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Brüno, Vano and men in kilts

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The centuries-old Vyšehrad will carry the sounds of bagpipes and feature men in kilts as the 4th annual Vyšehradské keltování Celtic festival takes place at the castle’s summer stage this Saturday. Bagpipers, jig and reel, blacksmiths’ handcrafts and tasty food, all delivered and performed by the leading Czech ensembles, the event may be worth checking if you have a spare afternoon. Standard ticket is CZK 250 for the entire programme from noon to 10pm.

Although the Summer Festivities of Early Music are slowly coming to an end, one of the most anticipated performances of the annual event is yet to come. Scheduled for Tuesday, 11 August, the French ensemble Le Poème Harmonique will bring their musical performance by candlelight, An Evening in Venice, to Rudolfinum.

If planning a weekend outside the city, here is one event you may want to check out. The Bernard Fest in Humpolec, southeast of Prague, enters its 15th edition this year with many Czech bands attending, including Kryštof and Support Lesbiens on Friday and, Monkey Business and Chinaski on Saturday. Since the music festival is run by the Bernard family brewery, beer competitions will be a big part of it. You can also try your hand at stunt driving and stilt walking. Fireworks will light the sky on Saturday before the last two concerts close the event.

Two major exhibitions are opening in Prague today. The exhibit prepared by the Jewish Museum and displayed at the Imperial Stables at Prague Castle is dedicated to the life of Prague’s 16th century rabbi, Jehuda Loew ben Bezalel, and the legends linked to his name as well as the development of the Prague Jewish ghetto.

The Leica Gallery Prague exhibition at Mánes features more than 200 hand-printed platinum photographs by Slovak-born artist Robert Vano. The retrospective exhibit spans the entire range of Vano’s work from 1968 through 2009.

Robert Vano became renowned locally mainly for his male nudes. One of the films entering Czech theatres this week also contains a lot of nudity. Brüno, the latest adventure of Sacha Baron Cohen, features a gay Austrian fashion guru interacting with people who had no clue they would appear in his film. You can expect some embarrassing and disturbing scenes, as well as a lot of uncontrollable laughing.

Film adaptations of Franz Kafka’s works, the Czechoslovak New Wave of the 1960s, Argentinean cinema and “ten films which shook the world” are among the attractions of the opening edition of the River Film Fest held these days in Písek. If leaving now, you can still catch The Joke, a film based on Milan Kundera’s novel, The Mystery of the First Animated Movies, Orson Welles’ The Trial based on Kafka’s novel and Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys. The festival echoes will move to Prague’s Lucerna on Sunday, 9 August.

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