Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Issue of Swedish Book Review

The new issue of the Swedish Book Review has been posted and there's a lot of interesting work featured, including excerpts by Sigrid Combüchen, Jonas Karlsson, and Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo.

See the issue here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New issue of the Danish Literary Magazine

The new issue of the Danish Literary Magazine is available and includes excerpts from novels by Charlotte Weitze, Christina Hesselholdt, Hans Henrik Moller, Lisbeth Brun, Lone Aburas, Lone Horslev, Morten Brask, and Simon Glinvad.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Habitual Provocateur" Lars von Trier Barred from Cannes

At the Cannes Film Festival for a screening of his latest film "Melancholia", Danish director Lars von Trier made remarks about his "sympathy" for Hitler and joked about being a Nazi. He later apologized but the festival has barred von Trier from attending the awards ceremony.

CEO of the Danish Film Institute, Henrik Bo Nielsen, criticized von Trier and called his comments "foolish" but noted "there's nothing new in the fact that great artists make stupid remarks."

It will be interesting to see if this affects the film's reception. It is scheduled to be released in the U.S. this fall. 

Read more here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

10 indicators that he (or she) is just not that into you (or vice versa)

I'm often confronted with a question that goes something like this (as posed indelicately by a gentleman at AWP, of all places): Why on earth do you publish a magazine of European art and writing in the U.S.?

Usually I fumble over some polite response when the simple truth is that I publish Absinthe for the opportunity to read the awesome writers we feature. We publish great authors who should be translated and read but obviously Absinthe is not everyone's "cup of tea" and that's fine. Go read ... (ok, I'll keep that thought to myself).

So, with the imminent publication of Absinthe #15 (a great issue, I might add) let me suggest 10 indicators that you just might not be that into Absinthe (or vice versa):

1. You order a side of freedom fries with that burger

2. You’ve never read (or written) a manifesto

3. You think Titanic or Avatar is the greatest film ever

4. You think Oulipo is the name of an Oompa Loompa

5. You think Ingmar Bergman starred in Casablanca

6. You think everyone should just learn and speak English, dammit

7. You would never watch a movie that makes you read subtitles and think people who do are snobs

8. You hear mention of Dada and think of your father

9. You can’t name a single magazine or newspaper you read to inform your view of the world

10. You think Glenn Beck is the greatest living author

What would you add to this list?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The other kind of European cinema

When people think of European cinema they often think of black and white film, hand-held camera and existential truth shown at 24 frames a second. And of course there’s quite a bit of that and really, who does it better? The problem is that there are geniuses of European cinema like Czech animator and film fantasist Karel Zeman who then don’t fit the pre-conceived image and end up far lesser-known than they should be.

Fear not though, as this injustice is set to end with a May 11 screening of Zeman’s version of the legendary adventures of Baron Munchausen – “Baron Prášil” – at the University of Texas. For more on the man whose film versions of the books of Jules Verne are unrivaled (including by Jules Verne’s originals).

And to complete the European animation double bill a report from the recent AniFest, a major international animation festival held in the Czech town of Teplice in which 15,000 visitors watched almost 500 films. The festival’s Grand Prize winner was “Divers in the Rain” by Estonians Olga and Priit Pärnovi.

More on the festival at http://www.anifest.cz/

Coming next: An interview with a Polish animator who screened her work at AniFest and whose documentary-feature animation presents the history of clothing through the main character’s traveling back in time in a magic wardrobe.

(Photo courtesy of the Visual Arts Center at the University of Texas at Austin)

Monday, May 2, 2011

European Festival of the First Novel

The European Festival of the First Novel starts this Thursday, May 5th, and will promote the work of ten writers through readings and sample translations in French, English, and German.

The writers participating this year include:

Anna Weidenholzer from Austria
Kaspar Colling Nielsen from Denmark
Katharina Döbler from Germany
Helen Moster from Finland
Damien Luce from France
Antonella Lattanzi from Italy
Bendedicte M. Kroneberg from Norway
Małgorzata Rejmer from Poland
Christian Uetz from Switzerland
Esperanza Ortega from Spain