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Echoes of Karlovy Vary film festival, Colours of Ostrava and Bohemia Jazz Fest

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The film festival in Karlovy Vary ends on Saturday, 11 July. On the same day, Prague cinemas Světozor and Kino Aero, will launch Echoes, a selection from all of the festival’s programme sections. The popular Midnight Movies section will feature one of the biggest hits from this year’s Sundance festival, The Black Dynamite; the Horizons section will offer seven hits from world’s film festivals, including The Limits of Control by Jim Jarmusch and the Mexican film Sin Nombre; another seven movies will represent the Competition section, including Himalaya and Cold Souls. Here is a complete program of Echoes.

On top of that, four movies are entering Czech cinemas, on Thursday and they are all worth checking out. A Walk Worthwhile (Dobře placená procházka), a new film version of the 1965 comic jazz opera created by Czech-born director Miloš Forman and his two sons, which premiered in Karlovy Vary last week, will be screened at all multiplexes and at the Lucerna movie theatre as of 9 July. Kino Mat will offer seven screenings with English subtitles beginning 23 July.

A highly recommended drama about an ageing wrestler from Darren Aronofsky is a must-see for wrestling fans but not only for them. The Wrestler won a Golden Lion in Venice and shows Mickey Rourke in one of the best performances of his life for which, many suggest, he should be decorated with the Oscar.

Michael Mann’s Public Enemies will bring you to the era of the Great Depression, which gave fame to a legendary bank robber John Dillinger (played by Johnny Depp) and rise to the FBI led by Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) and J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup). Together they target Dillinger as public enemy number one.

Now on to music. Two much anticipated music events are opening this weekend, 12 July. Maceo Parker, Morcheeba, Joe Anderson, Stereo MCs, Asian Dub Foundation, Jamie Cullum, David Byrne, Speed Caravan and many other great musicians from around the world will play at this year’s Colours of Ostrava, which takes place in North Moravia 9-12 July. The annual event will feature more than 100 bands and DJs on 10 stages located in the green area near the city centre. Across the river by the Slezskoostravský castle, theatre groups, including the headliner, Sklep, will offer a variety of performances in genres such as improv cabaret, experimental and pantomime.

The other event brings jazz to Czech towns and, unlike many other festivals, it’s free. The annual Bohemian Jazz Fest and its founder and president, famous Czech-born guitarist Rudy Linka, brings high-quality jazz musicians to perform under the sky in seven Czech towns. The opening show is held on Prague’s Old Town Square from 5:30pm, featuring Denmark’s new generation musicians Magnus Fra Gaarden, the Swedish artist Josefine Lindstrand and Chris Potter, who is considered by many a prodigiously talented saxophonist. A US jazz trio Medeski, Martin and Wood will play their “avant-groove” style the next day from 8:30pm. Bohemia Jazz Fest will then move to Domažlice, Plzeň, Tábor, Prachatice, Telč and end in České Budějovice 19 July.

Moravia has even more to offer besides the famous Colours of Ostrava. The annual Znojmo Music Festival opens this Friday, 10 July, offering more than two weeks of classical music and archival wine. The programme includes several concerts of the Czech violin virtuoso, Pavel Šporcl, who has built his fame on an informal approach to classical music and whose big performance takes place in a Riding Hall at Louka Monastery on 14 July at 7pm. The Czech Ensemble Baroque orchestra accompanies him with Haydn’s and Mozart’s music. On 19 July, the Czech Ensemble Baroque Vocal Quintet will perform at Moravský Krumlov castle surrounded by Alfons Mucha’s famous Slavic Epic.

At the beginning of next week, 13 and 14 July, a food fair in Kampa park will open to visitors on the occasion of the French national holiday. Hopefully, the high water and heavy rain will not ruin the gourmet celebration featuring culinary specialties from various regions of France, ranging from wine and cider, to cheese and pate, to terrine, crepes, sandwiches and deserts. The fair is open from 11am to 8pm on Monday and to 9pm on Tuesday with no entry fee. Bon appetit!

You can win two tickets for a selected performance within the Znojmo Music Festival if you send an email to Prague Monitor by 10 July. The shows are Pavel Šporcl’s concert with the Czech Ensemble Baroque orchestra on Friday, 13 July and a jam session with Gustav Brom Band performing jazz arrangements on Haydn on 25 July. Go to the festival website for more information. To win the tickets, please, send an email to [email protected] by 10 July, noon.

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