Film pearls set to light up Riga's cinema screens

  • 2007-09-05
  • By Talis Saule Archdeacon

TRY THIS: Russian director Aleksei Popogrebsky's film "Simple Things" is one of the many stars of the festival.

RIGA  - Baltic Pearl is without doubt one of the most prestigious film festivals the Baltics have to offer. Every year, it draws contributions from some of the biggest names in European and Russian cinema, and this year promises to be even more illustrious than in the past.
The festival, which is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Riga City Council, will run from Sept. 7 to 21.
Baltic Pearl is organized in close cooperation with the Cannes Film Festival 's probably the most renowned film festival in the world 's which celebrated its 60th anniversary this summer.

As a part of this cooperation, Baltic Pearl will kick off with a special showing of a feature film created for this year's Cannes festival called "Chacun Son Cinema" (To Each His Own Cinema). The film is an "almanac" of clips from the works of 33 world-famous contemporary directors.
"These directors will reveal, in three minutes each, their current state of mind as inspired by the motion-picture theatre 's and also, of course, a promise of Paradise," Gilles Jacob, president of the Cannes Film Festival, said of the film.

Baltic Pearl is divided into several categories, each with its own special theme.
One such category, "Dedication to Cannes: 60 Years of Love," will feature some of the most famous cinematic love stories of the 1940s and '50s 's including such classics as "Casablanca" and "Rebel Without a Cause."
The festival's highlight will be a collection of contemporary films called "Pearls of the European Crown." These will feature 19 of the best recent European movies, including the Oscar-winning German film "The Lives of Others." The film, set in 1984 East Berlin, tells the story of a secret service agent whose life is changed by an assignment to dig up information about a well-known filmmaker.
Other notable films include the controversial German comedy "Mein Fuhrer: the Truly Truest Truth about Adolf Hitler" and "Irina Palm," a somewhat bizarre drama starring Marianne Faithful which was nominated for the Golden Bear at Venice.

The festival will also feature a collection of contemporary Russian films under the heading "Russian New Wave." Arguably the best of these is "Simple Things," the 2006 masterpiece by director Aleksei Popogreb-sky about an anaesthesiologist whose life falls apart after he forms an unusual friendship with a patient. o

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