Bio Oko

Bio Oko celebrates 10 years with a neighborly film festival and street fair

The Letná venue has been operating as a local art cinema for a decade

Neon-bedazzled art cinema Bio Oko in Prague’s Letná district celebrates 10 years of its modern history from September 12 to 15, with films on the theme of neighbors. The celebrations will culminate on Saturday, September 14, with an outdoor festival on Františka Křížka Street in front of the cinema.

The film festival, called Oko slaví Deset (Oko Celebrates 10), starts with the preview of the South Korean black comedy Parasite, the winner of the Palme d’Or at the most recent Cannes International Film Festival. The film will go to Czech cinemas October 3. That screening is with Czech subtitles, but other films in the festival are English-friendly.

The rest of the program includes the thriller Rear Window, period noir-thriller Barton Fink, horror film Rosemary’s Baby, the comedy As Good as It Gets, and the drama American Beauty.

rear window
James Stewart in Rear Window. Publicity still

Rear Window is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, with James Stewart and Grace Kelly as a couple who look into neighbors’ windows and suspect one of their neighbors is up to no good.

The Coen Brother’s offbeat period piece Barton Fink defies easy categorization, but has elements of a thriller, film noir and a black comedy. A writer played by John Turturro goes to Hollywood and gets caught up in surreal events. The film won film three awards at Cannes: Best Director, Best Actor, and the Palme d’Or.

Roman Polanski’s horror film Rosemary’s Baby delves into the occult, with a couple played by Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes living in New York’s famous Dakota building, where John Lennon lived in real life. Ruth Gordon won an Oscar for her supporting role.

as good as it gets
Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets. Publicity still

James L. Brooks directed As Good as It Gets, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt as a romance novelist and single mother, respectively, who get involved in a complicated relationship. Both won Oscars for their roles.

American Beauty took five Oscars including Best Picture. Sam Mendes earned Best Director, and Kevin Spacey won for Best Actor. The complex plot revolves around an executive’s midlife crisis.

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“When we thought about how to celebrate 10 years since we started operating Bio OKO, we agreed on one idea: our cinema is all about the neighborhood. This does not mean that all who come here are from Letná. Rather, our association is about a friendly atmosphere,” cinema director David Beránek said, adding it is a meeting place for visitors of all generations. He has been leading the cinema since 2009.

american beauty
Kevin Spacey and Mena Suvari in American Beauty. Publicity still

A short, humorous film trailer was shot in Letná by director Ondřej Šálek to mark the anniversary.

The September 14 street festival will offer food, yoga classes, tattooing, haircuts, a ceramics workshop, film workshops for children, and much more.

People can also explore the cinema and its neighborhood. Fans of architecture can go on a tour of Letna’s functionalist buildings. The long-planned renovation of the cinema will be discussed by Petr Hájek architecture studio, and there will be torus of the projection booth. The Pragulic group will also offer a tour. The working language for these events is Czech.

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Bio OKO is the youngest of the three Prague art cinemas that operate together. The others are Světozor next to Wenceslas Square and Aero in Žižkov.

Facebook pages have more details about the film festival and outdoor program.

Film program:
September 12:
8:30 pm – Parasite (2019)

September 13:
6 pm – As Good as It Gets (1997)
8:45 pm – Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

September 14:
8:30 – Rear Window (1954)

September 15:
6 pm – Barton Fink (1991)
8:30 pm – American Beauty (1999)

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