Sunday, April 4, 2010

Kovarova's DISAPPEARING ACT 2 show- cases current Euro cinema -- admission free -- plus a smart panel discussion

Last year, that bundle of energy Irena Kovarova, shown at right, organized a terrific little festival of film and panel dis-
cussion, under the title DISAPPEARING ACTS. TrustMovies is delighted to see that she is back again for another go-round, this one titled DISAP-
PEARING ACT II: A Showcase of Current European Cinema.  The series will begin this Thursday, April 8, and run through next Saturday, April 17.  The venue, as last year, will be Manhattan's spacious and comfortable Bohemian National Hall, 321 E. 73rdSt., NYC, Ph: 646-422-3399  (FYI: the nearest subway stop to Bohemian National Hall is on the #6 line at either the 68th Street or 77th Street NYC station.)

And the admission charge?  Well, it's FREE.  Which makes this -- considering the high level of film quality, the completely affordable price and the rarity of any showings of most of these movies -- probably the best film deal available in the entire town.

This year, with the continued support of various European cultural and diplomatic institutes, Kovarova's program has expanded to include 17 films from eleven countries. The panel discussion will cover the distribution of foreign language films in this country and, once again, the panelists will include some of the most active members of the film industry, with IndieWire's Eugene Hernandez as moderator, who will be joined by Ryan Werner, vice president of marketing at IFC Films; Meghan Wurtz, vice president at Film Movement; and Carlos A. Gutierrez, co-founding director of Cinema Tropical.  The series kicks off with an opening night party after the first screening and a Q&A with director Robert Sedlacek.

TrustMovies is particularly thrilled to see included in the line-up two of his favorites films from last yearCamino, the Spanish film by Javier Fesser that took home most of the Goya awards this year, is -- love it or hate it -- a must-see movie with visual panache, emotion, humor and great performances to spare.  The film deals with sainthood, The Catholic Church, family, deception and pain.  It sure ain't pretty, and yet Señor Fesser has made it, in some ways, among the most beautiful films I can recall. Camino made its NYC debut last December as part of the FSLC's Spanish Cinema Now series.  I can't wait to see this film again, and given that no distributor has stepped up to the plate, I was beginning to doubt that I ever would.  But now it's back -- and it's free, too.  How can you pass this up?  It screens Tuesday, April 13, at 8:30 pm.

Also on the agenda is another one-of-a-kind movie that I also doubted  I'd have the opportunity to view again: Lesson 21 (Lezione 21) directed by Alessandro Baricco.  When this film first appeared for its two-performance run during the presentation of new Italian films in the FSLC's Opens Roads series, it was translated as Lecture 21.  Lecture or lesson, the movie is like little you will have even seen.  It leaps off from a very special lecture given by an equally unusual professor (played by John Hurt, shown above) that takes in Beethoven's 9th, the act of creativity, life, death, love, philosophy -- the works -- all of which Signore Baricco then spins into his own exemplary piece of art. Noah Taylor, Phyllida Law and the supremely lovely Leonore Watling also appear. Lesson 21 is an odd film, but if you're able to tune in to its frequency, it will move, thrill and entertain you like little else.  It screens -- yes, free -- on Wednesday, April 14, at 6:30 pm.

Below is a quick checklist of films in Disappearing Act II: A Showcase of Current European Cinema, which runs from April 8 through 15.

While admission is free to all the programs, reservations are required for the opening night and panel discussion via e-mail to Admission to other screenings are on a first-come first-served basis. Visit for film details and program updates.

The series is curated by Ms Kovarova and organized by the Czech Center New York in partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the Consulate General of Slovenia, the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic with the support of the +421 Foundation, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the Goethe-Institut New York, the Hungarian Cultural Center, Instituto Cervantes New York, the Italian Cultural Institute, the Romanian Cultural Institute, and with the support of Holland Films.

Ms. Kovarova notes that these 17 films that have made a name for themselves on the festival circuit and with the critics, but remain largely unknown to American audiences. Some of the presented films have even secured a limited U.S. theatrical distribution and/or dvd release, yet the nature of the current distribution map still prevents them attaining wider renown. The program brings these titles back to the attention of the media and public, giving them another exposure and attempting to prevent their complete disappearance. Films will be introduced by special guests and director Robert Sedlacek will be present for Q&As at both of the screenings of his feature film titled Men in a Rut (April 8 & 10).

All films in original languages with English subtitles unless noted otherwise.

Some changes had to be made suddenly in this festival, 
so here is revised and extended schedule below.

Thursday, April 8
6:30 pm Men in a Rut (Men in a Rut, dir. Robert Sedlacek, 2009, Czech Republic)
followed by Q&A with the director

9 pm Opening Party
Reservations required for all opening night events separately via e-mail to

Friday, April 9
7 pm Father's Acre (Apafold, dir. Viktor Oszkar Nagy, 2009, Hungary, photo shown below)

8:45 pm Rene (dir. Helena Trestikova, 2008, Czech Republic)

Saturday, April 10
3 pm The Secret of the Grain (La Graine et le Mulet, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007, France)

6 pm The Invisible Frame followed by Cycling the Frame (2009 and 1988, both dir. Cynthia Beatt, Germany)

8 pm Men in a Rut (Muzi v riji, dir. Robert Sedlacek, 2009, Czech Republic)
followed by Q&A with the director

Sunday, April 11
1:45 pm Hooked (Pescuit sportiv, dir. Adrian Sitaru, 2007, Romania, photo shown above)

POSTPONED to Fri, 4/16 @ 8:15pm  Cooking History (dir. Peter Kerekes, 2008, Slovakia)

POSTPONED to Fri, 4/16 @ 6:30pm  A Call Girl (Slovenka, dir. Damjan Kozole, 2009, Slovenia)

POSTPONED to Sat., 4/17 @ 6pm  Carmen of the North (Carmen van het noorden, dir. Jelle Nesna, 2009, The Netherlands)

Monday, April 12
6:30pm Panel Discussion: "The New World Distribution for Subtitled Films," chaired by Eugene Hernandez, with Ryan Werner, Meghan Wurtz, and Carlos A. Gutierrez
Reservations for panel discussion via e-mail to

8:45 pm Summer Holiday (Boogie, dir. Radu Muntean, 2008, Romania, photo shown below)

Tuesday, April 13
6:15 pm God's Offices (Les Bureaux de Dieu, dir. Claire Simon, 2008, France)

8:30 pm Camino (dir. Javier Fesser, 2008, Spain)

Wednesday, April 14
6:30 pm Lesson 21 (Lezione 21, dir. Alessandro Baricco, 2008, Italy)

8:15 pm Revanche (dir. Götz Spielmann, 2008, Austria)

Thursday, April 15
6:30 pm Moon Inside You (Mesiac v nas, dir. Diana Fabianova, 2009, Slovakia)

8:15 pm Jerichow (dir. Christian Petzold, 2008, Germany)

Friday, April 16
6:30pm A Call Girl (Slovenka, dir. Damjan Kozole, 2009, Slovenia)

8:15pm Cooking History (dir. Peter Kerekes, 2008, Slovakia)

Saturday, April 17
6pm Carmen of the North (Carmen van het noorden, dir. Jelle Nesna, 2009, The Netherlands)
- introduced by Thessa Mooij

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