Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
Vol 1, No 22
15 November 1999

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

Andrew J Horton

The last months of the millenium look as if they will be surreal one for aficionados of Central and East European culture in the UK, with a fusion of rock and Hungarian silent films to create a "cinetrip", Amazons of the avant-garde, and fantastic realism at the Riverside Studios, amongst other things.

In this week's Coming Up section we have:

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

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


Faith in a Better Future
17 November 1999 - 4 January 2000
Czech Centre, 95 Great Portland Street, London W1N 5RA
Phone: 0171 291 9920 E-Mail: cclondon@london.czech.cz

The award-winning photographs of Dana Kyndrova, documenting the Czech Republic's transition from totalitarianism to a painful freedom by capturing the lives of ordinary people. Opening with the artist on 16 November at 6.30pm. Phone for details.


Fantastic Realism: The Other Face of Czech Cinema
3- 5 December 1999
Riverside Studios, Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London W6
Phone: 0181 237 1111

The Czech love of the fantastic and absurd is well-known, yet many of the country's finest surrealist films remain unknown in relation to the more realist strains of Czech cinema (such as Milos Forman and Jiri Menzel). This three-day season aims to explore this "other face" by introducing some gems which have long remained under-rated, as well as re-introducing some old favourites, such as Svankmajer's disturbing reworking of Alice in Wonderland and Karel Zeman's tribute to the greatest tall-story-teller of them all, Baron Munchhausan. Director Jan Nemec will be at the season to introduce three of his films on show. Click here for more details.

Czech Films at the London Film Festival

See the London Film Festival entry for more information.


Kind Visions
26 November 1999, 7.30pm
Bonnie Bird Theatre, Laban Centre, Laurie Grove, New Cross, London SE14
Phone: 0181 692 4070

A collaborative dance project between the Duncan Centre (Prague) and the Laban Centre (London), Kind Visions "explores individual testimonies to human destiny.


The Dissident Type
19 November - 1 December 1999
St Bride Printing Library, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EE
Phone: 0171 291 9920

An exhibition illustrating 20 years of samizdat publishing in Czechoslovakia, including hand-made books and some of the home printing equipment that authors and editors used.

…And More Czech Culture in the UK

The Czech Cultural Centre in London has a full calender of Czech events in the UK. Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Czech related events in London.

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Hungarian Events


Hungarian Film Days
19 - 25 November 1999
ICA, The Mall, London SW1
Phone: 0171 930 6347

Six Hungarian films on display, including two by the giant of Hungarian cinema, Istvan Szabo - his Oscar-winning Mephisto and his more intimate Sweet Emma, Dear Bobe. Szabo himself will be at the ICA on 19 November for an hour-long interview. The other films are the Espresso, Passion, Eldorado and The Witman Boys.


19 November 1999, 7.30pm
Foyer. Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1
Phone: 0171 960 4242

Describing itself as "the hottest Hungarian club" this all-evening event combines rock music and silent Hungarian films as part of the London Jazz Festival. Admission free.


London Jazz Festival
15 November 1999, 7.30pm
Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London SE1
Phone: 0171 960 4242

Four of Hungary's top jazz musicians, Karoly Binder, Mihaly Borbely, George Vukan and Bela Szakcsi Lakatos, playing in London for the first time with an evening of "Magyar Magic." Classical, jazz and Hungarian folk all combine in their eclectic and virtuoso sound.


Elephant Herd
7 November 1999
Bridewell Theatre, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4
Phone: 0171 235 32 64

The London premiere of Viktor Hatar's play, produced by Knight Mental.

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 Cinema at the Polish Cultural Institute
Various dates
34 Portland Place, London W1N 4HQ
Phone: 0171 637 2190 or e-mail

Love Stories by Jerzy Stuhr
16 November 1999, 6.30pm
Click here for a Kinoeye review

Korczak by Andrzej Wajda
30 November 1999, 6.30pm

In Full Gallop by Krzysztof Zanussi
7 December 1999, 6.30pm

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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Russian Events


Amazons of the Avant Garde
until 6 February 2000
Royal Academy, Piccadilly, W1
Phone: 0171 300 8000

For those who enjoyed the Barbican's grand Russian extravaganza of passion and experiment, Romance and Revolution, earlier this year, here is the female counterpart to the art section of it. These female pioneers are not remembered as often as their male counterparts, but their artistic spirit was no less revolutionary.

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Compiled by Andrew J Horton




This week's theme Cities

Poland's Silesian Conurbation

in Prague

Building Politics in Berlin

Saving Sofia

Mall-land in Budapest

Interview: The Builder of Budapest

A Sustainable City?

Car Capital


Jan Culik:
Czech Media Antics

Mel Huang:
Ten Years on in Estonia

Sam Vaknin:
Is Transition Possible?


Collected works of our regular authors

Kazi Stastna

Mel Huang



Andrzej Wajda's Pan Tadeusz


Readers' Choice:
The most popular article last week

The Music of Krzysztof Penderecki


Albanian Immigrants
in Greece

Nuclear Waste



Jews and Roma




Central European
Culture in the UK

Cultural Round-up from Poland


Poetry by Marcin Swietlicki

Book Review:
The 1998 Parliamentary Elections and Democratic Rebirth in Slovakia

Book Shop


Music Shop

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