Culture Shorts

Marián Chudovský temporary head

CULTURE Minister František Tóth appointed on January 2 the director of the Opera of the Slovak National Theatre (SND) Marián Chudovský as temporary general director of the theatre. Chudovský will hold the post until a competition provides a new director but for no longer than six months, the SITA news wire reported.

The Culture Ministry plans to announce the conditions of the competition, which should provide a director for a five-year term, during the second half of January. The newly-established SND board, featuring representatives of the SND, the Culture Ministry, the Theatre Institute, and the wider theatrical community, will decide on the new SND director.

Minister Tóth recalled former general director Dušan Jamrich as of December 31. Official reasons behind the withdrawal were organizational changes at the theatre and a new concept of management and operation of the new SND building that did not meet with Jamrich's approval.

Camera 2005 prizes awarded

THE ASSOCIATION of Slovak Cinematographers gave out the Camera 2005 awards in mid- December to the most successful Slovak directors of photography, the TASR news agency reported.

Ján Ďuriš won the feature film category for the movie Post Coitum directed by Juraj Jakubisko and featuring Italian actor Franco Nero. Dodo Šimončič received the award in the poetic camera category for the movie Autumnal (but) Strong Love by debuting director, famous actress Zita Furková.

The prize in the documentary film category went to Juraj Galvánek for Visions from the Inferno, a story capturing the concentration camp's horrors through the visual narrations of survivor, artist Adolf Frankl, directed by Peter Dimitrov. Richard Žolko received the award for the advertisement for the K-Cero company.

The jury gave the Camera 2005 award in memoriam to Alojz Hanúsek (1939-2000), who shot almost 20 feature films.

SNG shops Warhol's "soups"

THE SLOVAK National Gallery (SNG) plans to acquire Campbell's Soups by Andy Warhol, the prominent pop-artist of the Slovak origin, 24hodín daily reported.

This will be the first complete series of Warhol's graphics owned by a Slovak state institution. The Andy Warhol Museum in Medzilaborce obtains pieces of the second, less known series. Its curator, Michal Bycko, has informed the daily about the possibility of acquiring Campbell's Soups.

"Thanks to his contacts with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York, in particular with the foundation's vice-president John Warhol, the brother of Andy Warhol, the offer for the sale of the series to Slovakia has become real," explained Alexandra Homoľová, the director of SNG's artistic collections.

The gallery will receive Sk11 million for the transaction from the Finance Ministry's budget.

Jakubisko shoots high-budget movie

Jakubisko on set of his new film.
photo: ČTK-Peter Lázár

SLOVAK director living in Prague, Juraj Jakubisko, has begun filming the most expensive movie in Slovak history, Love Story Bathory. The movie will show the rich, blood-thirsty countess Elisabeth Báthory from Čachtice castle in a new, "innocent" light, as the victim of the battles for power at the turn of the 16th and the 17th centuries.

The theme of the Čachtice countess has fascinated Jakubisko for about 15 years. "My script traces the fate of an unusual woman, who owned more property than the king himself and who faced male battles for power during the time, when the world was not prepared for strong and courageous women," said Jakubisko to SITA.

The first parts of the "action-political" thriller, as Jakubisko calls it, were shot in open air museum in Pribylina while next shooting will take place also in the Czech Republic.

The budget for the movie is about Sk379 million (€10 million).

Báthory, who stands as mass murderer No 1 in the Guinness Book of Records, allegedly slaughtered as many as 650 girls and women and bathed in their blood in order to preserve her beauty. She has the reputation of a cruel, sadistic and bloodthirsty beast, but no court has found her guilty.

The actress playing Báthory will be revealed later in January. The name of Salma Hayek has leaked out.

The movie, made in English, should get on the silver screen during the first half of 2007.

Croats have new museum

CROATIAN Prime Minister Ivo Sanader and his Slovak counterpart Mikuláš Dzurinda opened the Croatian Museum in Devínska Nová Ves in early December. Croatians have been living in Slovakia since the 15th-16th centuries but, until recently, there was no institution mapping their history and culture here.

This is the sixth museum under the Slovak National Museum's umbrella introducing minority culture. On 930 square metres are expositions mapping the minority's life in Slovakia. They will also be used for education and cultural and social events. The Croatian and Slovak governments contributed €150,000 each for the museum's construction.

Croatian settlement has affected, apart from Devínska Nová Ves, also other Bratislava suburbs, such as Lamač, but in particular Rusovce and Jarovce, where a local library operates a rich department of Croatian literature. Local amateur folk ensembles preserve original culture until the day.

Proof about a strong Croatian presence can be found in the north from Bratislava up to Trenčín, the SITA newswire reported.

Compiled by Jana Liptáková
from press reports

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