Julianne Moore receives her Crystal Globe for career achievement from Karlovy Vary Film Festival president Jiří Bartoška at the opening ceremony Photo: Film Servis Karlovy Vary
Julianne Moore and her director husband Bart Freundlich in Karlovy Vary Photo: Film Servis Karlovy Vary
It’s one of the most friendly and egalitarian of festivals, with artistic director Karel Och at the helm for the last four years. The festival has been an enthusiastic and faithful supporter of the local Czech industry and a beacon for Eastern European cinema although this year controversially there no local productions in the 12 titles selected for the Competition.
The Festival’s President Jiří Bartoška, who officially declared open the 54th edition last night, evoked in his speech the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and dwelt on its history. There was a commemoration on screen of the cooperation partnership between Bartoška and Eva Zaoralová (now artistic consultant) over more than two decades preceded by a breath-taking acrobatic stage show.
As part of the opening ceremony Moore received the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema. She expressed her gratitude for the fact that she can share this festival experience with her partner in life and in the art of creation, Bart Freundlich, and with their daughter Liv.
She said: “I was reminded of how I would say to my children (we also have a son who is not here) that they should follow their interests because you never know where it might lead them. I reflect on how lucky I was to follow my interest in telling stories and how that led me not just to a life and a career in film that I love but also to a man that I love very much.”
Bouncing Czechs at the opening ceremony of the 54th Karlovy Vary Film Festival - part of a wildly acclaimed stage spectacular Photo: Film Servis Karlovy Vary
Freudlich concurred with his wife’s feeling of shared honour in opening the festival. “This is our fourth collaboration and Billy (Crudup) and I have worked together three times before. Film is a collaborative art and this film in particular was a collaboration. It is based on Suzanne Bier’s film that was released in 2006, a beautiful and heart wrenching story, about complex humanity.
“I was lucky enough to remake the story and reimagine it with two women as the main dynamic rather than two men. I was very indebted to her for allowing us to do that. We shot in India and New York. And I got the opportunity to meet up again with a lot of people who worked on my first film The Myth of Fingerprints [he and Moore met on the film].”
Collaboration, Freundlich suggested, does not stop with making the film. “What I got from film when I was growing up was feeling and connection and I sense that the film is not complete until an audience gets to see it and hopefully it stirs something in them. I appreciate how seriously people take film at this festival - though not too seriously because you want to have fun too.”
Fun continued well into the night and early morning with a spectacular fireworks display and a packed open-air concert by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carl Davis in a Union Jack jacket, playing the evergreen hits of The Beatles themed to the Festival screening of Danny Boyle’s Yesterday as part of today’s programme.
Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich meet the Karlovy Vary crowds Photo: Film Servis Karlovy Vary