As John Malkovich watched clips selected from all his films and received the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema, everyone including myself, held their breath in anticipation of this year’s winner of the festival’s Official Selection in Competition. When Marek Eben announced the name of the winner being the Belgian-Canadian co-production Un ange à la mer (Angel at Sea), my tip for the winner, I was especially pleased. The film is a real artistic masterpiece and will leave you moved for several hours after you leave the cinema. Olivier Gourmet also won the Best Actor award for the role of the manic-depressive father and shared the award with Paul Giamatti for his role in Cold Souls. The
See the Prague Monitor’s slide show of the festival.
Karlovy Vary wrapped its 44th edition Saturday with Tehran filmmaker Abdolreza Kahani winning a special jury prize for Twenty, a look at life in an Iranian banquet hall. Kahani asked audiences to recognize his people’s struggle, prompting a standing ovation from the crowd, including Václav Havel.
The biggest star to walk the red carpet on Friday arrived in Karlovy Vary in good humour and gave smiles all around to the crowds that were waiting for him for more than two hours in the rain, all just to catch a glimpse of the famous actor: Antonio Banderas. Earlier that day, replying to a question about one of the roles that brought him his current fame, Zoro, he smiled and said, “I knew it would be a pretty big thing when Stephen Spielberg asked me whether I know the character during an Oscar night back in 1994. I said yes. Than he asked me if I wanted to play the part. I said yes. It was as simple
John Malkovich was the biggest star of the festival yesterday, and here are some reflections of what he had to say. Since he has acted in more than 70 films, I asked him at yesterday’s press conference what role he felt suited him the most. Despite initial hesitation, he eventually answered it was a role he played in the movie Colour Me Kubrick: “In that movie I impersonated a character that walked around pretending he was Stanley Kubrick. And throughout my life, I walk around pretending to be John Malkovich.” The journalists chuckled. It might be easier to understand what he meant if you’ve already heard him speak before. The brilliant actor has his own typical style of responding. “I
This year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, continuing until this Saturday, has already been deemed a success by organisers and visitors alike. See the Prague Monitor’s slide show and read daily reports here.
The arrival of one of the greatest personalities in the film world to Prague on Tuesday was just as classy as the actor, director, and producer himself. His smiling face as he got off the Pendolino train was printed in all of yesterday’s papers and appeared on numerous websites. His arrival at the festival also generated a great deal of excitement in Karlovy Vary. I’m talking about one of the most anticipated guest to the festival this year John Malkovich, of course. Today, you can catch the actor at numerous places and I’ll some them up for you here: Apart from the usual press conference, John Malkovich will also hold a Master Class available to everyone, which will be held
I promised to take you to the world of the central and eastern European cinema yesterday, so here it comes. Apart from films screened at the East of the West section, the festival brings to you many a jewel this year in the section 20 Years of Freedom. Tributes are being paid to Jan Švankmajer and Peter Solan. Explore how Russian female directors view their country in the section A Female Take on Russia and watch out for Marko Škop’s documentary Osadné competing for the Crystal Globe for the best documentary this year. Jiří Chlumský’s Nedodržaný sl’ub (A Broken Promise) is screened in the section Another View and three films from the region will compete for the best picture award
The festival screenings take place at various different locations throughout Karlovy Vary each year. From screening halls with the latest modern equipment, air-conditioning and comfortable chairs such as the recently renovated Grand Hall at Hotel Thermal with its 1,148 seats and oval screen, or Kino Čas, just opposite the street, many provisional theatres are set up to offer the tens of thousands of visitors a chance to see the rare films screened at the festival, such as Lázně III or at the Grandhotel Pupp’s ceremonial hall. The only comfort you get when watching your film in these locations is a chair and the wind you get from waving the latest issue of your Festival Daily in front of your face.
The whole world has been watching the recent turmoil in Iran and the struggle of the Iranian people protesting against the regime. The Iranian film Bist (Twenty) which has been chosen for the main competition is a mirror that reflects life in Iran through a story of a wedding and mourning hall and life and destiny of its employees in 20 days. My personal tribute goes to the director Abdolreza Kahani for shooting such a great film that is not only authentic, but also surprises with its brilliant cinematography. The press conference that preceded the international premiere of the film was attended by the lead actress, the editor, the director, and the film’s private producer. While the questions targeted to