Compact archive August 8, 2006

MOFFOM 2006: Music on Film - Film on Music

Five autumn days between the 18th and the 22nd October should be circled red in calendars of all fans of music and films. Prague will namely host the third international film-music (or music-film) festival Music on Film – Film on Music.

What can the visitors look forward to? Eighty films will be shown in cinemas (Lucerna, Svetozor or Ponrepo) as well as in Rock Cafe, in the French Institute or the Spanish Synagogue. Lucerna cinema will also offer concerts every evening that will nicely conclude the rich programme of documentaries, workshops and discussions.

To be more specific, there will be for example a silent German film named Golem with the accompaniment of live music. Mr Temple, the director of video-clips for stars such as the Rolling Stones or David Bowie, should also be present at the festival, focus of which will be South Africa. The cultural diversity of this part of Earth shall be introduced (among others) by a concert of local musicians.

The aim of the festival is to explore music in new and interesting ways by means of another medium – the film. More about the festival can be read here.


Thinking about new Skoda Octavia

In the view of experts the current life-cycle of a given car model lasts around six years. Given the fact that the second generation of the successful Skoda Octavia has been produced for more than two years now, speculations appeared that the time has come to start thinking about the new model.

Octavia truly deserves the attribute successful since it is the most frequently produced car – having overcome its “sister” Fabia. Recently, we reported about the record profits Skoda cars are earning. The ten millionth Skoda car produced was also Octavia.

It will take a long time before the new Octavia becomes a reality – reportedly we can look forward to “being introduced” no sooner than in the year 2010.

Observing the night sky in "astronomical Prague"

This time of summer is ideal for observing the night sky with the brightly visible Venus and Jupiter. This week also adds an opportunity to have a proper look at Mercury, Mars and soon also at the meteor shower Perseids. The best time to try to see them is, given cloudless conditions naturally, the night of the 13th August.

The night sky can be viewed from the Stafanik Observatory that can be found in the very centre of Prague in Petrin Park. The observatory has a long tradition and tries to increase the popularity of astronomy and natural sciences related to it. The observatory is open daily (apart from Monday) between nine and eleven hours in the evening for the night observing. It can be comfortably reached by buses 176, 143 or 217 that stop near the Strahov Stadium.

More information about the observatory and its programme as well as a useful map of the area is accessible at the web pages of the observatory.

Barrandov Film Studios kept busy over the summer

Summer months are unmistakably associated with relaxation and holidays but the famous film studios Barrandov are kept rather busy. Recently two foreign films were added to the shootings of three Czech films – one of them, Menzel’s I Served the King of England, has already been finished.

The two foreign directors, who chose Prague as the place to shoot their films, both prepare movies with the same subject matter – the war.

French director Alain Wermus prepares La dame d’Izieu. This film will be shown on television and it is about a nurse, who managed to save over two hundred Jewish children from their almost certain end in the concentration camps.

The second film is German and bears the title The Red Baron. It is set in the time of the First World War and as the name implies it focuses on a fight between two pilots – one of them being the legendary German Red Baron. Almost twenty bi-planes, a trio of monoplanes as well as numerous wrecks of aircraft and other props are thus keeping the the renowned Prague film studios occupied.


Prague National Museum opens an unusual exhibition

The poor state of the building sitting dominantly in the upper part of the Wenceslas Square was touched upon in the media frequently. The museum has now opened a new exhibition with a rather unconventional subject – the exhibition deals with the poor state of this historical building which is now being stabilized whilst the experts are trying to determine the extent of the essential repairs.

The visitors can have a look at the pieces of the National Museum that fell downs from the building. Other exhibited objects include pieces of sculptures and other decorations. The exhibition, which shows the damage of the museum, aims to raise awareness about its poor state and to point out the fact that the reconstruction is urgently needed. The exhibition can be visited till the next summer.


Protests against the American missile base in front of the Czech TV

The question of the presence of the American missile base on the area of the Czech Republic is rather confusing. On the one hand, Czech foreign Minister Svoboda said that it was very likely that the Americans would turn to the Czech Republic – be it in a form of a proposal for placing here a radar only or in a form of suggesting the construction of the whole base. The extent of the Czech involvement remains in his view thus unclear, though. On the other hand, the US ambassador Cabaniss announced the decision had under no circumstances been met.

Czech experts should travel to the US next week to discuss the possible technical and legal aspects of the question. This meeting should definitely be important for the way the Americans decide. They are said to be choosing between the Czech Republic and Poland. Hungary should reportedly be no longer considered.

There were protests in front of the building, where the Czech Television resides in Prague, yesterday. People, who disagree with the base, met there to voice their protest against the way, in which the TV informs the public about the whole question. The protesters said that given most of the people are against the base, the news should reflect this opinion. They therefore asked the TV to be more objective but the television refused to accept claims about its lack of objectiveness.


Prague's exemplary waste management

The Czech Republic has nothing to be ashamed of concerning its waste sorting – even on the European scale. For example, over forty per cent of plastics are recycled which puts the Czechs at the second best place in the entire Europe after Germany. The capital city belongs among the best municipalities. As a matter of fact, Prague ended up on the second place and won a prestigious prize (the crystal dust-bin) for the way in which its waste materials are sorted and recycled.

Focusing on non-metal waste only, the average for the whole republic is 23.7 kilogrammes of sorted waste per person. On the other hand, he average for the dwellers of the capital city is much higher – almost 32 kilogrammes. Complete System of Municipal Waste Sorting has been in place since the year 1998. Prague was praised not only for the waste sorting itself but also for the whole way the problem is approached – including innovations such as separated sorting containers for clear glass only as well as for beverage boxes or biological waste. Prague also scored well in the field of information campaigns about waste management.