It's end of October, but I'm not in London Film Festival, neither in the Tokyo one. I am actually in a place that is not know for its cultural life, mostly for its finance sector and Europeanism but, hey, people, it's not so bad as you imagine. Luxembourg city is an ok place from a cultural perspective, a place that can boast for the Philharmonie with an interesting and varied program, MUDAM -the Modern Art Museum with the best cafe, several other museums, galleries, theaters and cinemas and of course the Cinematheque --this is where I'm getting at, of course. And a hell lot of Film Festivals, for such a tiny place, by the way.
After Discovery Zone Film Festival back in Spring, UNICA 2011 and other smaller festivals mainly featuring films of a certain country, here comes CinEast or Central and Eastern Europe Film Festival with a big selection of old and new films from Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia, and a this year's guest country Bulgaria.
Screenings of the over 40 feature films and 30 short films are taking place almost everywhere that a cinema screen can be found, not only in the city, but also in Esch and Vianden. Traditionally since 2008 we watch films in Cinémathèque, Abbaye de Neumünster, Caramba Cinemas, Ancien Cinéma, University of Luxembourg and starting this year also at Ciné Utopia, Kinosch (Kulturfabrik) and the European School of Luxembourg.
Films, though, are only the pretext for some to continue their entertainment with complementary Special Events, like concerts in hip places like Den Atelier and EXIT 07, exhibitions in Abbaye de Neumünster and at Ancien Cinema or culinary events promoting typical dishes, snacks and drinks from the participating countries.
New films from "fresh" countries -the ones we haven't seen a lot on screen, are always welcome; there's so much to discover: unfamiliar languages (isn't it boring to always watch films in English and French, sometimes?), landscapes, ways of living, cultures. Something that expats over here are seeking for. Needless to say, my Hungarian friends rush to watch some films in their own language, the way I rushed to watch Canine in Spring, just for the sake of it --I was curious to see how the Greek language would echo within the four walls of the Luxemburgish Cinematheque.
The retrospectives part, that I always cherish, had programmed this year within the East goes West cycle some Roman Polanski and Milos Forman movies. For Polanski, it focuses on films with a musical score by Krzysztof Komeda, namely Rosemary's Baby, Knife in the Water and his most recent one, Ghostwriter. Taking off, Loves of a Blonde (sometimes, I really think I've met the blonde of the title) and Goya's Ghost are featuring in the Forman retrospective.
Bla bla bla, I know you don't wanna read, you just wanna go to the movies, so let me tell you some good prices: one ticket costs 3,50 and the unlimited ticket costs...only 10 euros --and you still have some time left to enjoy the screenings and vote for the winner of the Audience Award. As for Agnieszka Holland presiding the Jury for the Grand Prix CinEast 2011, maybe you will see her dancing at the closing party to the music of Bachtale Apsa, a folk/gypsy band from Czech Republic. Join in.