Celluloid Diaries: March 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

BIFFF 2017 Panel Discussions

bifff 2017 brussels international fantastic film festival

Over the next two weeks, I'll be moderating several panel discussions with filmmakers and actors at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF). These panel discussions are open to the audience, so don't hesitate to stop by if you have the chance.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Eight best Belgian horror movies

best belgian horror movies

This is a guest post by Steve De Roover.

My feature-length documentary Forgotten Scares goes back to the birth of Flemish horror in the '70s and shines a bright light on the future of horror made in Flanders, Belgium. The viewer gets a chance to discover long forgotten - and even unfinished - genre gems and learn in-depth info about underrated "splatter and gore"-fests, post-apocalyptic movies, slasher films, nazisploitation, women-in-prison and other fantastical Belgian genre benders through the eyes of the directors, producers, composers, principal actors and genre experts. Forgotten Scares is illustrated by rare behind the scene footage, classic film scenes, production stills, promotional art and even never before seen videos out of the vaults of the filmmakers.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Five best movies about self-discovery

best movies about self-discovery happiness true love

It's International Day of Happiness! For the occasion, author Natalie Savvides shares her favorite movies on the subject. They each carry the main themes of her book Full Circle; self-discovery, a search for true love, inner peace, and ultimately happiness.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Caturday Movies - The Cat Who Wore Sunglasses

Až přijde kocour

Our Caturday Movie of the week is Až přijde kocour (1963), a Czechoslovakian movie also known as The Cat Who Wore Sunglasses, The Cassandra Cat, That Cat, and When the Cat Comes. It's directed by Vojtěch Jasný and won the CST and Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1963.

The Cat Who Wore Sunglasses takes place in a small Czechoslovakian town in the early 1960s. In the first half hour of the film, we get to know the inhabitants and their quirks. Turns out most of them are cheaters, liars and opportunists. One day, Castellan Oliva (Jan Werich) tells the pupils of a local school that he once fell in love with a beautiful woman named Diana. She worked for a circus and had a cat who constantly wore sunglasses. Oliva knew it was forbidden to take them off, but that's what he did anyway. Instantly, everyone around him changed color. The liars became violet, the thieves grey, and the unfaithful yellow. Those that were in love turned red. Now that the true nature of each inhabitant was exposed, the village was no longer peaceful. In order to restore tranquility, the villagers went after the cat and killed it.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Meet and Greet in Belgium

meet and greet in belgium

1/ I'm excited to announce that I'll be doing a meet and greet tomorrow evening at the Offscreen film festival in Brussels, Belgium. The event starts at half past six and I'll be signing copies of my books When Animals Attack, Avalon and Drowned Sorrow for the occasion.

Address: Cinema Nova, Rue d'Arenberg 3, 1000 Brussels, Belgium

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Five movies that inspired Go For Gold

go for gold

Saturday sees the official premiere of the Belgian movie Go For Gold from Piet Bataillie. The movie is a satire on the world of consultancy and international business, as well as being a sketch of the social life of Flemish people in Brussels. Set against the backdrop of several local events and starring Benan Gungor and Joke Vander Mijnsbrugge, Go For Gold tells the story of Bernd Van Cleemput, a senior consultant with a big car and a gorgeous girlfriend. He’s the successful yuppie with the perfect life. The sky is the limit. Occurrences in both his private and business life will confront him with new challenges. How will his quest for gold end?

To celebrate the official premiere of Go For Gold, director Piet Bataillie shares with Celluloid Diaries five movies that inspired his film.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Caturday Movies - Morgiana

morgiana cat poster

Wednesday, March 8th. I'm joining Juraj Herz and his wife, Martina, for lunch at Arcady in Brussels. In case you're not familiar with Juraj Herz, he's one of the most noted film directors from the Czech Republic. Chances are you've seen his movies The Cremator and Morgiana.

Communicating with the almost 83-year-old Juraj Herz isn't an easy feat. He's tired after having traversed the “largest airport in the world” and has only a basic knowledge of English. Because I don't speak Czech, Yugoslavian, Slovenian and Polish, I go for German which I understand but don't speak well. Still, we both get only half of what the other is saying. “I'm afraid I only know one word in Czech: Kočka,” I say. He looks up to me and his eyes start to sparkle. “Kočka! Cat! I love cats,” Herz answers and, all of a sudden, he finds the words to get the conversation going. “I had a cat once called Boogie Woogie. I also wanted to adopt one of the seven cats that played Morgiana. I took him home with me but he only stayed three weeks. My wife at that time didn't agree with me keeping the cat.”

That brings us to our Caturday movie of the week: Juraj Herz' Morgiana (1971).

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

My favorite Robert De Niro Quote

best robert de niro quotes

This is a guest post by Hilary Grossman.

When you think of a women’s fiction / romantic comedy author you’d expect their favorite movies to be in the same genre. But I have always been a bit of a contradiction. And that is why, hands down, my favorite movies all have some sort of tie-in to organized crime. I love me a good mafia story!

Robert De Niro, by far, is my favorite actor. I actually had the pleasure of meeting him a few years back and shaking his hand – it was an unbelievable moment. I think of all the movies I have seen him in, the scene that resonates with me the most is one from The Untouchables.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Top 18 best fantastical films from Czechoslovakia

best fantastical films from czechoslovakia

This month, the Offscreen film festival in Brussels, Belgium, brings a retrospective of eighteen Czech films from the 60s and 70s, from lyrical pearls, over historic parables to atypical fairy tale adaptations of Cinderella, The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. Director Juraj Herz of dark masterpieces like The Cremator and Morgiana is a festival guest, along with stop-motion filmmaker Jiri Barta.

Here are the eighteen best fantastical films from Czechoslovakia according to Offscreen...