wanted to know if it’s that funny as everyone says. To prepare for it, first, i saw several Borat video clips on internet at (very useful site :-)). These clips were funny indeed, but later during the movie I realized that it might have been better not seeing them. Well, because the same jokes regularly showed up throughout the film.

If I had a Hebrew descent or came from Kazakhstan, maybe I would have felt offended, I don’t know, but the movie, the situations, and reactions of people were fun. At first sight, I was not sure whether or not it was all real, all the events and situations. For those who saw it, was attack on Pamela real? Anyway, the humour was very satirical, sometimes, beyond the extremes. No matter in what critical moments Borat finds himself in, he always stays the same, doesn’t change his character even if his American friends become outraged. The authenticity was impressive, many situations must have been dangerous, though. In a nut shell, quite short but a good comedy.

I visited Village Cinemas at Andel (metro B station), and the ticket cost 99 CZK for students. For adults, it is 159 CZK. Borat is shown everyday almost every hour from 13:15 to 22:15. So Ali G and Borat were made into movies. Now I am curious when another Mr. Cohen’s character, gay German fashion reporter Bruno will show up. If you want to see the movie, or if you want to see any other movie, there is a special offer at Village Cinemas at Andel from Dec 7 to Dec 13, for the whole week, every movie for everyone is for 50 CZK.

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A weekend outside the flat

Mar 27, 09:45 (Filed under: Out and About in Prague, Film )

Finally, a weekend of activity outside of the flat. On Friday, Jitka and I went to Kino Atlas to see Factotum. In spite of fine performances by Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor, the movie pissed me off. It⿿ll piss off anyone who has read a fair amount of Bukowski, especially if they have seen Barfly. In fact, the only thing that Factotum inspired me to do was rent Barfly, though I⿿m not sure if and where I can get it on DVD here in Prague.

Dillon⿿s Henry Chinaski is more phlegmatic and sympathetic than Mickey Rourke⿿s. The former barely cracks a smile throughout the whole film (he sort of manages one when his horses come in), while the latter is constantly cracking wise. The only scene that really makes an impact is one in which Dillon delivers a poem (in voice-over) while watching a stripper do impossible gymnastics on a pole. The rest of the film is a hodgepodge of scenes that are, at best, chuckle-worthy. Worth renting if you⿿re into Bukowski, though I could see how it might be more enjoyable for those who know nothing about the man.

Our original plan had been to watch Factotum then go boozing. All I really craved after the flick was a cigarette, and, much to Jitka⿿s chagrin, I gave into that craving. We hit Soft Bellies for a couple of beers and called it a night.

On Saturday, after a very pleasant lie-in, we had a rather unsuccessful day of clothes shopping. I⿿ve said it before and I⿿ll say it again ⿿ Prague sucks for men⿿s clothes. I mean, what⿿s with all the frickin pastels this spring? I don⿿t feel like I can get away with baggy hip-hop or skater styles, and I damn all designers who insist on plastering perfectly good clothes with idiotic images, logos and expressions straight to hell (especially the folks at Clockhouse). I suppose it⿿s a good thing that I don⿿t go out all that much these days. I⿿m not what you would call a fashion whore, but I like to look half-decent when I⿿m out and about. Prague⿿s men⿿s clothiers are not helping whatsoever.

Following our shopping non-spree, Jitka went out with one of her friends and I decided to stay in town and get drunk and stoned with the city on my own. Ended up having an alright time, cruising from Marquis de Sade (which supposedly re-opened in November ⿿ how could I have missed that?) to Soft Bellies to U Zpevacku to Tulip.

Marquis was a disappointment. All the cool artwork is gone ⿿ even that awesome massive Jackson Pollock-esque piece across from the bar. The furniture is new-ish ⿿ meaning the owners have replaced the ugly half-gutted couches with ugly second-hand couches that even the most senile of babickas would turn their noses up at. The chimp with the pith helmet? Gone. The mirrored bar? Gone. The happy hour? Gone. And on top of that, a half-liter of Staropramen is a whopping 45 koruna! My ass on a Marquis barstool? Gone.

I ended up overdoing it, being rather out of practice, and while I managed to keep my dinner down, I felt like a pale, squint-eyed target. There was a time when I did this practically every night, waking up sometimes asking myself When exactly was the last day I went without a drink? and not having the slightest idea what the answer might be. Yeah, right, good times.

After sobering up a bit with a cigarette and some, ahem, fresh air, I parked my ass in Tulip for a while, where I had the good fortune of hearing a couple of dudes do a few excellent Radiohead covers. When I slurred my props to one of them (I think his name was Mishka, not sure) he said he remembered seeing me perform at the Globe and in the Tulip Lounge. Not sure whether he said he liked what I did, but I suppose it was kind of nice to be recognised, though not in the condition I was in.

Ah well, someday the comeback⿿ someday⿿

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Super Spek Me - the not-so-shocking (though surprising) results

Mar 10, 10:20 (Filed under: Film, Out and About in Prague )

Last month I wrote about Supersize Me finally coming to Prague. A Czech experiment in a similar vein recently came to an end. Oddly enough, the results were not all that shocking – apparently Karel Gustav Bozan actually lost weight after eating nothing but “typically unhealthy Czech food. That makes me smile.

Another thing that makes me smile: in a past entry buried deep within the archives, I’m sure I mentioned that out here in Blackbridge there are three McDonalds within walking distance of one another, two of which are technically part of the same shopping complex. The third one is a stand-alone unit intended primarily for drivers who are travelling along Chlumecka.

Rockin Ronnie’s on Chlumecka is right across the road from the McDick’s located at the mall entrance (this map will give you an idea of how ridiculously close they are). Anyway, a couple of days ago I had breakfast at the Chlumecka McD’s (two cheeseburgers and an orange juice – Czech Mickey Dees are very inconsistent when it comes to offering proper breakfast fare). Coming out of the joint, what do I see standing loud, proud and utterly bloated between the two McDicks? A billboard promoting Supersize Me, featuring an enormous belly sagging beneath the bottom of the board.

I wonder how many of these billboards, if any, have been purposely placed near local McD’s?

Anyway, I don’t get that easily moved by documentaries – as much as it kind of pisses me off, I know that most of the meat and animal byproducts I eat here are factory produced, and, goddamnit, McDonald’s cheeseburgers taste good – especially now that they’re only 20 koruna each. But definitely not good enough to eat for every meal every day – anybody with an iota of common sense should know that.

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(Un)health kick, at the movies, the first Czech Babybox baby

Feb 21, 08:58 (Filed under: Personal, Film )

I’m still feeling rather punky, despite having set a personal record (8 days without a smoke) and having started exercising again. I haven’t touched a drop of booze or inhaled a trace of chronic for over a week. And I still wake up feeling kind of hungover and black-lunged. I thought health kicks were supposed to be healthy?

With the exception of a rather miserable trip out to Kika in Pruhonice on Saturday (I can only stand ginormous IKEA -like furniture shops for about 15 minutes, then my temper goes real foul), I have been pretty much rooted in Prague 9. I feel the need to apologise to friends who have been trying to get me out, and to thank them for keeping me in their thoughts. With any luck I’ll be back in action by the end of next month. One thing’s for sure – I am never selling my soul again like I did with this project of history essays. The money was good, but the conditions are so bad that I’m actually starting to feel like I was better off when I was collecting welfare in Ottawa nearly a decade ago.

Finally saw a couple of movies that reinstilled my faith in Czech cinema: Fimfarum Jana Wericha (Jan Werich’s Fimfarum, 2002) and Smradi (Brats, 2002). Fimfarum is simply Czech imagination at its finest – inventive fairy tales for all ages and dark, twisted and beautiful stop-motion animation. If I can find a place that is showing it with subtitles, I will definitely try to catch Fimfarum 2 , which opens this Thursday, on the big screen.

Smradi features top-shelf acting, particularly the movie’s “brats” who hold their own when sharing the screen with the always-brilliant Ivan Trojan.

I’d rave more, but I think I’ve been devoting a bit too much blog space to movies these days.

Well, one more thing – Jitka and I watched Bad Boys last night. No, not the buddy supercop ego trip starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but the unbelievable Rick Rosenthal classic starring a badass pre-Madonna Sean Penn and a pre-Brat Pack Ally Sheedy. When I say “unbelievable” I mean easy to discredit – the conditions in the correctional facility are utterly ridiculous. How are we supposed to believe that while in the clink juvenille delinquents can take woodworking classes, are not locked in their cells, have easy access to corrosive and explosive materials… the list goes on. The movie’s entertainment value lies in all the “Oh, yeah, right” it provokes.

On a final note, I knicked the following from the Prague Monitor – a Babybox has been used for the first time in the Czech Republic. Jitka and I saw one of these things in Hloubetin quite a while ago and were a bit shocked. I’m not really sure what to make of these things and what to think of the women who actually use them – there are much better ways of putting kids up for adoption.

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Super Size/Spek Me

Feb 14, 08:38 (Filed under: Film, Personal )

I have definitely overextended myself. Leaving Prague 9 is something I do grudgingly these days, and that kind of bothers me. I??m not really in the mood for Prague??s nightlife ?? hell, any nightlife, in part because of work, in part because I??m comfortable out here in the ??burbs (a bit too comfortable ?? though not really overly melodramatic Fitter Happier comfortable), but mostly because I??m not feeling well and am still trying to quit smoking. I made it five days last week before allowing myself to be badgered into going to Strelice u Brna. That is a trip I will not be making again for a long while ?? the novelty of parking my ass in the Pub by the Train Station and getting absolutely blotto on any given night of the week got boring long ago.

So, like I said, I??ve been feeling a bit under the weather. Not surprising considering the amount of smog we get out here in Prague 9 (yes, I know I’m repeating myself – but it’s really that bad), my blossoming World of Warcraft addiction (especially bad since I discovered the joys of making virtual coin at the Darnassus Auction House) and the fact that I??ve been living off of frozen pizza, chocolate and multivitamin tablets these days. Oh yeah, that reminds me, Super Size Me has finally come to Prague.

I suppose I??ll have to see the flick, just because there??s been so much talk about it. Though I can??t understand why ?? everybody knows how bloody unhealthy McDick??s food is, so what is the attraction of watching a perfectly healthy man poison himself in order to illuminate the obvious?

Then again, I’m one of those folks who can spend hours watching people do the most imbecilic shit over at ebaum’s world. Eating nothing but Mickey Dees for a month is about as imbecilic as it gets. I’m sure it’ll be less stomach-churning than watching homeless people punch the crap out of each other.

And now, in a Czech cinematic equivalent of the bad Czech cover song*, one Karel Gustav Bozan is participating in a documentary about the perils of Czech pub food called Super Spek Me.


What does this dude expect to accomplish? Everybody knows what can come of a one-month diet of nothing but the lowest-grade cuts of beef and pork, factory-farmed chicken, steamed dumplings, sauerkraut, deep-fried whatever, pickled this and that, snout-bone-and-entrail sausages, lard and onion on black bread, beer and Czurkish coffee. Internal breakdowns, meltdowns and corrosion, together with the added bonuses of getting fat and stinking like a pub 24/7.

But of course I??m probably going to go see the freakshow and the film on March 8 “in Kino Aero, where Karel will eat his last sausage, if he?? survives the experiment!” If I can motivate myself enough to get my ass out of Blackbridge.

*In case you??re wondering why I posted that link, young Ms. Vondrackova??s appalling cover of Bonnie Tyler??s I Need a Hero has been getting some much undeserved (and unwanted) radio play as of late.

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Devcatko, Pernikova Vez, Patrick on pervatin

Feb 7, 09:54 (Filed under: Film, Personal )

Saw Devcatko (Girlie, 2002) a couple of nights ago. While it didn’t piss me off, it didn’t impress me all that much either. Maybe it’s an age thing, but I’m not as easily duped by films that emphasise style over substance these days. Devcatko is a very good-looking flick, and makes Haje a pretty hip hood (though trying to convince viewers that a Prague herna bar is a club where kids go to take drugs and dance is asking a lot), but it’s pretty much by-the-book as far as modern Czech films go. You get conflicts between generations and genders, sex, and, of course, some death.

The acting is solid, the dream sequences kind of work, and the film looks really good. So, it’s worth checking out if you know someone who’s got it on DVD. Or just wait for Czech Television to show it on TV some night.

Speaking of movies on Czech TV, Jitka and I caught some of Pernikova Vez (Gingerbread Tower, 2002; Pernik is slang for pervatin), which also features Dorota Nvotova, the lead in Devcatko, in a minor role. We didn’t like the film the first time we saw it, and this time around wasn’t much better. Though it opens with a very original and gut-wrenching scene, PV doesn’t do much else to impress, in spite of top-notch acting and an interesting, though convoluted, look at Prague’s underbelly, underground and nightlife. Just look at the still from the flick below—the characters are as dumb and annoying as they look here.

The attempted plot-twist is predictable (I remember figuring it out well before the halfway mark), and the ending is pathetic. Not even worth borrowing from a friend, only worth watching on TV if there’s nothing else on, or you’ve paused a movie while cooking, making drinks, taking a phone call, etc.

Ah, pervatin… what a stupid drug. Is anybody still doing it these days? A drug that inhibits sleep, appetite and libido and renders the user a walking scab after long-term use? Sign me up!

Interestingly enough (well, to me), two pieces that I’ve written appear on the first page of a google search for pervatin. The fifth result is an archived piece right here in DEB, the seventh result on the page is a rather immature piece that I did for the original Think magazine.

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