Some people backpack. Some people take big group tours. Some people cycle. But let me tell you, next time you're hitting up Europe, going on an independent film and lecture tour is the way to go. It gives you an automatic ticket to some of the coolest venues and most interesting people in town. Take our show in Linz, for example. After crossing the Germany / Austria border to a breathtaking view of the Alps, we arrived at our destination--the Moviemento.
This place is also part of an arts complex, like the Feierwerk in Munich, but it is a bigger version. The cinema is located underneath Linz's modern art museum and J & I were hosted in the rooms reserved for visiting artists. When I say we stayed in the museum, I mean we stayed IN the museum! Stepping outside the door from our hallway led directly into the museum's amazing exhibit featuring a selection of the most cutting edge works from recent European biennial exhibitions. I was almost afraid that someone would pay us an accidental visit, thinking that we were part of the exhibits!
(One of the museum exhibits or last night's leftovers? You decide.)
So the place is cool, but I haven't even gotten to the people! Anatol and Andy, the guys who promoted the show here, have their fingers in so many interesting pots that I can't even begin here but I'll just mention, for example, that Andy builds interacitve robots and sound/light exhbitis for fun and Anatol founded the band Valina which has done 2 US tours and is on its way to Russia later this month.
The screening was a bit unusual because they sort of had to squeeze it in early before the regular movie schedule began, so J did not get to do his lecture and it also led to another small (shall we say, "intimate"?) crowd, but it was a fine group nonetheless. During the screening, we ate at the delectable cafe in the complex, where J ordered something I think only exists in this part of the world: vegan schnitzel!
A highlight of the evening was that the musem was open late and J and I basically had the entire place to ourselves, so we had lots of time to explore the incredible array of inspiring, interactive multimedia pieces.
This adventure keeps getting better and better.
PS You know how they say that you shouldn't drink tap water when traveling abroad because your system isn't used to their system? Well, uhhhh, I've discoverd that it is not just an old wives' tale...well what can I say? Not everything can be perfect!