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Václav Havel: Temptation

  • Where: Kino Pilotů, Donská 168, Prague
  • When: May 15, 2024, 18:30 – 20:30

Cinema premiere of Andrej Krob’s 1988 video staging

Václav Havel wrote the play Temptation, his distinctive take on the Faust theme, in 1985. A year later it had its world premiere at the Burgtheater in Vienna. However, any domestic production was out of the question; as a dissident and Charter 77 signatory, Václav Havel was barred from all public activities by the communist regime. Therefore his close friend, the stagehand and director Andrej Krob, decided to put Temptation on with the help of then quite novel technology: the video camera. Although he had learned how to use the camera on the fly, with the help of Jan Kašpar and David Schmoranz, he shot image after image in his own matter-of-fact, economical way during 1986 and 1987. And on Thursday, 14 April 1988, in the bowels of the Vyšehrad casemates, where one of the cast had a changing room as a worker, he screened “his” Temptation to the author and friends.

Over 35 years later, the Václav Havel Library and the cinema Kino Pilotů have managed to carefully digitise this video production by Andrej Krob from one of the original videotapes. It is astonishing how easily the big screen can “carry” the restored Temptation without losing any of its authenticity. Why not judge for yourself?!


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