Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
Vol 1, No 14
27 September 1999

E V E N T S:
Coming Up in the UK

Andrew J Horton

Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks, a Central European cultural detente, women playwrights in translation, a Polish composer remembers Poland's most famous film director and funny money at the Slovak Embassy.

Information about the autumn season of cultural events is slowly trickling in as all the press offices get back from their holidays. Watch this space for details of more events as they come in.

In this week's Coming Up section we have:

Click on the appropiate heading or just scroll down to browse.

13th Leeds International Film Festival

Plenty of Central European film scheduled for this festival, which takes place from 7 to 23 October 1999. Amongst the features will be a whole host of Czech and Polish films, including a retrospective of the Polish film-maker Jerzy Skolimowski, classics by Milos Forman and the 1947 Czech animated film which has inspired generations of Czech and international animators since. There will also be an interview with the composer Zbigniew Priesner, renowned for his music for the films of Krzysztof Kieslowski, combined with a screening of Three Colours: Red. At a seperate event there will be a screening of Kieslowski's rarely seen early-1980s classic Blind Chance.

Amongst the contemporary films on show there will be some of the more popular of Czech films of the last year, including Cosy Dens, In the Rye, The Past and Agatha. Click on the titles to see Kinoeye reviews of these films.

Check out their website or e-mail them to request a brochure. More information will be posted here as it comes in.

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A Tale of Three Cities:
Janacek's Brno between Prague and Vienna

An international conference on the Czech composer, Leos Janacek, taking place at Senate House, University of London, 22-24 October 1999. For further details contact:

Matthew Lane
Department of Music, Royal Holloway, University of London,
Egham Hill, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
Phone: +44-1784-443361 (with answering machine) Fax: +44-1784-439441

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Literature Events

A series of unconnected events which coincide with the launch of new translations of Central European literature into English.

Eastern Promise
22 October 1999,
POSK, 238-246 King Street, London W6 0RF
Tel: 0181 940 24 67

Eastern Promise is billed as the first ever collection of Central European plays in English-language translation by women. To celebrate the publication of this book, the Polish and Belorussian embassies are working together on a joint event featuring readings from The Umbilical Cord by Krystyna Kofta and The Chosen One by Elena Popova.

The book itself is edited by Sian Evans and Cheryl Robinson and published by Aurora Metro. Price: GBP 11.99. ISBN 0-9515877-9-X.

Central Europe is Back!
21 October 1998, 7.30pm
Cinema 3, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London
Tel: 0171 638 8891

Timothy Garton Ash will discuss the re-emergence of Central Europe as a cultural and literary reality in relation to the latest titles from the Central European Classics series, which he edits. This is part of a series of events in the UK to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall which will see translations of recent works from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Austria and Bosnia promoted at bookshops around the country.

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Czecho-Slovak Events

The split of Czechoslovakia in 1993 led in the first place to a split in cultural programmes abroad, symptomatic of greater rifts between the two countries. But now, the two embassies in London, which are in fact located in the same building, are now co-operating on promoting Czech and Slovak culture. Here are a few events which have resulted from the detente.

The Garden
7 September - November (Special events only)
The Czech and Slovak Embassies, 26 Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8 4QY
Tel: 0171 291 9920

In the spirit of open government, the Czech and Slovak embassies have turned their shared patch of garden into a sculture gallery which will be available for view to those attending concerts and other special events which take place at shared embassy building. The large-scale works span from the 1960s up to the present day and artists represented include Stanislav Kolibal (whose watercolours are also on display), Petr Lysacek, Petr Pisarik, Jiri Cernicky, Jiri David, Frantisek Matousek, Petra Ondreickova-Novakova and Lukas Rittstein.

If you prefer to just see the works without having to attend another event, then you'll have to turn up between 12 and 6pm on Saturday 11 September. Arriving at 3pm will enable you to join the curator's tour.

Slovak and Czech Film Days
21 - 24 October 1999
Various locations, Soho, London
Tel: 0171 351 2714

A season of classic films from the Czechoslovak era, many of which have not been shown in Britian for over a decade. Histories of Czechoslovak film tend to be biased to the Czech side, and this short season aims to rectify this be concentrating on Slovak classics. The times and locations of the films will be confirmed in the coming weeks and announced on the FilmWorld website. All the films listed below are Slovak unless otherwise stated.

Little Birds, Orphans and Fools(Juraj Jakubisko), 1969
See You In Hell, Fellows! (Juraj Jakubisko)
I am Sitting on the Branch and I am Fine (Juraj Jakubisko), 1989
Click here for Kinoeye's review of the above film.
Millennial Bee(Juraj Jakubisko), 1983
Sun in a Net (Stefan Uher), 1962
The Sixth Sentence (Stefan Uher)
She Kept Asking For the Moon, 1983 (Stefan Uher), 1983
Wild Lilies (Elo Havetta), 1972
I Love, You Love (Dusan Hanak), 1980
Pictures of the Ancient World (Dusan Hanak), 1972
Tinted Dreams (Dusan Hanak), 1976
Click here for Kinoeye's overview of Dusan Hanak's career
Signum Laudis (Martin Holly), 1980
Highwayman Jurko (Viktor Kubal), 1976
LEA (Ivan Fila), 1997, Czech Republic

Short and Documentary Films:
Film School, Zlin, Czech Republic
Prachsi (Cyril Podolsky), 1999, 5 min.
The Pilgrimage (Veronika Bakosova), 1999, 3 min
Defector (Vaclav Kadrnka), 1998, 9 min
Water Closet (Michael Carrington), 1996, 5 min
In the Forest (Lenka Minarikova), 1996, 5 min

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43rd London Film Festival

The London Film Festival is one of the biggest film festivals in the world. This is your chance to catch up with what are the biggest sellers around the world. Despite its emphasis on successful films, London does manage to slip in a few interesting items: Moloch, the latest film from Alexandr Sokurov, the disciple of Tarkovsky who has attracted the admiration of Martin Scorsese and Nick Cave, is one that will be a must-see on most people's lists. Another such film will be Fred Kelemen's Nightfall, probably appealing to a similar crowd. For a Kinoeye review of his first film click here.

For those who prefer their films a little less experimental, Marigolds in Flower by Sergei Sniezhkin is an excellent Chekovian drama set in the post-perestroika age. Click here for a Kinoeye reveiw.

The Czechs always seem to do rather well out of London, and this time they have three feature films showing (compared to none for Hungary). This year they have three feature films showing. The Jan Hrebejk's hit film Cosy Dens (which was awarded at Karlovy Vary), Roman Vavra's debut In the Rye and Sasa Gedeon's treatment of Dostoevsky, The Return of the Idiot. Click on the titles for their respective reviews.

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Czech Events


See the Leeds Film Festival and the London Film Festival entries for more information.


Ivan Klima in Conversation

Klima will be in the UK to promote his latest book, a collection of short stories entitled Lovers for a Day. The collection draws on previously untranslated stories by Klima, including works from the 1960s, when he was an exiled dissident, and his most recent stories. Catch him at:

Cheltenham Festival of Literature br>
18 October 1999, 7.30pm
Tel: 01242 237 377

Swiss Cottage
19 October 1999, 7pm
Swiss Cottage Central Library, 88 Avenue Road, London NH3 3HA
Tel: 0171 413 6535

…And More Czech Culture in the UK

The Czech Cultural Centre in London has just gone electronic! Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Czech related events in London.

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Hungarian Events


The Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts - MA fine arts students exhibition
until 13 October 1999, 10am - 8pm
The London Institute, 65 Davies St, London, W1Y 2DA
Tel: 0171 514 6127 or e-mail.


The coming month will a good one for new Hungarian cinema in London, with a number of showings of films screened at this year's Hungarian Film Week (which was covered by Kinoeye). All the films listed below are British premieres (except Simon Magus, which has already been shown by the Hungarian Film Club) and all will be introduced by Dr Sandor Striker of the Hungarian Cultural Centre. The films are representative of the broad spectrum of current Hungarian cinema, with films ranging from a light comedy romance (You or Me), through to a hard-hitting and intelligent potrayal of the violence in modern Hungarian society (Homecoming - which carries a strong Kinoeye recommendation).

Close to Love by Andras Salamon (Click here for the Kinoeye review)
29 September 1999, 7.30pm
Hungarian Film Club, Hungarian Trade Commission, 46 Eaton Place,
London SW1
Admission free, but booking necessary
Phone: 0171 235 3264

You or Me (aka Pirates) by Tamas Sas (Click here for the Kinoeye review)
11 Ocotber 1999, 4pm
Raindance Film Festival, Metro Cinema, 11 Rupert Street, London W1
Phone: 0171 734 1506

Simon Magus by Ildiko Enyedi (Click here for the Kinoeye review)
18 October 1999, 8pm
Raindance Film Festival, Metro Cinema, 11 Rupert Street, London W1
Phone: 0171 734 1506

Homecoming by Ferenc Grunwalsky (Click here for the Kinoeye review)
28 October 1999, 7.30pm
Hungarian Film Club, Hungarian Trade Commission, 46 Eaton Place,
London SW1
Admission free, but booking necessary
Phone: 0171 235 3264

Hungarian Culture in the UK

Check out the website of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London. As well as listing events of international importance, the site also carries details of their support network for Hungarian au pairs working in the UK and Catholic mass in Hungarian.

Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Hungarian events in the UK.

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Polish Events

Polish Culture in the UK

Check out the website of the Polish Cultural Institute in London.

Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Polish events in the UK.

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Romanian Events

Romanian Culture in the UK

There is the website of the Romanian Cultural Centre based in London. Click here if you want to see a their diary page.

If you are a Romanian academic or student working in the UK or have links to Romanian studies you might be interested Romanul's site. It aims to give wider support to educational, scientific and cultural issues and has pages devoted to the Romanian community's acitivities in the UK. Click here to have a look.

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Slovak Events


you haven't already done so check out the Czecho-Slovak events which offer the opportunity to see some rarely seen Slovak cinematic classics


Funny Money
29 September - 31 October 1999, 11am - 4pm
Embassy of the Slovak Republic, 25 Kensington Palace Gardens,

London W8 4QY
Tel: 0171 727 94 32

The Slovak Union of Cartoonists teaming up with the British Cartoonists' Association to present an exhibition at the Slovak Embassy. Admission free.

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Compiled by Andrew J Horton





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