- Film festivals
Prague hosts so many film festivals that it is practically impossible to attend them all. Almost every week you can enjoy a great choice of movies in one of many cinemas around the city, with many of foreign language movies being screened with English subtitles. One of the best recently held festivals was the Iranian Film Festival, which presented some of the jewels of Iranian cinema to audiences in Prague, Brno, and Bratislava during January this year.
The forthcoming FebioFest International Film Festival, which will be held between 23 and 31 March, will open with the Czech premiere of “Spoor”, a new film by Polish director Agnieszka Holland. One of the special guests at the festival will be the cult American director, Abel Ferrara, who is famous for his neo-noir genre films set in New York and for working with major studios and star actors such as Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Steve Buscemi, and Gérard Depardieu.
However, if you are more into documentaries, you should definitely attend the One World Film Festival, the world famous human rights film festival established in Prague nineteen years ago. Organized by the People in Need organization, the festival program includes films about human rights, social issues, as well as about the environment and lifestyles. This year, it will be held between 6 and 15 March, and it will for the first time be accessible to persons with disabilities, such as hearing impairments.
If you enjoy listening to live music, Prague is definitely the city for you. Whatever music genre you like – be it rock, blues, electro, or jazz – Prague is home to lots of great venues where music is played well into the morning hours.
The well-known Roxy Club celebrates 25 years of making their guests happy this year. Situated in the center of the city, the Roxy Club has hosted countless alternative bands and DJs and plans to continue doing so for many years in the future as well. Across the Vltava River, there is the Cross Club, where you can also listen to some great underground music and enjoy an unusual industrial interior. The Lucerna Music Bar hosts some of the best Czech and foreign alternative bands. It can get really loud and crowded, especially on weekends, but it is a great place to catch some great live music.
According to music guides, one of the biggest concerts in Prague this year will be Depeche Mode’s gig on 24 May in Eden Arena. However, if you are not a big fan of big, overpriced stadium concerts and you would rather listen to some great live music set in a more intimate surrounding, Fource Entertainment organizes many great shows, such as Thievery Corporation on 25 February, Band of Horses on 2 March, or July Talk on 18 March.
Besides traditional museum exhibitions, Prague is home to some atypical art hot spots, such as the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art. DOX is a multi-functional space created by re-constructing a former factory in Prague’s Holešovice district.
The Gulliver Airship at DOX
The name DOX is derived from the Greek word “doxa”, which means a way of perceiving things or an opinion. DOX’s program differs from other, similar exhibition institutions and offers various art projects incorporating critical reflection on current social topics and issues overlapping with other “non-artistic” areas and disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, history, or sociology.
Not just a great place for art, DOX is an excellent example of contemporary design. In 2008 DOX was nominated for the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture. The prestigious Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture includes it among the best 1000 architectural projects of the last ten years. The Gulliver Airship, a tall wooden construction placed on the roof of the building, has become a new space for literature readings and discussions within DOX and is definitely a must-see at least once while in Prague.
- Theater and dance performances
Small but unique, the Cirkopolis festival of the contemporary circus was held between 13 and 18 February this year in Prague. It brought together several very progressive dance groups that have performed very interesting plays combining contemporary dance, visual theater, and music genres. The festival was organized by the Palac Akropolis and the Cirqueon Center for contemporary circus.
More traditional but still experimental is the Prague Shakespeare English theater. It presents professional theatre productions, workshops, classes, lectures, and other theatrical events of the highest quality, conducted primarily in English by a multinational ensemble of professional theatre artists, with an emphasis on the plays of William Shakespeare, bringing to the Czech Republic, European and world audiences English-language performances that are fresh, bold, imaginative, thought-provoking, and eminently accessible, connecting the truths of the past with the challenges and possibilities of today. It has so far entertained and enlightened over 30,000 people in Prague and around the world through more than 150 performances and more than 20 special events.
- Street art
Prague is not a city where you can see a lot of street art, but there are some places where you can create some. Once a normal wall, the John Lennon Wall has, since the 1980s, been filled with Lennon-inspired graffiti and fragments of lyrics from Beatles songs. Today, anyone who passes by can paint a personal message or drawing on this wall, situated very close to the Charles Bridge in the historical center of the city. So feel free to bring your spray paint and express yourself creatively.
John Lennon Wall
Although it may not excel in street art, Prague offers a lot of broad-spectrum cultural events, so make sure you take part in some of them.