28 Times Cinema

 

28 Times Cinema 2013

 

Paula Laurinovica - Cinema Riga in Riga (Latvia)

 

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I am 19 years old, this year I will be studying Theory of audiovisual art and theatre in the Latvian Academy of culture.

Cinema since…

Cinema has been one of my main passions since childhood. Of course, it all started with cartoons. The first cartoon I ever matched was THE LION KING and I still consider it as my favorite cartoon. My many VHS tapes still recall the time when the greatest pleasure was being able to watch something new. As a child, going to the movies was a great adventure - movies on such a huge screen!

Why cinema…

I like movies because they allow you to look upon the world from different points of view. Films reveal the diversity of the world. They let us get to know the various characters and their fates. Movies cannot leave you indifferent. They evoke a wide range of emotions in everyone of us. Unlike books, movies focus on some scenes and characters and the viewer just has to surrender to what is happening.

What cinema…

My favorite movie genre is drama and I also enjoy documentary films. Drama, because it rouses interest and captivates a large amount of emotions. Documentary films, because they show certain people’s fates and life events. It is important to me a movie to have a story and a message given to the viewer. It is important that the film leaves an impression, makes me reflect on what I have watched and make me expand my horizons. I do not say a strict “NO” to other genres of films. I try to have diversity on the films I watch.

My favourite films…

It is hard to choose 3 favorite movies, but I can list 3, which definitely differ from others and are worth to be watched. And they are Milos Forman- ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, Lars von Trier- DOGVILLE and Sean Penn- INTO THE WILD.

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Speaking about cinema online…

Sometimes I read the movie forums and sites where viewers express their thoughts of the movies they have watched, but I believe that it is much more interesting to discuss them with a group of people, so that it can lead to various discussions. Therefore, I do not give a great preference to movie forums. I write critics of movies I have watched for a cinema homepage.

Europe and cinema…

European cinema differs from others thanks to its diversity and, in my opinion, above all – thanks to its the ability to speak to each viewer personally. Films have their own story to tell and are not made only for the viewing pleasure. European cinema shows the world around us, all that we are witnessing and maybe even things we are not paying attention to.

Feeling European…

I feel European, and I like to get to know other cultures and traditions while traveling. It is a priceless experience to spend some time abroad.

My film theatre and my habits…

I represent the Splendid Palace in Riga, Latvia. This cinema has a great atmosphere, thanks to the neo-baroque facade and neo-rococo interior. The Splendid Palace is a great place to watch films, because it gives people a chance to watch high quality films that were successful in international film festivals. I think that the atmosphere conveyed by the movie theater is important to watch films.

I am used to going to the movies alone or with the company of friends. I like to spend time in the cinema since each time is like a small event. Going to the movies allows you to relax, learn and see something new.

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Isabella Preuer - Neues Volkskino in Klagenfurt (Austria)

 

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My name is Isabella Preuer and I am 22 years old. Born and raised in a small village in Lower Austria, I am currently studying Cultural Science at the University of Klagenfurt in Carinthia. Beside my studies, I am occupied with different projects to gain more experience in film making, my one true love.

 Cinema since...

I have always been fascinated with film and enjoyed going to the cinema. When I was younger, my parents took me to the movies. I don‘t know if it was the first film I‘ve ever seen at the cinema, but I remember watching A BUG’S LIFE sitting in the front row and being really scared when the grasshopper arrived.

 Why cinema

Going to the cinema is like entering another world, full of inspiration and imagination. I also love reading books because they allow you to use your own imagination whereas you‘re sharing someone else‘s while watching a movie. But I prefer films because it feels more realistic through the impressive pictures. They are not just in your head like the words in a book, they are right in front of your eyes.

 What cinema

I don‘t prefer a certain genre, but I am more drawn to indie films because they create stories that are not only about explosions or box office, yet about characters with a heart. Furthermore, I am also a fan of STAR WARS, the movie that highly influenced the film industry. In general, I appreciate movies where you can‘t figure out the end right away.

 My 3 favourite films

The STAR WARS movies are still my all-time favourites because since watching episode 1, THE PHANTOM MENANCE for the first time, I‘ve wanted to become a film maker myself. I also love THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.

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Filmmaking

I‘ve created various short videos to learn more about the techniques of film making and published them on my website (isabella.preuer.at). Right now, I am working on a short film, but in the future I would love to do feature films.

 European cinema

To me, the perfect word to describe European cinema is „weird“ - and I mean that in the best possible way. There are more intricate story lines, stronger pictures and more critical topics than in some of the big film productions. Visconti‘s DEATH IN VENICE, Varda‘s LE BONHEUR, Almodóvar‘s LA MALA EDUCACION or Haneke‘s DAS WEISSE BAND are typical European movies in my opinion.

Being European

Growing up in a very small village, I have always wanted to see the world and live abroad. I was living and studying in Lyon (France) for a few months, where I spent a lot of time at the Institut Lumière because it felt like film heaven to me. Thanks to leaving my home country, I learned a lot about myself and my personal approach to film making. I don‘t necessarily feel European because I am not really sure what it could mean. There are so many different cultures and languages in Europe, that I‘d rather see myself as an individual being on a multicultural continent - but maybe that‘s exactly what being European is all about.

My cinema

I represent the Volkskino in Klagenfurt, Austria. It has all the perks of a repertory cinema: it‘s small, which basically makes you feel like you have your own cinema at home where you watch movies with only some of your friends. I especially love that they show great movies in their original language. I‘d rather read subtitles than listen to synchronised voices that totally change the dynamic of a movie. During the summer, they also organise an open-air cinema at the impressive Burghof in Klagenfurt, where they show classic movies as well as new ones. I like going there with my friends and discuss the movies afterwards.

 

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Alfonso Caci - Plaza Art, Mons (Belgium)

 

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My name is Alfonso Caci and I am finishing my studies of Architecture at the Polytechnic Faculty of Mons. Since my childhood, cinema and theater take a great place in my life and make me happy. I had the opportunity to act in a few films as well as in plays with high-quality teams. It strengthened my desire to be an actor or director. So, I will study drama at the Royal Conservatory of Belgium. In addition, I am cultural ambassador in my city – Mons - which will be European Capital of Culture in 2015. This is a wonderful opportunity to discover movies, plays and meet a lot of artists. For further information, I invite you to follow me on facebook .

Cinema since…

I remember going with my parents to see DOV’Ѐ LA LIBERTA? directed by Roberto Rossellini with the Italian actor Totò. After seeing it, I always asked to watch movies with this actor who fascinated me. I think it was from that moment that I became aware of my passion and I never left the cinema screens.

Why cinema…

It is an open window to the world that allows me to understand it. Everything is possible and we can talk about everything. It allows you to explore other arts and that is the reason why I love it. The cinema is for me a mix between tragic and magic, love and death, real and surreal - in one word: emotions. It moves me more deeply than any other media.

What kind of cinema…

There are as many types of cinema as films to me because each time, it is the invention of a world and every detail makes a unique work of it. THE GREAT DICTATOR by Charles Chaplin is very important to me because it suggests that freedom must be in creation and in the lives of men. This message is expressed with great accuracy and emotions.

 

My 3 favourite films…

Here are the three films that have impressed me most so far but I hope I will find others which will captivate me and overwhelm me as much:

PIERROT LE FOU (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965) for its freedom and its love story

METROPOLIS (Fritz Lang, 1927) for its power and its images

ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999) for its aesthetical and its poetry

 

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Online…

As cultural ambassador, I share every meet and every new adventure I experience on social networks (@AlfonsoCaci) and blogs (http://www.mons2015.eu). This is the occasion to write films reviews or artists’ interviews and interact with the entire world.

My film…

I already directed some short films and the last was for the Mostra 2013. Each member of 28 Times Cinema had to play a quote from one of our favorite movie to make a video screened at the Venice Film Festival. I chose Charles Chaplin’s end speech from THE GREAT DICTATOR that you can see on my Facebook page.

Europe and cinema…

Some films are made with staff from all over Europe and that is great because the visions of cinema are different and enrich the film. During one month I had the opportunity to act in a play with actors from different countries and this experience has greatly enriched me as a human and as an artist.

I really feel European because I am Sicilian and I was born in Belgium. Moreover, I travel a lot and I have friends all over Europe. I'll even spend half an Erasmus year in Politecnico di Milano.

My film theatre and my habits…

Plaza Art in Mons is the cinema where I discovered the greatest films of my life. It's a venue where everyone can discover quality films and meet very interesting people. This is a very dynamic and very human cinema with a welcoming and passionate team.

I go to cinema once a month to see films with the members of a young film-lovers ‘group. Sometimes we meet the directors and we discuss with them about the movie we saw. I also like to go to cinema with friends in order to share a pleasant moment and sometimes we organize restaurant-cinema party.

 

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Milena Alexandrova, Dom Na Kinoto in Sofia (Bulgaria)

 

 

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At the moment I'm working as a team leader in an online trading company. I finished my Bachelor degree (Cultural studies) 3 years ago. This year I'll be going back to university, which I'm very excited about - in September I'm beginning my Master in Paris.

Cinema since…

One of my first memories of going to the cinema is my parents taking me to see ARMAGEDDON; I was 8 years old and the movie seemed very bizarre to me. Once I was old enough, I started going alone or with friends. My teachers in school had a preference for theater; we did, however, watch movies in class from time to time. I loved going to festivals (I started when I was 15), it felt like a very special & unique experience.

Why cinema

Good movies have a very deep impact on me, which could unravel in all kinds of directions – I can feel  disturbed, uplifted, saddened, inspired; while I love books, they are usually more subtle and discreet in their influence. 

What cinema

Independent cinema. I prefer the drama genre, but I occasionally enjoy a good comedy as well (Monthy Python for example). And most importantly, I keep my mind open for other genres or types of cinema at all times (I had very low expectations for ELITE SQUAD as it was described as an action movie, but turned out to be one of the best movies I've ever seen).

The first 2 movies that were extremely influential for me, almost to the point of shaping me as a person, were IRREVERSIBLE and DR. STRANGELOVE - it's a bizarre combination, I know.

My 3 favorite films

THE FALL, DOGTOOTH & THE CLASS.

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Filmmaking / Talking about films online

Not at the moment. Haven't done that yet.

European cinema

European cinema has always been very special to me, ever since I “discovered” it; it's part of a much broader cultural heritage and is therefore difficult to define. For me it represents a very broad diversity & complexity, while having its very own specific sensitivity.

Being European

Yes, yes and yes; I love exploring Europe! I've been in half of the European countries and have lived in Germany & in France. I feel European in plenty of ways & have a deep respect for my cultural heritage.

Your cinema

I'm representing the Bulgarian cinema, which is currently undergoing an upheaval – after a long period of stagnation, it's finally getting back on its feet & this feels amazing.

 Your habits as a film-goer

I love going to the cinema late in the evening (around 10-11 PM). Before going, I never read anything about the movie (or at most, a 1-2 sentence synopsis). I like approaching films with an unprejudiced mind. After the movie I usually take a long walk to think it over.

I like going with friends, but sometimes going alone feels more satisfying. I love spending time around cinemas but I don't like crowds of people and therefore I don't spend much time in the cinema itself.

 

Damien Heraclides - Cinestudio, Nicosia (Cyprus)

 

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My name is Damien Heraclides and 24 years ago, I was an amoeba; so I’d like to believe that I’ve evolved to some extent.  I was born in Sydney, Australia, but moved to Cyprus at the age of four. I’m the type of person who constantly quotes films and then has that silly smirk on his face while waiting for the other person to acknowledge it. I jump at the opportunity to reference a film, even if it has nothing to do with the context of our conversation.

Cinema since…

My interest in film grew from a young age, but my interest in film editing only developed over the past 3 years. My biggest aspiration is to become an editor in the media industry; whether it’s films, commercials or music videos. I worked as an Intern at MTV Cyprus but realized that I’d rather do things on my own; so on that note, I started my own freelance video production company called “PixelGrid Productions”. I mostly record and edit promotional club videos but I’ve also recorded world renowned DJ’s such as Armin Van Buuren, Above & Beyond and Gareth Emery. Most of my videos can be found on YouTube and some were shown on TV.

Why cinema

Going to the cinema is the ideal night out for me. The anticipation of going to watch a film I’ve been dying to watch is part of the excitement. I then enter the cinema, sit on that snug chair and lean back once or twice just to make sure it’s comfortable enough to accommodate me on this glorious event. Then before the film begins, I have to watch the trailers because I love how they manage to influence us. Then the film begins and for the next hour and a half, I willingly suspend disbelief and fall in a state of trance. I immerse myself in the larger than life atmosphere in the company of others and forget any problems I may have in my life. I live a different kind of life vicariously through the film.  I develop an emotional bond and by the reactions of the other moviegoers, I realize that we’ve all somehow related the film to our personal lives. By the end of it, I find a sense of catharsis.  
There’s just something about cinema that I can’t find in other media. Perhaps it’s the sense of concentration and engagement while being surrounded by hundreds of other people. Personally, I can’t read a book when I’m surrounded by others. I can’t concentrate on it. Cinema on the other hand captivates me and gives me a sort of escapism.

As a child and teenager, going to the cinema with friends was my most popular choice. On average, I used to go around 6-7 times a month. Nowadays, I might go to the cinema around 3-4 times a month. I’m hoping that number will increase.

What cinema

I enjoy every movie genre, as long as there’s an interesting story to it. My top 3 genres however, are thrillers, comedies and psychodramas/drug-based dramas. Most of the films I watch are Hollywood based films but only because in Cyprus not many independent films are shown here.  Still, when I find out about an independent film that I find intriguing then I definitely watch it.

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European cinema

European cinema is definitely interesting to watch because it varies so much between each country. It’s fascinating to see what each country considers to be art and how they visualize their stories. The French for example, who are branded as being romantic and passionate, make extremely gory horror films and intense thrillers.

Personally, I’m fascinated in films that have some sort of deeper meaning behind them in regards to today’s society and culture. Films such as FIGHT CLUB, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM and PULP FICTION are amongst my all-time favourite films.

Feeling European

I do feel European but not 100%. I grew up watching American films and I believe that some of their ideas and beliefs have rubbed off on me. Europe will forever have a place in my heart though. I studied abroad for a year in Kingston, UK, and it opened up a whole new world to me. It was a phenomenal experience that allowed me to travel around Europe and meet many fascinating people. As cliché as it sounds, it has inspired me in ways that I can’t describe.

Lenka Rejzkova, Bio Central à Hradec Kralove (Czech Republic)

 

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My name is Lenka Rejzková and I am a student from the Czech Republic. I am coming to Venice to represent the art cinema called Bio Central.

 

My habits as a filmgoer

I usually go to the cinema with friends and after movie we spend all the evening chatting about the movie and other things in the cafeteria of the cinema. However even when I go to cinema alone, I often happen to meet somebody I know and after screening we end up in the cafeteria as well.  I have been a real film-lover for many films, but more especially during cold winters!

 

Feeling European/ European Cinema

I am happy I had a chance to work with people from all around Europe and I have visited quite a lot of places. However I have never lived abroad for a long period so far. I enjoy European culture and I am sure there is a lot to explore. I am really grateful to Europa Cinemas for making European movies accessible even in my town, Hradec Králové.

 

My favorite films

It is very difficult to choose just 3 favorite movies! But here you can see the first that came to my mind:  

THE CREMATOR by Juraj Herz

MATRIX by Wachowski

FOUR MURDERS ARE ENOUGH? DARLING by Oldřich Lipský

 

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Which Cinema

Bio Central (http://www.biocentral.cz/en ) is not only a cinema, it’s THE place –for students´ movies, theme parties, creative workshops, alternative cultural events etc. It has its own atmosphere, which I really like.

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Lola Klamroth, Abaton in Hambourg (Germany)

 

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I am Lola from Hamburg, Germany. Right when the Venice Film Festival finishes I will turn 22 years old. Although I love Hamburg to bits, I left to France after I had obtained my high-school degree. In France I worked for a charity organization in a very remote area. At night, when the kids I took care of went to sleep, I took my mountain bike and rode seven kilometres to villages nearby to partake in their movie night. Every Tuesday the villagers showed films from different countries in their community hall. I watched movies that I had never even heard of before, Japanese, French, Spanish, Swedish, American etc. After each screening a moderated discussion took place, through which I learned a tremendous amount about films. At times the film night was cancelled, but at that point I was so hooked to the weekly screening session that I then took the initiative and rented out a movie from the local video rental shop and organized a small film night myself. Until today I have kept that tradition and try to organize such film nights with moderated discussions now and then.

I study acting at the University of Arts in Berlin now. It has a lot to do with my passion for films. I believe that films are a great way of telling stories. Films touch people and therefore it is a perfect medium to convey any message one has.

Cinema since… 

It is my mother who I love to go to the cinema with. It is her who took me the first time and it is her who takes me to watch the good movies. But I have to be quick, because if don’t have the time, she goes on her own, she does not want to miss it in the cinema. Thus, I learned its ok to go to the cinema on your own. It can be a very special experience. But when I go on my own, I call my mother afterwards. I need to talk about how I feel, what it has done to me. She always understands and by talking to her I can reflect on the film and gain a deeper understanding of its content.

Why cinema…

The reason why both my mother and I never miss a good film in the cinemas is because of the big screen and the sound. It catches me immediately. It is a complete different experience then watching it on a small screen with bad sound. I will never understand why people sometimes even download films in a bad quality. It is luxury, you just sit there, sometimes the chairs are not that comfortable and sometimes someone next to you crunches their popcorn or talks to his friend, kisses his boyfriend, but I don’t hear that nor see that when I’m in the cinema. In a mysterious way the big screen and the sound always catch me.

 

The difference of films to books is that one can read a book and have one’s own image in your head of what the author is trying to create with his words. In my opinion however, a writer could never reach the precise description of what a motion picture can offer. I think that cinema can link all sorts of arts, like music, dance, writing etc. So for me it's the richest medium off all of these.

Making films…

When I was a child we used to shoot a lot of little movies with my brothers and sisters and our friends. My older brother was always the director of photography and director and the rest of us were acting. We had a lot of fun and I think our movies were really good. Since then I participated in some short films and I starred in one feature film. The feature film was invited to a lot of film festivals like Locarno, Berlinale and smaller ones in France, Italy and Germany. It was an amazing experience and I got to know wonderful people and wonderful films.

What cinema / My favourite films…

I like slow storytelling movies and I am not at all into neither horror- nor action movies. It is more the aesthetics of colours and pictures that movies create. VIRGIN SUICIDES by Sofia Coppola could be an example or NORWEGIAN WOOD by Tran Anh Hung, based on the novel by Haruki Murakami. A SINGLE MAN by Tom Ford is also one of my favourite movies. All these three films have their own very special aesthetic. They all work especially with colours and lightning, and they have a special slowness in their storytelling. I like these kinds of films because it combines telling a story and the art of filmmaking for me.

BREAKING AND ENTERING by Anthony Minghella, RUST AND BONES by Jacques Audiard and BLUE VALENTINE by Derek Cianfrance I also consider to be my favourite films. Moreover, I love French cinema, they develop a humour in their movies I have never seen in German cinema. My favourite recent French movie is by Rémi Besançon.

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Europe…

I’ve been travelling a lot all over Europe. During these travels I have met amazing people. I like to do „couchsurfing“, in my opinion the best way to get to know places and the culture by local people showing you around. Apart from the political achievements I take great pride in our culture. Although cultural budgets are cut everywhere Europe is still a place where culture thrives and continues to inspire people. What fascinates me about this continent is that we share one identity, we all feel European but at the same time people from different European countries take great pride in their culture. The diversity is vast and this is also reflected in European cinema. It showcases the diverse cultures in Europe and thereby helps to close ranks amongst the different countries while not blurring the cultural differences that European countries have. Therefore I think Europa Cinemas and its objectives are a great thing contributing to this. Without Europa Cinemas we wouldn’t have this great opportunity to come together with 28 people from every European country, watch and discuss films, do workshops and get to know the cinema made in Europe even better.

My film theatre…

The Abaton-Kino in Hamburg is the cinema I’m representing.

It is a beautiful cinema close to Hamburg’s university where a lot of students live. Often filmmakers come there and discuss their film after the screening. They have a great programme and it has a very special personal atmosphere to it.

For my 18th birthday I got a free ticket for one year to this cinema. It was definitely my best birthday gift. When I go there, I often meet people I know, have a drink before or after in the nice small bar and you often cross Matthias Elwardt who is running the cinema.

It is also the centre of the Hamburg film festival, during that time a lot of filmmakers from all over the world mingle with local people from Hamburg. The festival tent in front of the Abaton, where discussions, parties and meetings happen is a great place to be to get inspired.

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Charlotte Uldall Baatrup - Grand Teatret in Copenhagen (Denmark)

 

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My name is Charlotte Uldall Baatrup and I Iive in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen, where I study film and media science at the University of Copenhagen.

To a large extent, my life consists primarily of film. My studies at the university allow me to engage in everyday discussions and debates about the theoretical and historical aspects of film – an activity that really appeals to my inner film nerd! Outside school I spend a lot of time on acting in various film projects. I have a great passion for acting and filmmaking, and love all the challenges that this approach brings.

How long have you been going to the cinema?

I have been going to the cinema for as long as I can remember. My first experience in a movie theater was with my parents, watching Walt Disney’s cartoon, THE LITTLE MERMAID. I was so small that I couldn’t keep the theater seat down, which kept popping up, leaving me squeezed, like a louse, between the seat and back part of the chair. My mother would have to hold down the seat the entire film through.

Why do you like cinema? 

As an audiovisual media, cinema has the ability to combine many different art forms. The aesthetics of a photographic composition can for instance be enhanced by music and a piece of prose, written hundreds of years ago, can be recreated in three-dimensional settings. The media allows a creative playfulness and exploration that is unique, and this is why I like the possibilities of cinema so much.

Tell us what type of cinema or which kind of films you prefer?

I cannot say which types of cinema I like the best. For me it all depends on the film itself. If the film is good on its own, I don’t really care whether I’m watching fiction or documentary, horror, comedy or drama.

Fundamentally, I want to feel something. If a film is able to evoke genuine emotions within me, it almost always ends up being important to me.

What are your 3 favorite films?

Choosing my three favorite films is almost an impossible task, but the following three have all made huge impressions on me:

FANNY AND ALEXANDER by Ingmar Bergman

ORDET by Carl Th. Dreyer

ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

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What does European cinema represent for you?

European cinema is of indescribable importance to me. A great amount of my favorite directors and films are European and in a sense I feel this special connection to European cinema. They are representations of the European culture and history, past or present, and in a way I am part of this.

Do you feel European?

In everyday life, I feel more Scandinavian than European, but in a greater sense I do feel like a part of the European community. I often go travel around Europe and this summer I spent a month travelling through Germany, France, The Basque Country, Spain, Belgium and Holland, while making a road movie.

My cinema

I am representing Grand Teatret, a small cinema in the heart of Copenhagen, known for its cozy surroundings and great film selection. I particularly like this venue because of its ambience. It is a simple place with few distractions, and when you enter this old cinema, you feel like you enter a world with great stories, just waiting to be told. There is something timeless about the place.

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How often do you go to cinema and what are your habits as a film-goer?

My habits as a filmgoer involve my three mandatory C’s: coffee, cigarettes and CANDY!

 I go to the cinema as often as I can, but realistically I go two-three times a month. I prefer to go with friends or family, and we always drink beer or coffee before and after the film. Sometimes I also like to go to the cinema by myself, but then I prefer to watch documentaries or more “quiet” films. Once I went to see LOVE ACTUALLY alone and it was a “borderline suicide” depressing experience!

Anyhow, alone or in the good company of my friends or family, I always love to go to the movie theater. It is my favorite thing to do.

Ave Taavet - Kino Soprus in Tallinn (Estonia)

 

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I am currently doing my MA in animation at the Estonian Academy of Arts. When I am not making films in front of the light box, I enjoy watching them.

Cinema since…

My parents took me to the cinema when I was just a toddler. I remember seeing FORREST GUMP when I was 7 years old. I felt quite bored, because I didn´t understand the subtitles and a bit sad for the lonely man sitting on the bench for so long on such a beautiful summer day. But of course, most of my earliest cinema-memories are related to animations. Seeing feature-length films of the Disney´s golden age in the beginning of 1990s was a big sensation for me (compared to the mainly Soviet cartoons, which were still shown on TV during that period.)

Why cinema

Going to the cinema is like a ritual. It´s a collective experience - sitting in a darkened room with a bunch of anonymous people, sharing the same emotions, feeling for other strangers living their lives on the screen. And, as all rituals, it has its beginning and end pre-determined.

A movie, consisting of visuals, sound and movement, may at first glimpse leave less room for interpretation than a book (a word being just a visual symbol, complete abstraction in itself). Yet, as it is providing so much different information, it addresses many of our senses simultaneously, making the narrative more sensory and life-like, whilst book stays on the textual level (that´s why I also consider comparing a novel to its screen-adaptation ungrateful). Both mediums have their own advantages, of course.

What cinema

During the last years I have become interested in the cinema of Russia and former Eastern Bloc. There are a lot of hidden gems in this cultural area, which somehow tend to be left unnoticed. Of course I also try to keep an eye on the contemporary European and American cinema, and because of my professional interests, I am always interested in animated films (especially auteur and artistic works).

 My favourite films

Some of my current favourites are: SILENT WEDDING / NUNTA MUTA (2008),  Dir: Horatiu Malaele OXYGEN / КИСЛОРОД (2008), Dir: Ivan Vyrypaev ALLEGRO NON TROPPO (1976), Dir: Bruno Bozzetto.

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Talking about films online

I occasionally blog about them (kinoglaza.blogspot.com ), but for the time being, only in Estonian.

European cinema

If I were to describe the easiest way to recognize an European film, then

1) it is not in (American) English

2) it is more serious about itself

and 3) it´s a bit quirky in its humour.

I believe that for many people AMÉLIE by Jean-Pierre Jeunet might be one of the first films that comes to mind, when speaking of European cinema. Or perhaps AMOUR by Michael Haeneke.

Being European

As so many others of my generation, I also love travelling around Europe. Visiting friends who study or work abroad, hitchhiking just for the fun of it, practising your language skills, sightseeing, and, if possible, paying a visit to the local cinema. This spring I happened to see the premiere of ANNA KARENINA in Göttingen, Germany. At first I felt a bit weird watching a film based on a Russian classic, made by the British and dubbed into German, but come to think of it – that´s the sort of cultural diversity European cinema is born from.

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Your Cinema

At 28 Times Cinema I am representing cinema Sõprus (lit. “friendship”) from Estonia. It is located in the very heart of the Old Town of Tallinn, surrounded by many cozy cafés and bars, where you can hang out after the movie, have a drink and discuss the experience with your friends. Sõprus itself is one of those old-school cinemas with squeaky wooden floors, red velvet drapes in front of the screen and a tiny class box office, with a familiar elderly lady giving you a smile along with your ticket. I try to go to the cinema as often as possible. With friends, if I feel like having a more social event, or by myself, if I just feel like relaxing after a long day. If I really like a movie, I can see it many times. Just like in the theatre, each screening is a bit different, depending on the mood you may notice some new details or nuances of emotion.

Ander Luque Garcia, Principes/Trueba in San Sebastian (Spain)

 

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My name is Ander Luque García, I am 24 years old and I’m from the beautiful city of San Sebastian (or Donostia, as we call it in Euskera), on the coast of the Basque Country.  I currently have no job other than doing my doctorate thesis on Comparative Language and Literature in Romance Languages in the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), where I got my master’s degree in Literature Theory and Comparative Literature last year.

Cinema since…

Cinema has been part of my life since before I was born, as my father worked as a projectionist. I grew up in a cinema, behind the scenes of the auditorium, looking at the film rolling as it was launched to the screen as a light beam that opened a portal to other worlds through an enormous white screen. No wonder one of my father’s favorite films is Tornatore’s CINEMA PARADISO.

Why cinema

I cannot choose cinema over other media, especially not over books as I study literature, but I do love cinema as I love texts because I can appreciate them both as artworks and gateways to our imagination. Through the mind of their authors we can, as readers or spectators, create not only a bond to the stories (or lack thereof) we are being told, but our own stories and pieces of art that will only exist in our minds, ever-changing and everlasting reminders of a feeling, a sensation that only one film or one book transmit to us.

What cinema

Like in Music, I cannot choose a type of cinema, a genre or a film in particular that I prefer. These are determined by the moment we are experiencing. I think that almost every film can be enjoyed in the appropriate moment and the appropriate company (or, again, lack thereof). But, if I had to choose a favorite genre, as a whole, that would be horror, especially the comedic kind. I do not know if it is the lack of pretention (since I hate the pretentious flicks on this genre) or their ease to appeal to us on a primeval level (both fear and laughter, intentional or not), but I’m just drawn to this kind of films.

My 3 favorite films

I don’t know what my mates will answer to this one, but I’m guessing that the “It’s impossible to choose” sentence will come up, as it is. So I will choose 3 films that I love with all my heart and you will have to believe those are my favorite, for some reason.

Firstly, as I mentioned my love for horror comedies, the one film I think is the best in this genre would be EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN, from master crafter Sam Raimi and with one of cult superstar Bruce Campbell’s best performances (along with ARMY OF DARKNESS): the film is horrific, hilarious, imaginative and, certainly, groovy!

My second choice would show my utter love to Quentin Tarantino, but I won’t be choosing Pulp Fiction because we all know it’s a masterpiece and it has become a cliché to say that it is great, so… INGLORIOUS BASTARDS it is. Christoph Waltz owns the film, from start to beginning, but every last one of the scenes are so well designed, throughout, with every dialogue in the perfect place and the soundtrack (that soundtrack!) being exploited as only Tarantino knows how… Yes, this movie deserves my (our) praise.

And last but not least, I have to mention one of the best (and most forgotten) horror films I have ever seen: KWAIDAN, by Masaki Kobayashi. Along with Kaneto Shindô’s ONIBABA, they are probably the best crafted horror films from the 60s (and, yes, I know that Hitchcock and Polanski were knocking at this door by then) on the side of creating really horrific images out of the ordinary. Even today these films could make you cringe at your seat and gasp at the beauty shown onscreen at the same time.

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Filmmaking / Talking about films online

I don’t participate on film forums much, but yes, I do have a blog on horror comedy (surprise!), namely, WTF? of the Dead . Here I analyze and eviscerate really, really bad horror films, especially from the 70s and 80s, although I had recently branched out and started a monographic on horror movie history and its contribution to the “WTF?” moments. (However, I have been busy recently and the blog’s a bit left out, but I will catch up soon enough).

I would love make films, but I have neither the means nor the talent. If I ever make a film, it will from the writer’s desk (and would definitely put them on the internet –they would end up there anyway–).

European cinema

European cinema, as any other kind different from the Hollywood cinema, represents a shrine, a haven for the true purpose of cinema. I don’t want to start the endless debate on commerciality vs. art and the fact that, in the end, every film creator wants his or her job watched by as many people as possible –thus, commercial purpose. However, when I think of European cinema, the words vary between “different” and “original”. So, much like American indie, what I think of European Cinema, is the value of an authorial voice, of some kind personality behind the films that can be addressed as European cinema.

Being European

I only consider myself European (or Spanish, or Basque) in a geographical sense, which comes also with the obvious heritage, starting with my mother language. I have no feelings whatsoever for my motherland or anything different from my home or my family, which is what matters to me. I have travelled less than I would have wanted, so there’s still a pretty big piece of Europe I have never ever visited. (And now I got the chance to know Venice! Yay, me!).

Your cinema

I am representing the Príncipe, one of the three venues of the SADE group , that brings so many films that otherwise we couldn’t ever get to watch to San Sebastian. That is what I like most: it is the only venue in my city where you can watch European and independent films, some of them even without dubbing, along with SADE’s smallest venue, the Trueba, which also features plenty of documentaries and other kind of cinema-related events (concerts, small festivals…). There is so much to love about these two venues, and they are both in my small city!

Your habits as a film-goer

Well, I do love a good company, but sometimes I prefer to watch the films alone, as I enjoy complete silence when watching films that I really care about. I like sharing the feelings with an auditorium full of strangers, laughing when they laugh, crying when they cry… You create a bond with people you won’t even look at when the film is over, people who won’t recognize you or be recognized by you a couple of minutes after you’re out of the cinema. That is an incredible experience that many people don’t always notice (or haven’t ever experienced!).

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Marja Pihlaja - Niagara, Tampere (Finland)

 

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I am Marja from Finland. I am a 25-year old film student from Aalto-university ELO Film school Helsinki.

Cinema since…

My love for films started when I was in high school. I started to attend Finnish film archives screenings in my local film theater Arthouse Cinema Niagara. As a child I mostly watched the original trilogy of STAR WARS over and over again.

Why cinema

I like cinema for its ability to deliver feelings and atmospheres. I also love books and reading, but cinema is certainly my passion.

What cinema

I prefer films that end with explosion.

During past years, the French new wave, some Swedish films and Wong Kar-Wai films have become important to me.

My 3 favorite films

At the moment my 3 favorite films are PIERROT LE FOU (CRAZY PETE), FUCKING ÅMÅL (SHOW ME LOVE), IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE.

Filmmaking

I have studied film production in two schools, and have also produced short films. You can see the newest one in Warsaw Film Festival, among others.

European cinema

European cinema is interesting and diverse.

Feeling European

I have always travelled a lot and mostly in Europe. Last year I have been to Poland, Sweden and France.

Which cinema

I am representing Arthouse Cinema Niagara (Tampere, Finland). I like my theatre because it’s small and comfy, and shows all the best films from all over the world.

As for my habits as a film-goer, I like to sit in the back row. I mostly go to the movies alone. I go see films whenever I have time, which nowadays is way too rarely.

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Pauline Bayard - Le Méliès in Saint-Étienne (France)

 

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My name is Pauline Bayard. I'm French. I am very interested in the cinema but also in dance, theater and photography. I'm 18 and just finished high school. Next year I'm going to study cinema and literature at the University of Lyon.

 Cinema since…

I used to go to the cinema with my parents as a child and later, I started to go there by myself, by curiosity and desire to be caught by surprise and to discover other perspectives of the world. This year, I was ambassador of “Le Méliès”, the arthouse cinema of my town, and had the chance to go there for free throughout the year. I enjoyed this amazing opportunity and my vision of cinema changed a lot. Suddenly, it was no longer just an entertainment but a real way to enrich myself constantly.

Why cinema

The cinema is a rich and complete art. The story, the visual aspect and the music are all elements that allow me to be deeply touched. But I cannot make comparisons between a film and a book, or even any other form of art because they are different ways to express emotions.

What cinema

I do not have a favourite type of movie. I love when a film moves me and gives me a pause for thought and changes me. I also like the fact that cinema makes me feel alive and that the time flow stops sometimes.

My passion for photography has led me to create a facebook page where I publish my photos regularly and a video project with my friends.

My favourite films

It is very difficult to define the three films that I prefer. I think those who have impressed me the most are:

BEATS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD by Benh Zeitlin, 2012

ELEFANT MAN by David Lynch, 1980

SPIRITED AWAY by Hayao Miyazaki, 2001

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Europe and cinema

I think that European cinema has a real strength. The most striking examples are for me the festivals in Cannes, Berlin and Venice, all very influential in the world.

I visited Italy, Spain, England and Germany. I would like to travel more in the future and live in another European country for a while. I look forward to meeting the 27 young people from these countries and live this wonderful experience with them.

My cinema & my film habits

I represent the cinema "Le Méliès" in Saint-Etienne. This cinema is both dynamic and innovative. With the different Skype sessions organised, it is possible to ask questions to different directors every month which allows the audience to discover the vision of many filmmakers.

My film-habits are motivated by my curiosity. I love going to the movies without knowing anything about it, without preconceptions.

I try to go to the cinema as often as possible. I think in generaI I go there two or three times a week. From time to time I also like to spend a whole day there. I go there alone or with company but the presence of other people is often rewarding, by the discussions that we share at the end of the session, and why not, with a drink at the Méliès’s Café.

 

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Amy Moore - QFT in Belfast (United-Kingdom)

 

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Self-portrait

 My name is Amy Moore and I am a third year Film Studies student at Queens University Belfast. The course combines the Film Department with Northern Irelands leading cultural cinema - The QFT, which I am honoured to be representing in Venice.

 Cinema since…

Going to the cinema has always been a huge part in my life. One of my earliest childhood memories is a family day out at the local cinema to see THE FLINTSTONES, 1994. I have always loved the ritual of cinema going and I attend at every opportunity I get - I would often watch between 8-10 films per week easily.

I have always had a great passion for art, and it was through a very inspiring teacher at Secondary School that I began to look at film as an art form. Of course I now watch film in a completely different way. Other than just for pure entertainment's sake, I aim to watch with awareness of how a film works, and with some understanding, skill and background training in the elements of the craft of film-making. I was so enthused when I read that one of the greatest film makers of all time, Orson Welles, watched John Fords STAGECOACH, 1939, over 40 times during the making of CITIZEN KANE, 1941. I went out that very same day and purchased Welles’ box set and I have now watched CITIZEN KANE so many times I have lost count!

Why cinema…

Film is particularly interesting to me because it is still a relatively new art in comparison to theatre, literature, painting etc. which has been around for thousands of years. In the short time it has been around, Film has made many technological advances and artistic improvements. I am drawn to it because it is ever changing and fast paced, and it is such a diverse and widespread medium there is plenty of room for different tastes and personal opinions.

What cinema…

When I was younger documentaries did not appeal to me at all. I felt that there was always this notion of “they are good for you” attached to them and so of course I was just not interested. Now however, documentary is my favourite type of film as I now see them in a different light. In particular I am obsessed with the opinions that surround the term ‘documentary’ with the predominant argument being ‘the relationship between reality and artifice’.

My favourite films…

Among my top favourite is GREY GARDENS, 1975, by Albert and David Maysles, TRAINSPOTTING, 1996, by Danny Boyle and WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 1939, by William Wyler. WUTHERING HEIGHTS, 1939, is particularly important to me as it was my grandmother’s favourite. I took my love for film after her (we often watched a daytime matinée together with a box of chocolates) but as you can probably tell from my choices I love all types of film.

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Filmmaking / talking about films online…

 I am a mentor for the Takeover Film Festival panel in Belfast. The Festival is designed, programmed and run by a team of young people from Northern Ireland. The next Takeover Film Festival will take place from Fri 7- Sat 8 February, 2014. You can find a link to our Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and Flickr here http://takeoverfilmfestival.tumblr.com/

I believe for a young budding film maker documentaries are great starting point. I have made a few of my own documentaries including one on the homeless in Belfast, and I improved my skills from this to make a documentary called Why I Am Afraid to Tell You Who I Am which displays some of the complexities of being gay in today’s society.

European cinema…

Studying Film at Queens University has opened my eyes to European Cinema. It’s innovative, creative and more daring than Hollywood Cinema with a totally different feeling. My favourite place in Europe is Paris and I got a lot of inspiration there as I love being around creativity. I cannot wait to experience Venice!

Which cinema…

I am privileged to represent the QFT as it is my favourite cinema. It has special ambience that makes it a unique experience (a world away from the local Cineplex!). Coincided with the screenings of new and classic films, long and short, famous and obscure, the QFT is my favourite hangout! I am going to make the most of this unique experience and I aim to get as much from it as possible. I cannot put into words how thrilled I am because cinema is my life!

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Danai-Fani Georgoula, Danaos in Athens (Greece)

 

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When I formally introduce myself, I prefer to say that my name is Danae and I study Law, but that’s not the whole truth. I do study Law but my heart lies in films. At the same time I've studied film direction so I like to think that cinema is where I actually belong.

Cinema since…

Taking myself back to the beginning I remember that my grandfather was the one who triggered my love for film. We used to watch every sci-fi film release and discuss them for days. I remember how fascinated I was by the display of each fantasy world, I used to live the film, not just watch it. Each film was a new experience, a new adventure. So growing up I wanted to make this adventure my everyday life, that's how my small journey to cinemaland began.

What cinema…

Science fiction films introduced me to the world of cinema, but soon I felt drawn by simpler films, where no spaceships and aliens were needed in order to have my breath taken away.

My favorite films…

I discovered directors like Truffaut, Godard, Kiarostami and Kieslowski... My Top 3 would be: THE MIRROR by Tarkovsky, THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONICA by Kieslowski, PIERROT LE FOU by Godard. As Rob Gordon said in HIGH FIDELITY (2000) “I simply point to where I have my soul”.

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European cinema…

Although making lists was never really my thing I realized that my favorite films had one single thing in common, they were all made in the geographical boundaries of Europe, they are European films.

Does origin affect the content? I don't know. But what I do know is that I personally feel as if I belong in a larger community, in Europe. That feeling drove me to countries around Europe and connected me with other people. Maybe that sense of belonging is what made me love the European cinema and its people.

My film theatre…

Back home the neighborly film theaters, like Danaos, cultivated my interest for films. I remember skipping tutoring in order to watch DIE FETTEN JAHRE SIND VORBEI (The Edukators) on a Wednesday afternoon. Even today I sneak every now and then in a film theater on a midweek afternoon in order to watch the latest restoration of a Fritz Lang film.

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My film-goer habits

Peculiarly, film going today hasn't really changed for me, I go to the same film theaters, I drink in the same bars, I follow my own same rotation, the only thing that has changed is that I have grown up. I have grown in these film theaters where I have met people with the same tastes and habits, people who are now my companions in the dark room, my comrades in each film adventure.

Ferenc Kiss, Tisza Mozi à Szolnok (Hungary)

 

 

I’m a student in English in a grammar school in Szolnok.

 Cinema since…

My first experience with cinema was STAR WARS. I’ve been going to see films since I’m a child. I usually go to the cinema with friends, but sometimes I take my little brother.

 Why cinema

I love the stories that movies tell, the atmosphere, and I love hanging out with friends and talking about movies. Movies carry the souls and hearts of their directors, their authors, the actors and all the persons who got involved.

 What cinema

I think independent films are the most important. For me, it doesn’t matter if the movie is European, Asian or American, the only thing I want is for the movie to make me feel something. For example: Western movies give me the absolute Western feeling, dramas make me think or even cry sometimes.

 My 3 favorite films

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, PULP FICTION, and BLACK CAT, WHITE CAT.

 

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Filmmaking / Talking about cinema online

Recently I started a blog and I read magazines, watch vlogs (video blogs) and blogs about films.

I make videos only in family events, and recently we made a short movie with a group of young movie fans.

European cinema

European cinema is what the Americans try to copy and hate. Hollywood is dying for two reasons It has two reasons: games and European movies. European movies often try to tell us important things. For example THE INTOUCHABLES: Don’t live by stereotypes and you and your friends will create powerful memories and live a happy life.

Feeling European

Of course I do. I like travelling but it’s expensive so every time I have a chance to travel, I grab the opportunity.

Which cinema

I represent a cinema from Szolnok : the “TiszapART” movie theatre.

As for my habits as a filmgoer, I like going with my friends and usually after the movies we drink and share our feelings about the film we watched.

 

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Mihaela Cenkovcan, Kino Vali à Pula (Croatia)

 

 

 

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I’m 23 years old. I live in Pula and I’m studying Tourism and Economy at the University of Jurja Dobrile. I’m finishing my final paper work to get my Bachelor degree and I hope I’ll be able to start my last two years of Master this fall.

At the moment, I’m trying to spend the summer the best way I can, combining summer jobs, volunteering at the cinema, watching movies, reading books, relaxing with friends and of course preparing for Venice.

 Cinema since…

I’ve been going to the cinema since childhood. I usually went with my brothers at the local cinema and later, with school groups as part of excursion. Now, as I’m living in Pula on my own, cinema is my second home and one of my favorite places in the city.

Why cinema

Every media has its own advantages and disadvantages. I like cinema because of the way it combines pictures and sound. Film is approachable and understandable to everyone as most of the time it relies on life experience.

These days everything goes thought the Internet: new media are more interactive but they also mean being home alone in front of computer or television. Books are also acceptable for me, but I love to see the differences between the different media and how directors express their own views regarding the same story.

What cinema

I used to watch all kinds of movies with the same enthusiasm, but now that I’m a little more serious, I’d rather see some independent movie than blockbusters, which are hugely popular just because of the digital effects. I don’t want to sound too critical, it’s just that I like movies with pictures of true quality. Above all I like drama and movies that marked the history of cinematography. I haven’t seen all of them because they make a big list, but I’m trying to catch up with them all.

My 3 favourite movies

It’s hard to make list of my favorite movies because there are so many of them. Three of the pictures that are on my list:  the legendary GODFATHER trilogy by Francis Ford Coppola. Then, the beautiful movie WADJDA by Haifaa Al-Mansour, and SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD by Lorene Scafaria.

 

 

 

Talking about films online

Unfortunately, I don’t have my own blog but I participate in a film forum that is called “Good-talking.” There, filmlovers publish comments and reviews on the pictures they have seen. Also, on this page you can read fresh and professional reviews on the latest pictures. 

Besides the forums I like to read fresh film news on the webpage Moj-Film.hr . Now and then, as I see a film in the cinema I’m representing, I write a review about it so they can publish it on their web page. I also read film magazine “Filmonaut”, which my cinema sells.

European cinema

As I was saying, before I became really interested in cinematography, almost everything was good and acceptable for me. Now, although I’m still an amateur, I find that European cinematography is one of the most interesting.

Hollywood is good and I like to see some movies from there, but there is and there will always be a big difference with European movies. I find Bollywood, on the other hand, very mystic and it deserves to be more popular. People who say that these movies are not worth watching are just wrong.

Feeling European

I love meeting new people from all around the world and I try to stay in contact with them. Unfortunately, I still haven’t got the chance to live or travel abroad. My trip to Venice, (besides school excursions), will be my second experience out of the country. This is why I’m feeling so excited about it and I just can’t wait.

My cinema

As a participant in 28 Times Cinema, I’m representing the cinema Alida Valli in Pula. I’ve been visiting Valli since I moved here in Pula to study, and soon I started volunteering there. During the Pula Film Festival, one of the biggest events in Croatia, the whole city becomes one big cinema under the stars with different locations including Valli. Unlike others multiplex cinemas that presents too many commercials pictures to their audience, Valli is special for the diversity of its screenings, including independent European pictures, commercials hits and blockbusters, 3D pictures, cartoons for the youngest, and live broadcasting from the NYC Metropolitan Opera.

I hang in the cinema as much as I can, I love the people who work there and most of all I adore sitting in front of the screen and relax. As a filmgoer, I love watching movies alone, I am not crazy about the “snack tradition”, and I don’t like hearing comments or any noise during the projection.

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Mattia Micucci - Irish Film Institute in Dublin (Ireland)

 

 

 

Have you ever looked at a starry sky and been unable to look away due to its sheer beauty? At the risk of sounding pompous or pretentious, I feel about films that way. Every film is a star, every projector is a telescope and every screen a chance to look into a new world.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Matt Micucci, and I am this year’s Irish representative at the Venice Days festival. In the true European spirit of the competition, as hinted by my name, I was not born in Ireland but moved here from Italy when I was a child of nine years old, and have lived here ever since.

 Cinema since…

Cinema to me is the culmination of all art forms. What I find particularly fascinating is the way in which it is able to tie in so many of my passions from music, literature and theatre to all the fine arts like painting and sculpture. As I like to say, cinema is a magnificent obsession.

I suppose the thing that made me so passionate about films was the fact that I have always been passionate about art in general. However, the drastic move from Italy to Ireland led me to cultivate an interest with which I could identify with and that could offer me a sort of rewarding escapism. Films were very helpful to me in coming to terms with the sudden change in my life. They offered some sort of a refuge. They arguably even taught me English – I specifically recall instances where I would recite lines from A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS in front of a mirror before I knew what they meant. 

My passion for film and music has pretty much dictated my life. Cinema and films in general, have represented a sort of a hideout to me. My passion for it has been a thriving force. I still remember that it rained, as it usually does in Ireland, the afternoon I announced to my family that I wanted to become a filmmaker. Despite the shock, they put me through film school, which was a fulfilling experience and a path of self-discovery.

Sharing my passion…

While I retain my filmmaking ambitions, I have realised the past few years that I love to talk about films. Hence, I have put my passion to good use and followed the road to film journalism. In the last year, I have started to work on building a reputation for myself as a film reviewer, interviewer and reporter. I have a website, howcinema.webnode.com , which is a 360 degree look at cinema from my point of view. I have also contributed to other websites and magazines, including Ireland’s premiere film magazine Film Ireland.

My favourite films…

In the last years, I have gotten used to replying ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST by Sergio Leone. Yet I always mention Fellini’s LA DOLCE VITA, Hawks’ TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, Kubrick’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and Godard’s CONTEMPT. Truth is there is too many to choose from!

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What cinema…

I love films, therefore I love all genres and from all parts of the world. European cinema, of course, is fascinating and I often find it more inspirational as well as generally more intelligent and challenging than American cinema. I find the monopolisation of cinema by American productions quite frustrating. It is a concept that appears to be ignoring the effervescence and constant evolution of Europe’s film input.

My cinema and my habits…

When I am not reporting a festival or film event, I go to the cinema at least once a week. Yet, the trips to the flicks I enjoy the most are in the IFI, the Irish Film Institute.  It has a certain distinctive atmosphere of magic and elegance. I am always taken aback by the appeal of its look on the inside, with its stonewalls recalling a timeless village, its stylish café and the solemnity of the screening rooms – not to mention the fascinating programmes and vast variety of films which it offers.

Despite all these years as an avid filmgoer, I am still proud to say I love film. It has simply shaped me and played a key role in my life. It has also been a constant source of inspiration for me and I hope to never get enough its radiance much in the same way I hope to never see the sky fall.

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Lorenzo Benedetti, Zenith in Perugia (Italy)

 

 

 

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My name is Lorenzo Benedetti, I'm an Italian student at the University for Foreigners of Perugia. I'm studying Advertising and Communication, I had extra classes to learn a little bit of Japanese and right now I'm doing an internship at Gusto IDS, an Italian advertising agency. I was an Erasmus student in Madrid last year, so I learnt Spanish and had classes of Cinema and Contemporary Society and a lot of other interesting subjects. But most of all I met people that now I consider very important friends.

Cinema since

I often go to the cinema since when I was a child because my parents liked to make me watch movies, especially my mother. But I started really appreciating and getting interested in cinema when I was in high school:  I found an extra programme called Cineforum at Cinema Zenith, the perfect possibility to watch both cult and independent movies for free and have discussions with the other students and with Giacomo Caldarelli and Anna Melissa Cagiotti. Furthermore we have been taught how to write essays and critics about movies.

Why cinema

What I like about cinema is that it is the most suitable art for everyone: a movie is a piece of culture that you get faster than a book and it gives you the extraordinary chance to give free rein to your imagination.

What cinema

I like to be astonished by movies. Since I am a child, every time I watch a movie, I mentally play guess-the-end, so basically every movie that surprises me leaves a mark. If I should choose a movie genre, I would probably choose dramas, because I'm not actually a fan of happy endings.

My 3 favorite films

I'm not really sure what my 3 favourite movies are because they change all the time, but today I would say Lars Von Trier's DOGVILLE,  Debra Granik's WINTER'S BONE and Sorrentino's LE CONSEGUENZE DELL'AMORE.

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Filmmaking / Talking about films online

I have never participated in forums, nor have I ever written a blog about cinema on my own because I have always seen cinema in a very intimate and private way. I didn't feel like sharing my opinion was a good idea until I started the Cineforum at Cinema Zenith. Then I suddenly realized how amazing it was to listen and talk about cinema.

I participated in a short film with my friends to help fighting homophobic bullying in schools (in Italy it is still a big problem). I played the role of the homophobic bully and edited the whole video. It was my first experience in the editing field so I think it could have been better, but I'm glad we reached our aim: the idea was to help change things, not to make a professional movie. We uploaded it on YouTube in the end of June.

European cinema / Being European

I really think that European Cinema is the best as it comes from a mix of very different cultures that can't be found anywhere else. When I think of my nationality, I like to say that I obviously feel Italian, but an Italian in Europe. I like travelling, I have lived abroad and I have good friends from all around the world, and I can't think about myself without considering how much my European identity has affected my entire life.

My cinema..

The cinema I'm representing is Zenith Cinema, located in the not-so-big Perugia. This cinema is why I became a film-lover.  I really like the intimacy and atmosphere that can only be breathed inside this cinema, away from the aseptic and impersonal big multiplexes. And above all, there isn’t any other place you can go in my city if you don't want to see only mainstream films: Zenith makes a great selection of interesting movies that probably wouldn't even be taken into consideration by any Cineplex.

Your habits as a film-goer

A cinema is also a nice place to stay in and a good excuse to go out with your friends, to hang out for a beer after the movie, discussing whether we like it or not. We actually do this pretty often. But if I watch a film at home, an old one perhaps or something that wasn't even distributed, then I prefer to stay on my own, reflecting and enjoying what I'm watching in a very intimate way.

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Eivinas Butkus - Skalvijos Kino Centras à Vilnius (Lithuania)

 

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My name is Eivinas Butkus and I‘m a student from Lithuania. I‘ll have my finals in high school this year. As I‘m very fond of cinema, I also study filmmaking at the Skalvija film academy. After my graduation I‘d like to do something with films, though I haven‘t decided yet what exactly.

How long have you been going to the cinema?

I can‘t really say when was the first time I went to the cinema, but I do remember watching the first part of HARRY POTTER on the big screen. I was 6 then and it was pure cinematic magic for me. My mom read me the subtitles as I wasn‘t that good at reading at the time. I also remember seeing the second episode of STAR WARS with my parents. I don‘t recall having any special educational programmes, I went to the cinema mostly with my parents and with friends later on.

Why do you like cinema? 

I like cinema because it‘s like many arts combined. Of course, the visual part comes first, but there is also audio. Moving image and sound together give a lot of artistic freedom, many senses are triggered. It‘s amazing how this type of media can become so complex with all the possibilities.

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

I prefer the arthouse films as I usually seek for films that are challenging. I can also see a nice easy flick from Hollywood when I need to take a break. I can‘t stand car chasing scenes, though. But I believe I watch all kinds of cinema skipping only the dumbest and the most boring blockbusters.

I have to admit that I haven‘t been like that all my life. I used to watch mainly stupid comedies and action horror films when I was around 14. But then I ran into a very important film for me which was DONNIE DARKO. It may not be the best film ever, but it changed my attitude towards cinema completely. It was so interesting, mysterious and demanding further investigation. Shortly after that I found out about Stanley Kubrick which was another big hit in my perception of cinema and arts generally. Since then I‘ve seen hundreds pictures and been gradually getting addicted to cinema.

What are your 3 favorite films?

What comes to mind right now:

DONNIE DARKO by Richard Kelly – for leading me into the true and meaningful world of cinema.

EYES WIDE SHUT by Stanley Kubrick – because I have to add something from Kubrick and I think this one is pretty underrated. I feel as if it has so much that hasn’t been exposed yet unlike his other films that have been widely analysed.

BROKEN FLOWERS by Jim Jarmusch – I can’t really explain why, but it’s so hilarious. It has this absurd Coen brothers style that I love.

Je prévois de lancer mon propre blog cinéma. Ça s‘appellera TRUTH 24 et consistera certainement en des critiques et analyses de films.

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I do intend to start a blog on cinema. It will be called TRUTH 24 and probably consist of film reviews and analysis.

Do you make films yourself?

I attend a film school where I‘ve made two short films so far. Both of them are online on YouTube. I‘ve also edited some songs to films and made my own music videos for fun. They are online as well.

What do you think of European cinema?

European cinema for me is more about art and culture than about money or entertainment, it‘s more independent and diverse comparing it to Hollywood‘s production, for instance. All the most prestigious film festivals are held in Europe and that says a lot about the European attitude towards cinema. I think it‘s mainly more serious and that‘s why I watch a lot of our continent‘s pictures.

Do you feel European?

I do feel European and, in my opinion, Lithuania is getting European relatively fast. I travel in Europe pretty often too, but I haven‘t lived abroad yet. I might study abroad once I‘m finished with school.

Which cinema are you representing at 28 Times Cinema?

I‘m representing SKALVIJA Cinema Center. What I like most about it is, of course, the repertoire, the films that are shown there. The programme consists of mainly non-commercial, intelligent and smart cinema. What I also like a lot is the atmosphere – it‘s a truly cosy place. If you are in Vilnius, you should definitely pay a visit.

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What are your habits as a film-goer?

As a film-goer I prefer sitting in the front row because I like the feel of the big cinema screen. In average, I go to see a film 1-2 times a week. I usually go alone or with one other person, rather not with a group of friends.

I remember spending around 2 hours waiting for a film alone in the cinema. It was winter and it was so cosy and warm inside. There was also sweet jazz playing and I almost fell asleep on this bean bag which was super comfortable.

Charel Muller, Utopia/Utopolis, Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

 

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I am 20 years old. I love the cinema (obviously). So far, I have seen nearly 1700 movies. In September, I will start my second year of university, studying for a joint degree in history and film studies at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK. I have not decided what I want to do after my graduation yet, but I hope to do something related to cinema, either in journalism or in filmmaking itself.

 Cinema since…

The first film I remember seeing at the cinema was TOY STORY (not a bad start, isn’t it?), when I was 6. My passion for cinema did however not start there and then, but 8 years later, when I visited the Festival du Cinéma Américain in Deauville, France. As this festival is accessible to the general public, I got to see many films which I would never have gone to see otherwise (such as Gone Baby Gone or In the Valley of Elah), which really opened my eyes. After this, I started watching more and more films, as well as reading and learning about them.

Why cinema

I love cinema for its variety and its endless possibilities. There are almost no limits to what filmmakers can put onscreen to express themselves, to tell their story. Since I am a very visual person, I particularly enjoy the beautiful imagery and cinematography of films. Furthermore, cinema touches me like no other medium, and makes me cry, laugh out loud or feel like a child again on a regular basis.

What cinema

I like films of all kinds and genres, from all around the world. I particularly look out for films that are somewhat different and visually interesting.

 

My 3 favorite films

This question is impossible to answer, as there are simply too many brilliant films to choose from. Off the top of my head, 3 films I have seen loads of times and always love are: THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Coen brothers), IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Frank Capra), THE DEPARTED (Martin Scorsese).

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Talking about films online

Generally, forums are too exhausting for me, with too many people arguing about too many things at the same time, which is why I tend to stay away from them. I prefer reading about films in magazines and listening to podcasts (i.e. Wittertainment). I however like the idea of contributing to a blog, but I’ve never managed to get myself to write regularly. The closest thing to a blog I’ve come up with is my twitter account (@luxemburgerC), which I use to comment and joke about films and other things.

Filmmaking

As with blogging, I have so far lacked the ideas and the initiative to make my own films (except for a 2 minute short I directed for a school project), but it is something I would really like to do in the future.

European cinema 

European cinema is an important aspect of our culture. Consisting of a multitude of different cinemas (French, British, Italian, to name but the most famous ones), many brilliant movies have been made here. In many ways, European cinema is the closest to me personally.

Feeling European

Living in a very small country like Luxembourg, you almost have no choice but to feel European. Furthermore, I have been lucky enough to travel around the continent for a bit, and I moved to the UK a year ago to study, making friends from all over the world.

Which cinema

I represent Utopolis, the largest chain of cinemas in Luxembourg. In Luxembourg City (where I live), they entertain a modern, 10-screen multiplex cinema, where mostly Hollywood productions are shown, and a smaller, 5-screen cinema aimed at art-house audiences. I spend an equal amount of time in both venues, which are both equipped with the latest projection technology and are very comfortable. The biggest asset of the Utopolis cinemas however is its very varied programming, which is not always the case in cities of Luxembourg’s size.

I am addicted to going to the cinema. I hate the idea of missing a film that interests me; therefore I go 3-4 times a week. I usually go by myself, as I live quite close to the cinema, and decide to go see a movie spontaneously whenever I have some spare time. I also enjoy going with friends and discuss the film over a drink or meal afterwards.  

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Andrew Ricca, St James Cavalier in Valletta (Malta)

 

 

My name is Andrew Ricca, I’m 24 years old and I’m about to start my last semester of Research Masters programme in Literary studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Cinema since…

I have been taken to the cinema since the age of five, albeit never regularly.  I have no recollection of being taken to the cinema by our school except for a short 3D feature on the human digestive system for our biology class.

Why Cinema

I wouldn’t say that I necessarily prefer cinema to literature - one of the aspects I enjoy a lot in cinema is the narrative, which boils down to it being good literature. I relate to each, cinema and literature, on a different plane and whilst for me literature lends itself to a more rigorous study, I enjoy cinema as an aesthetic and at times an educational experience.

What Cinema

I particularly enjoy the stripped down qualities of much of British kitchen sink realism and the minimalism of the ‘Romanian New wave’ and Dogme 95. Self-consciously stylised documentaries, South Korean murder mysteries, films with a healthy dose of black humour and films with a poetic and somewhat universalist ambitions (NOT Terrence Malick).  Most films of Nanni Morretti, Antonioni, Kiarostami, Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Mike Leigh, Aki Kaurismaki, Anders Thomas Jensen, the Coen brothers are all very important to me.

My three favourite films

In coming up with ‘3 favourite films’ I am lying to you and to myself, but here they are; THE WIND WILL CARRY US by Abbas Kiarostami. ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD by Werner Herzog and CARO DIARIO by Nanni Morretti.

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European Cinema

I am not so sure one can speak of European cinema beyond the filming locations, the production companies and the places of birth of the directors and actors. Cinema is an expression of humanity beyond the Atlantic, the border with Turkey and the southern Mediterranean.  To me it would represent a taxonomical branch from the field of World cinema that comes from a specific geographic location.

Feeling European

Whilst a growing number of people from the EU’s leading and bigger countries are feeling less and less comfortable with a ‘European’ identity, the Maltese seem most comfortable with it. I feel European in as much as my passport and my parent’s passport say so. It would be most welcome to be able to claim that I belong to a continent of shared humanistic values but I’m afraid it is not yet the case. I’ve been living outside of my home country for a year and a half.

 My Cinema

I am representing St. James Cavalier cinema in Valletta, Malta. The theatre is particularly cosy and I am especially fond of the actual structure, a 16th century fortification, in which it is housed.

I go to the cinema at least once a month with the exception of when a film festival is taking place close to where I’m living, in which case I might see several films in a week. I go alone or I take someone with me depending on the film I would like to watch. I usually walk in and out again as soon as the film has ended, I do not spend time around cinemas.

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Simone Vos - Chassé Cinema in Breda (The Netherlands)

 

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I am Simone Vos and I am 24 years old. At the moment I am pursuing Cultural and Art Studies. Before that, I studied television journalism. I’m writing about art and cultural activities in the Netherlands for the website www.CultuurBewust.nl and I’m working in a coffee bar.

 Cinema since…

When I was only a child, I went to the cinema to see movies like MR. BEAN, with my family. Now I’m a huge fan of going to the cinema with my friends and my boyfriend.

Why cinema…

 I like cinema, because it is an escape from reality. Besides that, I like filming and editing very much. I think it is amazing how directors and editors make a story and a movie of different shots. I like cinema because it is a real night out and at the same time, an opportunity to learn about new subjects and other worlds.

I prefer drama, films about history, fantasy (like LORD OF THE RINGS), but also films based on true stories and even romantic movies.

 

My favorite movies…

 

My favorite movies are: LA VITA È BELLA, INTOUCHABLES and NIGHT TRAIN TO LISBON at the moment.

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Filmmaking / Talking about films online…

 I don’t participate to online film forums. I do have my own blog, but it is now under construction. 

During my studies in journalism, I made a lot of short movies about newsy subjects. It was non-fiction, but I do know how to film and edit.

 European cinema…

 I think Europa Cinemas has an amazing project with 28 Times Cinema. It is the perfect way to get the European countries closer to each other. Besides, it’s very important for the development of cultural activities in Europe and between the European countries.

 Feeling European…

 

I definitely feel European. I often travel around Europe. I love discovering other European cities, cultures and languages. I have been to a lot of places in Europe. I have lived in Milan for seven months when I was 18 years old. Last year I went to Surinam for an internship for three months.

 Which cinema…

 The cinema I’m representing is Chassé Cinema in Breda, The Netherlands.  This is a beautiful theater in a beautiful city in The Netherlands. There is not only a cinema, but also a theater. Besides, I like the fact that the theater is not too big, but big enough to feel like going out for a night. 

I’m going to the cinema at least once every two weeks. I prefer to go to the movies with my friends or with family. I like to share my opinion with someone else; I always want to discuss the story and the movie afterwards.

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Aleksandra Aleksander, Kino Amok in Gliwice (Poland)

 

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I am an almost 19 year old Polish film-lover. In October I will start my studies at the Cultures of Media faculty. My dream is to study at the Organization of Film and Television Production faculty, which I’ll try to join next year. I recently realized that cinema has been important to me for a very long time. Music is my second passion. I don’t only listen to it but also try to perform by playing the guitar.

Cinema since…

My adventure with cinema started when I was a child. My parents were not the only ones to show me what cinema looks like. My former schools organized hang-outs to cinema. I also joined meetings of special educational programme in “Amok”. I still remember some of the screenings, mainly of animated movies. I also went with my mother to a video rental shop. I remember the sound of VCR.

Why cinema

Cinema is a proof that imagination was given to us for some reason. There’s nothing else that combines music, picture and sometimes literature. Everyone knows that. But the best thing is trying to find out how it works and how it makes people feel the way they feel during the screening.

What cinema

First of all, I hate horror movies and I’m neither keen on science-fiction movies nor on westerns. Films that are important to me tell stories about people, their problems, feelings and the relations between them.

My 3 favorite films

It’s hard to choose 3 favorite movies, but I can give you 3 examples of movies that impressed me.

KRÓTKI FILM O MIŁOŚCI (A SHORT FILM ABOUT LOVE) (director: Krzysztof Kieślowski), IMAGINE (director: Andrzej Jakimowski), SKÓRA, W KTÓREJ ŻYJĘ (THE SKIN I LIVE IN) (director: Pedro Almodóvar).

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Talking about films online

I run my own blog (http://www.kwestiajesttaka.blogspot.fr/ ). It is a great opportunity and motivation for me to develop my knowledge about movies. It also helps me with popularize cinema among my friends and entourage. Indirectly creating reviews makes my writing style better.

Filmmaking

Making films on my own is a very fun experience. My friends and I have created a group of beginner filmmakers, mainly to create portfolios for the entrance examinations into film schools.

European cinema

I’m really interested in European cinema, because it gives authors the opportunity to express individuality. Thanks to that, in cinema, we can be a part of something extremely original. Yet some filmmakers want to be too artistic and forget that movies are also made for the public. European cinema represents to me a great potential of imagination and creativity.

Feeling European

I’m fascinated by the culture of our continent and I really feel European. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to travel to all the places I would love to visit. Maybe one day I will try living abroad. I thought about it several times in my life, and I’m planning to learn new languages and I would love to live such an adventure.

Your cinema

The cinema I’m representing is called “Amok”. It is situated in my hometown, Gliwice, in Poland. The best thing about this venue is its atmosphere, which helps movies reach viewers.

I always have to know something about the movie I am going to see. I rarely decide to choose one I’ve never heard about. When I was younger I was interested mainly in popular films that did not require a lot of thinking. Now that I’m older and (I hope) smarter, I enjoy using my brains when I watch and translate movies.

I love talking about art! This is why the important thing for me is to share this special time with friends. It’s always a great way to meet people. I go to the cinema every time there is a film I’m interested in or a film that I want to see in great conditions. The problem is when I have to find time for it.

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Gonçalo Grazina Malaquias, Cinema City in Lisboa (Portugal)

 

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My name is Gonçalo Malaquias. I’m 21 years old and I have just completed my bachelor’s degree in Cinema at Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon.

 Cinema since…

I found cinema during high school. Unfortunately my school didn’t have a cinema program so I had to discover it by myself. When I mean “found cinema”, I mean something more than just going to the movies because that was an activity I had already been doing with my parents to see animated films and other pictures.  

 But there was really something that triggered in me at a very specific age. I started well. I started with Hitchcock. I remember the first time I saw PSYCHO. And a friend of mine ruined the ending for me (either way I didn’t believe him as I was really convinced Janet Leigh would appear again somehow). But she didn’t. Here’s the trigger. For me it was Hitchcock.

Why cinema…

“…to meet in the real world the unsubstantial image which his soul so constantly beheld.” I guess this is why. James Joyce may have said it all.

 

What Cinema…

The cinema that has truth in it. I like films that surpass their fiction and embrace you with something very powerful. There are films that are connected to life and really inflict something real on you. But to answer more accurately, I would say silent films. They’re special.

My favorite films…

THE TESTAMENT OF DR. MABUSE, Fritz Lang;

LE PLAISIR, Max Ophuls;

THREE SISTERS, Wang Bing.

 

 

 

Writing about or making films…

I use social networks that involve cinema to discuss about films, for example MUBI and IMDB, because nowadays a film needs to be pushed in other territories and the Internet is a great place to do it. I don’t have my own blog but I read a lot about cinema online. I think there are some incredible resources. Apart from talking online, I speak a lot about films directly with people I know.

I’ve directed and have been involved in some short films either for school or in independent features in a various range of areas from production to post-production and promotion. The learning process is hard but it is worth it. I am beginning to go outside to understand this environment. I don’t usually put them on the Internet but I have my portfolio online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqgfeCcsx1s .

European cinema…

European cinema has a different commitment. Not only for its historical background but also for the integrity shown when approaching film both in the film itself and in the way it is made. It is rigorous, bold and respectful and it is directly connected to the reality it represents, to people and ideas. 

I think it is the cinema that is the most straightforward and that looks deeper without distractions and without any fear. It is a legacy that nowadays European filmmakers are continuing to keep alive with their righteousness and liberty.

Feeling European…

I had the opportunity to travel through Europe many times and some of them involved filmmaking. Cinema is a very unique zone in which we can communicate and belong throughout frontiers. It really engaged me with that feeling because it was the closest and relatable thing that unified my way of seeing the world and the values within. So it is a feeling I grew up with and that will endure.

My cinema…I am representing Cinema City Classic Alvalade. It is near my University and it’s where I can see really impressive European films that I wouldn’t find elsewhere. Not only the screening quality and the film program is very good but also the building itself is great: inside the theatre the ceiling has a gigantic renaissance painting that makes you feel special and, before the movie starts, when the projector is off, the music is nice. They play really good soundtracks. It is funny to guess the titles if you go accompanied

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My habits as a film-goer…

I don’t know how often I go to the cinema, I just know that if I want to see a film, I certainly will. The problem is that I always want to see most of the films so I guess I go to see movies too many times. But I can’t always find someone to join me. I like to see films accompanied because for me it is meant that way: to go with someone you like and to share something that is really powerful. Maybe the beauty of it is not only on the screen after all. 

Stefan Aganencei - Victoria à Cluj-Napoca (Roumanie)

 

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I’m another version of what is called a film critic, I’m an anonymous watcher named Stefan Agănencei, born on February 27, 1992 in no man’s land called Romania. I study film theory in Cluj-Napoca, I’m writing for a debutante film-theatre Romanian publication entitled Eliberart, and I like to review films mainly from the point of view of an ex philosophy student, who quit after the first year and is going to film school to root his ideas about human suffering symbols and also, ideally, trying to redirect the national tendencies of Romanian cinema, from a realistic-boiled-suffering film feeling to a more European experience in which I can drown without feeling sorry for the continuously ruminant communist film culture.

Cinema since

My native town Pascani has had a cinema until 1989 for propaganda and nationalistic films, but after the Ceausescu’s regime’s fall, cinema like many other industries were either stolen through the ground, abandoned, or like in this case transformed into “cultural halls” for schools dilettante celebration. So I had to go to the nearest big city like Iasi to see movies in a real cinema.

Yet in my childhood my sufficient box office was TCM. I still remember that black and white old TV with that shadowed light frames of expressionist films and that somnambulist night watch of noir pictures.

Why cinema

I think there was a moment when my book-imagination has stopped so I became hungry for my interior world last remains. With every art film I watch, I’m eating myself like in the Goya’s Saturn painting. I always believe that cinema is the seventh art and besides other relative or subjective or incomplete truths like other media stuff, cinema has the ultimate intuition to become a transcendental sense.

I like German expressionist cinema for its dystopian truths, I mean living involves like in the case of a moss a soil-flesh underneath the skin that rottens our being in order to see further and further the entire catastrophe of evil: that Metropolis in a Twin Peaks decade.

 

My three favourite films

I have three icebergs in my list: VAMPYR (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1932) for its absurdity inspired by that dance of shadows, the most terrifying myth of a maiden being captured by the curse of a bloody youth, a figurative burden displayed lately by Bergman in his films with many womanized presences.

The second favourite film is Jodorowsky’s FANDO Y LIS, 1968 – a couple devoured by a mad innocence, a buffoon and a playful bride with a Pandora’s box.

And as a third special film I chose to share my favourite Romanian movie filmed in 7 years. I’m talking about SOMEWHERE IN PALILULA, a surrealist picture who perfectly describes the history of Romania almost in a Lynch manner and I highly recommend you to see it. It’s a story about a hospital where socialist lunatics are cured with alcohol and frogs in Palilula. They fear and worship billy goats and they also circumcise their goat-androgynous babies (Undeva la Palilula – a Romanian old communist expression for the madmen’s heaven). How does that sound?

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European cinema

I think European cinema is the most mature cinema since my own personal hero – Baron Münchhausen pulls himself out of a swamp by his own hair, I mean this continental film culture is based on soul’s lies designed to be the supreme ideals brought for the director and the spectatorship, and that’s where European film succeed - to pull out from history an unreal reflection of history itself, and that lie became the ultimate truth. Why is that? I don’t know! Maybe in that film-history mirror, the mire was actually a tornado and the horse, a plane and the Baron just managed to pull himself down out of the plane and he just fell out of the sky. That’s a reasonable doubt, now it makes more sense, right?

My cinema

I’m representing Cinema Victoria, an art-house cinema from Cluj-Napoca, which is also the heart-center of Transilvania International Film Festival (TIFF) and Comedy Cluj International Film Festival. The cinema has a tumultuous history and is located in a building from 1927. When the management changed in 2011, Gabriela Bodea, the new director of the cinema was faced with a great challenge: 2 multiplexes with 24 screens in the opposite directions of the town, who were stealing a great part of young audience.

It will be my first time in Venice so I’m very intrigued to live and breathe 10 days in the lagoons of the oldest film festival in the world and see what universal cinema is capable to model from the clay of 28 different and unique heads.

As a film-goer I always stay alone in the last chair of the last row from the right side of the cinema’s balcony because although film-lovers are usually staying in the first row, for a very young film critic it’s imperative to catch the entire view: kings, mirrors and buffoons too.

For me cinema is also a place where I can imagine strange and terrible things. Those red walls remind me of an overlooked silence. I think I would be a little shaken but I would like to be taken in the screen’s cinema at the end of Victor Sjöström’sPHANTOM CARRIAGE and being dissolved in my own memories and nothingness.

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Erik Petterson, Reflexen in Karrtorp (Sweden)

 

 

 

My name is Erik Pettersson, I'm twenty years old and I'm currently studying History at University.

Why cinema…

I've always been fascinated with storytelling, in particular how people choose to depict life. Cinema, which in my opinon is the superior medium for telling a human narrative, has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents, cinephiles in their own right, often took me to the local movie theater and showed me a lot of different film genres at an early age. It made me appreciate films from all around the world, as long as the movies were engrossing and entertaining. It also opened my eyes to older films and I literally watched tons of old movies.

My 3 favourite films…

THE THIRD MAN and THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS were among the films I saw when I was younger and they're still two of my favorite movies. Over time I discovered and began to appreciate the raw, primal power of documentary filmmaking and today my absolute favorite film is THE ACT OF KILLING, an astounding documentary about the life of a confessed mass murderer and the decaying society that he inhabites. However much I love cinema, I seldom discuss films at length with my friends and I don't participate in film forums online. I've always been content with simply watching movies alone and I have only recently dabbled with making films on my own.

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European cinema…

Cinema's greatest strength, in my opinion, is that it gives the audience an opportunity to view the world through someone else's point of view. That's precisely why European cinema is so important. It gives us movies that are different from the films most people are used to, the gargantuan blockbusters. Films like AMOUR, HOLY MOTORS and ÄTA SOVA DÖ (EAT SLEEP DIE) challenge our perception of what modern cinema is and shows us something that's both daring and different.

Feeling European…

I certainly feel European and I've traveled around in Europe several times. Today the world is more open than before, making it easier to meet people from different cultures and broaden one's world view. I've never lived abroad in Europe but I did briefly live in China, working as a volunteer and teaching the local children English.

Which cinema…

I'm representing a cinema called Reflexen, which recently was awarded Cinema of the year, in Sweden. Reflexen is much more than a movie theater, it's a cultural beacon. It encourages the audience to discuss the films and makes the simple act of viewing a movie an enriching experience for everyone involved. I'm proud indeed to be representing Reflexen. I have become more open to discussing films with new people after spending time watching movies at Reflexen, it certainly helped prepare me for the film festival in Venice.

 

Urska Fister - Kinodvor in Ljubljana (Slovenia)

 

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I am a 22-year-old film lover from Slovenia. I study at the Department of English and American Studies and at the Department of Slovene Studies at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. Currently I am in my last year of studies for a Bachelor’s Degree and I am planning to continue my studies to Master’s level. I’ve always loved nature and art, this is mostly what my childhood consisted of. When I was a child I wasn’t interested in hanging out with other kids, I preferred exploring nature, reading books, listening to music and watching films by myself.

Cinema since…

 As a child, I rarely went to the cinema. I still remember the first time I went to see a film; it was screened in a small local cinema that was closed a few years later. My mother and her friend took me to see MR. BEAN. I remember it very clearly, I loved it: the big screen, the soft red seats, all the people laughing… I started going to the cinema when I was a teenager then. Otherwise I was watching films on TV, our national television has always broadcast great foreign feature films. This is how I have become interested in European cinema.

Why cinema…

Cinema has always been a way of experiencing different dimensions of life for me. Watching films allowed me to travel the world through film locations, meet new people through characters, and live the lives of other people. I wouldn’t say I prefer cinema to other media though. Books and music are just as important in my life as cinema. What I like the most about cinema is the fact that it is able to combine so many arts – music, theatre, painting, literature …  

What cinema…

I am an avid drama fan. I love films that capture and evoke emotions. I love crying during films. I love identifying with the characters. On the other hand, I think the films in which you are unable to identify with any of the characters can be just as intriguing, because then you are able to direct your attention to other aspects of the film. I also love films with stunning cinematography, such as ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA, THE THIN RED LINE, INCENDIES, to mention just a few that blew me away.

My favourite films…

It’s just impossible to choose only three films. So let me expose three films that I’ve seen lately and that have made an impression on me. EAST OF EDEN (1955) with an amazing performance by James Dean, Fatih Akin’s powerful film GEGEN DIE WAND (2004), and Audiard’s A PROPHET (2009), raw and hypnotizing at the same time.

 

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Europe and cinema…

 I love European cinema. It deals with diverse themes from a fresh point of view and is much less cliché-ridden than Hollywood productions. European cinema is also more daring and liberal in my opinion. I actually became really interested in cinema because of European films. I remember seeing Bertolucci’s THE DREAMERS when I was a teenager. I was spellbound. I had never seen a film like that before.

Feeling European…

I don’t know whether I feel European. How is it supposed to feel? I don’t even think I feel Slovenian. But I do have this sense of belonging to Europe/Slovenia. I’ve never lived abroad before, but I am planning to go on Erasmus next year and do some volunteer work somewhere in Europe after my studies. Later, I would also love to find a job abroad, somewhere in Europe, but we’ll see how that goes.

My film theater and my habits…

I’m representing Kinodvor, the city cinema of Ljubljana. What I like the most about this venue is their programme, which is really diverse. When I was younger I didn’t even know about Kinodvor, because we rarely went to the cinema with my family, but when we did, we always went to multiplexes. Then, when I was a teenager I got really bored with the type of films these multiplexes screened, as I was disappointed every time I went to see a film there. Eventually, I somehow discovered Kinodvor and I thought I was in heaven. This is when I really became obsessed with film. Thank you, Kinodvor.

Oh, and the interior is gorgeous, just gorgeous! It’s one of the most beautiful cinemas I’ve ever seen.

My habits as a film-goer change continuously. There are times when I go to cinema more often, because I somehow feel the need to share the experience with other people, and there are times when I prefer watching films alone in the comfort of my room.

 

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Silvia Feldmajerova - Cinemax in Banska Bystrica (Slovakia)

 

 

I don’t like talking about myself. I always tend to exaggerate mainly bad things on me. I believe that everything is possible and in power of our thoughts. I would consider myself as a sociable introvert. My personality is a well-balanced chaos. I love sarcasm. I can´t imagine life without it. I think the sarcasm can make a life easier.

I can enthuse for things very quickly. When I decide to do something, I do it with all my heart.

First I started to study Economics in the capital, Bratislava. I realized that life was too short to waste it for something I didn’t like to do. I dropped it off and started my studies of Documentary at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica. I graduated in June 2013 and I´ve decided to postpone my studies and work abroad.

My biggest dream is to not stop dreaming, because I think that is the most important in our lives. I´d like to become a film director or part of a film crew. Making films is a life mission (or life style if you want).

Why cinema…

 I love cinema because of its atmosphere, picture and sound quality which is overwhelming. I´ve been going to the cinema since my grandmother took me to watch THE LION KING. It´s my favorite animated movie. After that I went to watch it five more times with her. I was addicted to THE LION KING.

As a film freak I prefer films to books but on the other side I think books are very important in our lives as well. When you read a book everything only comes from your own imagination but when you watch a film you have to accept somebody else´s imagination.

What cinema…

In cinema I prefer action films with digital effects. I love psycho thrillers, dramas, fantasy, science fiction and films with opened ends. Romantic comedies are for me more improbable than science fiction films. I am not a big fan of American happy endings. I like films you have to think about after they end, films that have an impact on you in some way, and films that can inspire you or offer you a (moral) lesson.

My favorite films…

Each film is different and has something original. So picking three of them is really difficult for me. It´d be THE LORD OF THE RINGS, because this film has inspired me to make films. The second one would be REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. I love it because it is rough and it is pure visual orgasm for me. The third one would be THE USUAL SUSPECTS with Kevin Spacey.

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Filmmaking / Talking about films online…

I was making (Documentary) films in my school. I made a few short ones as well, which I put on YouTube. I keep trying to make new ones because I realize it is the best way to improve film skills.

I visit Czech and Slovak film forum csfd.cz. I have my own blog which is quite new. There I put some of my film reviews in Slovak language.

European cinema…

I think European Cinema has great films to offer. It can unite the whole Europe and bring us closer together. We can learn a lot about other cultures, people and lives from films of different countries. I´m happy we have Europa Cinemas in Slovakia.

Feeling European…

I feel European and I´m proud of it. European blood will be running through my veins all my life. I wouldn´t want to change it.

I love travelling, that´s why I try to travel a lot. I have also lived abroad. I have lived and worked in London during the summer holidays twice. I´m living and working in Leeds, but I´m moving to Dublin in October.

Which cinema…

I´m representing Slovak Republic. This venue is a great opportunity to peek into the world I have always dreamt about. Nobody would have given me such an opportunity like this one.

I go to the cinema quite often because of its atmosphere. If I go to the cinema I prefer to go with friends otherwise I prefer to watch it alone. I could spend my whole life sitting and watching films there. 

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