By Eve Beurskens
- "Show openness and respect-despite the crisis!" - Malmström
- The EU Institutions: Multiculturalism homogenised?
- Ideas that Matter - Commission trainees share inspiration
- This Week in Europe...
Four months ago, as I gazed across the sea of faces at the opening conference of the Winter Traineeship, I was taken aback. Not by the considerable number of stagiaires... read more
Trainees from the European Commission organised an event called 'Stagiaires' Ideas that Matter: our Impact on the World'... read more
Sunday, 29 January 2012
By Eve Beurskens
'Going Down In LA-LA Land' to open Belgium's 26th LGBT Film Festival - Interview with director Casper Andreas
|Actor and director Casper Andreas|
© Mark Odgers
Another one of Casper's films, the comedy VIOLET TENDENCIES, will screen during the film festival's opening night as well. In addition to producing and directing, Casper is also an actor and he stars in both films.
ESJ talked to Casper about what it is like to act in your own films, about adapting the screenplay for GOING DOWN IN LA-LA LAND, the industry in Los Angeles, and his next project – a period film about a Swedish king and his male lover.
|Jesse Archer (Luke) and Mindy Cohn (Violet)|
in VIOLET TENDENCIES
VIOLET TENDENCIES is about a 40-year old fag hag trying to find love, does Jesse Archer hang out with a lot of 40-year old fag hags or where did the idea for the film come from?
He does indeed! The film was inspired by his friend Margaret Echeverria, who plays the character Audrey who gets married in the first scene. Audrey also had a supporting role in A FOUR LETTER WORD and Jesse's idea was to take a character like the fag hag who often is so marginalized even in gay culture and put her front and center. Jesse also useed to say that he wouldn't have survived high school if it wasn't for his fag hags who were there to protect him. So, the film really is a love letter to these women everywhere -- though just in case someone takes offense at the portrayal of Violet -- she is an over-the-top character in an over-the-top comedy and certainly not supposed to represent all fag hags.
|Casper Andreas (Marcus) in VIOLET TENDENCIES|
Marcus and Luke, two characters from SLUTTY SUMMER, reappear in this film. Why were they brought back?
|Mindy Cohn (Violet) in VIOLET TENDENCIES|
|Matthew Ludwinski (Adam) and Michael Medico (John)|
in GOING DOWN IN LA-LA LAND
How is GOING DOWN IN LA-LA LAND different from your previous films?
Did you ever receive any proposals to get into pornography?
|Matthew Ludwinski (Adam) and Allison Lane (Candy)|
in GOING DOWN IN LA-LA LAND
Did you have to make any major changes to the story in order to adapt it into a screenplay? What did you have to leave out or change?
GOING DOWN IN LA-LA LAND is the first film that you shot in Los Angeles. Is the work environment in Hollywood different from the one in New York?
|Matthew Ludwinski (Adam) and Bruce Vilanch (Missy)|
in GOING DOWN IN LA-LA LAND
I spotted Bruce Vilanch in the trailer. I love him! Did he write his own lines or was his dialogue already in the script?
By Eve Beurskens
|Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission|
Friday, 27 January 2012
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
We have raised nearly 4,000 Euros by now through several initiatives and events. We've had a Bolivia-themed night, a pub quiz, a raffle, carol singing and cookbook selling campaigns as well as work at cloakrooms during Stage parties. The most successful events were the Bolivian night and the pub quiz.
Our next major event is the Multi Kulti festival which, hopefully, will attract crowds of stagiaires and which will be the most memorable event for all of us. The night will be divided into two parts – the food fair and the party. At the food fair we will have around 20 stalls with food and drinks, representing different European and other countries. We have also prepared many surprises and activities, and all the money collected through the ticket sale will go towards the project.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
|Art Truc Troc at Bozar, January 27-29|
On Friday, Brussels based jazz singer Loumèn performs at the Winter Jazz Festival in Theatre Marni, Ixelles. She mixes jazz with a touch of pop, soul, funk and even electro. Backed by her quartet, Loumèn is set to present a very personal repertoire of jazzy compositions. Tickets: €15.00
On Thursday night, the Sazz 'N Jazz Musicroom near Botanique will be transformed into a little Turkish delight. Imagine yourself in the middle east at at the Soul of Istanbul, with Turkish food and traditional as well as modern Turkish music! Tickets: Presale €8.00, €10.00 at the door.
On Friday, Les Enfants Perdus presents a number of artists, including electronic DJs Curtis Jeki vs Jazzydemon and Umlaut, the brainchild of electro connoisseurs David Gorez and Johan De Vylder. Inspired by all different styles of electronic music, you can expect a musical voyage from soft house music to harder techno music, going back and then forward again. Les Enfants Perdus takes place at The Wood, which is located in the forest south of Ixelles.
Yes, it's that time of the month again! Time for crazy shit at Antitapas, the only and original party with more than 3 different stages, 5 live concerts, 3 styles of music, 3 or more dj's, free food, creativity and now also free hair cuts, a photo studio, expositions in the toilets, handmade pasta, products from Carso, fire-breathing and much more! Nearest metro: Delacroix. A free shuttle bus takes you from the city center to Antitapas and back.Tickets: €5.00 before 23:00, €8.00 after 23:00.
On Sunday, the LC Brussels Amigo screens the documentary Once upon a time in China…and I was there, too. (2011) by Italian director Nino Azzarello. Azzarello lived in China for two years and documented the daily lives of Chinese people during the Cultural Revolution. He captured the astonishment and curiosity of the people of Beijing, while they were moving, eating, walking, working or enjoying a summer Sunday in the previously forbidden city. The screening is at 18:30 at Le Cercle des Voyageurs, near Grand Place.
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
|Croatian President, Ivo Josipović, and Croatian Prime Minister,|
Jadranka Kosor, signing Croatia´s Accession Treaty
in Brussels, 9 December 2011
|"The EU is not really a question of choice for us,|
it is our destiny."
|Meeting of the Career and Job Fair|
Our subcommittee's main goal is to help identify career opportunities for stagiaires during their Traineeship Program, to inform them of employers needs and requirements, and to help match stagiaires with potential employers. The activities organised by the Committee should eventually enable stagiaires to improve crucial skills such as networking, how to act during job interviews and CV and cover letter writing.
What have you organised so far and which activities are you currently working on?
The most immediate activity that we are preparing at the moment is the Job Fair, which is the biggest and most important event organised by the Career and Job Fair subcommittee. It will be held next Wednesday the 18th January in the Charlemagne building, with Panel discussions, Workshops (The art of writing a cover letter; Networking) and on-site interviews taking place throughout the day.
And very soon we will organise the "Speed-dating" with officials, which could be a fun way to have a meeting between stagiaires and officials in the various Commission DGs during an appropriate timing (for ex. lunchtime). It could be organised in cooperation with the porte-paroles of the various DGs. The past activities that we organised consisted of: A Survey, in which the stagiaires provided information about their background, career prospects, interests, as well as their preferences for the Fair exhibitors. A CV-book has been created by compiling stagiaires’ CVs and which will be provided to companies participating in the Job Fair. An Interview workshop, in which companies specialised in staff recruiting and representatives of different DGs were simulating on-site interviews in order to give us some tips on how to prepare for and act during a job interview. Andras Baneth, expert on EU competitions organised by EPSO and author of Europe's no.1 bestseller book on EU exams, gave also to us some tips on how to get an EU job. And, last but not least, we offered to the trainees the possibility of getting a good deal for business cards and in order to use them in the Job Fair and other events the stagiaires might be attending before the traineeship ends.
How many stagiaires are involved in the Career and Job Fair subcommittee?
The Career and Job Fair subcommittee counts already 54 members. Around ten of them form the core of the Committee, being the responsible officers for the several activities, as well as the two treasurers, communication officers and secretaries.
What have been the main challenges?
|Organisational Chart of the Career and Job Fair subcommittee|
Was there any particular achievement?
The best reward that we could have is that our fellow trainees are satisfied with the different activities we have set up to now, either by helping them to improve their professional skills for job hunting or ideally by assisting them finding a job through the Job Fair.
Could you describe the Job Fair Event that you are currently preparing?
The Job Fair is the biggest event organised by the EC stagiaires Career Subcommittee. Its main purposes are to help fellow stagiaires to identify career opportunities, to optimise their skills and qualifications, and, ideally, to match stagiaires with potential employers, represented by our carefully selected companies and organisations. The Job Fair usually takes place twice a year, in the Charlemagne premises. This year it will be held on the 18th of January, room Alcide de Gasperi. The Fair will start at 11 am with short presentations of the companies, followed by several workshops and panel discussions. After lunch, and in parallel with the stand exhibitions, real job interviews will be held until 6.30 pm, in time for the official closure and networking cocktail. Around 400 stagiaires from all European Institutions are expected.
Could you give some hints regarding job hunting for current stagiaires?
i. Prepare a nice CV.
ii. Search in the different job platforms available for you in Brussels, Belgium and abroad (Eurobrussels, EurActiv, Eures, etc.), use your contacts to ask about job vacancies, visit the job opportunities websites of the different international organisations, attend Job Fairs.
iii. Understand the requirements of the job you are applying for. Study the minimum requirements and the selection criteria and think of your past or current work experience or qualifications which are related in order to write a a convincing cover letter highlighting your skills.
iv. If you get an appointment for an interview, prepare yourself beforehand by researching the criteria and the corporate philosophy of the enterprise and by learning as much as you can about the Department and Office you are applying to and the work it does.
v. Be ready to discuss your strengths and your ability to learn from past experiences. Also think about how you could contribute to the work of the Organisation and to the specific position you are applying for.
vi. Practice your answers, although there is no set format that each interview follows, prepare answers to some of the most common questions about strengths and weaknesses.
vii. Stay calm. Good preparation is the key to staying in control. Remember that your interviewers are just normal people!
viii. Ask questions about anything that is unclear about the position. The interview is your chance to ask all of your questions.
By the Career and Job Fair Subcommittee
|Learn about the history and process of making chocolate|
at the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate
Act on your chocolate desires in the Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate and dance off the calories at one of the many parties being organised this weekend. Brussels Up! Soundsystem at Bonnefooi on Thursday, the Vintage Party at Barrio Cafe or Midnight Club at Bar Les Nouveaux Ruses on Friday and House of Vice at Mr Wong on Saturday.
Friday, the 20th of January, Barrio Cafè hosts the Vintage Party which will take you through the intense atmospheres of ’60, ’70, ’80 and ‘90 music: funk, surf, rock, soul, disco, indie and lentos.
Another option for Friday is The Grand Opening of Midnight Club in Bar Les Nouveaux Ruses. Two Brussels based DJ's, De Ville and Mombo will play House and Electro from as early as 20:00. Bar Les Nouveaux Ruses serves a number of tapas for those who need some energy before a long night out. Entrance@ FREE
On Saturday, House of Vice celebrates its first anniversary at Mr Wong. The party will feature three live bands from Lille (My Disco Jacket, Diederdas and Douglas and the Beauties), a DJ set by Rick Shiver, a funny photomaton, a runway, and the distribution of goodies! Doors open at 22:00. Entrance: €3 before midnight, €5 after midnight.
Head to Cinema Nova on Sunday evening for a screening of Eight Deadly Shots (1972), a Finnish television series about a farmer who kills four cops who have come to arrest him. The four episodes explore the tragedy and hardship of rural life. Ticket: €5.
The French ensemble Les Witches, who never fail to 'bewitch' the stage, invite us to discover "Konge af Danmark (1550-1650)" on Friday, the 20th of January at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Tickets: €19/€30.
Monday, 16 January 2012
Three people were confirmed dead on Saturday after the Italian Cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground on Friday night. The accident happened on Friday night as the ship hit a cliff cutting a 70 meter wide hole in the big ship causing it to take in water. Experts have been puzzled as to how it could happen, as the waters are a popular route for cruise ships.
The first accounts from the accident reported that some 30 people were missing, but later on Saturday that number more than doubled to 70. Reportedly, 14 people are injured and at least three people have died.
Costa Concordia managed to get closer to land before going under and is now laying on its side on the bottom of the lower waters about 200 meters from the coast of the small Italian island Giglio.
Approximately 4,000 people, mainly Italian, German, British and French nationals, were on board when the accident happened.
France: US ratings agency cuts France’s triple-A rating
On Friday the American ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Fance’s triple-A rating. At the same time, S&P's downgraded seven other Eurozone economies as well and expressed a lack of confidence in the EU’s new fiscal treaty.
According to the EU Observer, the agency stated that the EU draft fiscal compact "does not supply sufficient additional resources or operational flexibility to bolster European rescue operations."
Along with France, S&P also downgraded Austria, Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. Friday’s downgrade means that Cyprus and Portugal have now moved into the junk category.
However, it wasn’t all bad news from S&P: it kept Germany’s triple-A rating and gave the European Central Bank a pad on the back for “relieving the near-term funding pressures for banks.”
Denmark: Queen celebrates 40th anniversary
The Danish queen, Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II, celebrated her 40th anniversary as head of state in the Danish Kingdom on Saturday.
The people of Denmark are ecstatic about their queen these days. Saturday thousands of people gathered in Copenhagen to hail the queen as she and her husband, Prince Henrik of Denmark, drove through Copenhagen in a gold coach to greet the people.
Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was just under 32 when she took over the Kingdom of Denmark from her father, the late King Frederik IX, who died after a short period of illness on January 14 1972.
Formally, the queen is the head of state in Denmark in that she signs every law decided by the Danish parliament. The job is mostly ceremonial in nature, and does generally not represent real power.
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Do you feel more like getting your hands dirty yourself? On Sunday January 15, Botanique organizes the workshop Curieux chassés croisés as part of the exhibition Wunderkammer. This workshop will introduce you to different art techniques by letting you create a strange or obscure creature under the guidance of animation experts. Let your imagination run wild!
Zola Quartet is playing in Bar du Matin at 21:00 on Thursday. By combining traditional Spanish music with contemporary Jazz, the Zola Quartet takes its inspiration from the common roots: the energy and the improvisation. The quartet invites you to experience their music in is most sincere form.
Not a Spanish Jazz fan? Then head to Madame Moustache on Saturday for a broader mix of music. From 22:00 onwards Dusty Grooves will spin records from a wide range of music genres, including 80s, funk, disco and house. Entrance: €5.
On the same night, Eurocrats hosts another Resident's Night at Aloft, the design hotel situated in the heart of the European quarter – between Schuman and Place de Luxembourg. The doors open at 22:30. Make sure to dress modern, trendy, classy or all of the above.
FILM Isabelle Lavigne and Stéphane Thibault's documentary At Night They Dance (2010) will be screened at Bozar on Sunday. The film takes us into the heart of a clan of women in which the profession of dancer is traditionally passed down from mother to daughter. Gradually, we become aware of the uncertainties of this life and of its connections with the anxieties of a chaotic reality.