Consider these European attractions beyond Barcelona


Summertime, travel time… CineEurope may very well become a starting point for spending some more time across Europe. Attendees may have missed the latest German films in Barcelona and Madrid, but how about checking out the 42nd Huesca International Short Film Festival (June 16-21) in the town of the same name? Or getting rejuvenated at the Valencia-based International Youth Film Festival, June 20-27? In a country with more than 200 film festivals, Cinema Jove is recognized as one of the “select top five” of Spain, organizers note, “with an international ranking that is geared towards film professionals and which is always in search of new and brilliant filmmakers.”

For those who are longing for the good old days of the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre (CineEurope’s former home), why not visit the Euro Attractions Show (EAS, Sept. 23-25) in Amsterdam? FJI reported about the conference and trade fair last year when it was held in Paris. More than 380 exhibitors will welcome some 8,500 visitors from 80 countries, trade association IAAPA anticipates. For the 2014 season, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions also reported a “record-breaking number of new rides, parks, family attractions and themed areas” in more than 300 European amusement parks. “The attractions industry has an average annual investment of more than 500 million euros on new rides only.” (CAPEX US$681.5 million).

Also in Amsterdam, from June 22 through Sept. 14, film museum EYE hosts “David Cronenberg—The Exhibition." Curated and organized by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and featuring “weird and wonderful special-effects items from [his] films, together with bizarre props, set photos and original costumes,” the showcase sets out to explore “Cronenberg’s world through the main themes of his films: the physical and psychological transformation of his protagonists.” In addition to a retrospective of Cronenberg’s oeuvre in three themed blocks, his shorts and features will be placed into context of other thematically linked films from the EYE collection, such as the “mad scientists” from Altered States (1980), Les yeux sans visage (1960) and The Fountain (2006); “body horror movies” like Hellraiser (1987) and Slither (2006); and Japanese films about “sexual alienation” such as Tetsu: The Iron Man (1989) and Secret Act Inside Walls (aka Affairs Within Walls, 1965). On June 26, EYE is re-releasing Cronenberg’s Videodrome (1982) in a new, digitally restored version, which will be showing at EYE and in various cinemas during the entire period.

“As a Canadian institution, it was a natural choice [for TIFF’s] first original major touring exhibition to focus on the work of Canada’s most internationally acclaimed artist,” said Piers Handling, festival director and chief executive officer. “TIFF is committed to bringing our programming to audiences around the world and to extending our reach and impact across the globe.” In the meantime, you can check out the Virtual Exhibition here.

Movie Matrimonio all’italiana

Speaking of film festivals, while there are more than one could ever wish to attend, the small town of Calitri, Italy, has certainly come up with a new idea for yet another one: Calitri Sponz Fest, the international short film competition dedicated to weddings, will take place August 28-30.

Located in the Positano region, the town is known as “il paese dello sposalizio,” the town of wedding celebrations. Furthermore, artistic director Vinicio Capossela uses a play on the word camera. “The room, is, and has always been, the sacred place of marriage, the place of the celebration of the union.” The fest “wants to offer the movie camera the theme of the union, of marriage in all of its forms…of Heaven and Earth, Cadmo y Armonia, weddings in the villages, chemical unions of elements, arboreal rites, their ethical, civil and legal implications.” Can Divorce Italian Style be far off?

Heinze Heads UCI Kinowelt

After guiding UCI Kinowelt in Germany and Austria for almost 25 years, during a time that he calls “exciting” and that included bringing the issue of film (funding) levies all the way to the country’s highest court, the time has come for Ralf Schilling to move on. Referring to recent changes at UCI, with the departures of chief operating officer Pepe Batlle and chief executive officer Rupert Gavin, Schilling noted in a letter to the industry that “successors always have the goal to do things differently. Successes in the past, in their own words, do not matter if they don’t fit the concept for the future.”

Some past experience will be carried forward, however, as Jens Heinze, the longtime operations director at UCI Kinowelt, will take over Schilling’s post as managing director. Heinze joined UCI in Leipzig (check out FJI’s conversation with Alan McNair) before opening UCI Kinowelt Elbe Park in Dresden as theatre manager. He has worked as operations director since 1998 and was instrumental during the digitization of the entire circuit of 26 German and Austrian multiplexes with 241 screens.

Cahiers Comes to NYC
After premiering at the prestigious Festival d’Automne in Paris, France, the French Institute/Alliance Française in Manhattan presented the U.S. debut of The Exercise Was Beneficial, Sir (La Loi du marcheur).

In this one-man stage show, Nicolas Bouchaud portrays the late film critic and editor-in-chief of Cahiers du Cinéma, Serge Daney, who famously said, “It is the films that watch us.” In a tour-de-force, no-intermission performance in front of a movie screen that seems to have slipped one-third off the wall and onto the floor (talk about mise-en-scène), Bouchaud shares Daney’s thoughts and insights from world maps to May 1968, from television to his favorite western, and much more in between. While scenes from Rio Bravo are projected, Bouchard inserts himself into the 1959 Warner Bros. film directed by Howard Hawks, conversing with John Wayne and Angie Dickinson, reciting dialogue and reenacting multiple parts and key moments. And, yes, he also sings “My Rifle, My Pony, and Me,” although sounding a bit more like Dimitri Tiomkin than Dean Martin. You can see the original plus Ricky Nelson lamenting about “Cindy” on YouTube.

The performance was presented as part of the cultural institute’s CinéSalon series that celebrated “Cahiers du Cinéma: French Cinema’s Secret Trove & Top Picks.” On June 6, legendary French producer, distributor and exhibitor Marin Karmitz joins FIAF to personally introduce a documentary about his Life at the Movies.