Karel Plicka’s views of Prague


Bridge Street, from Prague in Pictures (1940).

A shame there isn’t more of Plicka’s atmospheric photography on the web, his views of Prague present the city the way we usually imagine it from the stories of Kafka and Gustav Meyrinck. This site features a very small selection from the 220 plates that comprise his Prague in Pictures book. Taschen have published a collection of Atget’s famous photographs of Paris; the “Ansel Adams of Czechoslovakia” is overdue for a similar reappraisal.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Giant mantis invades Prague
Atget’s Paris
Barta’s Golem

Barta’s Golem


The Pied Piper.

Jiri Barta is a great Czech animator whose 1985 film, The Pied Piper, is an extraordinary, hour-long re-telling of the familiar fable. In Barta’s version, the medieval town and its inhabitants are rendered as beautifully-carved, Expressionist wood figures, and Barta twists the story in a darker direction by having the Pied Piper turn the materialistic townspeople into rats.


The Golem.

His current project is a film based on the old Prague legend of the Golem, taking Gustav Meyrinck’s classic novel as its inspiration. Since the collapse of the Communist regimes, Barta and other independent filmmakers have struggled to find financing for their more personal projects, which means that The Golem—which looks quite incredible—remains unfinished. This is especially ironic given that Prague is now a major movie-making centre for big Hollywood productions.

Kinoeye talks to Barta about The Golem and his other films, while Darkstrider has a trailer and clips from many other Czech animations.