An exhibition exploring the history of superstition, the Locarno Film Festival and a plethora of concerts by budding musicians in Bayreuth are a few of the cultural highlights on offer in August.
Centuries of superstition
A lucky charm in your pocket, a good or bad omen for the days ahead, your favorite numbers for playing the lottery - some habits and daily rituals can be considered superstitious. Wouldn't it be fabulous if an oracle could predict who will win the next soccer World Cup or tell us next week's winning lottery numbers? This month an exhibition at the Museum for Religious Culture, Religion in Telgte explores the history of superstition over the past 500 years.
"Superstition is always linked to fear of the future," said museum director Thomas Ostendorf. That hasn't changed over the centuries. Until September 23, the museum will be showing more than 160 objects, including 300-year-old amulets, pendulums, divining rods, tarot cards and Ouija boards used to contact "the other side." There's even an original Malleus Maleficarum from 1511 on display, the book used to justify the persecution of witches on religious grounds during the 16th century. Television clips about the supposed "true reasons" behind the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York 2001 are also being screened. The show provokes a critical new perspective on age-old superstitions.
Budding musical talent in Bayreuth
Young international musicians, among them a few stars of the future, can be seen and heard in Bayreuth in August. A total of 360 participants from 35 different countries are expected to attend the 62nd Festival for Young Artists as the city of Bayreuth becomes an experimental stage for budding musical talent. In the words of the director of the festival, Sissy Thammer, not only music but intercultural exchange will be in the foreground this year. The young musicians can attend workshops and a diverse range of opportunities to perform are on offer. The expected 10,000 visitors can prepare themselves for sundry high-class concerts.
Show and standards in Locarno
The 65th International Film Festival in Locarno is relying on some big-name stars to draw in the crowds this year. Acting legends such as Charlotte Rampling, Alain Delon and Harry Belafonte are expected in Switzerland from August 1 to 11. Olivier Père, the artistic director, said he wanted to provide the public with a good mix of "show and standards." With this concept he has already secured the reputation of Locarno as one of the most important European film festivals after Cannes, Berlin and Venice. A selection of 19 drama and documentary films are competing for the top prize - the Golden Leopard. Two of those films are German co-productions. Around 300 films will be screened under various sections of the festival. An especially glamorous highlight promises to be the piazza presentation of "Magic Mike," the new film from American director Steven Soderbergh. The showing of the 1957 classic "Bonjour Tristesse" will also be a highpoint. The film is part of a retrospective of the work of Otto Preminger, an Austrian director who fled the National Socialist regime and went to Hollywood.
Robber Hotzenplotz, wizard Zwackelmann, watchman Dimpfelmser and the resourceful Punch have occupied a place in children's hearts for over 50 years in Germany and further afield. The first of Otfried Preussler's booms about robber Hotzenplotz was published on August 1, 1962. It was translated into more than 30 languages including Korean, Lithuanian, Russian and Afrikaans. The book inspired a film, theater productions, records, games, clothing and more. Two more books about the robber followed. According to Thienemann Publishing House in Stuttgart, more than 7.5 million copies of the three Hotzenplotz books have been sold worldwide - five million of those in Germany alone.
The Württemberg State Library has an exhibition celebrating 50 years of Hotzenplotz, running through September 15. Those who can't make it to the exhibition can spend some time rereading the children's classics, which have different names in each language: "Dadao Huochenbuluci" in Chinese, "Roveren Runkeldunk" in Danish, "El Bandido Saltodemata" in Spanish and "Odoboro Hottsenpurottsy" in Japanese.
Author: Klaudia Prevezanos / hw
Editor: Kate Bowen