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Weekend Events: Movie nights, acoustic delights

Summer's gone, autumn's come, and with it a host of events that mark the new entertainment season in Latvia. This weekend invites you to sit and listen, sit and watch, and to touch and discover. 

Baltic Pearl movie festival

Despite Latvia's biggest local movie event - the Lielais Kristaps National Film Award - taking place concurrently, the Baltic Pearl movie festival is continuing to attract film connoisseurs for the 22nd time this year. Held in the elegant Splendid Palace movie theater from September 17 to September 21, the Baltic Pearl features provocative and hip pieces from the world's newest cinema.

This year sparked fierce debate about Peter Greenaway's newest flick Eisenstein in Guanajuato. While the director laments the "death of cinema", several people, including movie critics, walked out from the screening of the movie about Latvia-born Sergei Eisenstein, who is sort of a source of national pride. Go figure!

Most of the films - which include, for example, the new Mr. Holmes and Gaspar Noe's superbly graphic Love - are screened or subtitled in English, so you absolutely must come. Schedule and information here

(Meanwhile, brace yourself for Riga International Film Festival that starts in mid-October - tickets to all screenings are available for €25 until October 1.)

Music to move the spirit

The Autumn Chamber Music Festival will open on September 18 in the Dzintaru hall, featuring pieces from Mozart, Haydn and Schubert as played by the Cuarteto Casals (the Casals Quartet), a pearl in the Spanish world of music. Keep an eye out on the festival program as it lasts until October 16 and features a world of goodies - including a rendition of Adam's Lament of the famous birthday boy Arvo Part. 

Meanwhile, the 14th International Organ Music Festival will bring talented Mari Fukumoto to the impressive organ of Liepāja's Holy Trinity Cathedral on September 18, 19:00 where the acclaimed Japanese musician will perform German baroque and romantic music. While on September 20, you'll be able to enjoy Charles Gounod's St. Cecilia Mass, which will be played on the afternoon by Vidas Pinkevicius. 

Touch a mushroom with your bare hands

While this year the mushroom yield hasn't been the greatest - these things come in waves, one year you're telling your babushka that the very thought about more mushroom sauce is giving you the willies, but the next season you've literally cut down the forest to find a lone, tiny Boletus edulis which you no longer have the heart to pick up - the Latvian Museum of Natural History is hosting an exhibition of the countless mushrooms found in Latvia. If you have a rare find, says the museum, bring it with you, though here at the office we'd murder for some Latvia-grown mushroom sauce. 

Party like a Hobo

While not the most popular international act Latvia has produced, the Hobos are definitely one of the notables of the 2000s rock scene in Latvia. They're holding a 'best of' concert on September 18 at 19:00 in the Palladium concert hall, and you're encouraged to come and get a gist of Latvia's previous decade.

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