Vaclav Havel

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Seamus Heaney

Vanessa Redgrave, Vaclav Havel and Seamus Heaney - Irish poet and Nobel Prize for Literature Seamus Heaney - Dublin, Ireland - Friday 30th August 2013

Former Czech Republic Leader Vaclav Havel Dies

Vaclav Havel

Former Czech Republic leader and playwright Vaclav Havel has died at the age of 75.

Havel, who ruled the country for 10 years from 1993, passed away at his country home in Hradecek, north of Prague on Sunday (18Dec11) following a long respiratory illness.

He rose to fame after challenging Prague's Communist rulers, and his plays were subsequently banned for two decades.

Havel was jailed three times after launching Charter 77, a manifesto demanding the Communist government adhere to international standards for human rights, in 1977.

Continue reading: Former Czech Republic Leader Vaclav Havel Dies

Hugh Jackman Overcame 'Poof' Worries To Be An Actor

Hugh Jackman Billy Elliot Vaclav Havel Wolverine

Hugh Jackman was initially deterred from becoming an actor because he thought people would think he was gay.

The 'Wolverine' star discovered a passion for theatre and musicals when he was growing up in his native Australia and although his dad Chris was supportive of his interest one of his brothers put him off by calling him a "poof".

Hugh – who has five siblings - said: "I would love to say I was Billy Elliot, but I wasn't. My dad was like, 'Terrific,' but my brother was like, 'Ah, you poof!' I was only about 10 or 11, but I remember thinking that this is not a good thing."

Continue reading: Hugh Jackman Overcame 'Poof' Worries To Be An Actor

Havel To Turn Play Into First Film

Vaclav Havel

Former Czech Republic leader Vaclav Havel is to add moviemaker to his resume when work starts on the film adaptation of his play LEAVING this month (Jul10).

The play opened in Prague to warm reviews in 2008 and now Havel is taking it to the big screen.

His wife Dagmar will star in the film, which is expected to open next year (11).

Burrows' Sunglasses Stolen By Ex-president

Saffron Burrows Vaclav Havel Troy

Hollywood actress Saffron Burrows had her sunglasses stolen by an unlikely thief recently - the Czech Republic's former president Vaclav Havel.
The Troy star was attending a film festival in the Czech town of Karlovy Vary when she met poet and playwright Havel.
Writing in British magazine the New Statesman, Burrows says, "The diminutive Vaclav Havel and his tall actress wife hang out at the hotel cafe and we are introduced over a cheese baguette.
"The next morning we are told that Mr Havel would like another word. The ex-president approaches, explaining that he lifted my sunglasses the previous day, apologising profusely."

The Plastic People Of The Universe Review

What looks like a silly title is actually a compelling story of musical passion against governmental odds. While The Plastic People of the Universe is mostly a talking-head video about the Czech rock and roll band formed in 1968, the description of various oppressive measures that the regime took to silence the band's lyrical rebellion is certainly a journey worth hearing about.

Propelling the oral history into the past are a few choice comments from such famed influential American musicians as Lou Reed. These excerpted discussions surpass the normal "They're great!" jargon, becoming a sincere testament of flattery and mutual admiration bridging the divergent cultures. On the one hand, Czech nationals wax about the positive images of overseas talent encouraging their voices to rise. On the flipside, U.S. citizens may have been thrown in jail for various "acts against the state" throughout history, but the majority of this pales in comparison to the physical repercussions of singing angry lyrics in an occupied territory.

Continue reading: The Plastic People Of The Universe Review

Sir Sean Connery Causes Lxg Upset At Venice Film Festival

Sean Connery Vaclav Havel

Actor SIR Sean Connery is at the centre of a row with the organisers of the VENICE FILM FESTIVAL - for deciding to hold his latest film premiere in Prague, Czech Republic instead.

The former BOND star's latest movie, THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, was to be the focal point of the Italian festival next week (begs25AUG03), until Connery decided to hold the premiere in Prague, where the movie was filmed.

This decision bars the Venice festival organisers from premiering the film at their event, which has left bosses fuming.

Continue reading: Sir Sean Connery Causes Lxg Upset At Venice Film Festival

Mick Jagger Hires Top Hotel For 60th Bash

Mick Jagger Rolling Stones Vaclav Havel

Veteran rocker Mick Jagger has hired a luxury hotel to celebrate his 60th birthday - but only after he was refused permission to hold the bash at a former royal residency in Prague, Czech Republic.

The Rolling Stones legend - who turns 60 next Saturday (26JUL03) - had wanted to party at the palace, but was turned down because his pal Vaclav Havel is no longer Czech president.

Political rival VACLAV KLAUS came into power this year (03) - and so Mick's do has relocated to the posh FOUR SEASONS HOTEL, which the wrinkly rocker has hired out for $120,000 (GBP75,000).

Continue reading: Mick Jagger Hires Top Hotel For 60th Bash

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