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Activities - 13/10/2011


27 Times Cinema - The Portraits - Mailis Meier - Kino Artis - Tallinn - Estonia


Could you introduce yourself and tell us who you are and what you do?

My name is Mailis and I come from Estonia. I am a cinephile beginner and my passions besides films include books and travelling. I have just graduated from secondary school and will continue my studies at Tartu University to pursue a law degree.

How long have you been going to the cinema?

I started going to the cinema on a regular basis at the age of 15. It became a strong interest after volunteering for an Estonian film festival less than a year ago.

Why do you like cinema?

Going to see a film is a way to escape for me. I get to be a different person for two hours and experience the world from another point of view. Moreover, films are like pieces of art, which have the power to influence and inspire me.

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer? Which films are particularly important to you?

My taste in films is varied. I do watch a lot of Hollywood productions and often enjoy them a lot. On the other hand, films that really move me and are thought-provoking are usually not those produced by big studios. Recently I have taken a liking to Spanish movies.

What are your 3 favourite films?

The Graduate from Mike Nichols, The Motorcycle Diaries from Walter Salles and Even the Rain from Iciar Bollain.

Do you make films yourself?

I have held a camera in my hands before, but nothing resembling a film with a screenplay has come out of that collaboration. However, making a short film is on top of my to-do list.

What are your habits as a film-goer? How often to you go to cinema?

I try to go to the cinema as much as possible – during PÖFF (Estonian film festival) three films a day, but when I have too little time (which is often the case) three times a month is the best I can do. For me cinema is a place to unwind and escape from the real life. I usually go with friends – the more the merrier – but I also enjoy watching a film alone and really getting into it. Afterwards I tend to hurry home even though Artis has a cosy café where you can buy everything except popcorn. During summer months I spend my cinema money on a wonderful place called the Rooftop cinema, which is literally located on top of a popular shopping centre and on which I can watch classic films under a moonlit sky full of stars. 

What do you think of European cinema?  What does European cinema represent for you?

On the whole, I enjoy it a lot and feel that it is something of my own, something I can relate to. However, I think that sometimes European films tend to be on the sad side. The focus has shifted from inspiring people to think to just making the audience deeply miserable. Good films can be made of more joyful stories as well, can’t they? It also seems that cinema in the Old World is americanising. Polanski’s Ghost Writer, which triumphed at last year’s European Film Awards, is without doubt a well executed film, but to my mind it lacks the essence of a European film. For me European cinema represents the cultural and social diversity of our continent, focusing on the ideas, thoughts and challenges of its people.

Do you feel European? Do you travel often in Europe?

I do feel European. It is partly because I have travelled around Europe and have seen different places, cultures and people, and also because the European Union has opened so many doors as far as projects are concerned and which I have taken part.

Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema? What do you like most about this venue?

I am representing a small but modern art house cinema named Artis. This cinema is run by a close-knit collective, who love what they do and is also genuinely interested in cooperating with young moviegoers, trying to involve them in the process of getting films, releasing and getting to know more about them. Artis is not only a place to watch off-Hollywood movies, it is also a cultural centre where meetings with film directors, authors and even TED talks are held.   


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