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The Unbearable Lightness of Being: Between the Book and the Movie

in Current Issue/Reviews

By Patricija Fašalek

If you try and search Milan Kundera in relation to America in Google, the same paragraph repeats itself in different articles. What originates in writings of New York Times and seems to be widely agreed upon: “In the 1980’s, Milan Kundera has done for his native Czechoslovakia what Gabriel Garcia Marquez did for Latin America in the 1960’s and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn did for Russia in the 1970’s. He has brought Eastern Europe to the attention of the Western reading public, and he has done so with insights that are universal in their appeal.” Most American newspapers praise the author’s writing and are deeply intrigued by his approach to story-telling in his novels. However, since his book The Unbearable Lightness of Being was published in English, his appeal to US readers led to what could be described as a natural consequence of consecutive events: they decided to adapt his book into a movie.

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The Heavier the Borscht, the Lighter the Burden: Inaccuracies in Czech Representation on American Screens

in Current Issue/Reviews

By Tereza Walsbergerová

The United States is above all a country of immigrants, which is why it is desirable for American producers and filmmakers to include immigrant and foreign narratives in their stories. While the representation of the larger foreign-born populations in the US (e.g. Mexican, Chinese or Indian) has been constantly improving due to pressure from these communities, the misrepresentation of smaller populations (e.g. Polish or Czech) has not been considered such an issue. However, due to globalization and services such as Netflix bringing American films and TV shows to the rest of the world, producers may soon find themselves under pressure from even these smaller groups. When it comes to the representation of Czech characters and narratives on American screens, it is apparent that producers often do little research, if any, which results in depictions that are often stereotypical or inaccurate. This article offers an overview of inaccuracies in Czech representations on American television with special focus on Jane the Virgin (2014–) and its depiction of the character of Petra Solano.

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Report from the 58th International Short Film Festival Brno 16

in Reviews

By Barbara Ocsovayová

Brno16, or B16, in Czech “Brněnská šestnáctka”, is an international festival of short films. In the beginning, the festival only featured films with a 16mm format but now includes other formats as well. The filmmakers range from professionals to students. The topic for this year’s festival was “We Are Family”. Keep Reading

Arbitrary Humanity: The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

in Reviews

By Michaela Medveďová

A crew comprised of four different species, the universe governed by a galactic government, a wormhole-making spaceship travelling light years away to an unknown world. The setting for Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to A Small, Angry Planet  provides a seemingly perfect opportunity for a breathtaking space adventure, filled with chases and advanced weapons. It is very easy to be tempted to take this road and join the ranks of recently super-popular action-packed sci-fi films that are the uncrowned cultural kings of the last three decades. However, the 2015 book does not quite jump onto this bandwagon. Instead, it opts for the often underrated contemplativeness of the likes of Phillip K. Dick. Keep Reading

Fighting for the “Right” Version of America: Timeless Review & Analysis

in Reviews
johnhain, Pixabay, CC0 BY 4.0

By Tereza Walsbergerová

Time-travel, popular historical figures, and light humor, but also mystery, conspiracy, and corruption at the very root of America’s past… The American TV series Timeless, created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and Shawn Ryan (Lie To Me), is a seemingly straightforward time-travel procedural packed with popular history trivia, stereotypical characters, and overused television tropes, yet its intricate plot also hides a chilling conspiracy theory which is so entangled with the story of America itself that it is often not clear where the truth lies. This article offers a structured review of Timeless along with an analysis of its portrayal of the role of paranoia in American history (1).  Keep Reading

Art Makes Us Stronger

in Reviews

By Anna Jílková and Michaela Medveďová

When trying to answer a simple question – what is art – one may come to realize that this question is, indeed, very tricky. At least the search for the answer is. The definition varies from one person to another – what one considers to be art someone else may see as trumpery, and vice versa. However, what can be agreed on is that art comes in all shapes and sizes and can be found in the most common of things. We only need to open our eyes and look for it.

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Just a Bloke from Stratford: Upstart Crow Review

in Reviews

By Blanka Šustrová

Our hero lives in a small cottage somewhere in Warwickshire. He has to feed and clothe his old, grumpy parents together with his wife (eight years older) and their three children – a mopey teenager that only speaks in grunts and twins whose only interests are sweets. He commutes to London every week to work as an actor in a horribly understaffed company and when he snatches a bit of time for himself, he writes. Because, you know, he is a poet, an unappreciated genius of his time, an innovator of language… How is it possible that he is not famous yet? Well, his best friend steals his verses, his wife needs his humble wage as “she has a cottage to run”, his London servant Bottom makes fun of him but the worst of all – his nemesis publicly calls him an upstart crow.
This could be anyone’s story, so why not William Shakespeare’s?

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He Will Most Certainly Not Be Fine: Please Like Me as a Millennial’s Adaptation of Contemporary Australia

in Reviews

By Tereza Walsbergerová

 

Chuck Palahniuk is not by far the only one who realises that being in one’s twenties can be extremely tough. In fact, there is one comedian in Australia who based his entire livelihood on this notion and even created a TV show around it. Josh Thomas’ Please Like Me is about a young Melburnian named Josh who has to take care of his bipolar mother while struggling with being perpetually single, awkward, and generally lethargic. Having developed from Thomas’ stand-up routine of the same name, the show contains the lightness of the stand-up genre combined with raw honesty of a social drama – a fusion that sets the show up for instant success which has not quite yet reached mainstream audiences outside Australia. This article’s goal is to not only introduce and review Please Like Me for the Re:Views reader, but to also possibly get the reader to (please) like Please Like Me.

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Grantchester: the double trouble of a vicar-detective

in Reviews

By Martina Krénová

What could go wrong when a handsome, charismatic vicar partners with a police detective to solve crimes? The duo of a flawed vicar loving cricket, whiskey, jazz, and women, battling his inner demons, and a highly practical police detective, who has a strong sense of duty to make the society better, stumble upon many interesting cases, which bring them the enjoyment of solving crimes in a good company but also get them into a lot of trouble.

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