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Inside the International cultural endeavors not to be missed this Spring

Louis Anquetin, Femme à la voilette, 1891 (Detail)
Louis Anquetin, Femme à la voilette, 1891 (Detail)
Private Collection, courtesy of D. Nisinson

If you are planning on traveling to any of these places this spring, you might want to check these cultural endeavors. Perhaps, one of your resolutions for 2014 was to see more exhibitions?

If you are visiting Frankfurt, Germany between now and June 1st, you might be interested to see the “Esprit Montmartre: Bohemian Life in Paris around 1900” exhibition at the Schirn Kunshalle, which has been very much awaited for by the German art intelligentsia.

More than two hundred art works will be on display with one common theme – the Montmartre scene, the place where some of the most famous artists worked one time or another like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Suzanne Valadon, Edgar Degas. There’s even a house on Montmartre, where Dali used to live and work at one time.

A notorious district in Paris’s 18th arrondissement held special appeal for a number of the most well-known modern artists: Montmartre. It was like one huge art studio about the hill on what was then the city’s outskirts, and now one of the most visited places by the tourists around the world.

Having preserved its original rural flair, it represented a counter-world to the mundane Paris of the “belle époque.” The SCHIRN exhibition has set out to convey a sense of the special Montmartre atmosphere. The exhibit visitors would immerse into the milieu of the Parisian “bohème” around the turn of the century.

Historical photographs and numerous posters and prints will shed light on further facets of one of the most colorful chapters in the history of art, but also one with which countless clichés are associated: the frivolous can-can girls in the Moulin Rouge, sumptuous coffeehouse scenes, or the penniless artist who indulges in alcohol, sleeps until noon and turns night into day. Yet to reduce Montmartre to these familiar images means to overlook the realism with which the artists recorded everyday life there. They were people who had consciously chosen to dissociate themselves outwardly from the bourgeoisie by embarking on lives as poor bohemians on the fringe of society. Their striking portraits of outsiders, thieves, beggars, street artists, prostitutes and drinkers mirrored their new perception of themselves. The exhibition will investigate the sociological circumstances of the period in question and its new definition of the role of the artist. For more information, click here.

If you happen to be in Essen, Germany, and happen to be an admirer of the fashion and its history, you might be interested in the Karl Lagerfeld, Parallel Gegensatze” that would take place at the Museum Folwang between now and May 11, 2014.

"The substance of the artist's life itself (...) body, clothing, furniture, Home, road are the next objects of art," once said Karl Ernst Osthaus. For Karl Ernst Osthaus, the founder of the Museum Folkwang, was "Art in trade and commerce" no less important than the free work. Reason enough to devote a major exhibition for the Museum Folkwang, the world's most successful and influential German designers of recent decades.

Karl Lagerfeld has over fifty years of very successful as a fashion designer. As artistic director of CHANEL (since 1981) and FENDI (since 1965) he became one of the major players in the international fashion world, but also as an astute and sharp-tongued aphorisms of everyday life he achieved fame. Parallel Lagerfeld has worked for other fashion houses and brought under his own name sensational collections on the market. Since 1975 he designed in addition to fashion and accessories, furniture, musical instruments, books and toys, and - in cooperation with musicians, directors and architects - opera and theater costumes, stage sets and architectures.
Today, Karl Lagerfeld has an international presence both as a fashion designer, illustrator and photographer as well as a designer of books, decorations and interiors.

Rather snapshot as a retrospective, the exhibition Karl Lagerfeld is almost limitless creative activity in all its facets imagine: fashion, drawings and photographs, films and books, product design, advertising. The exhibition is conceived and curated by Gerhard Steidl and Eric Pfrunder in collaboration with Lagerfeld himself. It is the first time a comprehensive panorama of Lagerfeld's offer creative cosmos - according to Lagerfeld's own credo:
"I am fortunate to be able to do that in life, what interests me most. Photograph, fashion and books."

For more information, click here.

If you happen to be in London between April 5 and July 27, 2014, The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum might interest you.

The exhibition will be a comprehensive look at Italian Fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present day. The story will be explored through the key individuals and organizations that have contributed to Italy’s reputation for quality and style. It includes both women’s and menswear to highlight the exceptional quality of techniques, materials and expertise for which Italy has become renowned. For more information, click here.

If you happen to travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands this spring, do not miss the Queen’s Day.

To just say that it's a big event is to underestimate. It's a huge event!

While Queen's Day is a holiday all over the Netherlands, the capital city of Amsterdam hosts the biggest and most vibrant Queen's Day celebrations in the country. Expect to see everything from dancing and singing to large flee markets, partying and cross-dressing. For more information, click here.

And of course, how can one European and world cinema film lover miss The Cannes Film Festival? The 67th Cannes Film Festival will take place between May 14th and 25th this year. And it's one of my favorite film festivals of all times. I've written many times about this festival, and even though I've never visited Cannes during the duration of the festival, I happened to be there once right after the festival and it was enough for me to understand what a grand event it is.

Besides wanting to see Grace of Monaco, directed by Olivier Dahan and starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly and Tim Roth as Prince Rainier, the film we’ve been reading so much about in the last few months, there will be many more surprises as in the directorial debut – think Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut to the new film from Lars von Trier - Nymphomaniac, parts I and II, which puts his previous "Antichrist" film to shame when it comes to buzz-and-shock worthy sex scenes.

Last year 33,000 fans attended 145 screenings, still no other film festivals can come as close to the number of the films shown, judged and attended for screening as the Cannes Film Festival.

Some of the films we yet have to see that will be presented at the Cannes Film Festival this May are: Far from the Madding Crowd (by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg), The Blue Room (by Mathieu Amalric), Two Days, One Day (by Belgian directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne), Magic in the Moonlight (by Woody Allen with everyone’s favorite Colin Firth), How to Catch a Monster (a directing debut from the Hollywood favorite boy Ryan Gosling!), Maps to the Stars (by David Cronenberg), Jimmy’s Hall (by Ken Loach), Clouds of Sils Maria (by Olivier Assayas), Birdman (by Alejandro González Iñarritu with Javier Bardem in the main role), Three Hearts (featuring Cannes favorites Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve), Winter Sleep (by Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan), A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (by the eccentric Swedish director Roya Andersson), Cemetry of Kings (by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul), Maleficent (with Angelina Jolie like you have never seen her before!). This is a handful of the films to keep up with. For more information, click here.

So, how many of you have heard anything about these films yet? This is my point! Even if you don’t get to see these films in the same audience with the Croisette’s favorite attendees and nominees, you can always write them down and start checking the trailers online while waiting for them to come to the theaters near you.

Here are a few things to know before visiting Cannes and the film festival. And if you are planning to travel in Europe by car, click here, and if by train, click here for the tips on how to make the most out of traveling by train in Europe.

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