Karel Capek (I) - News Poster


The use of ads in RoboCop, Total Recall & Starship Troopers

Ryan Lambie Apr 6, 2017

Adverts and TV form an integral part in Paul Verhoeven's classic sci-fi films, RoboCop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers...

"I looked at American society in a kind of dazed way when I was doing RoboCop," director Paul Verhoeven told us earlier this year. Back in the mid-80s, when he was better known for his Dutch films like Soldier Of Orange and The Fourth Man, Verhoeven was still getting used to the pace and tone of American culture - and his outsider status arguably fed into the wry, spikily satirical edge in all three sci-fi films he made while in Hollywood.

See related Deadpool: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick interview Deadpool: Ryan Reynolds on channeling the character

"It was all so different from living in Holland," Verhoeven recalled. "A lot of my, let's say, amazement, at American society is in RoboCop; in the commercials, in
See full article at Den of Geek »

Czech Filmmaker Jan Svankmajer Launches Indiegogo Campaign for Final Film ‘Insects’

Czech Filmmaker Jan Svankmajer Launches Indiegogo Campaign for Final Film ‘Insects’
Athanor Production Co. has started an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for 81-year-old noted Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer’s latest project, a surreal film called “Insects.” He says this will be his final film.

Svankmajer has worked in many genres and media, and is best known for such features as “Alice” (1988), “Faust” (1994), “Conspirators of Pleasure” (1996), “Little Otik” (2000) and “Lunacy” (2005). Many of his films utilize stop-motion animation. He was awarded the International Federation of Film Archives honor at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 2014.

“Insects,” which has been in development for five years, is based on 1921’s “The Insect Play” by Josef and Karel Capek, which will itself be featured in the narrative.

“The Čapek brothers’ play is very misanthropic. I’ve always liked that — bugs behave as human beings, and people behave as insects,” explains Svankmajer. “My screenplay extends this misanthropy further while also reflecting Franz Kafka and his famous ‘Metamorphosis.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Queen of Blood

Curtis Harrington took an assignment nobody else would and fashioned a gem of low-budget Sci-Fi. A Russian space epic provides expensive-looking special effects scenes for a new horror show about a deadly alien rescued from a crash landing on Mars. The extras include excellent interviews with Roger Corman and effects specialist / historian Robert Skotak.

Queen of Blood Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1966 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 80 min. / Street Date December 1, 2015 / 29.95 Starring John Saxon, Basil Rathbone, Florence Marly, Judi Meredith, Dennis Hopper, Robert Boon, Don Eitner, Forrest J Ackerman. Cinematography Vilis Lapenieks Film Editor Leo Shreve Original Music Ronald Stein Written by Curtis Harrington from the Soviet film Mechte navstrechu Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff, George Edwards Directed by Curtis Harrington

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

A.I.P. released some tacky movies in its day but none were less respected than those cobbled together from foreign imports spiked with new filmed-in-Hollywood storylines.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

10 Robots You Won’t Believe Exist

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Popular to contrary belief, robots aren’t exclusive to 50′s B-Movies and toy boxes. What you are about to see and read about are ten of the most advanced and unbelievable robots in production today. Ranging from humanoid – capable of a broad range of tasks that can prove difficult for even the best of humans – to prosthetics and even giant mechs resembling those featured in anime and computer games such as Titanfall.

The word robot was coined by Czech playwright, Karel Capek for his 1920 play Rossum’s Universal Robots and ever since he did, we have shared a wonderful romance with them. As an undeniable star of the sci-fi genre in all mediums, our fascination has never faltered and with the success of Robocop this year and the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow and Transformers 4, they’re as trendy as ever.

But, enough of the fictional ones.
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Fun 1960s Retro Sci-Fi Action Short - R.U.R.: Genesis

I've got an awesome retro sci-fi short film for you to check out. It's called R.U.R.: Genesis, and it combines past, present, and future in the style of an alternate 1969 history. This is kind of a cheesy film, but it's all part of the playful vibe. I had a lot of fun watching this, I especially loved the visual style and setting. The short was written and directed by James Kerwin, and it stars Chase Masterson who played Leeta in Deep Space Nine. Here's a little information on the story and how it came about thanks to TrekMovie:

R.U.R.: Genesis is an indie sci-fi thriller based on some very early sci-fi stories and themes. In 1919, Czech playwright Karel Capek began work on what would become a seminal science fiction story, R.U.R.. The film was set 50 years into the future (well, 50 years into the future from the perspective of
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Man or machine? The age of the robot blurs sci-fi and cutting-edge science

From Marvel's Ultron to Obama's brain mapping project, science and fiction are breaking the barriers between man and machine

No sci-fi plot is as reliable as that of the rebelling robot. It's a story as old as digital time: the once promising but ultimately impetuous computer/child, realizing its mortal creators are at best obsolete and at worst a plight, tries to eradicate humanity/father.

The first play to feature automatons, Czech playwright Karel Capek's 1920 piece Rossum's Universal Robots (R.U.R.), provided the template for the rotten robot, one used in movies, in books, on television and even music, as on The Flaming Lips 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

And of course comic books have mined the robot-versus-man myth, as in the latest Marvel Comics limited series, The Age of Ultron, a tale in which villain Ultron, terrorizing heroes since 1968, returns once again to kill his creator, which is
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Top 10 Best Android & Cyborg Movies

"I see everything."

The field of robotics took another giant leap forward recently, with the creation of Rex, a "bionic man" with fully functional artificial human organs and lifelike features, bringing science reality ever closer to the science fiction depicted in movies. As incredible as it sounds, humanoid robots, or androids (just "droids" if you're George Lucas), like Rex have been appearing on screen since well before Czech writer Karel Capek gave the English language a name for them in his 1920 sci-fi play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), with the human simulacrum Hadaly a featured character in the 1896 French movie L'Eve Futur (The Future Eve). Hundreds of movies have included androids — and their part man, part machine, cyborg cousins — since Hadaly, but which ones were the best? Help us rank the movies with the coolest, the baddest, the sexiest, the deadliest, the most terrifying androids and cyborgs.

Rate the Top 10 Best
See full article at ReelzChannel »

Otakar Vávra obituary

Influential Czech film director with a talent for self-preservation

The Czech film director Otakar Vávra, who has died aged 100, was born in Bohemia when it was part of the Austro- Hungarian empire, and was seven years old when Czechoslovakia became an independent nation in 1918. He lived through the German occupation, communism and the Velvet Revolution, and saw his country become the Czech Republic in 1993, while never ceasing to make films. In each epoch, Vávra changed his skin in order to save it.

Among his lasting achievements was the film faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (Famu) in Prague, which he helped establish after the second world war and where he taught for five decades. Among his students were Vera Chytilová, Milos Forman, Ivan Passer and Jiri Menzel, all directors of the 60s Czech new wave, and more recently Emir Kusturica, all of whom had high praise for his teaching.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Svankmajer Adapting Insect Play

Svankmajer Adapting Insect Play
Fans of very-much-not-Pixar animation may be stoked at the news that Czech mentalist Jan Svankmajer is at work on an adaptation of Josef and Karel Capek's Insect Play.Originally written in 1921, it's a satire on oppressive totalitarian regimes, in which humans act like insects, and insects - gloomy beetles, warrior ants, whimsical butterflies - have all the personality. Josef Kapek was killed at Belsen in 1945, giving the play a horrible prescience.Svankmajer's version, to be simply titled Insects, will "combine dark comedy, grotesque, classic horror genre, and both animation and feature acting," he says, making it very much of a piece with the animator's previous Alice, Faust and Little Otik. He's wanted to make it since the 1970s: "I always liked it. It's very misanthropic. It reminds one a lot of Franz Kafka.""Svankmajer is 76 and I'm 72," laments Jan's long-time producing partner Jaromir Kallista. "We are very old mates,
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Svankmajer Adapting Karel Capek's The Insect Play

Famed animator Jan Svankmajer has announced that his next project will be an adaptation of The Insect Play - an early work from Czech science fiction writer Karel Capek. One of the greatest experimental / stop motion animators in the world, Svankmajer has potent material to work with here, Capek's tale one which puts human characteristics into insects and insect characteristics into humans for an effect that will surely call to mind Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis. The Svankmajer version will be titled simply Insects and is not due for completion and release until 2015.Capek himself is an interesting figure and one whose work is increasingly being mined for film. He is widely credited with creating the term 'robot' and was one of the most influential...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Lyudmila Gurchenko obituary

Popular Russian film star and entertainer who brought a light touch to the Soviet era

After Nikita Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin's "cult of personality" at the 20th party congress in February 1956, political and cultural life in the Soviet Union underwent many changes. One of the first films to benefit from "the thaw" was Eldar Ryazanov's musical-comedy Carnival Night (1956), starring Lyudmila Gurchenko, who has died of cardiac arrest aged 75.

The 21-year-old Gurchenko herself attracted a cult of personality with her sparkling performance as an enthusiastic member of a Soviet youth group (Komsomol) who is planning a fun-filled New Year's Eve celebration at the "house of culture". She is pitted against a pompous middle-aged bureaucrat who wants to make the occasion serious and educational by inserting communist slogans into the show. Tired of socialist realist films, which were required to glorify the revolution and the power of the collective, audiences
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Fresh art for apocalyptic creature feature War With The Newts (Válka s mloky)

War with the Newts is based on the 1935 Czech novel by Karel Capek which was continued as either a comic or a newspaper strip. Back in April 2009, we brought you a concept teaser and news that the project was looking for backing.

Well I don't know if this awesome new artwork that Twitch uncovered means that the project is full steam ahead, but it's sure created some excitement around here and I intend to get to the bottom of it.

The story is based on some strange intelligent creatures living in the pacific ocean which get used as cheap labor and then rebel against their evil human overlords. I sense a metaphor in there somewhere.

Anyway, more as it come. Check out the artwork after the jump!

Head to Quiet Earth to see the stills.

VÁLKA S Mloky concept teaser

Embedded video stripped, see full HTML version.
See full article at QuietEarth »

Future of robots revealed in Rise of the Machines

Sci-fi yields many visions of helpful and friendly robots - as well as dangerous and destructive ones.

We have Gort in The Day The Earth Stood Still, Robby in The Forbidden Planet, the various mechanical creations in Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow, the futuristic servants in I, Robot and the killing machines of Terminator.

And who can forget Twiki and his pudding-bowl hairdo in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Doctor Who's K9, Star Wars droids R2-D2 and C-3P0 and the more recent Wall-e? Their designs were as varied as their functions and purposes.

But what about the real world? Will robots have an important role as future human assistants? Can we teach them to be social beings? What uses could they be put to in human society?

You can get the answers to those questions and more at a forthcoming event called Rise of the Machines.
See full article at The Geek Files »

TV Book Club “Inside Joss’ Dollhouse” Review

When Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse premiered, as a fan of his work and a fan of Eliza Dushku, I said, “Oh, this should be great!” After watching it, however, I became one of those people who tuned out. When everyone said that the second season was so much better, however, I wondered what I was missing.

The hugely popular Smart Pop book line has helped shed a light on the series with its new edition Inside Joss’ Dollhouse, a collection of essays on the controversial show edited by Whedon collaborator Jane Espenson (known to fans of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica and Warehouse 13…talk about a resume!). She uses a discerning eye in selecting essays that were culled from not the usual list of people with credentials, but all comers. As a result, Inside Joss’ Dollhouse has a certain “regular people’s perspective” feel to it that differentiates
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Robots: Reel, Real and Reeeeal Bad!

Robots in our past and present, in film and real life.

What Is a robot? Everything from a real-life car assembly machine to a fictional artificial human being gets called a “robot.”

The Merriam-Webster Online site gives its main definition of the term this way: “A machine that looks like a human being and performs various complex acts (as walking or talking) of a human being, also: a similar but fictional machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized.”

That lack of humanity in a humanoid shell is what makes a great movie robot a great monster.

There were robots in films before the term “robot” was created. In fact, robots have been in films for as long as films have been a widely available entertainment.

Robots in film

Robots in film go back nearly as far as motion pictures themselves. In 1907, Vitagraph released a short film
See full article at Famous Monsters of Filmland »

Concept teaser for Czech adaptation VÁLKA S Mloky (War With The Salamander)

From what I can gather on this project from google translate (which doesn't work very well on the Czech language), this project is currently looking for funding and co-producers but they already have the involvement of one production company which is working on a sweet looking project called Aporver we've been following. Based on the 1935 novel by Karel Capek which I think was continued as either a comic or a newspaper strip, the story seems to be based on some strange intelligent creatures living in the pacific ocean which get used as cheap labor. From here I assume the war stars. Really, I'm half guessing, so if any of our Czech readers can provide a proper translation (wikipedia entry) please help us out! This sounds awesome!

Update: Thanks to the always awesome Avery, we know this book was sold in translated form with the title "War With the Newts" but
See full article at QuietEarth »

Classic 'R.U.R.' Restaged in Chicago

  • Comicmix
Chicago’s Strawdog Theatre Company has mounted a new production of Karel Capek's 1920 play R.U.R. The seminal science fiction play gave the world the word “robot” (based on the Czech word for laborer) and this will run through October 25.

The play stars Ryan Bollettino, Brennan Buhl, Zachary Clark, Andrew Gebhart, Joe Goldammer, Sara Gorsky, Carmine Grisolia, Jocelyn Kelvin, Nick Lake, Anderson Lawfer, Michaela Petro, Henry Riggs, John Henry Roberts, Noah Simon, and Rebekah Ward-Hays.

The initials stand for Rossum's Universal Robots. The theatre company’s site says, “Forget clunky metal boxes, these robots are genetically engineered humans with the troublesome parts, like needs and desires, omitted. The men of R.U.R. live alongside their constructs on a remote island, closely guarding their secret formula while supplying the world with all the cheap labor it can stand. It runs like clockwork until a beautiful young robot rights activist arrives via her father's private boat.
See full article at Comicmix »

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