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Activities - 13/10/2011


27 Times Cinema - The Portraits- Kristyna Vavrova - Kino Central - Hradec Kralove - Czech Republic


Could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do?

I am 23 and I have studied law school for four years now, so I am not professionally interested in cinematography.

How long have you been going to the cinema? When you were a child, did you go with your parents? Or did you go with school, as part of a special educational programme?

I have been an enthusiastic moviegoer since my childhood. My parents -especially my father, who, as a young man, made his own short films- took me and my brothers to the cinema quite regularly. I remember very clearly the first „adult“ film I saw – it was Monty Python´s Life of Brian, I was eleven, I think.
As a teenager, I saw some films that were bound to become part of the golden heritage of world cinematography. Films from Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Stanley Kubrick, Luchino Visconti, Jean-Luc Godard, Miloš Forman or Woody Allen. To be honest, it was much more thanks to my parents than to the grammar school. In Czech Republic the headmasters of schools are generally not very well-disposed to special educational programme focused on cinematography – from their point of view it is a waste of time.

Why do you like cinema?  Why do you prefer cinema to other media or to books, for example?

Well, it is quite simple – to see a movie in dark theatre with the whole audience is something completely different than watching TV in your living room with your cat on your knees. And as I come from a small country with one sole language, going to cinema has another advantage for me – in cinemas, movies are subtitled, while on TV the vast majority of them is dubbed, sometimes cheaply dubbed with as few actors as possible. The result of it is often terrible and absolutely kills the feelings.
However, I don´t think that I prefer cinema to other media.
It would actually be quite interesting to combine various forms media and to perceive them as complementary – to read a book or visit a theatre and then go to see a movie based on that novel or a drama, to see a documentary film composed of pieces information comingfrom newspapers, etc.

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer? Which films are particularly important to you?

Although I dislike gender stereotypes, I am a woman, and I love movies about people, about their relationships, their desires. On the other hand, I find action or sci-fi films and even animated movies quite boring. I simply can´t identify myself with heroes pictured in those films.

What do you think of European cinema?  What does European cinema represent for you?

It is not easy to think something about European cinema – Europe is so vast and also its cinematography differs a lot, both in terms of quality and quantity. I love Scandinavian films, especially those made in Iceland, because of their melancholic blue powder light, very specific sense of humor and tough characters. French and Italian moviemakers also make good films, from my point of view.
As for the Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries, Czech Republic being one of them, the situation is far more complicated. The tradition of shooting movies had been repressed by the communist regime, and now, twenty years after the split of Soviet Union, these countries still haven´t managed to cope with the lack of money and the lack of capable filmmakers. As a result, these countries either produce only a few pictures a year or produce movies of a low quality due to lack of money. Of course, from time to time, a very good East European film is made. However, from my view of point, a lot of prizes awarded to East European films in important film festivals were rather politically motivated than well deserved.

Do you feel European? Do you travel often in Europe? Have you ever lived abroad?

Yes, of course, I do feel European. I am an advocate of the European idea and I hope the European Union will get over its current difficulties. But on the other hand, I also feel Czech and I can´t imagine moving abroad for a long period of time, I would miss my family, my Czech friends, Czech nature and architecture, culture and language. That´s why I haven´t been abroad for more than holidays.

Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema? What do you like most about this venue?

I am representing a small art cinema called Kino Central located in Hradec Kralove, an East Bohemian town with approximately one hundred thousand inhabitants.
This theatre used to be run by the municipality but about ten years ago, a big multiplex cinema and shopping center opened in the town center, and my favorite cinema was closed down.
Fortunately, a group of enthusiastic young people took it up, changed the whole image of the cinema, both its appearance and programming. They chose to show on retrospective films, films made by well-known directors, movies impossible to be seen in mainstream cinemas, art films, documentaries, etc. They are now very successful with this programming. In the foyer, there is a coffee lounge, where it is possible to have a drink, something small to eat, chat with your friends -the contrary of a bar with popcorn, coca cola, advertisements and loud music. It is a very friendly space that let you reflect upon the impression of the film you have just watched. I really like it.

- See the other portraits
- Follow the 27 on Cineuropa
- Kino Central