Vol 1, No 16
11 October 1999
E V E N T S:
Coming Up in the UK
Andrew J Horton
Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks, a Central European cultural detente, women playwrights in translation, a Polish composer remembers Poland's most famous film director, funny money at the Slovak Embassy and films shot in Yugoslavia as the NATO bombs rained down.
Information about the autumn season of cultural events is slowly trickling in as all the press offices get back from their holidays. Watch this space for details of more events as they come in.
Click on the appropiate heading or just scroll down to browse.
13th Leeds International Film Festival
Plenty of Central European film scheduled for this festival, which takes place from 7 to 23 October 1999. Amongst the features will be a whole host of Czech and Polish films, including a retrospective of the Polish film-maker Jerzy Skolimowski, classics by Milos Forman and the 1947 Czech animated film which has inspired generations of Czech and international animators since. There will also be an interview with the composer Zbigniew Priesner, renowned for his music for the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski, combined with a screening of Three Colours: Red. At a seperate event there will be a screening of Kieslowski's rarely seen early-1980s classic Blind Chance.
Amongst the contemporary films on show there will be some of the more popular of Czech films of the last year, including Cosy Dens, In the Rye, The Past and Agatha. Click on the titles to see Kinoeye reviews of these films.
A Tale of Three Cities:
An international conference on the Czech composer, Leos Janacek, taking place at Senate House, University of London, 22-24 October 1999. For further details contact:
A series of unconnected events which coincide with the launch of new translations of Central European literature into English.
The book itself is edited by Sian Evans and Cheryl Robinson and published by Aurora Metro. Price: GBP 11.99. ISBN 0-9515877-9-X.
Central Europe is Back!
Timothy Garton Ash will discuss the re-emergence of Central Europe as a cultural and literary reality in relation to the latest titles from the Central European Classics series, which he edits. This is part of a series of events in the UK to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall which will see translations of recent works from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Austria and Bosnia promoted at bookshops around the country.
The Cheltenham Literature Festival
Among the Central European contingent this year will be war correspondent extraordinaire Misha Glenny plugging his latest book, a timely history of the Balkans, Ivan Klima talking about his new collection of short stories and Vitali Vitaliev discussing his "travel-writing of the soul".
The split of Czechoslovakia in 1993 led in the first place to a split in cultural programmes abroad, symptomatic of greater rifts between the two countries. But now, the two embassies in London, which are in fact located in the same building, are now co-operating on promoting Czech and Slovak culture. Here are a few events which have resulted from the detente.
In the spirit of open government, the Czech and Slovak embassies have turned their shared patch of garden into a sculture gallery which will be available for view to those attending concerts and other special events which take place at shared embassy building. The large-scale works span from the 1960s up to the present day and artists represented include Stanislav Kolibal (whose watercolours are also on display), Petr Lysacek, Petr Pisarik, Jiri Cernicky, Jiri David, Frantisek Matousek, Petra Ondreickova-Novakova and Lukas Rittstein.
If you prefer to just see the works without having to attend another event, then you'll have to turn up between 12 and 6pm on Saturday 11 September. Arriving at 3pm will enable you to join the curator's tour.
Slovak and Czech Film Days
A season of classic films from the Czechoslovak era, many of which have not been shown in Britian for over a decade. Histories of Czechoslovak film tend to be biased to the Czech side, and this short season aims to rectify this be concentrating on Slovak classics. The times and locations of the films will be confirmed in the coming weeks and announced on the FilmWorld website. All the films listed below are Slovak unless otherwise stated.
Little Birds, Orphans and Fools(Juraj Jakubisko), 1969
See You In Hell, Fellows! (Juraj Jakubisko)
I am Sitting on the Branch and I am Fine (Juraj Jakubisko), 1989
Millennial Bee(Juraj Jakubisko), 1983
Sun in a Net (Stefan Uher), 1962
The Sixth Sentence (Stefan Uher)
She Kept Asking For the Moon, 1983 (Stefan Uher), 1983
Wild Lilies (Elo Havetta), 1972
I Love, You Love (Dusan Hanak), 1980
Pictures of the Ancient World (Dusan Hanak), 1972
Tinted Dreams (Dusan Hanak), 1976
Highwayman Jurko (Viktor Kubal), 1976
Lea (Ivan Fila), 1997, Czech Republic
Short and Documentary Films:
43rd London Film Festival
The London Film Festival is one of the biggest film festivals in the world. This is your chance to catch up with what are the biggest sellers around the world. Despite its emphasis on successful films, London does manage to slip in a few interesting items: Moloch, the latest film from Alexandr Sokurov, the disciple of Tarkovsky who has attracted the admiration of Martin Scorsese and Nick Cave, is one that will be a must-see on most people's lists. Another such film will be Fred Kelemen's Nightfall, probably appealing to a similar crowd. For a Kinoeye review of his first film click here.
For those who prefer their films a little less experimental, Marigolds in Flower by Sergei Sniezhkin is an excellent Chekovian drama set in the post-perestroika age. Click here for a Kinoeye reveiw.
The Czechs always seem to do rather well out of London, and this time they have three feature films showing (compared to none for Hungary). This year they have three feature films showing. The Jan Hrebejk's hit film Cosy Dens (which was awarded at Karlovy Vary), Roman Vavra's debut In the Rye and Sasa Gedeon's treatment of Dostoevsky, The Return of the Idiot. Click on the titles for their respective reviews.
Ivan Klima in Conversation
Klima will be in the UK to promote his latest book, a collection of short stories entitled Lovers for a Day. The collection draws on previously untranslated stories by Klima, including works from the 1960s, when he was an exiled dissident, and his most recent stories. Catch him at:
…And More Czech Culture in the UK
The Czech Cultural Centre in London has just gone electronic! Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Czech related events in London.
The Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts - MA fine arts students exhibition
The coming month will a good one for new Hungarian cinema in London, with a number of showings of films screened at this year's Hungarian Film Week (which was covered by Kinoeye). Two of the films listed below are British premieres and all will be introduced by Dr Sandor Striker of the Hungarian Cultural Centre. The films are representative of the broad spectrum of current Hungarian cinema, with films ranging from a light comedy romance (You or Me), through to a hard-hitting and intelligent potrayal of the violence in modern Hungarian society (Homecoming) - the latter of which carries a strong Kinoeye recommendation.
You or Me (aka Pirates) by Tamas Sas (Click here for the Kinoeye review)
Simon Magus by Ildiko Enyedi (Click here for the Kinoeye review)
Homecoming by Ferenc Grunwalsky (Click here for the Kinoeye review)
Hungarian Culture in the UK
Check out the website of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London. As well as listing events of international importance, the site also carries details of their support network for Hungarian au pairs working in the UK and Catholic mass in Hungarian.
Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Hungarian events in the UK.
Jan Hryniak's award-winning debut shown as part of the Raindance Film Festival of new independent film making. Click here for more information.
Polish Culture in the UK
Check out the website of the Polish Cultural Institute in London.
Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Polish events in the UK.
The virtuouso Romanian pianist and composer remembered in this concert, which includes the UK premiere of his forgotten masterpiece, his Fantasie for solo piano of 1940, which was played once and then left aside for five decades.
Romanian Culture in the UK
There is the website of the Romanian Cultural Centre based in London. Click here if you want to see a their diary page.
If you are a Romanian academic or student working in the UK or have links to Romanian studies you might be interested Romanul's site. It aims to give wider support to educational, scientific and cultural issues and has pages devoted to the Romanian community's acitivities in the UK. Click here to have a look.
If you haven't already done so check out the Czecho-Slovak events which offer the opportunity to see some rarely seen Slovak cinematic classics
Tel: 0171 727 94 32
The Slovak Union of Cartoonists teaming up with the British Cartoonists' Association to present an exhibition at the Slovak Embassy. Admission free.
Yugoslav Film at Raindance
Raindance Film Festival
Last year's festival attracted so much interest that it has been expanded this year. Particularly welcome is the fact that the percentage of European films is significantly up on previous years. Notable amongst those films on show are a total of 9 from Yugoslavia. The selection is interesting not only because of the recent international success of Yugoslav film-makers (Kusturica, who is not represented here, being the obvious example): the recent events in the Balkans have given Yugoslav directors plenty of material to play with, and several of the films on show were actually shot during the NATO bombing campaign.
The feature films will be:
The Dagger by Miroslav Lekic
As well as feature films, there will be a chance to see documentaries and short films. Click here for more information.
Compiled by Andrew J Horton
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