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What’s on: 28 August-3 September

15:58 27/08/2020
Our top picks of cultural events and activities in and around Brussels

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that life is much more unpredictable than we thought. Hence Les Brigittines’ Unpredictable Saturdays, where you’ll see a little of this and a little of that. A short film, maybe, followed by music and performance art. Or maybe something else entirely. The only thing you can rely on is that no two programmes will ever be the same. Occasional Saturdays between 29 August and 10 October 18.00-19.30, Petite Rue des Brigittines

Following up on the success of Beyond Bruegel, the Dynasty Palace is now hosting Meet the Masters, which hooks Pieter Bruegel the Elder up with Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Van Eyck. The immersive experience sees iconic works by all three Flemish masters blown up to enormous size on video screens, allowing viewers to see the minutest details. Scenes from the works are also animated, so it’s like you’re part of the painting. There is also a spectacular sound and light show and an audio tour in which the masters tell you about themselves and their work. Until 31 October, Mont des Arts 5

Jose Garcia in Le Couperet

Both postponed because of you-know-what, the Brussels International Film Festival (Briff) and the Brussels Short Film Festival (BSFF), run by the same organisation, are overlapping in the capital this month. You can hop from one to the other, facemask in hand, for movies, guest appearances, or a drink at the Briff festival village. Briff’s special guest this year is the revered Franco-Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras. With a career spanning 60 years, there are plenty of choices for a retrospective, including Le Couperet, in which a man who cannot land a job decides to just kill off his competitors (pictured), and the Cannes and Academy Award-winning films Z and Missing. This is just one corner, though, of vast programmes at both festivals that include a focus on Croatian and Czech cinema and sections for kids. Briff is hosting open-air cinema as well at Place de la Monnaie. BSFF 2-12 September, Briff 3-13 September, across Brussels

Fashion museums are very focused on women, so it’s nice to see Masculinities at Brussels’ Fashion & Lace Museum. It follows the big movements in styles of menswear, from the Great Male Renunciation at the end of the 18th century right up to 2020’s genderless trends. There are some great designers on view here, including Dries Van Noten, Giorgio Armani, Raf Simons and Hardy Amies. 28 August to 13 June 2021, Rue de la Violette 12

Brussels Gallery Weekend

Brussels Gallery Weekend isn’t just a chance to see hundreds of new works by both up-and-coming and established artists, there are also a wealth of activities, most of it free. And this year there is a digital offer as well so you can check out gallery spaces from home. Besides the more than 30 galleries involved, several other spaces will be hosting artists, works and workshops, including Botanique and Garage Cosmos. A highlight this year is the shop window parcours Generation Brussels, a showcase for young talent from the city. 3-6 September, across Brussels

The Au Bord de L’eau neighbourhood initiative turns a dull patch of grass at the canal in Laeken into a hive of activity. This weekend, a group of performers treat you to Ne Mosquito Pas 13, an intriguing piece about embracing your “failures”, which others might see as delightful. One of the performers is Anna Franziska Jäger, who happens to be Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s daughter. 29 August 20.30, Rue Claessens 1

PUP market of pleasant and unique plants

Filling your living space with plants is all the rage, and there’s no better selection that at the PUP sale (PUP stands for Pleasant and Unique Plants). This roving market of indoor plants lands in Brussels this weekend, with specimens fresh from the growers. Find common and exotic varieties and get advice from experts. 28-30 August, See U, Rue Fritz Toussaint 8 (Ixelles)

Het Theaterfestival is a selection of unique, thought-provoking or otherwise remarkable stage works that have been performed over the last 12 months in Belgium or the Netherlands. These are hot tickets that sell out, so have a look at the programme ASAP. Languages vary, but there are usually surtitles, so check out that info before you buy. Don't hesitate to find a seat at the Theaterfestival Summer Bar before or after the show. Right on the canal at Kaaitheater, there are food, drinks and lounge chairs aplenty. 3-13 September, across Brussels

The Perpetuum Mobile dance festival is going digital this year, with videos of previous performances, talks with artists, dance workshops, yoga sessions and meditation practice. Access is completely free.

 Wonderful Things

OUTSIDE BRUSSELS

You are guaranteed a good time at a Tim Walker exhibition. While the British photographer is world famous for his fashion shoots, what he mostly does is take models and put them in fantastical situations, to marvellous effect. He also takes shots of some of the most interesting celebrities – Tilda Swinton, say, or Grace Jones – in the most bombastic outfits. Whether his models are heavily bejewelled, covered in flowers or emerging from a packing crate like a life-size Barbie, they always have something to say to you. Sometimes it’s frivolous, but sometimes it’s urgent. Until 3 January, C-Mine, Evence Coppéelaan 91, Genk

As we continue to struggle with what is and isn’t safe in a Covid-19 world, theatres and concert halls are wondering how they will survive. Now that football stadiums are allowed to host more people than the maximum according to federal regulation, the culture sector is seeing red in more ways than one. Wallonia’s artists and venues are responding with Le Grand Tour, public walks that link various towns and cities. A theme (culture and politics, for example, or culture and nature) gives you something to discuss with your fellow walkers, and at the end is a talk led by an artist. (In French) Until 4 September, across Wallonia

Photos, from top: ©Romain Figaro, ©Les Films du Fleuve, ©Andri Soren/StokkStudio, ©PUP, ©Tim Walker Studio

Written by Lisa Bradshaw