Film Shorts

Slovak films with English subtitles at Charlie

Foreign tourists will have an exceptional opportunity to get acquainted with Slovak cinematography at the Charlie Centre at Špitálska 4 in Bratislava during August and September. The Slovak Film Institute has prepared a screening of 15 Slovak films with English subtitles, Simona Nôtová-Tušerová from the Institute told The Slovak Spectator.

One of the most successful contemporary documentaries is Marko Škop's Other Worlds (Iné svety), about the Šariš region in Eastern Slovakia, which opened the film review on August 1. It will be followed by the feature film Two Syllables Behind (O dve slabiky pozadu), a debut by Katarína Šulajová that tells the story of a student of visual arts who tries to find something to fill the emptiness in her life. The August programme also includes a debut by Martin Šulík, Tenderness (Neha), from 1991 about a ménage-a-trois. Another debut on the silver screen will be Hannah and Her Brothers (Hana a jej bratia) by Vladimír Adásek, the first Slovak movie with a gay theme. Private Lives (Súkromné životy) by Dušan Hanák about the problems and desires of two half-sisters is an older film with current themes. A psychological drama about love, infidelity and human failures, Faithless Games (Neverné hry), by Michaela Pavlátová, will be screened too. Wrong Side Up (Príbery obyčajného šialenstva) by Petr Zelenka, a successful Czech-Slovak co-production, will conclude the August programme.

In September, eight feature films will be screened, of which two are documentaries. The films include Cruel Joys (Kruté radosti) by Juraj Nvota, Rivers of Babylon by Vlado Balco, The Angel of Mercy (Anjel milosrdenstva) by Miloslav Luther, The Garden (Záhrada) and The Landscape (Krajinka) by Martin Šulík and an older movie, Watch Out! (Dávajte si pozor!) by Jozef Heriban and Jozef Slovák. The documentaries are 66 Seasons (66 sezón) by Peter Kerekes and Paper Heads (Papierové hlavy) by Dušan Hanák.

All screenings start at 21:00 in August and at 20:30 in September.

Spanish films in Tatra cinema

Film lovers can look forward to another portion of quality European movies between August 7-9. The Continental film company and Spanish Embassy in Slovakia have prepared a mini-festival of Spanish films to take place at the Tatra cinema. Six noteworthy and acclaimed films that have not made it into Slovak distribution will be screened.

In the City (En la cuidad), which portrays the daily lives, secrets and lies of a bunch of thirty-somethings living in Barcelona, will open the event on August 7 at 18:00. Mondays in the Sun (Los Lunes al sol), a story of a group of former workers in a Spanish ship-building company, will follow the same day at 20:30. On Tuesday, film fans can see My Eyes I give you (Te doy mi ojos), which focuses on domestic violence, at 18:00 and My Mother Fancies Women (A mi madre Le gustan mujeres) about Sofía, a mother of three, who falls in love with another woman, at 20:30. On August 9 at 18:00, the Tatra cinema will screen 800 Bullets (800 balas), a film that can appeal to "spaghetti western" lovers and Women Alone (Solas), in which director Benito Zambrano theorises that loneliness and poverty can be overcome by remembering how to care for others, will complete the mini-festival at 20:30.

The mini-festival also serves as an invitation for a premiere of another Spanish film by the legendary director Isabel Coixet, The Secret Life of Words (La vida secreta de las palabras), on August 10 at 18:00. Cinemagoers can see a story about a lonely and mysterious nurse, who gives up her first holiday in years to travel to an oil rig, where she cares for a man suffering from severe burns. All films will be screened in Spanish with Slovak subtitles.

Film festival in Banská Štiavnica

One of the most beautiful towns in Slovakia, Banská Štiavnica, will host the Summer Film Seminar 4 Elements between August 10 and 13. The main theme of the eighth year of the festival will be the connection between the words Up and Down, which evoke not only the hilly terrain of the city but also the selection of films and accompanying events.

"The connection between the words up and down can be understood as a trivial observation of the world around us. Relations based on opposites also occur in the art of film. They touch on its structural, spatial, moral and social values and the eternal themes of cinematography," said Daniela Chlapíková from the 4 Živly civic association, which is the main organiser of the event.

Lectures by Martin Ciel, a film theorist and lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (VŠMU), and Martin Kaňuch, a film theorist and editor-in-chief of KINO IKON, will accompany the seminar.

The organisers have prepared 14 feature films and three surprises from the archive, including The Rat-catcher (Krysař) by Jiří Bárta, Kanał (Kanal) by Andrzej Wajda and Ga-ga: Glory to the Heroes (Ga, Ga - Chwala bohaterom) by Piotr Szulkin, among others. Evening screenings of The World of Tomorrow by Kerry Conran, A Deadly Invention (Vynález skazy) by Karel Zeman and Delicatessen by Jean-Pierre Jeunet will take place in the local open-air cinema. A screening of the silent film Greed by Eric von Stroheim from 1924 will be enriched by experimental music by Julo Fujak and Ján Boleslav Kladivo.

Of the accompanying events, it is worth mentioning the video screenings of some recent short films by VŠMU students, a collection of films from the Áčko International Student Film Festival and one-minute films from the Asylum Festival and Basque Films in Art Café. A special screening will take place in the former mine in the Museum of Mining.

The festival also offers music performances. Slide and Udu and Soňa Horňáková, Živé kvety and Longital/Dlhé Diely will play and sing at the mini-fest at the courtyard of Libresso café on August 10. The second music evening, Roots Sounds, will be in the rhythms of ska, reaggae and dancehall. A party in the tea-house Klopačka is an inseparable part of the film festival.

Sila ľudskosti nominated for Emmy

The Slovak-Czech docu-mentary Sila ľudskosti (The Power of Good) by Patrik Pašš and Matej Mináč has been nominated for an American Emmy Award in the main category, Daniela Sečkárová from Trigon production informed the SITA news wire.

The film, co-produced with the Slovak Television, tells the story of British stockbroker Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia by bringing them across Hitler's Germany to the UK.

Winton remained silent about his heroic deed for more than 50 years until materials documenting the whole event were discovered by his wife. At the end of the film, Winton meets with some of "his" children. The documentary is full of archive shots, photos and the testimony of people who lived during the period. The film speaks about the courage of a man whose determination helped save hundreds of lives.

The awards will be handed out at a gala evening in New York on September 25. A film by producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the former bosses of Miramax, is the The Power of Good's biggest rival.

The documentary has already collected almost 20 awards, including an International Emmy Award for best documentary of 2002 and the Christopher Award, which is granted to films with an exceptional humanitarian message.

Prepared by Jana Liptáková
from press reports

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