27 Times Cinema Imprimer
Rory O’Connor – Cinema Moviemento in Berlin (Germany)
I’m 24 years old. I finished a degree in Mathematics and Music Technology in Dublin a couple of years ago and, not knowing what to do, I decided to leave Ireland. First I spent a very frugal year in London, a terrific city for any fan of film. Anything from midnight B-movie screenings to huge multiplexes and of course the mighty BFI (British Film Institute). But despite these resources I thought Berlin would be more my pace. I moved here in November and haven’t looked back. I am currently working as a projectionist in a small one screen cinema with open air screenings during the summer months as well.
Cinema has always been a huge part of my life, my earliest memory of it was cowering under the seat during a rereleased version of snow white in the early 90s.
It’s difficult to compare it to other media. I can’t differentiate between Music and Film. Both forms rely on each other a lot of the time. But I guess I have always found film to be the most immersive experience. When I sit in a movie theatre for two hours I am totally immersed, even when the standard isn’t quite up to scratch.
Genre-wise I’m probably as much of a nerd for Sci-Fi as I am a sucker for romance or a fiend for guts and violence. I always try to dive into a movie, or an album or book, with no prejudice. I would just as happily sit through multiple viewings of Primer as I would through David Cronenberg or Billy Wilder’s back catalogue. In horror the scariest monsters are the ones you never see; I think this works the same for dialogue. There can be more emotion in the briefest glance or the simplest of words than in paragraphs of writing. That’s why I love writers like John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy. Directors like John Cassavettes, Wong Kar Wai and Kelly Reichardt. I’ve always been a keen fan of Gent protagonists -humble and hardworking, ‘salt of the earth’ types - like Wall-E putting a hard shift in and dreaming of better things, Peter Falk proudly introducing his unhinged wife Mable to his work pals in A Woman under the Influence or any of Ramin Bahrani’s leading men, not least his Plastic Bag.
My favourite films
I guess if I could see one trend throughout my favourite films, or perhaps something I look for most, is a bit of humanity. Film, like all truly great art, is at its finest when it deals with who we are as humans, how we deal with things, how we relate to one another.
Choosing favourite movie lists is always a killer. Most of the work of the directors I mentioned above would be in contention. Cronenberg has been consistent for almost four decades but there is no one film which has done it for me more than the three I’m about to name.
#3 Encounters At The End Of the World: As consistent as Cassavettes and Cronenberg, Werner Herzog has been on the cutting edge since the late 60s. My favourite director and film personality, from his classics with Kinski in the 70s and 80s to his more recent features, he is never ever dull. In documentary making he has gone from strength to strength. With his unparalleled ability to get people talking, he weaves the most wonderful and thrilling stories. Encounters’ Antarctic setting was the perfect mould. Wild adventurous characters, surreal other worldly locations and, one of his favourite themes, man’s futile attempts to control the natural world. I must have watched it a dozen times.
#2 This is England: So the ‘best of the rest’ has to go to Shane Meadows’ brutal and moving portrayal of working class desperation in the depths of Thatcher’s England. The music and surroundings give you a perfect snapshot of early 80s midlands as young Shawn finds friends and happiness before being taken under the wing of Combo (a perfectly cast Stephen Graham) and losing himself in the nationalist skinhead culture. The cast is strong all round but it’s the kids that make this film soar. I have never seen chemistry like it anywhere else on screen. The humour and the affection is so genuine, it captures that feeling of reckless youth and camaraderie perfectly. It made such an impression on me that I just wanted to see them again and again. The TV series’ which followed never reached the same heights but gave me a chance to see these guys again and to see them grow, which was just amazing.
#1 Tokyo Story: For me Tokyo Story doesn’t just make this spot by a whisker. No other film has had such a profound effect on me. Yasujirō Ozu’s story is so beautifully simple. Dealing with life, love, family, growing old and ultimately death. An elderly couple travel to Tokyo to visit their son and daughter but find on arrival that the only person to be hospitable is their widowed daughter in law, Noriko. They gratefully accept her kindnesses and gracefully suggest that she remarry, that it’s what their son would have wanted. But it’s useless. Noriko stands by them, as if they were her blood, till the end. The film triggered so much reflection for me, more than any work of Art. But one thing knocked me out. When watching it we all want to think we are Noriko, that we would behave the same way. She is generous, kind, loyal and principled. But deep down I know I have the son and daughter’s shortcomings too. The great Roger Ebert wrote: “It says, yes, a movie can help us make small steps against our imperfections.” And that’s just it. It drives you to be a better person.
Filmmaking/ talking about films online
Making movies is an idea I have always had in the back of my mind but at this point in my life I haven’t enough faith in my creativity to pursue it. Writing about film is something I have begun to enjoy a great deal though. I plan to start up a blog and I will begin to contact some magazines and newspapers too. I follow a lot of critics. Roger Ebert’s writing is always a good read and, for better or worse, it is truly honest. Donald Clark at the Irish Times is another favourite of mine.
Film is all about story telling weather its European, American, Bollywood or whatever else. But I do find European cinema hits home in a more real way. The artistic standard is higher too I think, masters like Herzog or Haneke just couldn’t exist anywhere else! I think we have a much better knack for tongue in cheek humour as well.
I would say I feel European. It’s been a tricky one for Irish people throughout our history, not least the last few years, but I don’t pay too much attention to politics. I’m fairly well travelled around Europe and wherever I’ve been, as an Irishman I have felt completely welcome. I make an effort to do the same any chance I get back home too. I have been living in Germany the best part of a year now and at this stage, I call it home.
The Cinema I will be representing is Kino Moviemento in Berlin. An art-house cinema deep in the heart of Kreuzberg. Kino Moviemento boasts some fairly maverick programming, which is what sets it apart from the rest. Even just a brief look at the next two months shows festivals for Spanish, Israeli and Australian films alongside the “Berlin Porn Festival” and “Too Drunk to Watch – The Punk Film Festival”. Any cinema which can offer this sort of selection alongside frequent Q&As and just a generally nice atmosphere is well worth my €7.50.
I love to spend time at the cinema. I usually prefer to go alone; if I’m with someone else I need to be sure they have the same tastes. Not that I mind a bit of discussion or anything, I just find it too distracting knowing the person sitting next to me is having a bad time! When I can afford it I’ll go once a week at least, but with the projectionist job I’m in there all the time anyway, which is such a pleasure.
Dominic Horinek - Filmcasino in Vienna (Austria)
I am the eldest of three brothers. I am a 21 years-old student of comparative literature at the University of Vienna. Besides my studying I am working as a free-lance writer for the district newspaper and on Saturdays I am working in a clothing-store.
I have a vague memory that the first films I have seen in cinema was Disney´s The Lion King (which is up-to-date one of my favourite movies) and one Pumuckl film (a child story, quite famous in Germany and Austria). Although my Mom says that the first film for me to watch in a cinema was Disney´s Aladdin (and Moms always know best, don´t they?). Also in school, film was used as an additional media for our education.
That´s a difficult question. But let me try it this way: It´s not that I prefer film prior to all other media, but I realize that with film as a media, one has different possibilities in telling a story than one has with a book, for example. Remember the old proverb: “One picture says more than thousand words.” And yet I think that film, especially when compared to books, also has disadvantages. Just think of The Lord of the rings. Peter Jackson´s take on the story was excellent, and yet even he didn´t manage to make a 1:1 adaption of this sprawling story (Therefore a format of series would fit better – see “Game of Thrones”).
And yet I like cinema! To me film is a collection of all the arts and at the same time it addresses almost all human senses. In contrast to a book, a film is a compilation of moving pictures which, if the scene is well photographed, makes you want to explore the screen and discover every detail in it, music and good story – the heart of every film.
Due to my first experiences with cinema I like the old Disney films like The Lion king, Robin Hood, Aladdin, Peter Pan etc. And it´s a pity that they don´t make them like that anymore. To me it´s important that there are films, that address your conscious and try to show up grievances (like the shocking documentary The Cove). On the other hand, I consider film as a good media for “edutainment” (education + entertainment) but also for entertainment only. What I expect from a good movie is that it challenges me, with its complex characters and twisty story, minor details of huge importance that are only shown for a moment, meaningful dialogues etc (like in Christopher Nolan´s The Prestige).
My 3 favorite films
- The Lion King
- I´m Not There
- The Godfather (hard decision, but these are the first three, which came to my mind).
Talking about cinema online
Up to date I have not written a blog. Also I have not yet participated in film forums online because when I discuss films with my friends we do that in person, or via Facebook.
Have not yet made a film but I am planning to do so! Script (for a short) is in my drawer and almost finished.
European cinema is great! Without it there wouldn´t be any other cinema! Take this for example: Michael Haneke, Austrian, writes a script, then goes to France, casts French actors, shoots the whole film in French, and French and German companies produce the whole thing. Where else do you find such a multicultural and polyglot collaboration? This, and the topics that European cinema handles, as uneasy, dirty or cruel they might be, make it precious and enjoyable.
Yes I feel highly European! But unfortunately I do not travel as much as I would like to. If my three week stay at Venice two years ago counts, then yes, I have lived abroad, but not for long.
I am representing the Filmcasino, located in Vienna, Margaretenstraße 78. It´s a very old cinema (since 1911 there has been one) but it´s characteristic look it received in the fifties, which is still conserved today.
I do not have any special habits when I go to see a film. When I am with friends or family we talk (mainly about films, hahaha) before the show, buy some popcorn (not always), eat it (unfortunately often completely eaten up before the first trailer is on the screen…). When there is a special occasion, like the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises (end of a trilogy!), then I dress up appropriate (with a batman-tee or something like that).
Sometimes I go to cinema twice a week and then it is so long that I have last been to a cinema, that I hardly remember which was the last film I had seen. And normally I enjoy the company of others, whether they be friends or my brothers, or my parents. It is good to have one or two persons to share an experience with and to exchange thoughts on what you have witnessed. I like that. To me, I have to confess, a cinema is not a place to hang out. It is this magic space, where I can encounter the heroes and villains of the books I have read, where I can enjoy great stories on a big screen, and while I am there I totally enjoy it.
Sven Jacobs – Sphinx Cinema in Ghent (Belgium)
I'm 25 years old. I studied Bio-Engineering at the University of Ghent where I gained a Master Degree for environmental technologies. At the moment I work full-time for the Provincial Government of West Flanders on agriculture and fishery projects and policies.
My curiosity for film started at home in front of the television watching old classic movies without really understanding what it was all about. My first visit to the cinema hall took place when I was 6 years old. The Lion King was on the big screen and my childish interest was immediately aroused. Many visits to the cinema followed after that new experience. My fascination for film has never left me since.
Cinema is an organic medium where story, image and sound seamlessly may arise. By telling interesting, exciting or touching stories and mesmerizing with beautiful images and music the director can seduce his audience. In a unique way movies can bring me into a world where anything is possible and where there is space for feelings of any kind. These facets ensure that good cinema can always surprise and fascinate me.
I particularly like American, Italian, German and French cinema. My favourite directors are Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
My 3 favorite films
- Blue Velvet by David Lynch
- A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick
- 8 1/2 by Federico Fellini
Talking about cinema online
I read a lot of on-line articles on cinema, but I don't actively participate to film forums or blogs.
European cinema houses a great variety of perspectives and stories. Each country has a unique film culture with its own specific characteristics. This mix ensures that European films are enormously diverse and even on a global scale at the highest level.
I feel utterly European. I had the privilege to live in Italy and Germany for a couple of years. This chance have given me a lot of unique experiences, which I normally would not have been through in other circumstances. There are so many intriguing regions and cities in Europe, so I probably will never get tired travelling around on this beautiful continent.
I am representing the Sphinx Cinema in Ghent. This cinema has an excellent programming, well-equipped rooms and many exciting events on various film subjects.
I try to go to the movie theater as much as possible to see the new movies of my favourite directors. I sometimes just go on my own, but usually I try to convince some friends so that we can extensively discuss the film afterwards in the cosy Sphinx Café.
Anastas Punev - Dom na Kinoto in Sofia (Bulgaria)
My name is Anastas Punev, 23, from Sofia, Bulgaria. I’m on the verge of graduating as a lawyer, but in the same time I fill my time with many other things, like for example writing some movie and theater reviews for media such as www.stand.bg and www.programata.bg .
Since the beginning of my conscious life! Maybe a significant part of my relationship with the cinema is that the first film my parents took me to was Schindler’s List. I was 5 years old back then. My mother’s influence on my early taste was crucial.
I wouldn’t say I personally prefer any kind of art because it’s a question of mood what do you prefer in a particular moment of time, but if there’s anything in which cinema surpasses all the other arts, it’s the way in which it can say much without explaining. Image is the most effective media. Jean-Claude Carriere reflects on a scene in Luis Bunuel’s Viridiana, where we can see the main character saving a dog and in the next scene another dog is tortured. He says: it is an example how a metaphor in cinema can reach the effect a book would try to reach in ten pages and still wouldn’t be able to.
Two different kinds of films. On one hand, risky films which prove that a secure formula to make successful films doesn’t exist. These are provocative films, often denying the narrative, more often failing to succeed in their ambitious plans, but nevertheless films from which one can learn the most about cinema. On the other hand, every single interesting story, narrated in an interesting way, with a feeling of emotional engagement from the director, but without violently demanding feelings from the audience.
My 3 favorite films
- The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
- In Praise of Love (2001)
- Teorema (1968)
Talking about cinema online
I put some of my reviews on my personal blog and I’ve written in Bulgarian film forums, but now my online participation is concentrated on the media reviews I’m writing.
Not yet, but I’ve taken part as a scriptwriter in three short films, two of them for short-film competitions: Drive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir6-7tdRTho and Asynchrony: http://vimeo.com/38768194 Right now I’m co-writing a script for a feature film.
I think there haven’t been a more dissolved time than ours in which ‘European’ and ‘American’ mean less every day. The correct comparison is between ‘commercial’ and ‘independent’ but not in terms of budget yet in terms of the already mentioned risk a film takes with its direction. That goes both for European and American movies and both for ‘expensive’ and ‘cheap’ ones. But what I want to link Europe with is the tradition of confident directors with a unique style, the choice of not typical techniques and the approach to cinema which refuses entertainment as the sole purpose of art.
Do you feel European?
When I think of the places I’d like to visit, I put mostly European destinations on the top of the list, which is strange, since I’ve travelled only inside the European boundaries J I haven’t really ‘lived’ abroad, but I’ve been to many European countries, recently returning from Rome and heading to Greece a few weeks after Venice.
Europa Cinemas partner for Bulgaria is Cinema House, which is a cinema with a long-lasting tradition and one of the very few old cinemas which haven't extincted in the mall era"
The second between the lights going out and the start of the film – it’s a sacred second in which you imagine what is going to happen and in the same time are eager to understand whether your imagination would turn out to be precise. I love this second. When it comes, I close my eyes and I go straight into the film.
As often as there is any new interesting film to see. The ‘hottest’ film-going period is the time of the two international film festivals in Sofia and, unfortunately, many other films that are worth seeing can’t be seen, because they aren’t distributed. Usually I go with someone, but I’m used to going alone and surely this is the way for a better understanding of the film. The walk outside the cinema after the film is its best review. If you don’t know what to say, then the film contributed to your life
Nelly Wernischová – Aero cinema in Prague ( Czech Republic)
I am 24 years old. I was born in Prague. I study film studies at the Charles University in Prague. With my friends, we publish a cultural magazine H_aluze where I am the editor in chief and the head of the film section.
When I was a child I did not go to the cinema very often. But when I started studying at the secondary school, I went to the cinema all the time, at least once a week, as I was attending the projections of a film club in our art theatre. With school, I was going to cinema only little, once a year, when holidays were near and we did not have much to do at school.
I like cinema because it is magic for me. When watching a movie, it is like being at a completely different place and living a completely different life. I prefer cinema to other media because it is fascinating what the film media can do with the reality.
I prefer films with significant visual and other forms of stylization. For example The Turin Horse, Amelie from Montmartre, Trainspotting, Amores Perros etc.
My 3 favorite films
It’s difficult to say. My preferences are often changing. I think my favorite film at the moment is The Turin Horse, Kochegar (a Russian film I saw at the 38th Summer Film School in Uherské Hradiště) and Marketa Lazarová.
Talking about cinema online
I used to have my own blog when I was studying at the secondary school. Now I only participate in CSFD (Czechoslovakia film database), but only a little.
I don’t make my own films. I prefer watching them and writing about them in my magazine H_aluze.
Do you feel European?
I don’t feel European. I even don’t travel often anywhere so I’m looking forward to travelling to Venice this year.
I’m representing the Aero cinema from Prague. I love that it is an art cinema and that there is a really nice staff there and it is really cool.
I usually come early so I can buy some drink and talk to my friends. I love to be in cinema in time because I love to watch all the trailers for other films so I could choose the one to which I will go next. After the screening I usually stay for a while in the cinema and talk about what we have seen.
I go to cinema about once or two times in a month and I love to go there with my friends because I can talk with them about what I have seen. As I have mentioned above, I love to spend my time in the Aero cinema because I have many friends there and it is a really nice cinema.
Kyriacos Demetriou, Rialto Theatre in Limassol (Cyprus)
I’m 25 and I’m graduated with a Masters in Directing Digital Film and Television at Bournemouth University in UK. I was recently hired by Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) as a Camera Assistant and Utility at London 2012 Olympic Games in the Basketball, Velodrome, BMX Track, and Mountain Bike Race events. One thousand media graduates and students were selected through workshops and an interview for employment in various positions as assistants from selected universities across the UK in 2011. It’s been one of the most remarkable experiences of my life.
Although I thoroughly enjoy television broadcasting my main passion is film. I have been going to the cinema since I was 8 years old. Weekly visits to the cinema with friends or family became mandatory. In my late teens I discovered the qualities of independent film-making and European cinema amongst many other types. It was around that time that I decided to trust my instinct and follow a career in the film or media industry.
For me cinema is primarily a form of art and then entertainment. Although I enjoy reading books I find the visual element more pleasing and like a book I want to be drawn to the film but at the same time I want the film to be a fabric of analysis and a centre for thought and reflection.
I am mostly intrigued by independent film-making and those films that have been treated with freedom in the creation of their artistry. My favourite director is Terrence Malick and if I had to name my three best films of all time those would be The Tree of Life (2011), The Godfather (1972) and The Piano (1993). I find qualities in all film genres for I believe that they are all unique in their own way but my favourite are Drama because of the way the genre can exploit its themes through the mise-en-scene and Animation because of its endless creative and artistic possibilities.
During my Masters I made four short films. Post-production for my final Masters film officially finished recently and I am now in the process of submitting it to film festivals. I would like to make one more short film before tackling the prospect of making a feature film in my home country.
Culture & Europe
My Cypriot nationality and my British citizenship have allowed me to get a fairly good taste of two different cultures. Although I was born and lived in England for five years I regard myself a Greek-Cypriot who admires the rich history of not only his own country but the whole of Europe’s.
At 27 Times Cinema I am representing Rialto Theatre which is based in Limassol, the second largest city on the island after Nicosia, the capital city. The venue was abandoned for many years but with funding from the Limassol Co-operative Savings Bank it was resurrected in the late nineties and could now easily be considered the centre of arts in Limassol. Aside from selected cinema screenings, short and feature film festivals, it hosts and showcases a large breadth of stage shows and productions. Being in the heart of the city and now known across the country it contributes immensely to the cultural world of the country.
Before watching a film I like to be kept in surprise. For this reason I have stopped or have been trying to avoid watching film trailers as much as possible. I strongly believe that they interfere with the first experience of watching any film. While watching a film I prefer to sit back comfortably and ‘enjoy the ride’ however that often clashes with my analytical side that processes all areas of production that came together to make the film I am watching. For that reason I enjoy discussing and reflecting on the film once it has finished with people who share the same passion. Although I prefer going to the cinema with friends or family I sometimes find myself going to the cinema on my own and on rare occasions I end up joining in conversations with other members of the audience that are discussing the film in the lobby once it has finished.
This will be my first time in Venice and Italy and I can’t wait to be a part of what promises to be a truly wonderful experience…
Simon Orberg – Biffen Art Cinema in Aalborg (Denmark)
I’m 19 years old and I just finished general upper secondary school, also known as STX here in Denmark. My plan is to move to England for a year before starting university. In school my A-levels were History, Danish, Biology and English but my passion lies with film and especially online video making. When I was about 15 years old I discovered the always-expanding cosmos of Internet videos of varying quality, and it wasn’t long before I was tangled up in the obscure genre of online video making known as vlogs (blogs in video form). That has been my hobby ever since and it has led to a new and more advanced understanding of cinema, technical aspects of film making as well as friends from all over the world.
How long have you been going to the cinema?
Since my interest in filmmaking is relatively new so is my close relationship to the cinema. I have obviously always been going to the cinema ever since I was a boy but mostly as a cheap (perhaps that word needs to be in inverted commas) form of entertainment. Neither my school nor my parents did much to alter this perception of cinema. It wasn’t until my uncle showed me the insanity of Monty Python and the works of Woody Allen that I discovered the creative depths and prospects of philosophical exploration that the medium offers.
Why do you like cinema?
I prefer cinema to other media because it is the culmination of almost every art form known to man as well as new forms of expression: Cinematography is very close to the art of painting. The actors use tools similar to that of the theatre. The soundtrack is obviously a musical expression that fits with the mood of the film. The scriptwriters need to have an understanding of storytelling that used to only be relevant for authors. Editing is something that is only possible in this medium, and it is one of the most important reasons that cinema differs from other art forms and even reality. It gives the director the possibility to alter his own creation and tell a story not just through the medium but also with the medium.
Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer?
The films I prefer are – in very broad terms – whatever makes me laugh. Of course I still appreciate films that make me cry my eyes out, re-evaluate my existence, scream in terror or sit on the edge of my seat in tension but I’ve always thought that laughter is the truest of emotions. Not very many films are able to handle more than one side of this spectrum of human emotions but the few that achieve this are the closest to my heart. Annie Hall from 1977 is a perfect example of this. The Danish film Adams Æbler also accomplishes this, which is why it is one of my favourite films from my home country.
What are you 3 favourite films?
If I had to pick three it would be:
• Shaun of the Dead (UK, 2004)
• Le Premier jour du reste de ta vie (France, 2008)
• Annie Hall (USA, 1977)
Do you participate in film forums online?
I’m an avid member of the many different film forums on Reddit.com, and, perhaps more importantly, I’m a part of a review channel on YouTube called TheLoveHateTriangle. My job there is to make videos wherein I review movies, both new and old. The other part of the channel consists of my two friends from England who review books and music.
Do you make films yourself?
As mentioned earlier I make vlogs on a YouTube channel called 1992jarhead where I also occasionally make sketches often inspired by movies I like. I am the only person involved in this channel so I have to do everything myself: Write, act all parts, film, edit and upload.
What do you think of European cinema?
I think European cinema has a reputation in the rest of the world as being mostly for pretentious art house critics and, while that might be true in some cases, European cinema also has more to offer than that without turning into Hollywood.
Do you feel European?
One of the great things about the Internet is that you’re able to learn how similar we are to each other no matter where you’re from. However, by being introduced to different cultures from around the world my identity as Danish well as European has only been enhanced, which actually seems a bit like a paradox. I’ve travelled Europe many times and spent a few years in the Czech Republic as a child.
Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema?
I’m representing Biffen in Nordkraft, Aalborg. It is a cinema that describes itself as an art cinema and while it’s debatable whether or not every film they show can be considered art, it is definitely certain what kind of crowd they attract. There is a major difference in the people who visit Biffen and the people who prefer the local mainstream cinema. This is why I like exactly this venue. The people in this cinema all seem to respect the film medium.
When I have the money I try to go the cinema a couple of times a month. Sometimes I like to go alone, other times I prefer to be with friends. It really depends on the film. One thing I’m very keen on is doing marathons either before or after the film in the cinema. It can be a marathon of the filmography of a certain director or all the films in a series. It’s only right to put the film in its right context.
Dagmar Treial – cinema Artis in Tallinn (Estonia)
I'm 18 year old secondary school student from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. For those who are familiar with Tarkovsky's masterpiece Stalker I could proudly say that I practically live in "the Zone" as this movie was shot in the heart of my hometown. I often seek for an inspiration and mostly find it from the cinema, but also I feel very strongly about music and literature.
The first film I saw in the cinema was probably Babe: Pig in the City, clearly it's not a masterpiece of film history, but I was about 4 years old and I remember myself being absolutely fascinated about the fact that pigs could talk. Therefore I believe that my very first cinema experience was actually something that dragged me into this magical film world where everything was possible.
I guess the main reason why I'm so obsessed with cinema is that I find it highly suggestive and therefore much more influential than any other kind of art. Probably everybody knows the myth of the Lumière's Train Pulling into a Station premiere and how frightened the audience was, thinking that the image of a moving train could actually run them over. Of course, times have changed a lot since then but I think that the audience is still very easy to manipulate through film. For a couple of hours the audience is dragged into this parallel reality of film, away from their usual life. This "other reality" is also a wonderful way to travel through time and space and for a moviemaker, it is a limitless playground.
There is no type of cinema that I specially prefer. I actually believe that there's a time and a place for almost everything. It may be some really old and cheap B-movie (that is so bad it is actually good) or some new rewarded foreign art-house movie, it doesn't matter, I'll watch it as long as it has something interesting about it. At the moment, for example, I am really interested in old Asian samurai movies but next week I'll be probably obsessed with something completely different. The films that I find particularly important are for me mostly inspiring and thought-provoking.
My 3 favorite films
This kind of question is very hard for me to answer because I don't really have enough heart to pick only three films out of so many that I find deep connection with. On the other hand I could give an answer considering the movies I have watched the most: La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini, Withnail and I by Bruce Robinson and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. My other favorites can be found among Godard's, Antonioni's, Bergman's, Almodóvar's and Kubrick's works.
I love European cinema for its rich diversity. Representing many people with different backgrounds and history, makes it very multifaceted and fresh. I also feel that European cinema is very liberal and sometimes even brutally honest. For me European cinema is like a big forum, where open discussions are held about everything and actual.
I think that being European is a kind of a natural identification for the generation I represent. Now that the borders are no longer obstacles, it's very easy to travel in Europe or even live abroad. Unfortunately, I haven't had the change to live abroad yet but I do travel as much as possible. I spend almost all of my vacations rambling around Europe, exploring countries I have never been to, and revisiting the ones I already have.
During the Venice Days, I will be representing the cinema Artis. It is a small, cozy and quite young cinema that offers a selection of art-house and a wide range of European films.
Lucia Baskarian – Cinemas Sadecine in San Sebastian (Spain)
I’m 24 and I’ve studied dramatic arts, but I currently work as an English teacher.
I have been going to the cinema since I was a child, usually with my parents. I’ve got really good memories of those days. Going to the cinema was a whole experience, it was the place where the magic happened. I also was a big reader, but the movies gave me something books didn’t: images on a big screen. Human emotions exposed through the actor’s bodies, music intensifying the scenes, colours, landscapes, places I had never seen before…
When people ask me what kind of movies do I prefer I always give them the same answer: good ones. No matter if it’s science fiction, comedy, action, or drama movie, if the plot, the actors and the director are good, I’m sure I’m going to like it. I am particularly fond of the film “Matilda”. It was the first time I felt deeply identifyed with the main caracter: a little girl that loved reading books to escape from a reality she didn’t really like. “They’ve made a movie about me!” – I remember I thought.
My 3 favourite films
If I’d have to choose three movies I think they’d be Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, The Godfather and Pulp Fiction. I know I’m not being very original and that they’re quite old movies, but I personally believe that a well-done job never goes out of style.
Talking about films online
I don’t participate in cinema forums oftenly, but I do have my own blog in which I like writing about everything that interests me – Films I’ve watched, books I’ve read, short stories that I like to invent…
I do feel European and I love travelling around Europe. Funnily, last place I went to was Venice, and I couldn’t help falling in love with the city.
I’m representing the group of cinemas Sadecine composed of the three oldest cinemas in San Sebastian - Principe, Trueba and Antiguo Berri. When I heard they were selecting young people to go to the “Mostra” to watch films and write about them I couldn’t be happier! I thought it was just perfect for me and that would gave me the opportunity of meeting people with the same interests as I have. Je ne fréquente quasiment que des salles du réseau Europa Cinemas, c’est pour moi un signe de qualité de programmation.
As a film goer, I always watch films in their original language and I try to go to the cinema at least once a week. I don’t have any trouble if I have to go by myself, but I prefer going with someone with whom I can exchange opinions afterwards.
François Grémaud – Cinema Lux in Caen (France)
I’m 22 years old and I’m passionate about cinema and moving images. After a Bachelor's degree in «Theories and stories of the cinema» I will soon follow classes at the school of Fine Arts, especially in video.
I can’t really remember since when I go to the cinema. When I was a child my parents and my grandparents took me to see the Disney films, cartoons or world (especially Asian) films. That was amazing! Later, at around 14, I went with school as well, with the program called “ciné-collège” organized by the “National Cinema Center”. It was really interesting, because I saw films I had never heard of before.
Why do I like cinema? This is a good question! I think I am fascinated by the moving images. Compared to books cinema can give a direct access to something else, it mesmerizes us and drives us away. The system of screening itself is something very hypnotic. Images, even if their sense remains secret or occult, can take us with them just because of their beauty. In addition, cinema can make us travel around the world and even in other worlds, as in Sci-Fi or experimental movies.
My favorite cinema is uncontestably experimental movies. They are important because they try to give another vision, another dimension to cinema. They try to speak the very language of cinema and not the one of literature or novels. They give me great thrills and emotion. I don’t need a great story to like a film, but I need great images. Cinema is “moving images” not “story factory”, it has to give us direct emotions and not direct understanding. That’s really important.
My 3 favorite films
My three favorite films… Kind of hard question! There so many films I love! But I think my three favorites are:
- Sans Soleil (Sunless), Chris MARKER, 1983 (I think this is the film I saw the more! I love the poetic voice over and the opposite view of the images)
- Walden, Jonas MEKAS, 1962
- Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey REGGIO, 1982
Writing about cinema online
I’ve never participated to films forums online and I don’t have a blog. Well, in fact I do have a kind of blog on Arte Creative where I put my experimental films and talk about them. You can see them on: http://creative.arte.tv/fr/space/Electric_Love/messages/
European cinema is a real chance for the cinema itself. Hollywood shows us an view on cinema. We can love it, hate it, or whatever… It will always be nothing more but images. And I’m sure that cinema has a lot of interesting aspects. European cinema is not afraid to show different images, not just polished ones.
I really feel European. I think it was even my first political stance – when I was young I didn’t care about being French, German or Italian but I was proud to be European. Maybe it is because of my double identity, as my father is Swiss and my mother French, I’ve always had two nationalities. I grew up with them and I always felt being a part of something bigger than just one country. In our world, I think it’s really important to go beyond national identities, to think with a mind of opening in order to overpass the environmental, economic and political challenges!
At 27 Times Cinema I am representing cinema Lux in Caen. I like this cinema because it is really different than the other cinemas I used to go to. I live in Caen since shortly, but before coming to this town I already came to cinema Lux, to attend the events organized in it. It was a true revelation to me, as I thought the cinema was just a place to watch movies! But at Lux, one can discuss, meet passionate people and even rent some DVDs! And some of them are quite rare like the Chris Marker fund!
Each film is a unique experience, one can’t have habits!. However, two things are inevitable: watching the film in original language and sitting in the back of the theater.
I go to cinema as often as I can, alone or with friends. For me it’s a part of everyday life! But I’ve never eaten or drank in the cinema simply because it was not possible. At cinema Lux one can eat or drink something after the film and share point of view with other
Jesse Raatikanen – Kino Liris in Lahti (Finland)
I'm 20 years old, studying in Kallio high school of performing arts in Helsinki. I wish to become an actor someday and I've already been involved with the industry, for example in a Helsinki City Theater’s production of Moliére's classic play The Miser (dir. Neil Hardwick, L'Avare) in 2010 and in a brand new Finnish film, Miss Blue Jeans (dir. Matti Kinnunen, Miss Farkku-Suomi). In some way, I've acted my whole life, from our living room floor to some bigger stages, Youth Theater groups etc. Breaktrough still coming – I sincerely hope.
When I was a kid, my mom took me to see all the new Disney and Pixar films, and I swore that I'm never going to watch any film that's not animated. If there's a real actor on screen, no thank you. Then, of course, I grew older and Harry Potter films came out. The Lord of the Rings. Spider-Man. I was a fan of motion pictures.
With our class we saw two films. One was a movie with one of the kid's most loved characters called Rölli. The film was called Rollo and the Woods Sprite (Rölli ja Metsän henki in Finnish). The other film was the first Narnia.
I don't just like cinema. I absolutely love it. I adore it. Watching films has been the longest hobby of mine. I don't know, why some people love cars? Other people love sports… Camera is such an effective way of showing things that the audience probably hasn't seen before. You can show life, death, adventures, yourself in film. A movie is a drama, for the whole world. Almost anybody can see it and learn from it and that's the strength of it.
And yes, I watch way more films than I read books or watch TV. There's almost nothing good on TV these days, besides you can buy your favorite shows if you want to. I love to read, mostly memoirs and biographies. Those have always been the most fascinating to me.
Nothing beats a good film. Nowadays, there are special effects and you can do anything you want with all those green and blue screens and such. Some movie makers know how to use it properly, some don't. In today's film, many use it too much. That's why 70's are maybe my favorite era of them all. The technology was simpler and you had to be more creative. For example Yoda and E.T. were dolls in original versions. A piece of art. In updated versions you see only a computer magic. In my eye that just doesn't look as good.
I don't think there's any genre I don't like. Drama is maybe my favorite. Comedy of course, nothing is bad if it gets you laugh. Somehow biographical films interest me the most. The real story of a real person. Maybe someone you admire, someone you absolutely can't stand. At its best it shows some new prospects you haven't heard of or known before. If a film is good it doesn't matter what the genre might be.
My 3 favorite films
Of them all? This question is absolutely the hardest... You just can't name three. You can't. Today I can say my ”at the moment” films, but I think I can never say my total favorite list.
I made some kind of a short list. Now, I protest and instead of three, I name my four favorite films:
Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962), The World's Fastest Indian (Roger Donaldson, 2005), Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg, 1993), The Ghost Writer (Roman Polanski, 2010) and Kramer vs. Kramer (Robert Benton, 1979).
Whoops... There was five.
Talking about cinema online
I have always thought of having my own blog but I think that I just would get too lazy to update it.
I do use one film forum, IMDb. Everyone should. It's the best one around. I've already given ratings for over 1,700 films and TV-shows. I participate rarely in conversations myself but I read other users’ writings pretty much.
No, I don't have a video camera or know-how. Sometimes I've acted in some of my friends projects but they've been very small.
European cinema is really important. Many European films show the point of view of an ordinary man, who could be me or you. The films seem to tell about smaller issues, problems that for real are much much bigger issues or problems. Problems, that really touch us all. The point of view isn't so often the president or a hero, it's us.
Do you feel European?
In the past few years I have realized more clearly that I really am an European citizen. I have known it always of course but it's more concrete know, when we all should just pull together and we're not. We are together in this planet Earth, and we should act like it. Not argue, but talk. Selfishness isn't the way, nothing works that way.
My venue is in Lahti, a city I have lived in about 13 years. The cinema is wonderful and atmospheric Kino Liris. It's a small cinema, with only one theater. Now digital. In Kino Iiris you can see films that our biggest cinema don't show, more European films, short film festivals and such. Beside cheaper tickets and alternative films, all Finnish films come in Liris, so you can support two things at once.
I have no specific habits as a film-goer, except that I really want to be on time. I like to hang around, watching posters of upcoming films, watching other movie-goers... Sometimes I go alone if I want to see the film and others don't, or if I really want to focus on film. Sometimes I buy popcorn (not candy, popcorn belongs to the cinema, candy elsewhere). I like the feeling of a movie theater.
Eleni Thanou - cinéma Danaos in Athens (Greece)
I am currently close to completing my studies in Communication, Media and Culture at Panteion University.
There was no film theater, unfortunately, where I spent my early childhood (in Aliveri, Evia). I only watched two movies at cinema during that period, in some quick trips to Athens. The first one was Home Alone 3, I’m not sure I should be mentioning this, such a bad IMDb rating! Anyway, the second was The Horse Whisperer. And then, when I was twelve years old, we moved to Athens, and I was spending every weekend at the movies.
I like cinema because it combines different art forms. When I am watching a movie, I’m exposed to narrative, imagery, music, etc... There are so many stimuli all at once. I appreciate all kinds of art but cinema just has everything.
All types of cinema hold much interest for me. My favorite is animation though, especially in its traditional forms. Hand-drawn and stop-motion are pure magic.
My 3 favorite films
Life of Brian, Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, Ed Wood. I had to make a random choice; otherwise it would be impossible to give an answer.
Talking about cinema online
I’ve been writing about movies for the past four years. I’m now writing about film news at myfilm.gr.
Though I haven’t made films myself, I have occasionally participated in the making of some shorts.
The first thing that comes to my mind is that defies popular narrative structures. But thinking more thoroughly there’s so much variety of cinematic approaches in Europe nowadays, I can’t think of a definition applying to everything.
I have done some traveling in Europe, but not as much as I would like to. However, I had the pleasure of meeting such friendly people during those trips, it really felt like home!
I represent Danaos cinema, which is located in Athens. It’s a lovely venue, beautifully designed, with lots of events for film fans. Even more, I love how carefully chosen are the films showing at Danaos. There’s diversity, in other words there’s always something worth watching whatever your preferences may be.
I watch movies at least two times a week, most of the time, much more. Movie theater is my second home. I love spending a lot of time there with friends watching and debating about movies.
Lili Lea Abraham – Belvárosi cinema of Szeged (Hungary)
I turned 20 in May and I am from Hungary. I moved to London “to make my dreams come true” in 2010. I study film production at University of the Arts, London College of Communication. I am into films including my high school studies, back to my country, for 7 years and by now I know that in the future I would like to be a production designer. Despite the fact I live far from my country I am still very attached to it and in every project I take part in I am trying to represent my heritage and Hungarian mindset.
Until I was 11 I had not really have the chance to watch films in cinema because we could not afford it. However I lived quite close to the local one so whenever we passed by I told to my mum: “ Let me go in to watch a movie”, I ran in and checked out all the posters on the walls- in this way I always knew the newest one’s titles and I imagined what they were like, I made up stories. There used to be a cafeteria as well which had countless photos of black and white movies, film stars and directors. These childhood memories made me to start a media and film course in high school: from then I was a weekly visitor of + cinema and film clubs.
I do not prefer cinema than any other art, I just love it in a different way. I love books, paintings and music but I have never had the feeling to create them. But with films… I want to be a part of them. It is a complex experience, it is something which involves so many people both in making and watching. Especially when in the theatre: it is an exceptional way to have effect on people because you can form their outlook so easily with sound and picture in the same time.
I love European art cinema. As I started to truly get involved during my studies I first fell in love with the French avant-garde, experimental movies, German expressionism, Italian and Hungarian art films. First Luis Buñuel, Michelangelo Antonioni, Béla Tarr. Later on I started to get closer to the works of Kornél Mundroczó, Lars von Trier, Kar Wai Wong and Stanley Kubrick. I also admire the femme fatale characters of Film Noir and if I want to be honest the Monty Python films are amaze me as well!
My 3 favorite films
Stanley Kubrick’s The Clockwork Orange had a huge effect on me, every time I watch it my mind is blown away, especially the design of it. I have not only seen the movie thousands of times but read the book and studies as well and it is just incredible. Alex’s character and what happens to him, the questions which this film asks are so unique but in the same time global.
My other favourite piece is 1 by Pater Sparrow. This movie is about a bookshop which sales a huge collection of rare books when one evening near closing time due to mysterious reasons everything replaced by an unkown work with white cover, titled 1. In these there are countless numbers which show on the Earth how many people die, born, play, have sex etc. in 1 minute. When these unbelievable data get into the hands of people everything go crazy: thousands commit suicide, scandals break out and the bookshop’s worker fall into a special collective dream. The story is very interesting because I have always been interested in dreams, surrealism and subconscious. I am also so proud it is from my country because I have never seen a Hungarian movie with this incredible production design. It is absolutely a masterpiece
I also have to mention one of the movies of Béla Tarr because he is my hero. When I started high school my teacher told us about the 7 and half hours long Sátántangó. Back then I thought I would never be able to love a piece like that and it was true until I was close to my graduation and I felt “trained” enough to have a go. To be honest it surprised me how amazing I found it and how it effects me still today when I watch it (every year in May). The beautiful thing in his works that they teach you to slow down when you are watching them. Everybody would expect a film to be full of actions, effect and suspense- while real life is not like this. In my opinion this is the only way to truly feel the emotions, worlds, problems and characters. It is also a very good example to represent the Hungarian’s mindset: we “are dancing with tears in our eyes”- we definitely carry the country’s sad history in our heart and life. without any trash this film and Béla Tarr’s work perfectly shows what is going on in our society.
I do make films. In high school we made one individually every year for The Hungarian National Study Competition in Film and Media Studies. In 2010 I got the third place with this music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKZz3jXoGbQ&feature=plcp
In this I gathered everything which I was inspired by that time: dreams, subconscious, symbols, surrealism, secrets, desires, drugs, parties, music, youth and love.
Nowadays I am participating in film making as a producer and production designer of my university’s projects. I really enjoy it because I can focus on what I really would like to do in the future. This year we made two pieces but for the time being we keep them “in secret” in case we send them for festivals. I also try to gain experience as a production designer assistant in graduation projects as Nothing kids. (http://iamsimonball.com/nothingkids ) Next year we start our big projects on what I will work as a designer.
Studying at University of the Arts in London is amazing because I have loads of opportunities not only film making but participating as a volunteer at different festivals so this year I worked as an assistant of Homeless Film Festival and Sheffield Doc/fest.
One of my interests is the theory of common unconscious which means the past, the instincts, experiences and feelings globally form the people’s outlook, way of living and creating. Europe has been through loads of positive and negative things, we are a melting pot of cultures, languages, skin colors, we gave so many incredible artists and genius to the world :so many have formed us and this why European cinema in my opinion is amazing. It shows the same variety and impressions in its topics in an artistic and real way. It is very down to earth- totally different than Hollywood-which is far from my taste mostly European films can truly reflect what I love to see on the screen. Good films without fluff.
I don’t travel that much, I live abroad so every time when I have some free time I am going for a holiday to Hungary. However living in London is like visiting different countries every day. I live with Italian and Spanish people, I work with Polish, German and French ones and I study with a whole other nationality- it is the perfect city to be introduced to other cultures if you cannot afford to travel that much!
It is very strange because now that I live abroad I feel more Hungarian and European as well. I feel more attached to my country as I miss it and I am looking for every sign of it. And Its only now that I feel I am truly European- I can experience how easy it is to travel from country to country or to meet other cultures.
I am representing the Belvárosi cinema of Szeged, Hungary. It is a very special venue because it is opened in 1920 and it is still a very popular place with its 3 screening rooms and cafeteria despite the opening of the Multiplex cinemas around. It is very friendly, approachable and it was renovated a few years ago but still keeps the same look which people got used to over the years. It does not only do screenings but film clubs, Q&As with directors and to be honest the bar is the best place in town to chill out with friends.
When I am home I am going at least once a week to watch a movie. Sometimes only for the feeling to be with my old friends who are interested in the same as me. To enjoy it together and afterwards sit down with a glass of wine to discuss.
Sophie Shippen – Watershed in Bristol (Great-Britain)
Cinema is my passion, expression and how I pay my bills. Between making short films, working in a cinema, and visiting them frequently, film is a large part of my life. My love of cinema, and my desire to be part of the industry makes it is both an honour and pleasure to have been selected as one of the 27 for this years’ Venice Days.
Having a particular interest in European cinema makes me all the more excited to have the opportunity to attend a festival in Italy. My taste in film is eclectic, with an interest in alternative, experimental and feminist cinema. Some classic and recent favourites include Ingmar Bergman's Persona, John Cameron Mitchell's Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Lynne Ramsay's Ratcatcher.
The cinema I am representing is the Watershed in Bristol. I have been a visitor to this arts centre since I moved to the city to study in 2008. Its programme is innovative, unique, and greatly varied; presenting a mix of cinema, talks and workshops. It also has a fantastic bar! My favourite Watershed moment was meeting John Waters after a hilarious and informative Q&A last year. The Watershed also hosts many film festivals, including the fantastic Encounters International Film Festival. With 15 other young people, I am currently working with the Watershed to programme the 'Fresh Flix' strand of Encounters, producing a series of films and workshops for young people.
After Venice Days I'm hoping to take back to Bristol some films to recommend to my friends, industry contacts to further my work, and memories of adventures with the 26 other cinephiles.
Bernard O’Rourke – Access Cinema in Dublin (Ireland)
I am from the town of Dundalk in Ireland. I am a writer and freelance journalist living in Dublin. I have a big interest in watching and writing about film. I write film reviews for the website highbrowse.ie , which you can check out here .
My parents didn’t bring me to the cinema much when I was young. They were much more interested in getting me to read books. So when I did get to go to the cinema it was big treat. The earliest memory I have of the cinema is going to see Toy Story. I still love that movie, and now watching Pixar films makes me feel like a young child again.
I love the experience of sitting in a big dark room with a load of strangers. I love a screen that makes the actors seem like giants, the bigger the better. My absolute favourite thing about the cinema is when the audience laughs or screams or claps. There is something magical about that.
I love over the top and slightly ridiculous action films, crime drama, black comedy, westerns and anything directed by Quentin Tarantino. I am also a big fan of Irish cinema, which at its best captures the witty and dark sense of humour of the Irish people. If you don’t know much about Irish cinema, I recommend checking out Poitín, Intermission, The Snapper, The Van, Adam and Paul, The Butcher Boy or The Wind that Shakes the Barley.
My 3 favourite films
So hard to pick just three, but I have a special place in my heart for Michael Mann’s Heat, Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and Martin McDonagh’s In Bruges.
Talking about cinema online
I don’t often contribute to very many forums, but I am regularly getting into arguments about the cinema on twitter .
Not yet, but I’d like to. I have plenty of ideas, but never enough time to realise them all.
I love European cinema. I think the best examples of European films are the ones made on a tiny budget that still manage to be incredibly deep, artistic and moving. Film is such a good way to introduce people to world they know nothing about. I think European school children should be made watch a film from each county in Europe to learn something new.
I think Ireland has benefitted massively from being Europe, and I am glad to call myself European. I travelled Europe by train in July and August 2010, starting in Belgium (I visited Bruges of course, since one of my favourite films was shot there) and finishing in Dubrovnik in Croatia.
I am representing Access Cinema. Access Cinema is the resource organisation for regional cultural cinema exhibition in Ireland. Their core activity is booking and despatching films, on both 35mm and DVD, to give local audiences the opportunity to see a range of world cinema, not usually available on commercial cinema screens. It is thanks to them I have seen some incredible examples of European cinema, which would not otherwise have been shown in Ireland.
I go to the cinema as much as possible. I try to see both films from actors, directors and writers I know and love, as well as films I’ve never heard of. I try to watch films not in English and not produced in Hollywood as often as possible. Some of the best films are the one you go in knowing about but turn out to be amazing. This feeling of surprise is unbeatable.
I go to the cinema at least once a week. I enjoy going both alone and with friends. Alone you can savour every little bit if a film without interruption. When I go with friends I like to go for a few drinks afterwards to chat about what we’ve just seen. The best times are when my friends and I all have different opinions about the film we’ve just seen and are able to argue about it.
Lynn Klein – Utopia (Luxembourg)
I’m a student of English literature and German and will start doing my Masters in England this come fall. I’m 24 years old and don’t really like talking about myself all the time, but this is definitely worth doing it for.
The first film I remember seeing at the cinema was Babe. It was so exciting driving there with my family and a couple of friends. The cinema doesn’t even exist anymore. As children we always went with our parents, later, my friends and I loved to take the train to Luxembourg City to go to the mall and see a film. It may sound a bit cheesy, but that was like a first step of independence, not having to rely on a parent to drive me somewhere and so on.
I like cinema because it combines so many different things. It’s not just about films, but about being with people, about going out and mingling, about popcorn, and amazing stories. It’s much more exciting than watching a film on TV and even though I also love reading books, a good film is so much more vivid and intense.
I prefer the smaller, more artsy cinemas that don’t show so many blockbusters but independent films. Of course, I also like a trash movie from time to time, a film that won’t disappoint me because I already know that it will be bad. But usually I like to see films that challenge me a bit.
My 3 favourite films
It’s very difficult to pick three favourite films. I guess that one of my favourite films is When Harry Met Sally because it’s a classic and the lines are both hilarious and witty. Then there is Broken Flowers for the simple reason that I think that Bill Murray is plain brilliant. Beginners is also one of my favourites as it is so full of emotions and real life.
Talking about cinema online
I used to write reviews in Luxembourgish for a blog called Pianocktail, but unfortunately it was hacked and doesn’t exist anymore.
I’ve lived in several European and non-European countries, and I do feel European. I think Europe is a great community and an institution that brings people together; I guess that it’s especially important to us young people who are eager to travel and live abroad.
I represent the cinemas of the Utopia Group from Luxembourg, Utopolis and Utopia. I like both venues for different reasons; they are with no doubt the best cinemas the country. They show a myriad of films, all in excellent quality.
I associate Europa Cinemas with nice locations and good films, and having a great time with friends. It’s that simple.
I’m not sure if I have any specific habits. What I like is to have some kind of snack at the beginning of a film, and what I hate are noisy people. I once turned around to a guy behind me who wouldn’t shut up and asked him if the film screening at the front of the hall bothered him during the conversation with his girlfriend.
I definitely don’t go often enough what with school, work and everyday life. I almost always go to the cinema with friends as I like the company and discuss what we’ve seen. We hardly ever spend much time at the complex itself, as we prefer going to smaller cafés or restaurants in the city.
Santa Juknaitė – Kino Centras Garsas in Panevezys (Lithuania)
J’ai 25 ans et je viens de Panevezys, en Lithuanie. Je travaille avec ma famille dans notre entreprise de céramique, ce qui occupe une grande part de mon temps et n’a rien à voir avec le cinéma. Quand j’étais petite, j’allais peu au cinéma et je regardais souvent les films à la télé. C’est à l’adolescence que j’ai commencé à aller au cinéma avec des amis ou avec l’école.
Le cinéma et moi
Aujourd’hui le cinéma est devenu mon meilleur guide et me permet de voir le monde avec un regard plus clair. J’aime un film pour son propos, un autre pour la façon dont il est filmé ou encore sans raison précise, juste parce que j’aime l’œuvre, comme 200 cigarettes par exemple. Certains d'entre eux sont très proches à mon caractère ou de mon style, de mon sens de l’humour, posent des jalons et restent en moi longtemps comme par exemple Head-On et d’autres m’émerveillent car ce sont des chefs-d’œuvre Blowup ou Rosencrantz et Guildenstern sont morts (Tom Stoppard).
J’ai découvert récemment un nouveau genre de films, qui sont aussi simples que la vie est compliquée, sans aucune explication, on vous donne –ou non- les raisons, comme par exemple Un prophète. Depuis peu je commence à remarquer les détails du jeu des acteurs, des prises de vue et de la mise en scène, et j’essaie de comprendre le pourquoi du comment. C’est inévitable quand on essaie de s’approprier quelque chose ; même si ces efforts peuvent paraître rudimentaires, c’est déjà un pas. Les goûts évoluent avec l’âge et deviennent une part de moi ; je ne peux pas dire quels sont mes trois films préférés : je ne les ai pas encore vus. Je ne participe pas à des forums en ligne puisque chaque semaine, nous discutons des films au cinéma.
Faire des films
Mes premiers essais de cinéaste ne sont pas connus du public, pourtant j'ai participé une fois au festival organisé par ma ville, mais avec componction : ce sont des premières expérimentations.
Le cinéma et l’Europe
Le cinéma est un pont entre les différents pays européens, surtout quand, comme moi, vous n’avez pas la possibilité de voyager à l’étranger. C’est dès lors le meilleur moyen d’échanger culturellement entre les différents pays. Et je pense que 27 Times Cinema renforce ce pont. Nous sommes tous les 27 « connectés » par le cinéma et ça me fait sentir un peu plus européenne.
Ma salle Europa Cinema
Je vais toujours au cinéma Garsas, c’est le seul dans la ville qui propose autre chose que du cinéma pas commercial. C’est aussi une des plus grandes salles du pays et l’équipe du cinéma est formidable, on peut toujours discuter cinéma avec eux. Je vais souvent au cinéma non accompagnée, mais je ne me sens pas seule. Si le film est bon, il devient alors mon meilleur ami et je passe un super moment.
Nicolò Comotti – Anteo Spazio Cinema in Milan (Italy)
I have just graduated in Art History and Film and now I am back into the real world, trying to make a living with the things I love most: cinema and disorder.
I have been a cinema goer all throughout my life: from Disney-watching toddler - one of my oldest memories is me roaming around the seats of an open air cinema whilst snow white and the dwarves were shining on the big silver screen - to mature and yet still enthusiastic observer of the filmic ritual, which unites magic, architecture and scrutiny.
I like Cinema because its potential is unlimited. It perhaps could be my favourite medium because it can encompass all the other media. And when this orchestral effort comes to life, the result is indescribable.
Limiting my likings to certain kinds of Cinema is very challenging. I would say I appreciate any film that tries to push its boundaries without cheaply declaring its ambition.
My 3 favourite films
Gosh, tough question. I can tell you the 3 favourite films that come to my mind in in this very moment of this specific day [eyes closed...here
Talking about cinema online
I do not regularly write on film forums or blogs, partly due to the vast amount of writing I have just completed for my degree. However, I foresee I will be pestering sites and film with my DEconSTRUCTIVE critiques.
I do try to make my own films, although I have just started to bite the dust of Cinema's practical grounds.
Anyway, I shall put my serious mask on for a second: making films is actually what I want to do in my life... You can see the homage I made for Buñuel's early films (Un chien andalou and Las Hurdes), which is titled Aboyez! the land without shAme, on this vimeo link: https://vimeo.com/41847494 spread the word!
European Cinema (and the idea of endemic Cinema) is undergoing drastic changes around its original conception. Whether be merely practical reasons (such as funding) or aesthetic concerns (such as style and genre) we can sense a sort of anachronism regarding this label.
However, what European Cinema has represented – and still represents in its semantic evolution – is an essential signifier for our cultural, historical and ideological heritage.
European Cinema is like being home. It is undeniable that all Europeans, ultimately, feel to be part of something.
Where current political debacles or financial scares may succeed in stopping us from feeling this way, we still cannot stop experiencing a sense of belonging when a film based on the history and characters of the old continent appears before our eyes.
I do feel European as I feel Italian. I am very proud of my origins, as much as I am proud to come from Europe; being able to explore these different and yet so similar cultures is a pleasure that I will be pursuing till my legs give out - and my pockets sing with enough coins.
I love travelling, and I developed a sort of addiction with Paris. I have been there 5/6 times and I think I will end up living around its arrondissements, sooner or later.
When physical travelling is not affordable, I tend to move around where I live, as it is a place that unites all Europe and beyond: I am cryptically talking about London, UK.
I have being living here for almost 5 years, and I think this vast and charming city will host my weary self for a few longer.
I am representing Anteo Spazio Cinema, Milano, a historical venues for all the Milanese film buffs. I love its attention to preserve the authentic Cinema experience, which is far from being linked to humongous pop-corn buckets…
As a film goer, I just like to have a drink with my girlfriend or my friends before the screening. I usually am a social film animal: even if the film is not an "easy watch" at all, I have always a buddy next to me - to discuss about our expectations or the absence thereof, and what we think it will be like.
In the cinema theatre, I respect the silent trance I slowly pour myself into: a sentiment that warms me with sublimity, when I think it is exactly the same since the first projections by the Lumières or Mr Anshütz.
The habit of going to the cinema is something unavoidable in my daily life. Every now and then, finances permitting, I feel the urge of plunging myself into darkness, stare at a square which suddenly brightens up, and be invested by images sounds and emotions.
Diogo Lima – Cinema City Classic Alvalade in Lisbon (Portugal)
I'm 19 years old and I'm a film student from Portugal. I come from an archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic called Azores but right now I'm almost finishing my degree on Cinema, Video and Multimedia Communication in Lisbon.
I've been going to the cinema ever since I was 4 (my first movie was The Prince of Egypt!).
I remember going to a really small venue with my parents and we used to watch movies which had already premiered one month ago or more on the portuguese mainland. It was a bit frustrating - nevertheless, it was an amazing experience.
I guess it's a bit hard to find an answer to that question without filling a lot of space with poetic/romantic thoughts. I can't imagine myself living without art at all, but cinema has a special spot in my heart. Ever since I was a kid and watched stuff like "The Matrix" I fell in love with the way how a sequence of moving pictures and sounds can trick an audience into what can be such an amazing experience for an hour and a half or so. It's this sort of magic I really grew fond of and want to make myself - to make someone from an public cry, laugh or think, even if just for a second. I love it when it happens to me, and this fascination with stories through images and sounds I always had is the reason why I'll always prefer a film to a book (and also because sometimes I'm very lazy and can't find the patience to read it, too).
I'm not the kind of film buff who loves each and every classic as much as he loves his life. There's a lot of important filmmakers whose work I don't enjoy at all and I often get cursed at a lot while telling it to my friends. I never worried myself enough as to try to find a pattern in what sort of movies makes me "shiver" the most. I'd say most of them need great characters or a great coherence in terms of aesthetics - a pretty film in terms of art or cinematography might sometimes help me endure a bad narrative - to convince me, but it depends on a lot of things. I might even enjoy Transformers 3 if in a good mood! (ok, perhaps this wasn't the best of examples but let's just hope you got the picture haha)
My 3 favorite films
I can't tell what my 3 favorite films are, that's a cruel task! My preferences keep changing at each time someone asks me that question, so I'll say the first ones that pop into my head: Godard's A Bout de Souffle, Rémy Belvaux/André Ponzel/Benoit Poelvoorde's C'est arrivé Près de Chez Vous and Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation.
Talking about cinema online
I don't participate in film forums online, but I often write on a small portuguese webzine called Planeta Plutão (www.planetaplutao.net ).
I make some films but most of the time I'm not happy enough with them in order to put them online. They're mostly film school exercises which are great for learning with the mistakes you make, but they're commonly not something I'd want to show to an audience.
I think Europe has some of the best movies and filmmakers in the world. My impression is that, in general, its cinema has the great ability to look at itself with respect, mostly as an art form rather than a commercial activity or a business. This is a big continent molded by several different cultures, so if you take a good look through the movies which people from each distinct country make you'll get a great glimpse on its diversity not only concerning the ways people tell their stories but also on the kind of stories they have to tell. Maybe it's because the idea of jumping between so many different countries and languages always fascinated me, but Europe seems to me like the perfect place to make films for a living.
Since I lived on an outermost region until two years ago it was a bit difficult to feel as european as someone who lives, for example, in France or in Italy. Although my parents did the best they could so I could get to know Europe, it's a more expensive for a Portuguese guy to do so than for people from Central Europe as my country belongs to the "european suburbs". I dream of living abroad once I finish my studies in Lisbon, but for now I travel much less than I want.
I'm representing Portugal's Cinema City Classic Alvalade. It's a small, really well located and comfortable venue that shows a lot of quality feature films and has a wonderful tradition of showing some smaller Portuguese productions, something you don't get to see often around here.
My schedule can often be pretty tight so going to the cinema is mostly a spontaneous decision which I rarely end up regretting. If there's something I really want to watch I'll invite some friends and we'll see a movie together, but I also love going to the cinema all by myself and be surprised by a film I had never heard of, spend time on a venue, discover a new one…
I try to go as much as I can but it really depends as not always I've got the time to do so. Going to the cinema with friends or alone are two different experiences, all of which have got their "advantages and disadvantages". Sometimes I just feel like going alone, sometimes I want to watch a cool blockbuster or a hyped release with some friends.
Piotr Sarota – Kino pod Baranami in Cracow (Poland)
I am a great, evil mastermind, who had planned to take over this world. Unfortunately, landing procedure has ended with explosion of my ship and total amnesia. Right now I am posing as 24 years old student, who is trying to finish his thesis and get Master degree. I live in the countryside (what is sometimes really painful – especially in the winter), I like watching movies, reading good science fiction novels and classic comic books and have huge interest in Japanese culture. I am huge fan of Godzilla, heavy metal music and anime, faithfull worshipper of Black Coffee God and probably chocolate-addict. In the spare time I like to watch cheap movies like Brain from planet Arous or The Green Slime, hoping it will help me regain my memories and allow me to rule the galaxy.
As a child, I have been going to the cinema with school, mainly to watch book adaptations, one or twice a year. When I have become a student five years ago, I started going to cinema more often – sometimes even five, six times a month. But my first movie experience is connected with video – my mother surely did not expect, that bringing home Godzilla vs. Hedorah cassette will turn me into some kind of (movie) monster.
I never really thought about it... Cinema gives entertainment, with no doubt. And evokes different types of emotions, and their intensity if sometimes far greater than those evoked by books – maybe because cinematic screen offers images much more detailed than imagination? Besides, It’s rather easy for me to get movies from various countries, no matter if they are products of pop culture, art-house productions or underground experiments, what – in case of books – it’s almost impossible.
I like silent movies and classic cinema. I enjoy watching westerns, action or horror movies, and even those cheap movies about rubber monsters, satanic cults and stuff, I also like what would you call auteur cinema – Cronenberg, Kurosawa, Kon, Herzog and many others, who offer something more than just good entertain. Well, in fact I like almost every type of cinema – maybe except those blockbusters filled with just special effects, and so called “artistic movies” – well photographed, but dull, trying to cover lack of concepts with pretty images.
My 3 favorite films
Ugh, I really don’t like questions about “favorite...” because I always have a problem to choose...
- Ucieczka z kina Wolność by Wojciech Marczewski (1992)
- Coraline by Henry Selick (2009)
Talking about cinema online
I used to participate to blogs, but gave up. I don’t know why, but my posts usually were drawing attention of forum trolls, and almost every attempt to discuss resulted in insulting me or the other users. So why bother?
Well, me and my friends were making video-reviews for some time. We’ve made five episodes, reviewing different movies – from Hunger Games to Shame. The last episode, in which we are rating Headhunters, was shoot in the Kino pod Baranami. Here’s link:
It’s interesting. Gives opportunity to express emotions, national identity or someone’s individuality. But sometimes I have a feelling, that European directors want to be “artistic” at any cost and forget, that movies are made also for the public. What European cinema represent to me? Great potential, power to create, but also many concepts still waiting for their chance for the big screen – I still hope to see good and ambitious European science – fiction movie, like Stalker or Solaris.
Hm... not really. Maybe because I have never been in any foreign country?
I’m representing the Kino pod Baranami. What I like about it is atmosphere: man can go for a movie, sit in a hall before the show, discuss with friends or other moviegoers. And it’s really great to walk into the room and see various people, young and old, teenagers along with students, retainers and adults, waiting for the movie with the same kind of excitement. Beside, the Kino pod Baranami often co-organize interesting film festivals – with documentary, silent movies and many others – titles almost impossible to watch elsewhere. Oh, and one of my good friends work there and I like to talk with her from time to time. I usually go to cinema twice a month, sometimes often. And rather alone – I prefer watching movies, where is only screen and I, and nothing to distract me. Of course except moments, when distraction is nothing bad – while watching blockbusters about superheroes or cheap cult movies, like “Toxic Avenger”.
Wilma Smid – cinema Rialto in Amsterdam (Netherlands)
At this moment I am still a student at the University of Utrecht and I am finishing my bachelor in Communication. This year I’m going to be occupied as a PR-officer in the board of a student dance association, really looking forward to this. Further, I have a side job in a theatre.
I remember a holiday when I was just a little girl. My parents wanted to take my sisters and I to a movie, but I was too young... So I stood on my toes and they sneaked me in. Unforgettable! Also with friends, I have always seen going to the cinema as a great night out. During my student days I became more serious about it and began to go to different film festivals and volunteer there. Come to think of it, at my high school we never really watched or talked about many films. That’s quite embarrassing actually.
I think I like cinema because it can trigger you in different ways; the music, the narrative, a screenshot and so on... It can touch your heart or let you die of laughter.
I’m not a fan of animated films. I like documentary films very much though. Maybe especially because I think it’s way harder to direct and film an interesting documentary. It gives another dimension knowing it truly happened. The same thing with fictional films based on a true story. Beside this, like most women of course I love sitting on the couch watching a rom-com once in a while.
My 3 favorite movies
First film I think of is Medianeras. It definitely became one of my favourite films. I just love the narrative: Since she was a little girl, Mariana has a book about Wally; you need to find him in every drawing with different crowds of people. However, Mariana is not able to find him on the page called ‘Wally in the city’. She worries; if she can’t find someone familiar, how is she supposed to find the one she does not even know? This is so recognizable, especially because I moved to a huge flat in the big city too.
It’s impossible to make a top 3! You have seen so many films… It depends on my mood what I like, which one I want to see etcetera. Amélie, Slumdog Millionaire, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are crossing my mind right now…
Talking about cinema online
I used to write blogs/small texts on the internet, but I don’t have the time nowadays unfortunately.
No, I don’t have the ambition to be a filmmaker or director. For some courses in my study we have to make videos though, but the ones I did were most of the time more theoretical or with a promotional purpose.
I feel European without a doubt, maybe even more than Dutch. I love to travel, see new places and meet international people with different cultures. I have never lived abroad for a very long time, but I have stayed in Málaga (Spain) for one and a half month for a language course. I loved it and would definitely do such thing again if I get the chance.
Which Europa Cinemas theatre
I’m here thanks to the cinema Rialto, in Amsterdam. I was there a lot during my internship, because I helped with the communication regarding World Cinema Amsterdam. Rialto is the initiator of this (in my opinion) unique film festival. I had an awesome time being there. The atmosphere is great and the people working there are very nice.
How often I go to the cinema depends of course on if there’s a film festival going on, because then it can easily run up to everyday. If not, I think it’s once month nowadays, like most students I don’t have a lot of money to spend on tickets. But when I do go, it’s definitely a night out, with dinner before and drinks after!
Baiba Bergman – Splendid Palace in Riga (Latvia)
I am 24 years old, currently studying Theater and Audiovisual course in Latvian Academy of Culture, still 2 years to finish my bachelor.
I'm going to the cinema since I was 6 or 7 years old, my dad used to take me and my older sister almost every weekend to some kind a movie, I don't really remember the first one that I saw, but there where two movies which I had at home and I loved them, and watched them a million times - Pretty Woman with Julie Roberts and Richard Gere. My mum had some similar high boots as Vivian has in the movie, so when I was little I really liked to do the opening scene where she puts them on in front of the mirror. The other one was Blind Date with Kim Basinger and Bruce Willis - it just seemed so funny. That's how I started to love cinema, later the passion just got stronger and stronger.
I like cinema because it can be so different. Behind the camera is a human eye - the first camera. And it is amazing to see how one (sometimes more) person's sight can show and make you feel the story which he want to share, to tell, to make you feel. Also cinema is the media of dreams, you can identify with any movie character you want, for some time you have the posibility to be someone else. And now when I'm studying - analyzing and researching movies, it's much more interesting than any other media or books. Because there is just so much to see - details, structure, narrative, cinematography, editing, sound etc.
The movies I love the most are the ones that leaves a strong aftertaste. The ones that keep popping up in your head time to time and you never really forget about them, because at that time when you have seen them, they kinda changed something in you, in your thinking, basically they have left a mark.. So it can be any genre, the important thing is that it need to have some message, some feeling and I need to see it and absorb it.
My 3 favorite films
I wouldn't say that there are only 3 favorite films, there are more, but I guess they change places depending on the time and situation in which I am. But I could name the ones that are always very close to me. So Martin Scorsese - Taxi Driver, Joseph L. Mankiewicz - All About Eve, Takeshi Kitano - Dolls, David Lynch - Wild At Heart.
Mostly I use mubi.com
, but from time to time I find some interesting blogs to read. I like to discuss the movies with my friends and other people in real conversations, there are always very interesting point of views and turning points in our discussions. Although now I'm kinda thinking to make my own blog
At this moment, no I'm not making movies, but you never know what can happen, though now I can't really imagine myself on the other side of the camera.
I really like European cinema, I like that the directors from different countries can represent some kind a specific and characteristic view and feeling about the places where they live. Also the differences of culture and the individual habits are very important things that describes the movies and the peoples behind the camera. So for me the European cinema represents a bigger taste of the world where we are living.
I do feel like European and I travel enough to feel what it's to be somewhere else. Also I have lived almost two years in Spain, Barcelona, the time that I spent there showed that I could live in different places, I can adapt to other cultures, traditions but I will always return to my home, because it's the place where are my family and the closest friends.
My habits as a cinema-goer
I don't have any specific habits when I go to see a movie, but mostly I like to go to the day screenings, because there are not so many people and they can't disturb you as it happens a lot when the movie is well attended. I go to cinema 4 times a month, as in Latvia we only have 3 cinemas we don't have a big range of movies to see and the bigger part consists of mainstream movies and blockbusters, I prefer to go to the movies that really interests me and is better to be seen on a big screen.
Aidan Celeste from St James Cavalier cinema in La Valette (Malta)
Who I am
I am a post graduate student and will finish a Master in Fine Arts by 2013. One of my subjects is Digital Art. My research deals with the visual and how pictures are built within the minds’ eye, a process I can’t really help but think of, or rather, re-build in a cinematic frame.
How long have you been going to the cinema
I believe my earliest memory of cinema is a close up of Edward Scissorhands (1990, Tim Burton). Burnt onto my retina was its immensity in a theatre. Being raised in a 90s VHS rental store on a small island, my film education was left to a commercial value. I'm still repelled by most off-the-shelf movies, however, I have managed to grow independently, thanks to the internet especially - cinema is no longer so anemic.
Why do you like cinema?
It feels as if cinematography has allowed for the intimacy of my own imagination as image maker to articulate with a camera and in line with Henri Langlois own vision of a cinephily (Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinémathèque, Jacques Richard, 2004)
Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer?
Fully experiencing a frame, such as watching Werckmeister harmóniák (2000, Béla Tarr), opens up a world of seeing through the moving image beyond the physical projection and into the realm of daily experience. That is how I usually find myself succumbing to calling such and such film, a favorite. Whether graphically, acoustically or narratively, a favorite resonates through shared memory, on screen and with friends; an event in which documentary fiction, like that found in Vals Im Bashir (2008, Ari Folman) often exposes really well. Within my favorite, the medium usually becomes part and parcel of its own narrative, whether in strict realism or absurd artifice, cinema still works within a shared persistence of vision, a trait which recollects experience in its own reoccurrence as did Dziga Vertov when closing and opening his own cinematographic statement: “Man with a movie camera” (1929).
Do you participate to film forums online?
I usually try and keep up with film journals, festivals and by following some favorite blogs or finding ways to seep through an international network in my own online projects such as www.gamblinginresistance.tumblr.com , a micro-blog which focuses on the “creative act as a timely gamble”, and my own online catalog of things worth sharing, www.saltwatercat.tumblr.com.
What do you think of European cinema?
Unfortunately, European cinema in Malta remains a clandestine act from one laptop to another, as the possibility of a reliable screening schedule is quite dim. Hence, the burgeoning cinephile on this small island in the Mediterranean seems to have no other practical option then online piracy. Without Mubi, Netflix and other online cinematheques, I myself would probably not have made it to this year’s Venice Film Festival or even seen the possibility of it.
Do you feel European?
I still hesitate to answer this question. Most of my travel experiences have been limited to major cities, in Italy, France and Holland but my own native tongue, Maltese, elicits a diverse amount of verbal influences which most European students of mine often quickly point out while I’m teaching them my other official language, British English. Malta has experienced quite a rapid change in the last 30 years or so, of which only recently has it been welcomed as part of the European Union itself. A mark which for my parents still left Europe as a far off land while for me, its cities often seem closer to myself then my own hometown.
Which cinema are you representing at 27 Times Cinema? What are your habits as a film-goer?
I am representing St James Cavalier, a organization which not only hosts its own intimate theatre with probably less than a 100 seats but a wonderful enclosed space for any small creative community to make the best of, be it any kind of artistic production.
Going to St James Cavalier and hanging out in the city of Valletta afterwards often means that even if you do enjoy a movie on your own, their might always be an interesting conversation to follow since similar cinephilic tendencies usually end up sharing the same spots. St James Cavalier itself understands that European film doesn’t have that wide a grasp in Malta yet. Despite this, it even helps other organizations, such as Kinemastik ( www.kinemastik.org ).
Dan Veridiana – Victoria cinema in Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
My name is Veridiana Dan, but friends call me Diana. I used to be a Political science student until I discovered I like working in a field that used to be just a hobby: film business.
I first entered a cinema when I was really just a kid, in my hometown. I went with my brother (also a movie buff) and friends and I suffered terribly when the cinema closed due to a lack of public.
I always liked watching movies but I also read a great deal so starting to read the books the movies were made after was just another step in my falling in love with the big screen. This made me more prone to observe the audiovisual behind the story or how a scene was shot to convey certain emotions etc. That`s why I think my favorite movies always turn out to be a combination of classic stories re-interpreted from an surprising new point of view. Like Sita Sings the Blues by Nina Paley (2008), Martyrs by Pascal Laugier (2008) or Bin-jip (3-Iron)by Kim ki-Duk (2004).
I don’t usually go online to discuss movies, I`m rather the old fashioned one who likes talking about them with friends and arguing about them and enjoying them together.
Europe and European cinema
I was in high-school when I discovered European cinema and the often more gripping and more interesting stories and plots. I think it was quite a shock for me to find this amazing closeness to European movies rather than American ones and to this day I feel more stimulated and involved when watching an European production.
I love observing the nature of people and whenever I was abroad I tried finding out exactly what kind of interactions define the inhabitants of a region or a big European city, habits or just what makes them unique. I think going back to that usually makes me feel like I truly live in a European community and relate easier to a European film.
My Europa Cinemas theatre
I come to the “27” project representing a cinema that has become a second home to me: Victoria Cinema in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. It`s not a big cinema, about 300 seats and it has a long history with owners and movies and regimes, too. I discovered it about 2 years ago and I instantly got involved in what was about to be the process of turning a mainstream cinema into an art cinema. I loved every minute of it and I felt inspired to develop the process of introducing week by week new European movies to the public, along with my colleagues. It has become very much like our beloved hang-out, workplace, entertainment center and so many more things I truly wish more filmgoers would relate to. Alas, the life of an art cinema is very fragile in a constant competition with the big “Cinema City” venues; but we do have our film festivals and our movie premieres (for European movies, mostly) and our wonderful environment…could a movie-lover ask for more?
Simon Sverin – Södran-Mejeriet in Lund (Sweden)
I’m a film addict. In order to cope with this addiction I watch film nearly every day, and I have also been studying film for five years. I finished my studies quite recently as I got my Master’s degree at the end of this spring by writing about slackers and slackerism in feature films. I’m looking forward to start working hard with making films, which is what I intend to do with my life. Other then that, I write a lot, paint some, and play music from time to time.
I can’t remember my very first cinema experience since I was only two years old at the time. My mom took me to see Disney’s The Little Mermaid in 1990, and ever since I seem to appreciate underwater footage on a dangerously biased level; to me, any scene underwater is a great scene, regardless of relevance or quality. I also seem to love octopuses, but not necessarily connected to a purple woman's upper half.
I enjoy all different kinds of media, from music to video games and literature, but there is something magical about going to the movies. Mostly I watch films at home on my computer, but whenever my wallet allows for it I go to the cinema for the real experience. It’s not just the popcorn smell and the sticky floor that contributes to a better film experience. The screen is huge, the sound is great, and the overall atmosphere is filled with an irreplaceable coziness that makes any film twice as good.
With the exception of toonsploitation I enjoy all genres and sub-genres of film, but for some reason I seem to get most excited about dirty westerns and old monster horror films. Recently I’ve developed a curious love for films which seems to deviate from any clear plot. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a good example of a relatively plotless film which I love to rewatch, as is Lost in Translation and Napoleon Dynamite.
My 3 favorite films
It would probably be easier for me to list my 30 favorite films, but after a long walk and a long ponder I come to the conclusion that The Big Lebowski is the film that I hold dearest and rewatch the most. However, after having sat down in front of my computer to write it down, I suddenly change my mind; Apocalypse Now is not only one of my favorite films - it is a masterpiece. On the other hand I feel incomplete with a top film list without Creature from the Black Lagoon for reasons unknown. Maybe i just like underwater footage too much.
Talking about cinema online
I wish I did, but I don’t seem to find the time for it. I blogged once, but watching films got in the way.
Yes I do! Here is a music video I made a month ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmAcLpJHDC0
European cinema for me is the same thing I believe most Americans think about European cinema: it’s far from mainstream, a little weird, and difficult to understand. Even though I share the American view of European cinema, I watch it a lot more, but not only because I’m European; I’m tired of unoriginal mainstream movies which all look alike and underestimate its audience by leaving close to nothing to our imagination. American cinema to me is generally more of a consuming industry, whereas European cinema is more of an art forum.
When I think about European people I get an Italian scooterist with an espresso in my head, or a beret-wearing French painter with a cigarette, while I see myself more of a coffee-drinking snow-shoveler of an ascendant of some ancient old Swedish viking. Whenever I have been traveling in Europe I strongly feel like coming to another world altogether, which I think is great. I guess I feel more Scandinavian than European, but at the same time I feel that if there’s any viking blood left in me it’s far from icy blue.
I represent the Frölundabion. Lund is a university city in Sweden plenty of cinemas, not only the "official" ones, but also the ones driven by students. One can choose between the new mainstream films or the old classics which suits me perfectly.
As a film addict, watching and talking about film is my absolute favorite thing to do, so I’ll be having a hard time remaining unecstatic at the Venice Film Festival. I’ll be enjoying all kinds of genres of all forms, as I tend to be open to pretty much everything, concerning watching film.
Since going to the cinema is so expensive in Sweden (about 10€) I only go four or five times a year, and it is almost always in the company of friends, although I very much enjoy going to the cinema alone. Once I went to an outdoor cinema alone to see a screening of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. It was the best cinema experience I’ve ever had, probably because it was outdoors. Otherwise, the cinema to me isn’t a place to hang out, unfortunately. Those I have been to so far is very similar to an attraction at some theme park - buy the ticket, take the ride, and that’s it.
Even though I enjoy the smell of popcorn in cinemas, I seldom buy anything to eat or drink when I’m going to watch a film. In Sweden, going to the cinema is expensive enough without the additional snack. Also, I’d like to stay in my seat to also watch the end credits, not only to see if there is an ”encore” scene after the end credits, but I also enjoy digesting the film while watching what people made it. Lastly, I find it slightly disturbing when people wants to talk to me about the film during the film and not after. Oh, and I also turn off my phone.
Bor Pletersek– Kinodvor in Ljubljana (Slovenia)
I'm a 24-year-old student at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. Apart from my studies I write for a monthly radio broadcast about cinema and I also do occasional voluntary work for local film festivals, such as Kino Otok/Isola Cinema and Animateka.
I remember frequent trips to the cinema with my family, especially with my older brother. Nevertheless, my window to the world of films during my childhood was television. Recently I found a journal of sort, which I had been writing when I was seven years old, and I was surprised at how much time I had actually spent in front of the TV. A decade down the line I found an improvised shelter from my teenage angst in literature, music and, of course, cinema. That was the time when I became very much interested in all aspects of the cinema, uncovering its rich history layer by layer and seeing some of the classics which I didn't now even existed for the first time. Fortunately, this is still happening!
School programmes, sadly, don't pay much attention to the cinema or even to film or video as a means of education; I guess there is still some sentiment of cinema being a »vulgar« art form, which is going around in the heads of Slovenian education policy makers. That being said, a lot has been done in regard to film education in last years and, hopefully, someday students in elementary and secondary schools will have an option to take a cinema course.
I like spending time in the desert of images. Cinema is, compared to other art forms, still very young and holds great potencial for the future. It can be many things: an instrument for exploring and analyzing the social realities we live in, an articulation of our inner-most dreams, great entertainment, propaganda… The question of “preference” strikes me as odd, especially since, let's say, cinema and literature are so self-evidently intertwined. I remember that Peter Greenaway once said that cinema began with Caravaggio, Rembrandt and all the other »classical masters of light«. That being said, each of these media is very different from the others and demands an autonomous approach.
I cannot specify a 'type' since I have a fondness for bits and pieces of everything, from low-budget horror films and transgressive queer cinema to high-brow art productions. I would say that the thing I value the most in individual films is their honesty and a certain sensibility towards its audience as thinking beings.
My 3 favorite films
I probably share the incapacity to answer this question with several people from this year's "27" crowd. If I only look at the past couple of years I can name several films that made a strong impact on me. Thanks to the retrospectives in Slovenian Cinemateque I got familiar with the works of French filmmaker and activist Sylvaine George and with those of the Japanese master Seijun Suzuki. Recently I had the pleausure of seeing two marathon-length works from a wonderful Philippino filmmaker Lav Diaz, Century of Birthing (2011) and Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (2012). I was also taken aback with Michael Glawogger's final installment in his work-in-the-age-of-globalization trilogy Whores' Glory (2011). One of the best surprises of this year - since it was the first and to this day the only Benoit Jacquot film I saw - was Deep in the Woods (2010).
Talking about cinema online
I don't participate to film forums and I don't write a blog. I do read some of the online film magazines, such as Senses of Cinema. In general, I would say I am a fervent yet passive member of the internet community.
To me, European cinema represents the best cultural output from a wide array of nations that learned to coexist after centuries of bloodshed. It is also responsible for some of the most important cinematic innovations in the 20th century and probably the only option in the “western” world we have of a legitimate large-scale opposition to Hollywood film production.
When I was in high school I travelled extensively across Europe, mostly spending time in European capitals, but the longest I've been abroad was 5 months that I spent living in New York City while working as an usher and projectionist in Angelika Film Center. As far as feeling European, I can only paraphrase the speech my favourite writer Danilo Kiš made when he was given the Ivo Andrič award in 1985: “There is nothing without our land and I cannot live with it nor without it.”
Built in 1923, Kinodvor has an interesting history. The first film ever to be screened there was Der Junge Medarus, a work based on the novel by Arthur Schnitzler and directed by Michael Kertesz who later went on to shoot Casablanca. In 1935 the cinema was renamed Kino Sloga (after the railway's cultural society which took it over); in the '80s Sloga was famous for showing pornographic films. Nowadays, Kinodvor’s vision is directed towards being an 'event cinema', showing art-house films and hosting roundtables and lectures. Kinodvor is also well known for its children programme and workshops (Kinobalon). It is an intimate place, a true antipode to the multiplexes on the outskirts of Ljubljana, with a great café and lots of interesting and beautiful people.
I go to cinema quite often and my film-going habits are simple and rather boring. They consist only of an obligatory coffee and a cigarette before the screening. Also, I like to sit in the front or 2nd row. The most intense and entertaining are of course film festivals. I would like to thank Europa Cinemas, among others, for enabling me to participate at one of the most celebrated film festivals in the world.
Lenka Kuchtová – Lumiere cinema in Bratislava (Slovakia)
I´ve graduated the Film and TV Faculty of Acadamy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, with specialization in Film and TV Theory in August. I work for the Slovak Film Institute, in the Photoarchive (Slovak National Film Archive) and I have also worked as an assistant to the projects of National Cinematographic Centre of the Institute in the fields of Slovak Film Promotion, helping to promote Slovak films and Slovak audivisual industry at relevant international film markets (European Film market in Berlin, Marché du Film in Cannes). I´ve set to work for Film Europe Media Company as an assistant to organize some specialized film events, as well.
I´ve been going to the cinema since I was a little child. I remember going to the cinema with parents at some time but the visiting the cinema has become more intense and regular since I was seventeen years old. And teachers of my Primary and High school prefered going to theatrical performance as part of an artistic educational programme rather than going to the cinema.
Why do you like cinema?
I like a storytelling by images in general. I think the cinema is the most sensitive artistic expression. Firstly It seems to be very close to our reality/real world, because of its own substance – narration by moving pictures. Of course it´s not the reality itself and this fake reflexion of reality emerges from a spectator´s perception issue. And secondly the cinema can visualize a plenty of fiction worlds in concrete forms and shapes.
I don´t prefer any kind of films, because my film preferencies depend on my mood and psychological state in the particular moment. But I don´t like horror films. And films, which show me uknown places, occasions or uncover complicated sociological or psychological issues are very important to me.
I like slovak classic films, of course, and the fact, that we recently try to stand up on our own feet and to find new ways of the artistic expression and the film production. I´m glad The Audiovisual fund for financing of the various audovisual projects and different phases of film production and distribution has finally been founded and offers financial help for filmmakers, cinema operators and other people working in slovak film industry.
My 3 favorite films
It´s really difficult question. I don´t have my 3 favorite films, but I can say I love Xavier Dolan´s movies, Roy Andersson´s film poetic and Jaques Tati´s or Woody Allen´s sense of humour.
Talking about cinema online
I don´t participate to online film forums and I don´t have my own blog.
I´ve made only one film, which was the part of my master exams and I didn´t put it on the internet.
It´s said that European cinema has more artistic value than American one. I don´t think so. It´s true that American cinema has a greater tradition of film genres and European film has a tradition of intimate films about interpersonal relationships, but the differences are vanishing. Additionally I think European cinema becomes much more multicultural, because of the political system of the European Union and because of the increasing number of film co-productions.
Feel European? Do you travel often in Europe? Have you ever lived abroad?
It´s difficult to say it, but I think I feel European, because I can still feel the burden of the communist history of Eastern Europe, especially of my country. I´ve never lived abroad, but I travelled a lot and I stayed in some foreign countries for more than one month.
I’m representing Cinema Lumiere which is the film theater of Slovak Film Institute and it was founded for showing not even the classic or contemporary Slovak movies, but European art films and independent american movies as well. I love going to the cinema to discover a new film art work and Lumiere is the best place for it in Bratislava. More importantly, it provides a good area for the spectator to see non-commercial movies.
I try to go to cinema at least twice a week and I love going to cinema alone. When I meet somebody in the cinema I like to go out for a drink after the screening and have a talk about the seen film. And the cinema theater is definitely great place to spend my free time.