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What’s on this week: Virtual edition

14:13 26/03/2020
Go out at home with myriad online activities launched by Belgian museums, cinemas, artists and festivals

If there’s anything you’re not short of this week, it’s movies. Belgian film distributors, streaming services and festivals have stepped up to the corona quarantine challenge – putting new movies online, cutting fees and offering freebies. Local streaming platforms, for instance, are offering new movies scheduled to run in the cinema. Every Wednesday you’ll find the movies meant to open that week. This will last until the cinemas are allowed to re-open.

New films are available now on Dalton, Lumierefilms, Universcine and Proximus Pickx. Not all films are on every site, so it’s advisable to shop around a little. Every movie costs €8 and is available for 48 hours. Do check the language situation; subtitles might be in Dutch, French or both.

The Wallonia-Brussels Federation, meanwhile, has launched the initiative Le cinéma Belge à la Maison, grouping six Belgian films that should be in the cinema now but whose lives were cut short by corona. It links you to streaming sites where you can watch them for a democratic price. Finally, Leuven’s Docville film festival is postponed to September, but they have put a mini festival of select films from the programme online. Each one is just €4.

 Musea Brugge

Belgium’s museums have also gotten creative with their collections and latest exhibitions. Museums in Brussels are collaborating on #MuseumAtHome, bringing all kinds of content to social media. Search the hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see artworks, virtual tours, talks about curators’ favourite works of art and more. Also keep an eye on the Brussels Museums social media accounts because it will be sharing them all.

The Horta Museum in Saint-Gilles, dedicated to the Art Nouveau architect of the same name, has launched Hort@Home. At 18.00 on Mondays and Thursday, the museum posts new content on its Instagram and Facebook pages. Expect 360° views of different parts of the museum, live chats with the curator, behind-the-scenes videos and much more. Hort@Home for Kids (at 14.00 on Mondays) features a video with instructions on how to make something with stuff kids can find around the house.

MuséeL, Louvain University’s museum, has put images of many of its works online together with discussions about what makes them special. Over at the Musea Brugge collective, meanwhile, a huge number of pieces from museum collections in Bruges are online for your viewing pleasure, as are the works of Flemish primitives up close, artists talks, a 360° tour of the Our Lady of the Pottery museum and – by far our favourite – a Van Eyck colouring book.

Speaking of colouring, don’t put away those crayons because the Print-At-Home Coloring Book is endless. Artist and curator Laurens Mariën called on more than 90 of his fellow Ghent-based artists to send in drawings. There are abstractions, oddball figures, cute as well as freaky animals and one tiled bathroom that will keep you (and hopefully your kids) busy for hours and hours and hours and hours.

The Tale of Tsar Saltan

As for the stage, theatres aren’t letting us down either. The Rire Ensemble festival of comedic theatre in Brussels, which is searching for a new date now, is streaming one of the highlights of its programme. The play L’Argent fait le bonheur by the Brussels troupe Voyageurs sans Bagage will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube at 20.30 on 27 March. The recording will then be available for 24 hours.

And La Monnaie is offering a ‘virtual spring season’ by putting seven of its past operas online for viewing, absolutely free. They are all recent productions, including this season’s Macbeth Underworld, Pascal Dusapin’s English-language gothic look at two of Shakespeare’s most famous villains. You’ll also find The Tale of Tsar Saltan (pictured), Frankenstein and Tristan und Isolde.

Concerts are also proving to be popular during the corona crisis, with musicians playing on their terraces and sending out solo sessions from home. Bozar at Home is getting in on the act by live streaming classical musicians’ living room concerts. But naturally the multi-disciplinary arts centre is doing a lot more than that. Find a virtual tour of the Keith Haring exhibition, live performances within the Yves Klein show and an explanation of the unnerving mannikins of Mondo Cane, which came to Bozar straight from the Venice Biennale. Check the Bozar website regularly for more events to come.

Photo: Fabrice Du Welz’s Adoration, photo ©Kris Dewitte; courtesy Musea Brugge; courtesy La Monnaie

Written by Lisa Bradshaw