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Rock for People, African dance and Karlovy Vary film festival

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The Czech monsoon season has been on for weeks now causing floods in many parts of the country. You may want to make sure that the event you are planning to visit has not been washed down by big water unless you are going to Karlovy Vary to watch films. The town’s annual international film festival opens on Friday, offering more than 220 feature films from around the world, many of them are world premieres and all of them are indoor screenings.

The Open Eyes section will present movies from the Cannes festival, including Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces. The winner of this year’s Cinéfoundation student section of the Cannes festival, Bába, from the Czech director Zuzana Špidlová, is also included in the programme, as are selected Czech films from 2008 and 2009 shown with English subtitles.

On Saturday, you can see the world premiere of A Walk Worthwhile, a new film version of the 1965 comic jazz opera created by Czech-born director Miloš Forman and his two sons. If you stay longer or come for the last days of the festival make sure you see Jan Švankmajer’s Conspirators of Pleasure. The 1997 film, containing wonderful acting performances in combination with animation techniques will give you instructions on how to construct unusual contraptions for use in intimate situations. The festival runs through 11 July.

If in mood for music and not afraid of getting soaked you should not miss one of the most celebrated music festivals in the country this weekend. Rock for People‘s popularity has grown so much that the organisers had to move it to a larger venue to accommodate some 20,000 people. Opening on 4 July at the former military airfield near Hradec Králové, this year’s rock fest offers three days of international music with headline names including Therapy, Gogol Bordello, the Kooks, Hadouken!, Underworld, Placebo, Arctic Monkeys and the bouncing Souls. Among the bands representing the Czech colours are the ska formation Sto zvířat, Tony Ducháček & Garage, Už jsme doma, Circus Praha, Švihadlo and Visací zámek.

The Sychrov chateau in northern Bohemia will host an open-air concert of Blackmore’s Night, a Renaissance-inspired folk rock band led by ex Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and singer and multi-instrumentalist Candice Night. The band will play traditional and medieval music from their latest album Secret Voyage on Friday, 3 July.

To enjoy a little bit of African heat, visit the international festival of traditional and contemporary African dance, music and singing, Jaaleekaay, at Ponec theatre 7 and 8 July. Film projections, a fashion show, dance and music improvisations, workshops and debates will accompany interesting dance performances inspired by male eroticism and pureness of a lotus flower.

A perfect place to go in a rainy weather is a gallery. The Stone Bell House on Prague’s Old Town Square presents a retrospective exhibition of Czech artist Jiří Anderle whose works are found in many art galleries, including Stedelijk Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Centre Georges Pompidou. The Prague exhibit, entitled batrachomyomachia (frog-mouse wars and other petty tussles), features Anderle’s primitive culture-inspired graphic works, paintings and statues he created since 1959. The exhibition runs through 4 October.

Up until Monday, 6 July you can see The Republic exhibit in Prague’s National Museum celebrating the 90-year anniversary of Czechoslovakia’s foundation. The exhibit goes back to the period of the World War I, the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the establishment of Czechoslovakia. An advertisement created to promote this showing has recently won 3rd place at Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The ad depicts a cleaning lady spitting on a glass box containing the Munich Agreement. Yes, the Republika exhibition also contains the originals of the document, for the first time exhibited outside Germany. Go take a look but no spitting, please.

If you are into art photography or you admire the 1960s art the Josef Sudek Gallery is the place to go. The venue features a collection of nude photographs which Czech artist Zdeněk Virt created in 1967 using the op-art style. Virt is well-known for developing this method which uses optical illusion to create an impression of movement on the picture surface. The exhibit will close 6 September.

A full-length picture Na půdě aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny [In the Attic or Whose Birthday is it Today?] brings back one of the most renowned Czech animation director Jiří Barta. The movie is now on show at Kino Mat with English subtitles: every day through next Wednesday from 5pm.

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