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18 Nov 2010 00:00 - 00:00

Gypsies + Karek Hynek Mácha: May

A celebration of the bicentenary of the birth of the great Czech romantic poet Karel Hynek Mácha (1810 – 1836)

Box Office: 020 7638 8891


Admission: £8.50 online (£10.50 full price)


Karel Anton, Czechoslovakia, 1921, 88 min

(Hugo Svoboda, Olga Augustová, Theodor Pištěk, Bronislava Livia and Karel Fiala).

When his love is lured away by a wealthy Czech count, Giacomo, a Venetian gondolier, sets out to find her and get his revenge. He arrives in the Czech lands where he finds an abandoned little boy who he brings up as his own. When after many years they return to the same place, all the pieces of the puzzle start to come together in a dramatic finale. Closely following Máchas intricate story of thwarted and unfulfilled love, insanity, death and murder, the director complements it with evocative camerawork taking in photogenic Venice and the enigmatic Czech landscape.

With live accompaniment from Irena and Vojtěch Havel (piano and viola de gamba)



(Translated by Marcela Šulak, Twisted Spoon Press, 2005)

Extract read by Catherine Alexander.

Compared to Byron, Keats, Shelley, and Poe, called Lautreamonts "elder brother" by the Czech Surrealists, Karel Hynek Macha (1810-1836) was the greatest Czech Romantic poet, and arguably the most influential of any poet in the language. May, his epic masterpiece, was published in April 1836, just seven months before his death. Considered the "pearl" of Czech poetry, it is a tale of seduction, revenge, patricide, and a paean to his homeland.


Karel Hynek Macha, May
translation by Marcela Sulak
Twisted Spoon Press 2005
With illustrations by Jindrich Styrsky and the original Czech text in parallel.

ISBN 978 80 86264 22 6



In collaboration with the Barbican Centre, NFA, Twisted Spoon Press.



Part of THE NEW CZECH CINEMA 2010, the 14th Czech Film Festival (11 - 26 November 2010).


30 Kensington Palace Gardens
W8 4QY London
United Kingdom


18 Nov 2010 00:00 - 00:00


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