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PLAY POLAND PREVIEW: ‘Strange Heaven’ (Gajewski, 2015) – an up-to-the-minute tale of immigration and broken dreams

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After a lengthy absence from the big screen, Dariusz Gajewski marks his first foray back into feature-length production with Obce Niebo (Strange Heaven, 2015) –  written, directed, and produced by the Polish cinematographer. Following a seven-year hiatus, Gajewski has successfully returned to the director’s chair to craft a film both modern and relevant, but also with a charming…

Oliver Buxton | November 17, 2016
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PLAY POLAND PREVIEW: Exhibition of Polish Film Posters

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Play Poland, the Polish film festival taking place across the UK in November 2016, has not only in recent years deepened UK audiences’ knowledge of Polish film, but has a website designed to provide insight into different aspects of movie making in Poland throughout the late 20th century. This includes a virtual exhibition platform about…

Julia Secklehner | November 17, 2016
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MADE IN PRAGUE REVIEW: ‘The Noonday Witch’ (Sádek, 2016): an ambitious blend of nightmarish folklore and contemporary psychodrama

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Emerging Czech director Jiří Sádek has pulled off quite a coup with his feature debut Polednice (The Noonday Witch), an ambitious blend of nightmarish folklore and contemporary psychodrama. Not only has he secured the refined household-name Ana Greislerová for the lead part, but also managed to produce a highly-polished piece of cinema to live up…

Oliver Buxton | November 13, 2016
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CONCERT REVIEW: Sasha Ilyukevich and the Highly Skilled Migrants (Courtyard Theatre 4/11/16)

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It says in Sasha Ilyukevich’s publicity that he’s a ‘punk rocker’, but put away thoughts of 1976 and safety pins  – he’s a punk rocker in the true sense and as John Lydon would define it: a genuine individualist. London-based Ilyukevich is a songwriter and vocalist from Belarus and his songs at the Courtyard Theatre…

Ian Mole | November 7, 2016
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PREVIEW: ‘Chuck Norris vs. Communism’ with special guest Irina Margareta Nistor, ‘the most famous voice of Communist cinephilia’ – Romanian Cultural Institute 11/11

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In 1985 Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Romanian dictator, was in his twentieth year of Communist rule. The country was culturally isolated, all forms of external media choked off, and in a cost and energy-saving exercise Ceaușescu cut state TV from two channels to one, limiting broadcasting to two or three hours a day. As in other Eastern Bloc…

Jo Varney | November 3, 2016
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HUNGARY 60: ‘Distorting Mirrors’ (Lajos Péter) – a tale of 1956

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Sixty years have passed in the blink of an eye. Yet for many who are still alive, Distorting Mirrors (written by Péter Lajos and directed by Dave Spencer) brought back memories of 1956 so vividly it was as if it were yesterday when a peaceful student-spurred demonstration turned into one of the bloodiest uprisings against…

Kata Karath | November 2, 2016
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EXHIBITION REVIEW: Brâncuși – the Unknown Portrait: marooned at the Star Gallery

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This year marks the 140th birthday of Constantin Brâncuși (1876-1957), perhaps the best-known Romanian artist of his time. To commemorate the life and work of the modernist sculptor, artist Raluca Popa has created a series of works exhibited at Europe House’s 12 Star gallery. The selection is small, comprising only eight works that should show…

Julia Secklehner | November 1, 2016