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The old town of Karlsbad two hours west of Prague is sleepy most of the year. It’s a place for spa treatments, and most of the patients are old. So is the best architecture in Karlovy Vary.
German was the language of this resort town. Mozart visited and his music was performed here. During the days of communism, the hotels were filled with guests from “fraternal” Arab countries. They still return in the summer. These days the new visitors are Russians. The former occupiers, for whom furs and jewelry are the new uniform, have bought up property. They support a restored Russian Orthodox church with an excellent choir and they fill the tables at the Casino at the Hotel Pupp.
They also fill screenings of Russian films at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 2 - 10, 2010). Nikita Mikhalkov (Burnt by the Sun) and Alexei Popogrebsky (How I Ended This Summer) were two of the Russian directors who made the trip this summer.
The Russians have driven up prices here, to the contentment of the local merchants. They could soon be filming their movies here, as could Hollywood studios, thanks to a new 20% rebate on money spent, intended to incentivize a lagging industry. Yet Karlovy Vary remains a place where you can get a great massage for $30 and a great beer for $1.50.
Read more: Karlovy Vary Film Festival 2010
The 19th New York Jewish Film Festival opens at the Walter Reade with Ludi Boekens' Saviors In The Night / Unter Bauern. Nineteen years already? Amazing. That's how long the increasingly popular NYJFF has been entertaining/awakening us. This year's program, opening tomorrow at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater, offers a total of 32 features and shorts from 13 countries.
Among its delights are two films I have seen, along with many that I haven't, so I'll tell you now about the opening night attraction, making its debut tomorrow, Wednesday, January 13 -- for two showings only: 1 pm and 6:15.
Read more: 19th NYJFF opens at the Walter...
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