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Culture beat – October 3
Place de Brouckère is pedestrianised this weekend for Nuit Blanche on Saturday night and Brussels Marathon on Sunday. Avoid driving along Boulevards Anspach, Jacqmain and Max, from dawn Saturday until Sunday evening. The car-free zone provides a taster for a planned pedestrian zone in the city centre.
The national treasure, the Belgian Comic Strip Center continues its 25th anniversary celebrations this weekend (Saturday and Sunday) with the opening of the temporary exhibition Picturing Brussels (until March 1). See views of the ever-evolving multicultural city through comic strip images of the past 25 years. Two new permanent fixtures will also be inaugurated: an immersive exhibition on the universe of the legendary Peyo (creator of the Smurfs) and a 3D auditorium dedicated to (relative) newcomer Pieter De Poortere, whose 2001 Dickie announced a rising star in the industry. Plus guided tours, book signings and concerts.
Never heard of Europe Refresh? Well here’s your chance to acquaint yourself with the second edition of the creative crowdfunding fair, Friday to Sunday. Hosted by the Schaerbeek arts centre Les Halles for the second time, it gathers around 40 projects dedicated to future creativity all with a European dimension. These projects (who are looking for extra funds) cover design, media, art, science, technology and gastronomy and includes workshops and talks. Guest country is Canada. The fair will move on to Paris the following weekend, October 10 to 12. Look out for food truck Sinstreetfood, parked outside Les Halles all weekend. Carine de Backer offers a tempting selection of vegetarian street food inspired by the Indian continent. Otherwise she can be found at Flagey and Châtelain markets.
Sixties screen siren Claudia Cardinale appears at Bozar Cinema on Monday October 6, presenting the restored digital version of Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, by Luchino Visconti, 1962). The Italian actress will be interviewed (in French)before the screening, talking about key moments in her life and a career that encompasses more than 130 films. The Leopard was the Italian actress’s break though role, when she starred alongside Burt Lancaster and Alain Delon. Screening in French and German, Dutch subtitles. Cinematek is running a Luchino Visconti retrospective until October 6 and a Claudia Cardinale cycle until November 13.
International professional networking club Full Circle meets on October 9 for its first Talking Heads dinner with Avner de-Shalit, author of The Spirit of Cities which revives the classical idea that a city expresses its own distinctive ethos or values. In the ancient world, Athens was synonymous with democracy and Sparta represented military discipline. Over dinner, Avner de-Shalit will explore how this classical idea can be applied to today's cities, and explain why philosophy and the social sciences need to rediscover the spirit of cities. His central thesis is that metropolitan cities are gradually replacing states and taking upon themselves political roles which traditionally were held by the state. Is this good and if so, in what way? Details of the venue (central Brussels) will be mailed to registered participants.
If you fancy a pre-dinner drink on October 9, pop into Green Lab, a new haunt in Avenue Louise. To mark its launch there’s an open bar between 18.00 and 20.00. It boasts more than 250 different types of gin and absinthe, so you have been warned! Music served alongside.
Bookworms, albeit French-reading ones, can enjoy five days of literary events in la Fureur de lire from October 8 to 12. Talks, workshops, exhibitions and readings in venues across Brussels and Wallonia.
The 29th edition of the international francophone film festival (FIFF) opens this evening (Friday) in Namur with Tokyo Fiancée by Stefan Liberski and screens 150 films over the next eight days. Yes, there are French films, but also Belgian, Swiss, Canadian, Romanian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Algerian, Vietnamese…. It’s a star-studded event that takes particular care to involve youngsters and help launch the careers of actors and directors alike. A pass for the week costs only €25 (or €8 daily) and there are multiple screenings in cinemas around the town. Many of the films, including previews are competing in competition. The festival includes concerts and activities for all ages. French actress Audrey Tatou is the festival’s Coup de Coeur.