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Joan, Mike and I
In front of the swanky refurbished 21st building

Bata-ville autographs here ...

Thanks so much to the Zipp team for inviting us to the Czech Republic to take part in their conference Utopia of Modernity: Zlín. I travelled out with Mike and Joan who were both passengers on the Bata-ville bus and boy did we have a great time. We saw the film in the original Bata cinema (which is enormous and features in the film) we signed autographs (I'm not joking) and generally enjoyed being at the heart of a great event.

'Uncle Mike' (despite being some years my senior) put me to shame on the social front - as I left the Bata villa with Joan on our last night, I saw him in the thick of a crowd of young Euro-architects all laughing like drains and making their way off to a rave in a grain silo - that's regeneration for you.

We love Zlin

... and so it turns out do lots of other academics into the idea of Zlin as a Utopia of Modernity.

You can see more images from our most recent trip on the Zlin Flickr group.

Me & one of the film-stars
...just before the Zlin screening

More Bata-ville in Zlin pics

Despite the pre-shoot white-out caused by the Tudor project I will blog pictorially with these pics from Bata-ville's recent Czech premiere!

Nina talks to the Guardian
...from 16th century Buchlov Castle

Look at those dumplings
...a typical light Czech snack

Lovely Zlín - the view from the House of Art 2006
Photo: Nina Pope

Zlin Film Festival Photos ...

Ordinarily I'd pop these onto the Somewhere site but extreme Tudor preparation prevents me, but for any Bata-ville passengers out their you might like to visit my new Zlín slide show on Flickr ...

You'll see that the 21st building (formerly the Bata Head Quarters) has been finished off in a rather spectacular fashion complete with the re-vamped office/lift and roof-top cafe. Generally to see the way that some of these fantastic buildings have been bought back to life since we visited has really made me think again about what might happen next in East Tilbury.

Next week we're screening the film at Allies and Morrison one of the architects potentially bidding for a slice of the East Tilbury regeneration pie - I will be fascinated to see what they are proposing for the place, and who comes to see the film there. To co-incide with this I hope that Steve Rose is writing a piece in the Guardian about East Tilbury too ... on the phone it sounds as though (like me) he's become slightly obsessed with the place!

Back to Zlin with a bang ...

We've touched down back in our favourite CZ town and as you can see from the launch fireworks the film festival is a big deal here. We found ourselves almost straight back at the super odd hotel Moskva (where we spent our Bata-ville nights) for the launch party ... pictures of the creepy crooner band to follow as soon as we locate wi fi ! Always nervous as to where our next meal will be coming from, we panic ordered in the 'mexican themed' hotel restuarant only to be greeted at the party by the most impressive array of canapes seen this side of the 70's, apple-slice-swans, whole roast pigs and 'meat-flavour' icing a-go-go ...

A postcard from Zlin apparently from the communist era
as it's overprinted with the name Gottwaldov c/o Felix Ormerod

All for Charity ...

I'm not sure I need to plug it here as Mike is already doing a great job of selling tickets, but there's a Thurrock screening of Bata-ville coming up:

Thameside Theatre,Grays, Thurrock Essex
Monday the 10th of April 2006 at 7.45pm
Tickets £3 (concessions £2) Box Office 01375 383961
This is a charity screening presented by Thurrock Heritage Forum in support of
Bata Reminiscence & Resource Centre
Free tickets for any Bata-ville passengers attending!

In addition Karen's also hosting a charity northern screening this week with
Oxen Park Cinema Club.