Cultural digest: Don’t miss these events in Europe this week

Ncuti Gatwa as Eric in season 4 of Sex Education, which is now streaming on Netflix.
Ncuti Gatwa as Eric in season 4 of Sex Education, which is now streaming on Netflix. Copyright Image: © 2022 Netflix, Inc.
By Amber Louise Bryce
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From Sex Education to Spain’s San Sebastián International Film Festival, here's a slice of the best things to watch, visit or experience this week across Europe.


In the week that brought us a new A24 trailer in which everyone is dreaming about Nicolas Cage and a very cheeky stunt from a Danish artist, there's plenty of new art, TV, movies and more to get stuck into. 


First up: Spain’s San Sebastián International Film Festival (SSIFF) kicked off on the 22 September and looks to be one of the most exciting editions yet. 

Opening with Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film The Boy and the Heron, the line-up features an eclectic mix of established art house favourites and emerging talents. These include Robin Campillo (120 BPM) presenting his new feature Red Island, a coming-of-age story set in 1960-’70 Madagascar; Cristi Puiu (The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu) and his MMXX, an ensemble drama focused on four people (a therapist, her brother, her husband and a police inspector) who are all obsessed with their own personal issues; as well as American filmmaker Raven Jackson, whose first feature, All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, will be competing for Best Film.

While not out yet, our film of the week - Fallen Leaves by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki - is definitely worth adding to your Letterboxd list, along with these must-see European representations of the migration crisis on film. 

TV series

If whispers of "Baba Yaga" send your heart aflutter, prepare to enter the world of John Wick once again - this time from a different perspective. 

'The Continental: From the World of John Wick' premiered on 22 September and is available to stream on Prime Video. A three-part prequel set in the 1970s, it focuses on the backstory of Winston Scott (Colin Woodell, who is given the uneasy task of playing a younger Ian McShane) and his takeover of the New York branch of the Continental hotel, a hit man hot spot and safe haven for crookery. 

The cast also features a surprise return to screen for Mel Gibson, although the villainous role does fit. 

For something softer, sweeter and sexier, the fourth and final ever season of 'Sex Education' is now streaming on Netflix. Following the fictional lives of a group of British teenagers, the show expertly explores themes of love, intimacy and identity. 

While still tackling the core characters' complex issues with the kind of candour and compassion that has made the show such a cultural touchstone, this season introduces us to the new setting of Cavendish College and brings each storyline towards its final climax. 


Credit: Royal Academy of Arts / Marina Abramović
An art world icon and a performance art pioneer – Marina Abramović.Credit: Royal Academy of Arts / Marina Abramović

An icon of the art world, Marina Abramović opens a new major exhibition at the esteemed Royal Academy of Arts in London, UK from 23 September 2023 until 1 January 2024.

It features an unmissable collection of sculptures, videos, installations and performances, also reviving Abramović's seminal works such as "the Artist is Present" through archival footage. 


Pepo Segura / Fundació Mies van der Rohe
Inside the breathtaking Mies van der Rohe Pavilion.Pepo Segura / Fundació Mies van der Rohe

Fancy a stroll around the architectural wonder that is the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion on Sunday (24 September)? 

If you happen to be in Barcelona, this breathtaking building, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich for the International exhibition of 1929, will be open to all from 10am until 8pm as part of La Mercè Day celebrations. 


Five months after releasing their ninth album, the reflective ‘First Two Pages of Frankenstein’, American alternative rock band The National released a companion album, ‘Laugh Track’.

"While there is renewed dynamism to some of the tracks on 'Frankenstein'’s sister record, it sadly feels a tad predictable and never quite manages to elicit the rejuvenating feeling once felt on some of their earlier releases," writes Euronews Culture critic and National super fan David Mouriquand. 

Also of note: Following controversy over some spidery album cover art, which was near identical to that of German metallic band Chaver's new album, Doja Cat has now released her album 'Scarlet' - on the same day as her music video for single "Agora Hills". 

And lastly, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Smashing pumpkins restaged the release show for their seminal album 'Siamese Dream' this week at Tower Records in Chicago, US. Here's a look at the other landmark albums turning 30 this year.

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