Before the cold and dark days of winter hit Prague, there is time to use the last few days of relatively warm and sunny weather and go out for a walk. If you are afraid to wander around Stromovka park, which suffered another terrible landslide last weekend, you can try the playground area just outside the Opatov metro stop. On Saturday, the sky above the place will be covered with kites of all shapes and colours as part of the kite festival for children organsied by “>MOFFOM is here again. This year’s edition will take us to New York City. You can explore the graffiti movement and the fast-growing hip-hop subculture in NYC in the early 1980s or learn what A Great Day in Harlem means in the history of jazz. A new section of the festival, Planet MOFFOM, includes silent films. Among them is Ron Fricke’s Baraka and a tour documentary about the Islandic band Sigur Rós, which recently played in Prague. The festival will also feature a few documentary premiers: Kiss Loves You or Gogol Bordello Non-Stop. Prague’s movie theatres Lucerna, Světozor and Evald will hold the festival from 16 until 20 October.
The 11th International Acoustic Guitar Festival “>Vicki Genfan, who was recently crowned Guitar Superstar by Guitar Player magazine, will present her “flap tap” style, blending percussion and harmonic elements. The US musician will play on 19 October at the Dejvice theatre before setting out for a tour across the country with stops in Řevnice, Benešov, Dolní Poustevna and back in Prague. Tommy Emmanuel uses a different style of playing – the “finger style” where he uses all ten fingers to play guitar the way a pianist plays piano. Australia’s two-time Grammy nominee will play at Prague’s Congress Centre on 21 November. French guitarist Bireli Lagrèn is another famous festival guest. The talented musician will bring his Gypsy Project to Lucerna Music Bar on 29 November, the last day of the festival.
In early 1980s, hard rock music was the domain of white musicians. The New York-based band Living Colour changed it. A prominent all-African American band with one Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1989 will play at Prague’s MeetFactory on Saturday. The band will also play in Brno on Friday.
Singer, songwriter and violin player Emilie Autumn left school to pursue her own musical interests. You can see her stylish cabaret rock performance today at the Matrix Klub in Žižkov. She will play with the Berlin band Trunk Show at 8pm.
Tarja Turunen, former lead vocalist of Finnish symphonic/power metal quintet Nightwish, will play at Holešovice fairgrounds next Tuesday as part of her Storm Returns to Europe Tour 2008.
If you happen to be near Ústí nad Labem in the next few days, don’t miss the Budweiser Budvar International Jazz & Blues Festival. Every night starting Thursday, the local cultural centre is hosting jazz musicians from all around the world. Swiss fusion-jazz trumpet player Eric Truffaz will close the festival on Tuesday, before moving to Prague for his solo show at Palác Akropolis 22 October.
Pass the Popcorn
This week’s film premiers will take us overseas as well as to Paris and to medieval Prague. You may still remember Roman Polanski’s Frantic, in which Harrison Ford is looking for his kidnapped wife during a vacation in France. Pierre Morel’s film Taken is not far from that. Only the leading character is a former secret agent Liam Neeson and the kidnapped victims are his daughter and her friend. Plus the movie is more violent. ” It’s a smooth actioner, barely 90 minutes long, and the film is one of those high-concept movies sold purely on its single logline: Ex-CIA guy kills half of Paris to get back his kidnapped daughter,” as Beyond Hollywood movie review says.
Juno promises a better movie experience. Sixteen-year-old Juno discovers one day that she is pregnant with her best friend Paulie’s child. She has a plan to deal with the situation and she seems to know what she is doing. “Jason Reitman’s Juno is very smart, very funny and very touching and Ellen Page’s creation of Juno is by far the best acting performance of the year,” says Roger Ebert from Chicago Sun Times.
Jan Tománek’s Kozí příběh (Goat Story: The Old Prague Legends) is the first Czech CGI feature animated comedy. But it is not very original when it comes to the story theme. Although featuring Prague’s best-known legends, the story is reminiscent of Shrek. And critics say it is not a well-done remake attempt.