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Bloomsday 100 arrives!!!
The festivities in Dublin are already under way!

Afternoon of the Dutch Film Opens the Month in Amsterdam
21st edition of the World Wide Video Festival scheduled for launch June 10th in new hot spot, Post CS building.

(June 2004)

  • We'll start off the monthly Buzz this time around with a Big Splash of Green! An occasion that might only come around once in a hundred years!

  • As difficult as it may be to try to report the scope of events taking place in Dublin this month, let us give it a try. It is, of course, the 100th anniversary of Bloomsday, that unforgettable day which will probably be noted in history as long as man remains on the clay to take note of anything at all. (Even Roddy Doyle has had his say, but it seems that the work even managed to capture his attention; maybe some people just can't stand the competition.) The events in Ulysses, a sexually explicitly novel from 1922, all take place on the day of June 16th in 1904. (It was on that fateful day, in his own life, that Joyce met lifetime companion Nora Barnacle and later eventually decided to choose that very date for the setting of his most renowned novel.

    James Joyce, 1919: Zurich profile
    The Poetry/Rare Books Collection
    State University of New York at Buffalo
    Laura Weldon, national co-ordinator of ReJoyce, Dubln 2004, launched the present five-month Festival of music, film, art, theatre, lectures, exhibitions, public pageantry and reading groups on February the 2nd (James Joyce's birthday) at the Guinness Storehouse. Already having reached impetus, the coming days will undoubtedly see the full blossoming of the celebration as the centenary day nears. As Miss Weldon aptly explained, "The goal of ReJoyce Dublin 2004 is to encourage people to realize that there are many ways to approach Ulysses and appreciate its beauty. Now, we understand that many people buy Ulysses, get to page 3 and quit, and that's okay. We're not suggesting that reading Joyce is effortess. Rather, ReJoyce is about taking Joyce out of the boxes that we have so often placed him."

    During the weekend preceding the day itself, Sunday, the 13th of June, will undoubtedly be an unforgettable experience as 10,000 Dubliners are joined up alongside all the well-wishing visitors and curious wanderers thronging toward the ritual of an open-air Bloomsday breakfast on O'Connell Street. And at 6 PM on Sunday June 13 th, the once notorious red light district of Monto, located in Dublin's North Inner City, will be bought back to life once again via a colorful and fun hour-long Street Theatre Pageant recreating the ambiance of the original Monto as immortalized in James Joyce's Ulysses. This production will re-enact Leopold Bloom's infamous venture into Monto or Night Town. With all the wit and bawdiness of the book, Bloom will wander along the original streets once again filled with madams, tarts, clients, ragamuffins and drunks.

    "Bloomers Day in Monto"
    photo (c) Fire Station Artists' Studios,
    Dublin, Ireland
    "Bloomers Day in Monto" is a local initiative, originally conceived by artists Sarah Kenny and Rhona Byrne of the Fire Station Artists Studios and Terry Fagan from Dublin City Folklore Project. The event has become a collaborative community project involving local community groups and individuals. In addition to involving 100 local people some well-known names will appear on the day, including Mick Rafferty (local election candidate with Tony Gregory and Chair of Fire Station Artists Studios), Sinn Fein Councilor Christy Burke, and actor Michael Collins. The event will start at 6pm at the junction of James Joyce St and Talbot St and continuing down Railway St., ending at Beaver St.

    "Bloomers Day in Monto"
    photo (c) Fire Station Artists' Studios,
    Dublin, Ireland
    Let us not forget that there is a good deal to say about cinema at this event. Not only will the new version of "Ulysses" ("Bloom", directed by Sean Walsh) be screened in several venues for the public, but, on the morning of the famous day itself, a screening will be followed with a discussion chaired by Richard Brown (University of Leeds). This event is part of the symposium which begins on Saturday, June 12th and lasts until Saturday, June 19th. More information about the symposium is available at: www.bloomsday100.org .

    Further discussions on cinema taking place at the National College of Ireland include:

    Joyce and Film (Sunday, June 13th, 14:00-15:15) - Michael O'Shea (USA, author of 'Studies in Short Fiction' and 'Production Notes from "The Dead"') will chair a panel including Stephen Kern (Ohio State University, USA), author of Joyce, Cinema, and the Age of Simultaneity, Thomas Sheehan (Florida Atlantic University, USA), author of 'James Joyce, Sergei Eisenstein, and Dziga Vertov: Montage and Life'.)

    Stephen Rea as Leopold Bloom and Angelina Ball as Molly Bloom
    in "Bloom"
    Odyssey Pictures (Ireland)
    Cinematic Joyce 1 (Monday, June 14th, 13:30-14:55) - Birgit G. Schulz (Berlin, Germany, author of Movies with a Bloom Inside: a Collage of Joycean Allusions) will chair a panel including Hisham Bizri (University of California, Davis, USA) and Hossam Elouan (Egypt), authors of Mythic Cinema: the Cinematization of Joyce's Ulysses), Jesse Myers (Cos Cob, Connecticut, USA), author of Metempsychosis: Mel Brooks as James Joyce) and Romana Turina (Indiana University, Athens, Greece), author of A Cinematic Ontology; Joyce's Sense of Sight as a Border-Crossing Capacity).

    Joyce and Contemporary Irish Film (Monday, June 14th, 15:15-16:30) - Nicholas Miller (Loyola College, Maryland, USA) will chair a roundtable discussion with guests including Pat Murphy (Dublin, Ireland), Alan Gilsenan (Dublin, Ireland) and Joe Comerford (Dublin, Ireland). (Well, let's face it, who else could we expect to know more about contemporary Irish Film than those who come from Ireland and are right in the heart of it?)

    Patrick Bergin as The Citizen
    in "Bloom"
    Odyssey Pictures (Ireland)
    Cinematic Joyce II (Thursday, June 17th, 15:15-16:30) - Gerardine Meaney (University College, Dublin, Ireland), author of Love, Letters, and Fetishsim: Pat Murphy's "Nora", will chair a panel including Nicholas A. Miller (Loyola College, Maryland, USA,), author of Visuality, Marginality, and Exile: Joyce's Cultural and Artistic Legacy for Irish Film, and Gale Ward (Brigham Young University, Hawaii,) author of O Brother, Another Avatar of Odysseus.

    And RTE, the National Irish Broadcasting System, will be broadcasting a series of films in honor of the occasion. These will begin on June 13th with "Ulysses, A Rough Guide to the Novel", continue the next evening with "June 16, 1904 - A Day in the Life" (shown on June 14th), to be followed by "Is There One Who Understands Me?" (on June 15th) and culminating with "Bloom's People" on June 16th.

    Angeline Ball (in the role of Molly) and Hugh O' Connor (as Stephen Dedelus) appear alongside Stephen Rea (as Poldy) in the new film "Bloom" on offer at several cinemas. Rea , who will be performing this month on stage at the National Theatre in London as "Cyrano de Bergerac", might conceivably be in Dublin for this very special event.
    Stephen Rea as Leopold Bloom
    in "Bloom"
    Odyssey Pictures (Ireland)
    After all, "Cyrano" must be on stage for the 18th, 21st, 22nd, and 24th (last performance) of June, leaving the days between the 13th and the 17th free (at least of this particular charge). One never knows; we shall keep our eyes and ears open. As chance would have it, Dion Boucicault's "The Shaughnraun", a play in which Rea appeared some years ago at the National (1988) happens to be on stage at the Abbey Theatre this month (and next month), this time under the direction of John McColgan with a cast that includes the impressive Adrian Dunbar, Don Wycherley, Anita Reeves, and Des Cave alongside two dozen other performers. As the poster reads: "Heroes, Villains, Lovers, Liars, and Laughter." Sounds like your typical evening in Dublin with an enjoyable dénouement.

    The Dublin Writer's Festival will also be taking place in Dublin mornings, afternoons, and evenings during this period (June 17th - 20th) and, during the first evening, a double-starred program has been scheduled at Abbey's Peacock Theatre with Harold Pinter seated next to leading Irish and social and artistic commentator and columnist for the Irish Times, Fintan O'Toole (author of The Politics of Magic, a widely acclaimed study of playwright Tom Murphy). The entire schedule for the Writer's Festival, including readings, lectures, and discussions by such other noted figures as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Chi Zijian, Michael Collins, Pedro Rose Mendes, Zoe Wicomb, Sonja Porle, and Charlotte Williams, amongst many others can be found at www.dublinwritersfestival.com/programme/programme.html .

    Meanwhile, back at the ReJoyce 2004 Festival, a series of musical performances have been especially commissioned and, under the auspices Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland, will be performed as "Diversions Temple Bar 2004 Media Programme: Music & Film" at the Meeting House Square. The performances are, respectively, on the 17th, 19th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd of June. The new works include "His Final Journey" (comp: Michael Holohan), "The Great Leveler" (comp: Vincent Kennedy), "Afterjoyce 1" (comp: Benjamin Dwyer), "Aeolus" (comp: Trevor Knight), and "untitled" (comp: Rob Canning). Each of these five nights, at 22:00 one of the pre-recorded works will be performed with visuals by Eamon O'Kane, Katie and Delicious 9 before a feature film that relates to James Joyce and Ulysses. Further information is available at www.rejoycedublin.com/events/detail.asp?ID=95 and www.templebar.ie . You can also gather more information about the Contemporary Music Centre and its other far reaching activities at www.cmc.ie .

    Funeral Scene
    in "Bloom"
    Odyssey Pictures (Ireland)
    Of course, the 16th being the most special of all days, will probably see the streets as well as every nook and cranny filled with total madness and absolute joy. There is yet another special breakfast to begin the day, arranged by Guinness and for a price this time, for those who wish to partake. There will also be numerous events, such as the screening of "Bloom." And the special An Post Joyce Commemorative Stamp will be on sale for the last day. Actor Jim Norton will be signing copies during the release of the brand new and unabridged 20-CD version (with accompanying 68-page booklet) of him reading the entire work of "Ulysses", scheduled to take place at 3 PM at the Writer's Museum. The Parable of the Plums is planned to begin at 8 PM as two old ladies climb the Spire in O' Connell Street and shower plum pits down onto the heads of the crowd; or will they? There will be historical walking tours of Joyce's Night Town, Ulysses bus tours, an Interactive Show of James Joyce's Dublin, a number of art exhibitions (including one at the Royal Hibernian Academy), the opening of the Erich Hartmann photo exhibition, and "Just a Song at Twilight" performance the National Concert Hall. And that isn't the end of even one day. Those who tire easily can always retreat to a television set indoors, where the RTE will be broadcasting "Bloom's People."

    Of course, all the days preceding and following will be offering lots of other opportunities to join in the fun, gather some knowledge, enjoy the entertainment, and help to make the entire happening a memorable time to be in Dublin. There is a vast scala of events taking place throughout the city, to which everyone is heartily invited, often without charge. For a full list of the events taking place (too many to attempt to cover here) check out the site at www.rejoycedublin.com . And, remember, if you miss it this time around, you may have to wait another hundred years to see its equal.

    Perhaps it's possible that some disgruntled figures (even sometimes other writers from the same city) may find too much that strikes their senses as being filled with high and glossy attraction laid upon the substance, perhaps occasionally especially designed to draw swarms of people toward a glowing light, but there is undoubtedly, and often simultaneously, sufficient serious, interesting, and joyous fare on offer here during the interim that one might easily assume J.J. would have enjoyed the occasion himself. (Unfortunately, he'll be staying in France for the entire year.) So, if you can tear yourself away from whatever holds you back, take the chance to join in these once-in-a-lifetime festivities. After all, a hundred years is nothing to be sneezed at and well worth a special celebration. Slainté!

  • And, of course, the Irish will be celebrating the man of letters on Broadway as well. The renowned Symphony Space will be having its special day at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. More than 100 actors will be reading from Ulysses, including Frank McCourt, Stephen Colbert, Frits Weaver, and Fionnula Flanagan. The day starts off with a 3-hour whirlwind tour of all 18 episodes at 12 noon, followed by reactions from other writers' works, such as Tennessee Williams, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and T.S. Eliot. More information available for those celebrating in the Big Apple at: http://www.symphonyspace.org .

  • June 1st this year will be a Friday of goodwill toward all filmgoers because the Federation of Film Interests has organized the "Afternoon of the Dutch Film" to take place in all seven cinemas of the Pathé City multiplex in Amsterdam on the Leidseplein. This mini-festival was designed as a result of the successful period the Dutch film has enjoyed during the past few years. (The greater number and vastly improved quality of the films produced during the past few years has, undoubtedly, partially been the result of the "cv-regeling" (a governmental assistance program for the improvement and realization of better films), which program, unfortunately, is about to come to a (devastating) conclusion and, as previously announced by government, will not be re-instated for a new term.) Everyone and anyone who is in Holland on the 1st of June for this grand event can buy a ticket for the film of their choice during the afternoon for the mere entrance fee of one Euro.

    Eleven Dutch films have been scheduled for the notable occasion:
    Name of film: Directed by: Scenario by: Producer:
    Cloaca Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen Maria Goos IdtV Films BV
    Pheiline Zegt Sorry Robert Jan Westdijk Robert Jan Westdijk Motel Films / Fu Works
    Pietje Bell II Maria Peters Maria Peters Shooting Star Filmcompany
    Schippers van de Kameleon Steven de Jong Jean Ummels Kameleon Producties BV
    Liever Verliefd Pim van Hoeve Pim van Hoeve NL Film en TV
    Pippo en de p-p-parelridder Martin Lagestee Pim Meuldijk, Pete Römer Endemol Films BV
    Shouf Shouf Habibi Albert ter Heerdt Albert ter Heerdt Theorema Films
    De Passievrucht Maarten Treurniet Kees van Beijnum 24fps features
    De Tweeling Ben Sombogaart Marieke van der Pol IdtV Films BV
    Van God Los Peter Kuijpers Paul Jan Nelissen IdtV Film BV, Rinkel Film
    Polleke Ineke Houtman Maaten Lebers, Ron Arends Egmond Film and Television

    During the festival, many of the filmmakers will be present to give a short introduction and possibly answer any questions regarding the productions either before or after the screenings. The latest plans developed by the entire filmsector for the future will also be discussed and presented to members of the "Tweede Kamer" (Lower House) and press at the end of the day. Let us hope that the future holds positive things in store.

  • Paul Verhoeven finally receives the Bert Haanstra "Oeuvre" Award (which presentation was previously delayed due to the unexpected death of Princess Juliana) on June 1st.. Verhoeven, who will be in Amsterdam for this occasion, announced last month that he is busy making preparations for his upcoming film "Masaharu", the story of Japanese war criminal Masaharu Homma. The rights for the story belong to Brooksfilms and the present script is in development stage. Verhoeven also announced during a special evening with the Dutch Director's Guild last month, that he once again intends to make a Dutch language film in the near future called "Zwartboek" ("Blackbook"). Collaborating once again with his colleague of many years, Dutch scenarist Gerard Soeteman, the results sound promising.

  • The 21st edition of the World Wide Video Festival, the annual international festival for media art, will be launched Thursday, June 10th in the Post CS building in Amsterdam, the capital's latest hot spot (which site will also be functioning as the temporary exhibit space for the Stedelijk Museum the coming two years), situated near Central Station. During eleven days World Wide will present works by eighty artists from thirty countries in the former TPG building.

    The exhibition includes "Double Vision" on the unique role of Double / Triple projections in media art: works ranging from Andy Warhol to contemporary artists such as Pierre Huyghe (France), Aernout Mik (Netherlands), Harun Farocki (Germany) and Sebastián Díaz Morales (Argentina). There are solo exhibitions by Marcelo Tas (Brazil), Kurt D'Haeseleer (Belgium) and Edgar Pêra (Portugal). There is also a special about the extraordinary French production company Anna Sanders Films. The World Wide Media Lounge offers a broad international selection from the latest videos and DVD's, while the Auditorium on the top floor features daily varying talk shows, screenings and performances. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays there are live events where artists and musicians combine image and sound live, exploring the cutting edge of visual arts, pop culture and new media. This is shown in cineconcerts (Edgar Pêra), VJ performances (310K, Éder Santos) and DVD presentations (NoTV).

    For those who wish a more concise details of the work on offer:

    Double Vision - double / triple projections:
    Two or three projected images next to or above each other - plays a unique role in the history of media art. We have seen different images and texts that have been placed side by side, over one another and together on news and music channels like CNN and MTV. Artists, however, are primarily concerned with the question of how two or more projected images relate to one another and to the spectator. The exhibition examines formal, aesthetic and conceptual aspects of the multiple image. The Double Vision exhibition comprises eleven installations which include works by: Tracey Rose (South Africa), Sebastián Díaz Morales (Argentina/Netherlands), Wang GongXin (China), Ange Leccia (France), Harun Farocki (Germany), Franck Scurti (France), Aernout Mik (Netherlands), Martijn Veldhoen (Netherlands), Pierre Huyghe (France) and Kurt d'Haeseleer (Belgium). In the Auditorium there will be double projections by Andy Warhol, Chris Welsby & William Raban and Malcolm LeGrice.

    Solo presentation Kurt d'Haeseleer:
    Kurt d'Haeseleer (1974) is a young, talented Belgian artist, who for the past few years, has been associated with the Brussels collective De Filmfabriek, where he regularly does the videography for multimedia theatre and dance projects. His work is based on state-of-the-art digital montage and production techniques. World Wide demonstrates the range of d'Haeseleer's organic and associative images with a videotape, two installations and a performance.

    Solo presentation Edgar Pêra:
    Edgar Pêra (1960) is one of the most important and original representatives of the current generation of Portuguese experimental filmmakers. His work, which, although often humorous, contains both political and philosophical dimensions, has rarely been shown outside Portugal. World Wide presents a retrospective of his work with six films, including the world première of the film "Guittarra com pessoas la dentro" and a live performance.

    Solo presentation Marcelo Tas:
    Marcelo Tas (1959) is an actor, artist, editor and writer, but above all a Brazilian media personality. Famous for the alter egos he has portrayed on television, one of which is the somewhat neurotic reporter Ernesto Varela, who goes in search of the unusual sides of everyday things. Varela's naiveté is disarming and his interview technique disruptive. The festival presents a selection of his work, and on Saturday 19 June Tas takes on the role of reporter Ernesto Varela to cover the Czech-Dutch football match in the Auditorium.

    Anna Sanders Films
    The French film production company Anna Sanders Films, started in 1997, aims to develop a new language of imagery. An initiative of several artists including Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Charles de Meaux and Philippe Parreno, the company uses material from the film world to raise questions about the visual arts. In 2002 Huyghe won the Hugo Boss Prize and Gonzalez-Foerster won the Duchamp Prize. Attention: These are the only presentations that take place at the Film Museum.

    World Wide Main
    World Wide Main consists of a dozen programs showing recent international single screen production, most of which were made in 2003.

    World Wide Media Lounge
    A selection of the World Wide Main program, net-art and DVD's can also be seen during the festival in the World Wide Media Lounge with its twenty monitors and computer screens. The visitors, while relaxing in comfortable bean bags, can make their own choice of videotapes, cd-roms and net-art from a menu. Visitors either watch, play or zap their way through the various productions, or follow the thematic routes mapped out by the festival. The lounge is situated at both the 8th and 11th floor.

    Live events/RGB
    The program section Live Events/RGB consists of performances by artists' collectives and temporary collaborative projects of artists and musicians. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 22.00 there will be performances by DJ's and VJ's including Kurt d'Haeseleer, Edgar Pêra, Éder Santos, 310K, NoTV and Rechenzentrum.

    Many of the participating artists will personally attend the World Wide Video Festival and will present themselves to the audience in the Meet-the-Artist program in the Auditorium. Every day there are lectures, interviews and introductions.

    Provisional list of artists expected to attend:
    Breda BebanAilbhe Ni Bhriaincaraballo-farman
    Anouk de ClercqSteve ConnollyMathieu Copeland
    Sofia DahlgrenHarris EpaminondaSteve Fagin
    Harun FarockiTom GidleyPaul Grivas
    Kurt d'HaeseleerMike HoolboomAnge Leccia
    Christelle LheureuxBrian MacDonaldPeter Missotten
    Carlos NaderEdgar PêraJennifer Reeder
    Tracey RoseFranck ScurtiJan van Nuenen
    Afsar Sonia ShafieSebastián Díaz MoralesMaarten Isaac de Heer
    Marcelo TasGongXin WangDominique Gonzalez-Foester
    Jan AdriaansYael BartanaCharles de Meaux
    Éder SantosJose-Carlos MartinatMartijn Veldhoen
    Aernout MikPhilippe ParrenoNoTV

    Introduction lectures: Pixels & Frames
    In order to make media art more accessible to a wider audience World Wide is organizing a special introductory lecture: Pixels & Frames. This introduction treats the history of the art form from its inception in the 1960s as well as explaining the festival program. These will take place on 11, 12, 17, 18 and 20 June, at 11.15 am in the Auditorium. Special group visits can also be arranged. Art historians will guide such groups through the exhibition and explain the various works in detail.

    The World Wide Video Festival is a fascinating event that grows in interest every year. Last year's manifestation at the Passenger Terminal in Amsterdam was unforgettable; this year's should prove to be equally exciting. If you're in Holland's capital during the 10 day event, take advantage and go to experience it. Opening hours: June 10 - 20, 11:00 - 24:00. Visit the website www.wwvf.nl .

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