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Culture blurbs, curated by YT

And boy was I delighted to learn that the top prize went to the other film that EPI and I managed to see at the festival, which was the absolute antithesis of the one I blogged about last installment. This one, Grbavica, deals with the aftermath of the Bosnian war, including the psychological scars it’s left behind, and managed to tackle the subject matter with such delicacy and sensitivity that it was a wonder to behold. Incredibly moving and, despite the harsh theme, infused with hope. A small miracle.

Here to attend a screening of The U.S. vs. John Lennon yesterday, and to allocate grants from the LennonOno Peace Foundation to Doctors Without Borders and Center for Constitutional Rights, respectively. This happens to coincide with John’s birthday, which would have been today. She also went and staked out the place where she’s going to place her peace column. Despite my initial reservations I’m actually starting to warm to the idea, now that I’ve seen a computer-generated model of it. It might actually look kinda cool out there on Viðey, doing its ‘beacon of peace’ thing for the people of Skúlagata. You can see a segment of Yoko marking the spot, kissing a very bewildered-looking little girl, explaining ‘why Iceland’, and giving a very gracious response to the old ‘did you break up the Beatles?’* chestnut here.

Lest anyone feared a vacuum now that our two film festivals AND the Reykjavík Jazz Festival have just finished, here comes Iceland Airwaves, Iceland’s premier music festival that is gathering momentum with each year. It’s scheduled for October 18-22, tickets are nearly sold out in the US and a new sales record has been set in Scandinavia. Substantial sales are also reported in Japan, and Icelandair has had to upgrade to larger planes for its Oct. 20 and 22 flights from London. All the big music media are coming and many of them will have their own stages, including MySpace, which will set up shop in the National Theatre Basement venue [Þjóðleikhúskjallaranum]. Pardyon!

As many of you will already know, we Nicelanders – being so nice and everything – are listed in the phone book by our first names. Then our last names, our address, our profession, and finally phone number[s]. Now, some people like to have a bit of fun with the ‘profession’ part because, well, you can pretty much put down any old profession you like, within limits of course. [I don’t know if they would accept “Alda Kalda, professional pole dancer” for example, although if that were really my profession, wouldn’t they have to?] At any rate, Fréttablaðið tracked down a few people listed as having some rather unorthodox professions. For example, there are eight examples of “sheep herder”, six “specialist”, one “lion tamer”, two “former postal driver”, and three “thinker”. Hmmmmm… [Alda Kalda. Blogger.]

Ooh well we got past the nasty rainy wind-whipped fall weather of yesterday and today was relatively calm. But with showers. And a slight bit of wind. Still, it was nice and fresh, the air amazing after yesterday’s cleansing. Right now it’s dark outside so I can’t really see what it’s like but my guess is that there’s a little drizzle. Mbl website sez it’s 7°C [all you Airwaves ‘iceland weather october’ google searchers take note] and sunrise 07.59, sunset 18.29.

* Sometimes I think the Icelanders have no sense of tact. Not to mention that, oh, about three decades have passed since then. I mean, really. Let’s move on.



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