A new monthly film series in Prague will bring classic Czech films back to the big screen, complete with English subtitles for non-Czech speakers. Some Like it Czech kicks off from next Tuesday, October 12, with a screening of the Oscar-winning Kolya at Kino Aero.
The new series is designed to give foreigners a window into Czech culture and history, and the films have been specifically chosen for their local flavor. The movies will be introduced in English with a short stand-up show to give non-natives some helpful background before the screenings.
Some Like it Czech was created by two enthusiastic students and fans of Czech cinema who wanted to share local films and culture with international audiences who may not otherwise get the opportunity to appreciate them in Prague.
“During my exchange stay in Barcelona, I realized how much I was missing my regular visits to the cinema,” Anna Šenfeldová, one of the founders of the new project, states in a press release.
“At the same time, I was taking a course called Spanish society through cinema and I learned a lot about Spain in a fun way. And I just thought to myself, why don’t I combine it? That was the first impulse.”
Kolya, which will kick off the Some Like it Czech series next Tuesday, won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (now Best International Feature Film) at the 1996 Academy Awards. It remains the only Czech film to win the Oscar since the country split from Slovakia in 1993.
The movie tells the story of a middle-aged cellist (played by Zdeněk Svěrák, father of the film’s director, Jan Svěrák), who becomes the surrogate father of a 5-year-old boy in communist Czechoslovakia during the years preceding the Velvet Revolution.
Kolya will be introduced on stage by Prague-based Italian comedian Carmine Rodi, who will give audiences some details on Czech-Soviet relations in the socialist era through a quick stand-up show before the movie.
“We wanted this interpretation to be led by someone who is not from the Czech Republic,” says Šenfeldová.
“Someone who will be able to bring our culture closer to foreigners with a detached and ironical view. That is why we have chosen Carmine, who has lived here for a long time and can describe our nature in a very funny and fitting way.”
The venue for Some Like it Czech, Kino Aero in Prague’s colorful Žižkov neighborhood, has a long history dating back to the 1930s and will celebrate its 90th birthday in two years. Complete with a spacious bar and lounge area, and frequent special screening events, Aero has long been a favorite haunt for Prague cinephiles.
“Aero has become a legend thanks to its distinctive programming, and we want to continue with this tradition,” Aero manager Jiří Flígl says of the new Some Like it Czech series.
“I am very delighted that we have something special for our regular non-Czech speaking audience.”
Tickets to the Some Like it Czech screenings at Prague’s Kino Aero run 180 crowns. Future films in the series following Kolya have yet to be announced, but a new feature will be presented each month.
Directly following each screening, the organizers will host an informal networking session at the Kino Aero bar so both Czech and international cinemagoers have a chance to meet and discuss the movies over a beer.
“We would love to bring together the Czech and expat community and help burst their own separated bubbles,” adds Šenfeldová.
“We hope both of the groups will end up leaving the cinema with a different perspective than the one they came with.”