Havel chooses steamy 'Intimacy' at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Jiri Bartoska, president of the Karlovy Vary festival with actor Ben Kingsley

And now we go over to Karlovy Vary for an update on the international film festival - Radio Prague's Dita Asiedu is on the line with Ita Dungan.

Jiri Bartoska,  president of the Karlovy Vary festival with actor Ben Kingsley
Ita Dungan: Dita, you're living it up with the glamorous and famous while we're all working hard here in the studio - what's the weather like over there at the moment?

Dita Asiedu: Well, I've been here since Monday. Knock on wood, it's been nice: sunny and warm. The festival is actually known for having bad luck with the weather, and it's poured down with rain every time I've been here in the past. As far as visitors are concerned, some 8,000 people had been accredited by the weekend, of whom almost half were students and 700 were journalists. Although at first glance it looks like there are less students around than there were last year, that's not actually the case. This year the festival has provided them with cheap accommodation, so there aren't so many camping out in front of the festival's ticket and information centre.

ID: So, the students are getting a better deal than last year. What about you - what have you been up to since Monday?

DA: Well, I saw an absolutely fabulous movie last night. I went to see "Before Night Falls" which is directed by Julian Schnabel and stars Javier Bardem as Cuban poet and writer Reinaldo Arenas, who was persecuted by the Castro regime for his homosexuality. It really was a superb film and I strongly recommend it - filled with lots of emotion and also lots of humour.

ID: Well Before Night Falls film has had great reviews from the foreign press - how was it for the Czech viewers?

DA: I really enjoyed it and I've got to tell you, it really manages to portray what life was like in Cuba from the 50's up to the 80's - everything from where people lived to what they had to eat. You have to see it!

ID: As we said at the beginning, you've been wandering around the streets of Karlovy Vary - how many famous people have you bumped into?

DA: Oh boy, there are lots of famous people here: Nastassja Kinski is here, Ben Kingsley is here, as is President Vaclav Havel, who spent all of Monday at the festival. He went to see two movies, one was the French film "Intimacy", directed by Patrice Chereau which is about and a man and a woman who don't really know each other but who meet once a week to have anonymous sex. Apparently, Mr. Havel didn't blush and actually enjoyed it quite a bit! The second movie he saw was the European premiere of the movie "Bride of the Wind" directed by Bruce Beresford. That one was about the life of Alma Schindler, described as the most beautiful woman in turn-of-the-century Vienna. He also spent some time with the President of the festival, Jiri Bartoska, and had dinner with actor Ben Kingsley before leaving Karlovy Vary.

ID: So President Havel seemed to be busy and we hope that you'll remain busy Dita. Until the next time we speak - have a good time and enjoy the weather!

DA: Thank you and bye-bye.

Authors: Dita Asiedu , Ita Dungan
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