The Local View ? Neighbourhood Cinemas and Alternative Film Projects

Many small neighbourhood cinemas invested in the future. The digital options for showing films are opening up new vistas for alternative projects. Not all of them are legal.... more more

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31/01/2012

Magazine Roundup

Magazine Roundup, which appears every Tuesday at 12 p.m., is originally published by Perlentaucher.

Huffington Post 29.01.2012 (France)

Philosopher Catherine Clement delivers an interesting background article on the elections in Senegal, where the presidential candidate Youssou N'Dour was disqualified from the race for supposedly failing to present enough signatures to support his candidature. But according to Clement, the Senegalese had already decided in advance that he could not possibly become president. When I asked as to his chances of success were I was given "the same answer by all my Senegalese friends: 'Absolutely impossible. He belongs to the wrong caste.'" Yes, caste… He is the opposite of a 'free man'. Youssou N'Dour, untouchable, like an Indian pariah, member of the wrong caste, because his mother was a griot. Senegal, which prides itself on being an egalitarian democracy has, since time immemorial, been home to an unjust caste system which discriminates against blacksmiths and griots. No one would say as much in public. They can become famous and super rich. They can be nominated as government ministers - but son-in-law of a free man or elected representative of the nation, no chance. They play an important symbolic role in society. The griots are traditionally thought of as magicians, they are versed in genealogy, whose praises they sing, but they have been denied the chance to be elected. To this very day."


L'Espresso 25.01.2012 (Italy)

Palo Rossi Monti is dead. Umberto Eco remembers the pioneer of the science of remembering. Rossi was also one of the first people to start studying "cultural forgetfulness" in an age of informational overload. "In his essays of recent years he is no longer obsessed by the feats of memory in antiquity, but by our memories today. I would like to draw attention to two of his most recent essays. (La storia della scienza: la dimenticanza e la memoria, in Lina Bolzoni, "Memoria e memorie", Florenz, 1998, and "La memoria, le immagini, l'enciclopedia", in Pietro Rossi "La memoria del sapere", Bari, 1998). Rossi knew very well that with the invention of the printing press the fear of forgetting through the natural and biological fading of the memory would be replaced by a new fear: that of not remembering due to an excess of cultural data production (because the invention of printing did not only result in a vast amount of text being produced, it also made it very easy for everyone to tap into.)" Sadly neither Rossi nor Eco discuss the subject in relationship to the internet and the vast increase in data circulation it has brought. 


Le Monde 30.01.2012 (France)

In the field of academic texts the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk sees a "pact of non-reading" at work, which he believes is constitutive of a susceptibility and tendency towards plagiarism. One has to assume, he argues, that between 98 and 99 percent of the texts that are produced within a university context are written in the expectation that they will never be fully or even partially read. "In this system when someone actually and unexpectedly does read a text, it leads to catastrophe. The interesting thing about this is that what we call actual reading can no longer take place in the face of the monstrous avalanche of academic text production. Today only digital reading machines and specialised search engines are in the position to assume the role of the original reader and to enter into a conversation or non-conversation with the text. The human reader - let's call him professor - disappears. And to the same extent, academics and experts have long been condemned to being more often non-readers than readers."


The New Republic 26.01.2012 (USA)
Paul Berman recalls interviewing Vaclav Havel in "the Castle" in 1966. Above all he wanted to know what Havel meant when he invoked Heidegger's 'Being' and a new god. "Havel was frightened by atheism. In his eyes, communism was atheism's apotheosis. Communism led everyone to focus on material circumstances and to dream of improving the circumstances, and to dream of nothing else. For why should anyone dream of anything more than material improvements? More does not exist. ... Truth-telling, by contrast, required a belief in something that seemed to you preferable to material things - a more that was better than a car, therefore something for which you might willingly sacrifice your chance of getting a car. Your own personal dignity was something to consider. But you needed to be able to explain, at least to yourself, what was so great about your own dignity. Havel's capital-B Being, whatever its provenance in Heidegger, was at bottom a retort to Marx, who had famously proclaimed that 'life is not determined by consciousness but consciousness by life,' meaning material life."


Al Ahram Weekly 26.01.2012 (Egypt)

The efforts of the young revolutionaries failed to translate into electoral success, partly as a result of a defamatory campaign by the military, denouncing them as the puppets of foreign organisations, Mohamed Abdel-Baky reports: This "has led to depression, frustration and disappointment on the part of young activists", he cites a psychologist as saying, who added: "I think most of the young people who participated in the 25 January protests feel betrayed. They did not, after all, face down the security apparatus and topple the regime so that a new group of people over 65 years of age could rule."


openDemocracy 28.01.2012 (UK)

N. Jayaram is annoyed by the hypocrisy of the politicians in India. On the one had they make it impossible for Salman Rushdie to attend the Jaipur Literary Festival, on the other they complain in Russia that the Russian Orthodox Church in the Siberian town of Tomsk has appealed for a ban on the Bhagavad Gita: "The Gita is considered sacred by Hindus and India's parliamentary business was interrupted at length as government and opposition leaders vied with one another in condemning the move in faraway Tomsk, whose court eventually threw out the appeal."


Eurozine 22.01.2012 (Austria in English)

Freedom of opinion is no longer regarded as something principally good, but as a threat, writes Kenan Malik in response to the threats against Salman Rushdie's life which preventing him from attending the Jaipur Literature Festival. "Social justice requires not just that individuals are treated as political equals, but also that their cultural beliefs are given equal recognition and respect. The avoidance of cultural pain has, therefore, come to be regarded as more important than the abstract right to freedom of expression. As the British sociologist Tariq Modood has put it, 'If people are to occupy the same political space without conflict, they mutually have to limit the extent to which they subject each others' fundamental beliefs to criticism.' What the anti-Baals of today most fear is starting arguments. What they most want is for the world to go to sleep."

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Tuesday 27 March, 2012

The Republicans are waging a war against women, the New York Magazine declares. Perhaps it's because women are so unabashed about reading porn in public - that's according to publisher Beatriz de Moura in El Pais Semanal, at least. Polityka remembers Operation Reinhard. Tensions are growing between Poland and Hungary as Victor Orban spreads his influence, prompting ruminations on East European absurdity from both Elet es Irodalom and salon.eu.sk. Wired is keeping its eyes peeled on the only unassuming sounding Utah Data Center.
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Tuesday 20 March, 2012

In Telerama, Benjamin Stora grabs hold of the Algerian boomerang. In Eurozine, Slavenka Drakulic tells the Venetians that they should be very scared of Chinese money. Bela Tarr tells the Frankfurter Rundschau and the Berliner Zeitung that his "Turin Horse", which ends in total darkness was not intended to depress. In die Welt, historian Dan Diner cannot agree with Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands": National Socialism was not like Communism - because of Auschwitz.
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Tuesday 13 March, 2012

In Perfil author Martin Kohn explains why Argentina would be less Argentinian if it won back the Falklands. In Il sole 24 ore, Armando Massarenti describes the Italians as a pack of illiterates sitting atop a treasure trove. Polityka introduces the Polish bestseller of the season: Danuta Walesa's autobiography. L'Express looks into the state of Japanese literature one year after Fukushima.
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Tuesday 6 March, 2012

In Merkur, Stephan Wackwitz muses on poetry and absurdity in Tiflis. Outlook India happens on the 1980s Indian answer to "The Artist". Bloomberg Businessweek climbs into the cuckoo's nest with the German Samwar brothers. Salon.eu.sk learns how to line the pockets of a Slovenian politician. In the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Navid Kermani reports back impressed from the Karachi Literature Festival.
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Tuesday 28 February, 2012

In La Vie des idees, historian Anastassios Anastassiadis explains why we should go easy on Greece. Author Aleksandar Hemon describes in Guernica how ethnic identity is indoctrinated in the classroom in Bosnia and Herzogovina. In Eurozine, Klaus-Michael Bogdal examines how Europe invented the Gypsies. Elet es Irodalon praises the hygiene obsession of German journalists. And Polityka pinpoints Polish schizophrenia.

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Tuesday 21 February, 2012

The New Republic sees a war being waged in the USA against women's rights. For Rue89, people who put naked women on the front page of a newspaper should not be surprised if they go to jail. In Elet es Irodalom, historian Mirta Nunez Daaz-Balart explains why the wounds of the Franco regime never healed. In Eurozine, Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev see little in common between the protests in Russia and those in the Arab world.
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Tuesday 14 February, 2012

In Letras Libras Enrique Krauze and Javier Sicilia fight over anarchy levels. In Elet es Irodalom Balint Kadar wants Budapest to jump on the Berlin bandwagon. In Le Monde Imre Kertesz has given up practically all hope for a democratic Hungary. Polityka ponders poetic inspiration and Wislawa Szymborska's "I don't know". In Espressso, Umberto Eco gets eschatological.
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Tuesday 7 February, 2012

Poland's youth have taken to the streets to protest against Acta and Donald Tusk has listened, Polityka explains. Himal and the Economist report on the repression of homosexuality in the Muslim world. Outlook India doesn't understand why there will be no "Dragon Tattoo" film in India. And in Eurozine, Slavenka Drakulic looks at how close the Serbs are to eating grass.
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Tuesday 24 January, 2012

TeaserPicIl Sole Ore weeps at the death of a laughing Vincenzo Consolo. In Babelia, Javier Goma Lanzon cries: Praise me, please! Osteuropa asks: Hungaria, quo vadis? The newborn French Huffington Post heralds the birth of the individual in the wake of the Arab Spring. Outlook India is infuriated by the cowardliness of Indian politicians in the face of religious fanatics.
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Tuesday 17 January, 2012

TeaserPicIn Nepszabadsag the dramatist György Spiro recognises 19th century France in Hungary today. Peter Nadas, though, in Lettre International and salon.eu.sk, is holding out hope for his country's modernisation. In Open Democracy, Boris Akunin and Alexei Navalny wish Russia was as influential as America - or China. And in Lettras Libras, Peter Hamill compares Mexico with a mafia film by the Maquis de Sade.
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Tuesday 10 January, 2012

Are books about to become a sort of author-translator wiki, asks Il Sole 24 Ore. Rue 89 reports on the "Tango Wars" in downtown Buenos Aires. Elet es Irodalom posits a future for political poetry. In Merkur, Mikhail Shishkin encounters Russian pain in Switzerland. Die Welt discovers the terror of the new inside the collapse of the old in Andrea Breth's staging of Isaak Babel's "Maria". And Poetry Foundation waits for refugees in Lampedusa.
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Wednesday 4 January, 2012

TeaserPicTechnology Review sees Apple as the next Big Brother. In Eurozine, Per Wirten still fears the demons of the European project. Al Ahram Weekly features Youssef Rakha's sarcastic "The honourable citizen manifesto". Revista Piaui profiles Iraqi-Norwegian geologist Farouk Al-Kasim. Slate.fr comments on the free e-book versions of Celine's work. And Die Welt celebrates the return of Palais Schaumburg.
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Tuesday 13 December, 2011

TeaserPicAndre Glucksman in Tagesspiegel looks at the impact of the Putinist plague on Russia and Europe. In Letras Libras Martin Caparros celebrates the Kindle as book. György Dalos has little hope that Hungary's intellectuals can help get their country out of the doldrums. Le Monde finds Cioran with his head up the skirt of a young German woman. The NYT celebrates the spread of N'Ko, the West African text messaging alphabet.
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Tuesday 6 December, 2011

TeaserPicMicroMega cheers recent landmark Mafia convictions in Milan. Volltext champions Hermann Broch. Elet es Irodalom calls the Orban government’s attack on cultural heritage "Talibanisation". Magyar Narancs is ambiguous about new negotiations with the IMF. Telerama recommends the icon of anti-colonialism Frantz Fanon. Salon.eu.sk quips about the dubious election results in Russia, and voices in the German press mark the passing of Christa Wolf. And in the Anglophone press Wired profiles Jeff Bezos, while the Columbia Journalism Review polemicises the future of internet journalism.
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