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Mark Cousins (#110 of 3)

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2012: Two by Mark Cousins, Boy Eating the Bird’s Food, House with a Turret, & More

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Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2012: Two by Mark Cousins, <em>Boy Eating the Bird’s Food</em>, <em>House with a Turret</em>, & More
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2012: Two by Mark Cousins, <em>Boy Eating the Bird’s Food</em>, <em>House with a Turret</em>, & More

Every year, the lovely spa town of Karlovy Vary—formerly known as Karlsbad—awakens from its long sleep to welcome hundreds of mostly young, backpack-toting film enthusiasts. For me, who’s been coming to the 47-year-old Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for about eight years, the place offers a comforting sense of annual déjà vu. There’s the solid Soviet-style Thermal Hotel where most of the action takes place: terrace meetings, the press room, the video library, and screenings in the five small, rather uncomfortable cinemas. There are also the delicious spreads at the Grandhotel Pupp (pronounced “poop,” a source of hilarity for most newcomers) and plenty of free wine and beer. Once you step out after a two-hour drive from Prague, the vibrant atmosphere hits you. And what you hear is the constant clamorous babble of cinephilic conversations between filmmakers, critics and the public.