Brussels 30 days Around
June 2012 Issue #8
Contains some rude words
Having a ball: Euro 2012 WELCOME to this special edition of Bxlin30Days and, as you’d expect, it’s got a lot of football inside. With Euro 2012 being held between now and Sunday 1 July, we’ve devoted a lot of this issue to football-related stuﬀ. But, never fear, just like Brussels Metro trains, there’ll be another one along in a minute - 20 June, to be precise. The upcoming second-issue-of-thismonth will feature an update on the tournament in Poland and Ukraine plus lots of hotel, bar and restaurant reviews, as well as music, travel and general news articles. But, before that issue is ready to roll, we hope you’ll enjoy this one, which features articles on where to watch
the feast of footie in bars across Brussels, the best odds for a punt, a look at the latest tournament video game, reviews of soccer-themed movies, a handful of books and plenty more besides, all designed to get you in the mood for the big kick-oﬀ.
Bite Night Summer lovin’ This year is a special one, with both the Euros and the Olympics taking place, so pretty soon the action will move from eastern Europe to London. We’ll be covering that too, so here’s looking forward to a great summer of sport. Enjoy it wherever you watch it, and may your particular favourite prevail.
Around Brussels in 30 days - Page 2
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Marilyn Monroe, Ulysses, Leopold Bloom...Czech it out the screen legend and blonde bombshell died 50 years ago in 1962. Fellow actor Tony Curtis may once have described getting to grips with Monroe as “like kissing Hitler,” but here at Bxl30Days we think she’s dead. gorgeous. Artists involved include François Bard, Vincent Corpet, Bruno Timmermans, Didier Chamizo, Brann Renaud and Claire Fanjul to name but a few, and the Mazel Gallery can be found at 22 Rue Capitaine Crespel in Ixelles. Get more info here.
As ever, there’s some good stuﬀ to look out for in the coming weeks: On show at the Mazel Gallery until 13 July is a group exhibition called ‘Happy Birthday Marilyn’ commemorating the fact that
What promises to be a cracking event is the Bloom’s Day Irish Hungarian Evening on 16 June, starting at 20:30 and running ‘till late”. The Music Corner, a piano bar with terrace at 43 Rue Froissart, Schuman, will host the free event while, for €13, punters can avail themselves of a salmon buﬀet. It would be wise to reserve the latter at
email@example.com Bloom’s Day is celebrated as a holiday by scholars and fans of Ulysses, the novel by James Joyce. It was on 16 June in 1904 that the book’s events took place in Dublin. The key character is Leopold Bloom, a Hungarian, middle-aged advertising salesman and Bloom’s Day is named after him. During the evening, there’ll be readings from the novel with a recital by Dénes Dosztán (violinist, pianist and teacher of Irish and Hungarian music). The day before the Irish and Hungarian do, the Czechs will be throwing their own event: the annual street party. It’s the biggest Czech event of the year in Brussels and will take place, as usual, in Rue Caroly - this year on 15 June - starting at 17:30 and running until 22:30. Expect to enjoy music, food and beer from the Czech Republic. Apart from your eating and drinking, the event is free and no registration is required.
Up, up and away...
Pick of the live listings Friday 8 June Churchill’s: Matt Rose Saturday 9 June Le Sounds: Roberto and His Rockers Saturday 16 June Churchill’s: Bai Kamara Jnr De Bosuil Centre: Up, Up and Away
Readers who like to get vocal should get along to Up, Up and Away on Saturday, 16 June. The sensational Marlis (all female) and the award-winning Hot Air (mixed) are two of Brussels‘ best vocal harmony groups, and their new show features jazz with pizazz, classic rock and high-tempo gospel covering classics from Gerswhin, Billy Joel, Glenn Miller, Queen and more. There’s relaxed café-theatre seating at De Bosuil Cultural Centre, Overijse, and for the 20:00 show, a bar and snacks will be available. More details can be found at the website. Meanwhiile, the Brussels Rhythm and Blues Club does its stuﬀ again on Saturday, 9 June at ‘Le Sounds’ in the heart of Ixelles.
This time around it’s a Rock‘n’Roll night with Roberto and His Rockers plus ‘house band’ Eric Moens’ Jive. Living legend Roberto was the original Brussels rock’n’roller (it says ‘ere), a regular feature at the long-lost Florio’s in the centre of town. Hailing from Italy, Roberto has an unbelievably powerful voice, delivering impeccable renditions of rock’n’roll classics by Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley (pre-Colonel/Vegas), Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, Freddy Cannon, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. Accompanying Roberto will be his brother Marco Epis on drums, Patrick Story on guitar and Roland Kert on bass. The concerts starts promptly at 21:00 and entry is €10. More info here.
Home deliveries of your favourite English groceries
Friday 29 June Churchill’s: Dirk de Vriendt Friday 6 July Churchill’s: Steve Jones Saturday 7 July Churchill’s: B-Sides
● Expatriates coaching - making Expats feel at home ● Helping you to establish a new life ● Smoothing the integration process ● Partner support ● Strategies to carry on your own career ● Family support ● Preparing for the return home
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Order food classics like Shreddies, Marmite and PG Tips. And new ideas from great suppliers in Dorset for jams, chutneys and biscuits. Not forgetting classic English beers and Devon cider. And fresh bacon, sausages and cheese. And toothpaste and shampoo for the bathroom. Order before midnight every Wednesday for delivery a couple of days later All details were correct at the time of going to press. If in doubt, check with the venue before heading to the gig.
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Back to alien darkness with Prometheus...
believable motley crew, and Fassbender’s performance as a replicant ranks as the ﬁnest of the previous franchise, and well as being the ﬁlm’s best turn by quite some distance. However, the problems begin with Scott choosing to largely distance his ﬁlm from many of the big questions posed by Alien – true, the so-called Space Jockey alien’s role in proceedings is more than explained, but the would-be apocalyptic overtones are ultimately not credible, greatly reducing the scare factor, which I was expecting a great deal more of. And the inconsistencies in technology between the two ﬁlms is also an irritant, and I promise that I am not being a geek or a nerd here or someone who is going to pick up on *every* inconsistency (I will leave that to Colin) but clearly, despite it being set decades before Alien, the tech on display in Prometheus is clearly light-years in advance of what we saw on the Nostromo way back in the day, which would appear to indicate that Scott felt he had to root his ﬁlm in ‘modern’ futuristic for today’s audiences, when a far braver (and artistically more pleasing) step would have been to have gone fully retro. Good stuﬀ? Well, the set-pieces are ocassionally excellent, the Space Jockeys and other creatures when they appear are suﬃciently impressive to distract from the fact that there ain’t a H.R. Giger alien to be seen (well, maybe not) and the ending manages to be spectacular, philosophically challenging, moving and disquieting. But, and it pains me to say it, there is no doubt in my mind that this could have been so much more. Scott has suggested that a sequel to his prequel may be on the cards and that, for me, would have to be his last chance to get it as right as I still believe a director of his talent is capable of doing. 124 mins.
Brrrrrr! Two classic spine-tinglers The Other (1972)
Picturenose’s James Drew takes the trip back to where Alien all began... Right – the wait is over, and let it be ﬁrst of all said that Ridley Scott‘s prequel/ companion piece/whatever-the-hell-it-is to Alien (1979), Prometheus (2012), does have more than enough of the ﬂair and invention that one might have expected from the director who ﬁrst gave us the xenomorph to end all xenomorphs. However, there can be no doubt that the debate over this ﬁlm will run and run – having only just left my own screening 30 minutes ago before writing, I have to say that my thoughts run far more to missed opportunities than questions answered. Intrigued? Well, it’s only fair to say that you probably will be by the ﬁlm, but I doubt that few, be they devoted
Alien-hounds or merely the curious, will emerge jubilant. I do not want to go into too much detail as to the story’s backdrop – in the ﬁrst Alien ﬁlm (apparently set very far in the future, but apparently only some 30 years after this prequel, so that would make it around 2124) interstellar miners working for the Weyland-Yutani ‘Company’ are forced to land on a planet only half-way back to Earth in response to an apparent distress signal (that’s later interpreted as a warning) – the crew encounter a huge derelict alien ship and pick up a most unwelcome stowaway. The rest, as they say, etc, etc, but we’re in the past now anyway in relation to that ﬁlm, because a team of explorers, led by icy Weyland-Yutani exec Meredith Vickers
(Charlize Theron) and including scientists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan-Marshall Green), who believe they are en route to the discovery of the origins of mankind, and ever-so-friendly android David (Michael Fassbender), who’s just here to help, no really, are now heading back to the planet featured in Scott’s ﬁrst ﬁlm. You see Company founder Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) has left a hologram message for the brave explorers, claiming his own death, but indicating that they may be on the verge of discovering the answer to life, the universe and everything. Hmmm. And the opening 30 minutes or so are riveting, it must be said – Scott and his screenwriters Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindehof present us with a largely
No two ways about it, this is a strange ﬁlm. Acclaimed actorturned-novelist Tom Tryon (I Married A Monster from Outer Space (1958) (ﬁlm) Harvest Home (novel, itself ﬁlmed as well-received TV mini-series The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) starring Bette Davis) wrote The Other in 1971, and it came to the attention of acclaimed director Robert Mulligan (To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), Summer of ‘42 (1971)), who, along with Tryon as screenwriter, succeeded in turning it into a ﬁlm that, while it
enjoyed only modest success on its original release, like all the best horror now has a loyal cult following. And the story has the simplicity of a grim folk tale - identical 11-year-old twins Niles and Holland Perry (Chris and Martin Udvarnoky respectively) are enjoying an idyllic 1935 summer on their family’s farm - the daily activities of the farm are seen entirely through the boys’ eyes, with Holland the mischievous troublemaker and Niles the more sympathetic, naive and credulous frequent victim of his brother’s pranks. Their mother is a recluse in her upstairs bedroom, grieving over the recent death of the boys’ father, while grandmother Ada (Uta Hagen), a Russian emigrant, dotes on Niles and has taught him how to project himself outside of his body - a psychic ability that she calls ‘the great game’, but it is a game that may be getting very dangerously out of control... Mulligan’s ﬁlm, ultimately, is something of a one-trick pony, but there’s no denying the fact that it’s a trick that will take most viewers by surprise when it comes - Mulligan’s decision to present the action from the perspectives of both boys is one of the rare occassions when cinema, in subverting the omniscient narration of a novel, is in fact more eﬀective. And it is chilling - without giving the twist away, whether it is supernatural or not is a matter for individual perspectives, but there is no doubting the clammy sense of dread that the ﬁlm still evokes. One for a Saturday night, with a good bottle of wine, in front of a shadowy, ﬂickering ﬁre. 108 mins. JD
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Wait Until Dark (1967) Where to begin? Well, Terence Young’s sublime Wait Until Dark (1967) is adapted from the play by Frederick Knott, and Terence Young (who was best known for directing three ﬁlms in the James Bond series, Dr. No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1965)) had no problem in preserving its essentially stage-bound origins, which was a very good idea - the claustrophobia generated by the single-room setting, in which beautiful, resilient and incredibly brave ‘world’s champion blind lady’ Suzy Jenkins (Audrey Hepburn) must battle her cowardly
opponents, led by a quite brilliant Alan Arkin as the psychopathic Harry Roat Jr. from Scarsdale is unparalleled for this reviewer in some 30 years of loving ﬁlm and, more speciﬁcally, fear ﬁlms. Jenkins, who has only recently been blinded, is the unwitting recipient of a stash of heroin stuﬀed into a doll, that her husband Sam (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) was made a mule for by the soon-to-be deceased ‘Mrs Roat’ - enter Roat and his two stooges, Mike Talman (Richard Crenna) and Carlino (Jack Weston), who have a little long-con planned to ensure that their ‘property’ is returned. It’s a plan that Talman and Carlino are led to believe will involve no-one getting hurt - but they really, *really* hadn’t counted on just how far Roat Jr. is prepared to go. But nor had they counted on the initiative and intelligence of their ‘mark’ - Hepburn’s quite superb performance is not only completely convincing in its deliniation of blindness, but also in how she manages to battle her aggressors. Without giving anything else away, Jenkins’ defence ultimately involves her turning the tables on the by-now injured (and extrememly angry) Roat by smashing every light in her apartment, to render him nearly as blind as she is. Every light, that is, save one - and see if you can guess which one you might forget. And this was back in the day when William Castle-esque gimmicks ruled in cinemas - to accentuate the on-screen terror, movie theatres dimmed their lights to their legal limits, then turned them oﬀ one by one as each light was shattered by Hepburn in the ﬁlm, so the theatre was plunged into complete darkness. ‘Man, that must have been bad,’ as Stephen King says in his excellent appreciation of horror as an art form, Danse Macabre. Once again, the King ain’t wrong - turn oﬀ your own lights, and enjoy terror such as you are unlikely ever to experience again in this dark jewel of a ﬁlm. 108 mins. JD
Pathos blunted by moralising Agata Olbrycht reviews Adrien Brody’s take on a teacher with problems
RUE DES BOGARDS, 28-40 BRUSSELS 1000 Tel: +32 2 511 52 69, Fax: +32 2 513 51 70 email@example.com www.liquidoma.be OPEN: MONDAY-SATURDAY 10:00-18:30
After his skinhead drama American History X (1998), director Tony Kaye introduces us to even more depression - Detachment (2011). Adrien Brody stars as Henry Barthes, a talented teacher with the gift for befriending even the most diﬃcult students. Henry’s life decision is not to take advantage of this talent, however - he chooses instead to become the substitute teacher and thus avoid any risk of getting attached to the pupils or the educators in his workplace. We meet him when he gets a job in a public school, full of unhappy teachers and ignorant kids. The story has a bit of a ‘gangstas paradise’ feel to it - indiﬀerent, often aggressive youth, a frustrated school administration and a hero educator who is loved by many and respected by everyone. Except that Brody is not Michelle Pfeiﬀer and he doesn’t get to save the world. There is no bright side. Basically, it aims to show us that everyone has problems, everyone is burnt-out and on the verge of depression. Everyone in Detachment, anyway. Parents don’t care about their kids, kids don’t care about their peers or their future, adults all have work or marital issues. And then there is a teenage prostitute met by Mr. Barthes on the bus, who represents his metaphor for all that is wrong in the world. The story of an under-age prostitute coming to live with the teacher in his apartment is a bit disturbing and it makes us doubt his judgment - it doesn’t really help the character’s image, but that’s OK too, because no one said that he had to be perfect. Brody is a talented actor, which is made very obvious by this movie. Too bad that his skills are only used in one key, namely to show how sad, how very, very, sad his character is. The range of emotions expressed by Brody varies from really depressed to just unhappy. We get it - the world is not necessarily a happy place, but too much unhappiness in one ﬁlm seems just a touch pretentious. I remember I cried like a baby at American History X - a movie with genuine emotion. I didn’t cry at Detachment. Instead I found it a touch artiﬁcial and pretentious, and its form slightly annoying (to-camera animation, blurred images and other arty eﬀects). It could be a good movie played brilliantly, if it wasn’t for the director’s desperate attempts to moralise and teach us life lessons. 100 mins.
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Ten-up for Brussels Film Festival As you read this, the Brussels Film Festival (BFF) is celebrating its 10th birthday, so, from 8-16 June, there will be more than enough to keep intelligent cineastes happy. As the festival’s website says, you don’t always need to travel far to travel the world and, with 50+ ﬁlms featured this year, BFF is set to take you on an amazing journey. Some will feature in the Oﬃcial Competition,while others will be much-anticipated premieres, and BFF is also a perfect opportunity to meet up-and-coming directors and favourite actors who will also be in attendance. And, this year, BFF is also welcoming three international masterclasses,
featuring Peter Aalbaek, the producer of Lars von Trier, Jean-Michel Bernard, the appointed composer of Michel Gondry, and Peter Greenaway. Flagey Place Eugène Flagey 1050 Brussels Bozar 23 Rue Ravenstein 1000 Brussels Tel: 02 762 08 98
En route... Coming to Brussels cinemas: Out now On the Road An already well-received study of the ‘Beat Generation’, adapted from the book by Jack Kerouc - a fast-paced, energetic romp from director Walter Salles. 137 mins. 13 June Snow White and the Huntsman They’re seemingly making a Snow White ﬁlm every other week at the moment, but at least Rupert Sanders’ take, starring Kristen Stewart, appears to have a somewhat original premise - in a twist on the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen. 127 mins. 20 June The Raven When a madman begins committing horriﬁc murders inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) a young Baltimore detective (Luke Evans) joins forces with Poe to stop him from turning his stories into reality. James McTeigue (V for Vendetta (2005)) directs. 110 mins. 27 June Ice Age 4: Continental Drift For my money, the best animation franchise ever, so there’s no problem with a fourth installment - Manny, Diego and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world. Go on, you know you’re going to love it! 94 mins. Plenty of reviews are always available on Picturenose. See you next time!
Enjoying the sporting life... So, in the spirit of Euro 2012, here we go with our personal favourites in the ﬁeld of sports movies (see what I did there?) It’s not an ordered ‘top six’, nor is it a deﬁnitive list of the best six ever made. The ﬁrst three come from James, then it’s over to Colin.
troubled love Sarah (Piper Laurie) stand in his way. And, of course, there are the two pool showdowns with the man Eddie came to town to beat - Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). They really do not make ‘em like this any more.
Rocky III (1982) Rocky (1976) won the Best Film Oscar way back in the day. But it simply wasn’t as much fun as this, the third installment, which was directed by its perrenial star Sylvester Stallone, and which I ﬁrst saw, also way back in the day, on a double bill (remember those?) with Airplane! (1980). Ah, of such are memories (and future careers) made. With hindsight, it’s not actually very good, is part the third, but it does have a cracking, brutal performance from Mr. T as Clubber Lang, a vicious boxer who is working his way through ﬁghter after ﬁghter to get to Rocky, and a swansong performance from Burgess Meredith as Rocky’s long-time trainer, Mickey, who really doesn’t want to see his boy in the ring with Lang. ‘He’ll knock you into tomorrow, Rock.’ But, of course, Rocky is having none of it, and it turns out to be Mickey’s last ﬁght. And will it be Rocky’s? What do you think?
Raging Bull (1980) Probably Martin Scorsese’s ﬁnest ﬁlm ever, for which he (to the Academy’s shame) did not pick up Best Film. Robert de Niro, in one of the greatest turns of his own amazing career, for which he did win the gong, plays real-life boxer Jake La Motta, a ﬁghter whose violence and temper takes him temporarily to the top in the ring, but destroys all that he holds dear in the ‘real world’. With ﬁghts that are nothing short of breathtaking, characterizations that could only have come from the mind and pen of Paul Schrader and one of the most moving, tragic denouments in all cinema, this simply soars, and is a ﬁlm for the ages. Colin’s choices
The Hustler (1961) Please don’t start whining on about how pool (either 8-ball, 9-ball or straight) is not actually a sport, because you would be wrong. Glad we got that cleared up. Simply the best ﬁlm of its star Paul Newman’s career, bar none, and a remarkably intelligent, gripping and tragic examination of what it means to be a winner and a loser. George C. Scott is also exemplary as the evil gambler Bert Gordon, who will let nothing, least of all ‘Fast Eddie’ Felson (Newman) or his
Lucas (1986) Starring a diminuitive Corey Haim, a premeltdown Charlie Sheen, and providing the big-screen debut for Winona Ryder, this movie is really about love, feelings and other gushy stuﬀ like that. It does have a very strong American football theme going through it, which proves pivotal to events, so I’m going with it. For my money, this is a prime example of a seriously under-rated feel-good ﬁlm. It could easily have fallen into a formulaic boy meets girl, girl loves someone else, boy joins football team to impress girl, girl...well, you get the drift. A good script and some solid performances brought together under the watchful eye of David Seltzer (yes, that one) elevate this to a better product than the sum of its
parts. Just don’t worry too much about the actual rules of football, it’s a story, K? Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) If you’re tired of Dodgeball, you’re tired of life. This ﬁlm hit our screens when Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn were pretty much at the top of their game, and when Rip Torn - who played the wonderful Patches O’Houlihan - had been at the top of his for years. The young Patches was played by Hank Azaria, the voice of Homer Simpson. Out-of-context cameos by Lance Armstrong, William Shatner, The Hoﬀ and Chuck Norris add to the fun. Just one watch of this ﬁlm and the tired platitude ‘it’s probably the way he wanted to go’ takes on new meaning. You’ll see. Dodgeball is a tremendous amount of fun and at no time takes itself seriously. Cool Runnings (1993) Imagine a sport populated almost entirely by Caucasian peoples, well versed in the harsh, northern hemisphere winters and inventors of countless sports that exploit the fact that their countryside is covered in snow for ﬁve months every year. Then throw in a few happy-go-lucky and upbeat Jamaican guys. Under-equipped and poorly trained, they decide to race in one of the most dangerous events in the winter games - the bobsleigh. Featuring Leon, who seems to have been in everything for around 20 years, Malik Yoba (ditto), Doug E Doug and Rawle E Lewis as the team and the late, great John Candy as their trainer, Cool Runnings is just plain fun. It’s also based on a true story of the 1988 Winter Olympics. Luckily, in real life, the teams were not at all hostile (as in the movie) and welcomed the Jamaican team with open arms. Still a great story, even if the facts don’t get in the way.
Bars going football crazy At last, the big kick-oﬀ is upon us. From Friday, 8 June 2012 to Sunday, 1 July football fans are in for the four-yearly treat that is ‘the Euros’. And, like every city in the known universe, Brussels has plenty of bar owners who are more than happy to let you watch the action unfold. The tournament, featuring 16 teams for the last time (it will rise to 24 in 2016), will take place in Poland and Ukraine, as UEFA heads the furthest east yet for its 14th competition. And, although Belgium failed to qualify, Brussels is such an international city that rustling up fans to stand in front of pub tellies toting pint pots will not be an issue. Many of the bars will be rammed with dedicated followers of France, The Netherlands, Germany, England, Ireland, Italy and, of course, holders and world champions Spain. Also in the mix are Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and the two host nations. That’s pretty much as near to a pan-European party as you’ll get anywhere this summer. So, where to watch it? One of the many expat pubs that will be doing a roaring trade during the Euros is O’Reilly’s. This is the city’s biggest Irish bar and enjoys a prime location opposite the Brussels stock exchange (‘Bourse’ in French and ‘Beurse’ in Dutch). As well as a big area downstairs, there’s a large mezzanine space plus a small terrace overlooking the busy Boulevard Anspach. Soccer-watchers can get food pretty much all day while around a dozen screens (including two whoppers) provide plenty of opportunity to view the action. A little out of town, de Valera’s - which celebrated its ﬁfth birthday in March of this year - is one of the best of the ubiquitous bunch of Irish bars in the city and is located on Place Flagey, close to the lakes of Ixelles. Food is available all the time amid genuine Irish memorabilia, ﬂagstones, pulpits and pints of Guinness. This is not
a massive pub (although it does have a big terrace) and, arguably, has too many screens for its size. But the footie fans won’t care a jot. Back downtown you’ll ﬁnd a fairly new bar called Rooster’s. Something of a one-oﬀ, this place is a disco/karaoke/ladies’ night bar after about 10pm, drawing the bright young things of Brussels who like to party until the wee, small hours – many in the fantastic cocktail bar upstairs. During the day, however, it has more of a pub atmosphere and, once Euro 2012 begins, it will become a shrine to football, showing every game on its multiple screens (on both ﬂoors) plus at least one big screen that the owners have assured us they’ll be adding. A good-sized terrace with excellent views of a couple of the screens inside promises to work nicely should the sun ever deign to shine in June. Just 15-or-so metres away from Rooster’s is Six Nations which, coincidentally, opened a few weeks earlier than its neighbour (in March 2011). While primarily marketed as a rugby bar (hence the name), this English-style pub welcomes sports fans in general and will
doubtless draw its own hefty crowds for the footie. It’s not huge, but it certainly feels roomy enough with its pavement terrace to the front and sliding window/ doors that will be open in summer. There’s enough screens to keep the punters engaged and, if you can grab a table, the food on oﬀer is way above normal pub standard. Something a little bit diﬀerent is taking place in Parc Cinquantenaire at the Autoworld Brasserie (formerly Espace 53), where you’ll ﬁnd the EURO 2012 Village. This is set to build on the success of a similar project organised during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Last time, the project attracted more than 15,000 people and received signiﬁcant media coverage. It’s sure to reach similar levels of success this time out. Also somewhat unusual is the plan at the Aloft Hotel, near Schuman. During the tournament the area around the WXYZ bar will become a shrine to football - and especially to the Netherlands team as the hotel has teamed up with the Dutch community to become ‘Holland House Brussels’ for the next few weeks. Expect Continued on Page 12
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plenty of orange during that event, then. Another bar, this one downtown and soon to celebrate its ﬁrst birthday, is Scott’s. Located near to the ‘Cat on a bike’ sculpture in central Brussels, Scott’s will utilise two ﬂat-screen TVs around the bar and a projector screen on its mezzanine. For those who need to clang oﬀ the odd cigarette while watching the footie, this bar has an exceptionally cool smoking room, also with a screen. Very close to Scott’s is Churchill’s. As you’d expect from the name, this bar is Englishthemed and features some very tasty bottled English beers. It can get extremely atmospheric in here when the Three Lions are doing their stuﬀ, and there’s usually some post-match music at the weekends. Not far away and also in the thick oﬀ it all downtown are two bars that combine sports with partying, big time. Nua is part of the O’Reilly’s stable and is located just a few doors away from its sister pub. You can watch any and all of the games while enjoying cocktails and after-match discos. Karaoke is another attraction, if you still have a voice left. Across the street and on the other side of the Bourse you’ll ﬁnd Celtica. It has plenty of screens, ridiculously cheap happy hours, discos, live music and the kind of atmosphere that keeps going all night. Spend a few hours here after the games
and you’ll probably forget all about the result - win, lose or draw. Three other pubs associated by ownership with Celtica are also showing every match. And in these three you can also get great food daytime and evenings. On the corner of the posh Avenue Louise you’ll ﬁnd the Michael Collins. Recently extended and with a large terrace area, this bar sereves the Chatelain area but is well worth the trip wherever you are. A ten minute walk across Avenue Louise and down the hill will bring you to Place Flagey, home of de Valera’s. With its Irish cooking, stone-ﬂagged terrace and location next to Ixelles lakes, it’s a brilliant spot to watch the action unfold. The ﬁnal pub of the quarter takes us back to the Schuman area and The Old Oak. This is a traditional pub on two levels, also serving food and with a big screen plus several others. No matter where you sit, you’ll always be able to see a television. There’s occasional live music, too, to keep the party going. Close by is Kitty O’Shea’s, yet another of Brussels’ many Irish pubs. Kitty’s seems to have been around forever, is slap-bang in the middle of the European Quarter, has a couple of big screens plus some smaller ones and will be serving food pretty-much all through the tournament. Finally on our tour of footie bars, up
in Place du Luxembourg, in the shadow of the European Parliament, you’ll ﬁnd The Grapevine. With a big screen at the back, a fantastic terrace, easy transport links and tasty food, this apero bar is an ideal spot to try. We obviously don’t have the space to mention every bar that will be showing the football, but that’s certainly a good selection. Why not try to visit all of them during the tournament? Meanwhile, good luck to your team!
Showing all games throughout Euro 2012 Opening Hours: Sun - Thurs 10.00 - 01.00, Fri & Sat 11.00 - 03.00 Food served until 18.00 every day (pastas, sandwiches, paninis and soups - all available for under €5) Two TVs at the bar, plus projector screen on our mezzanine Smoking room with ﬂat-screen TV Plus ‘Regular Customer Card’: 20% discount on all drinks (except hot) before 22.00 daily. New customers are welcome to a card Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: ScottsBarBrussels Website: www.scottsbar.be Foursquare: Scotts Bar Twitter: @ScottsBrussels Rue Montagnes aux Herbes Potageres 1000 Brussels
Around Brussels in 30 days - Page 14
Shouting the odds Mike Moscrop puts his neck on the line with some predictions for those fancying a punt on Euro 2012. And the Kings of Europe will be? According to all of the bookies and the vast majority of football fans, the answer is ‘Spain’. The odds on Spain aren’t really that much better than those oﬀered for Germany, and I’ve a feeling that they’ll nick it this time around. At 3/1 all round, it’s a fair bet. Who’ll bag the most goals? This is possibly one of the most diﬃcult bets. Obviously Rooney won’t be up there due to his suspension, so who have we got then? Germany’s Mario Gomez and Holland’s Robin Van Persie are fair game at 7/1 and 9/1 respectively. Cristiano Ronaldo has been touted, reportedly at 10/1, but I’d fancy David Villa or Miroslav Klose, who are up at 12/1 and 14/1 on most sites. The ones to watch in the Group Stage? There’s so many good games this tournament and France vs. England is a blinder with 21/10 for a draw the best bet. Germany vs. Holland is a beauty, with the Germans favourites for the win, with a return of only 11/10. Spain vs. Italy is the other crunch game, with the Spanish favourites with a 4/5 return, while an Italian victory would pay out 4/1. As far as the remaining games are concerned, if you’re looking for a big win the Republic of Ireland to upset Italy is generally favourable at 14/5, or Denmark to beat Germany at 6/1, but that would be a miracle. But I believe in miracles, so I’ll have a stab at? If you are indeed a miracle man (or woman), then who should you go for? Remember in 2004 the Greeks pulled it out of the bag at odds of close to 150/1. It is unlikely this time around, but Poland could spring some surprises at 50/1 and the Swedes are an excellent outsider and are good for 66/1. History might repeat itself, but in the case of the Greeks this time, forget about it. I will personally be sticking a ﬁver on Denmark though, and with the odds ﬂuctuating around the hundred euro mark, it would be rude not too... Bad boys, bad boys, what’cha gonna do? The number of red cards dished out across the tournament has
always been a popular bet, and I see no reason why this summer’s tournament should be any diﬀerent! Looking back since Euro ‘96 when seven were waved in the air, Euro 2000 saw a high nine, Euro 2004 a reduced ﬁve, and last time round, in Austria and Switzerland, a paltry three were given to players with attitude. I’ve perused the teams this year, and there are some proper nasty pieces of work, not to mention plenty of Olympic-standard divers, whom the refs should be cutting down on. I’d bank on at least ﬁve if you fancy a cheeky bet, which isn’t too shabby at 2/1 odds from Betfair. If you’re after the total amount of red and yellow cards, 81-100 is a good bet at 100-1 also at Betfair. So, what are the best all round bets? England to make the semi-ﬁnal stage coughs up a delightful 15/8. You may also fancy Italy to get there at 9/4, and it’s not impossible for Russia or Poland to bag a spot either at odds of 11/4 and 5/1 respectively. Betting on the two teams in the ﬁnal also presents interesting wagers. A Spain and Holland ﬁnal will net you 14/1 odds, whilst a Spain and Germany ﬁnal is a steal at 8/1. If you really fancy a laugh, you can pop a quid on Sweden and Greece meeting in the ﬁnal, at 600/1, or if like me you’re gunning for a traditional England vs. Germany ding dong, then 25/1 is a reasonable set of odds. For England to get royally booted out by the German’s on penalties somewhat predictably pays 7-1 at both Blue Square and 888 Sport. And ﬁnally, an oﬀering of the oddest set of oddities There are so many variables when it comes to special bets football is hard to predict at the best of times. Some of the far-fetched are worth a punt, others are not, but here’s a few to wet your whistle. Any city to host the most goals in the tournament is currently 100/1 at Betfair, though I fancy Kiev considering it is hosting the ﬁnal. Ireland is predicted to be the lowest scoring team at Paddy Power with 4/1, while two hat-tricks being netted in the tournament is valued at 24/1, also from Betfair. Ladbrokes also has a speculative oﬀer for “what will happen ﬁrst?” Should a penalty be missed or saved, they’ll pay out 9/4 on your wager, although if there is a red card before said penalty, it’s a meagre 1/3 payout. Betfair it would seem, appears to be the site to go to for outlandish and somewhat unpredictable betting genres. Have fun!
Around Brussels in 30 days - Page 16
A hat-trick of footie ﬁlms Footie movies. Any good? Not usually. But 2009 blessed us with a couple of belters. Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric was (writes James Drew) a warm, very enjoyable romp featuring no less than old ‘Ooh-Ahh Cantona’ himself, then along came The Damned United that same year, a superbly crafted take on the trials and tribulations of Ol’ Big Head himself, Brian Clough. And, wouldn’t you know it, it was everyone’s golden boy Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon (2008)), further cementing his growing reputation as one of the planet’s ﬁnest character actors, at the centre of play, with his remarkable, nuanced take on one of Britain’s most loved/loathed football managers. Director Tom Hooper made his featureﬁlm debut, while Peter Morgan (who wrote the play and screenplay for Frost/Nixon) oﬀered up a gritty, believable adaptation of David Peace’s novel, itself one of the best books ever written about footy. We join Clough/Sheen just when the young man is about to make good – the manager of Second Division Derby County in 1967, Clough has big plans for the team. A shot at the big time arrives in the third round of the FA Cup, when Leeds, who were leading the First Division at the time, are drawn at home to The Rams. Clough, believing Leeds’ succesful manager Don Revie (Colm Meaney) to be very much a man after his own heart (they both grew up in the same part of Middlesborough, and both live and breathe the game), is deeply oﬀended when the manager snubs him upon arrival with his team at Derby’s ground, which Clough had worked very hard to make spick and span. The match proves to be a tough aﬀair and, despite their best eﬀorts, Derby lose 0-2. Clough initially blames the brutality of the Leeds players (led by Billy Bremner (Stephen Graham) and Norman Hunter (Mark Cameron)), but he and his faithful assistant Peter Taylor (Timothy Spall, excellent as ever) recognize that their
side simply aren’t good enough on a technical level, and so set out to change things with canny signings. But the club’s frugal chairman, ‘Uncle’ Sam Longson (Jim Broadbent) is anxious about the investment and more so about the fact that Clough didn’t consult him about the signings. Ol’ Big Head is vindicated, however, when Derby win the Second Division title in 1969, and are set to face Leeds once again, but this time in the First Division. Uh-oh... Of course, it must be said that if your interest is not normally inclined towards the cut-and-thrust of top-level football management, you might have decided to give this a miss. But that would be a pity because, like all the best biopics (and sport ﬂicks), this is about so much more than surface, erm, sheen – the characterizations, led of course by the lead man but superbly supported by Meaney as Revie and his thuggish players, are at once intellectually arresting and gripping – nothing short of thrilling, in fact. And, as far as the recreation of an era is concerned, Hooper doesn’t put a foot wrong – from hideous hairdos to mud-and-
blood soaked pitch battles. For my money, this may not be the best ﬁlm ever made about football, but it’s certainly in the top one. 97 mins. Stand up, if you hate Man U... Cards-on-the-table time – your reviewer loathes with a passion (some might say with every ﬁbre of his being, at times) a certain football club variously known as Scum, Glory Hunters Central, Manure and the Evil Empire. Oh, and they also go by the name of Manchester United. I won’t go into detail as to the reasons for this particular life choice, suﬃce to say that I picked the team I hated long before falling for the team I love (West Ham United), but director Ken Loach and myself are going to have words the next time we meet. True, he seemed a very personable chap when our paths crossed on his last visit to Brussels (promoting another ﬁlm, the sobering take on UK immigrant labour, It’s A Free World...(2007)), but, on the strength of Looking For Eric, it would appear likely Continued on Page 18
F r id a y 8t h Ju ne
S a tu r d a y 9 th J un e
Poland v Greece Russia v Czech R.
18.00 Holland v Denmark 20.45 Germany v Portugal
Greece v Czech R. Poland v Russia
18.00 Denmark v Portugal 20.45 Holland v Germany
Czech v Poland Greece v Russia
20.45 Portugal v Holland 20.45 20.45 Denmark v Germany 20.45
T ue sd ay 1 2 t h J un e
S a tu r d a y 1 6 th J un e
W e d ne sd a y 1 3 th J u ne
S un d a y 1 7 t h J u ne
QUARTER FINALS 21st to 24th 20.45 SEMI FINALS 27th & 28th 20.45 EURO 2012 FINAL July 1st 20.45
S un d a y 1 0 t h J u ne
Mo n d ay 1 1 t h J un e
Spain v Italy Ireland v Croatia
18.00 France v England 20.45 Ukraine v Sweden
Italy v Croatia Spain v Ireland
Ukraine v France Sweden v England
Croatia v Spain Italy v Ireland
England v Ukraine Sweden v France
T hu r s d ay 1 4 t h J un e
M o nd a y 1 8 th J un e
F r id a y 1 5 th J un e
T u e sd a y 1 9 t h J u ne
Around Brussels in 30 days - Page 18
that our Ken is a United fan. Oh, dear. What is perhaps even more irritating is that fact that his light-hearted ﬁlm is mostly very enjoyable (but with a dark streak running through it – this is Loach after all) and, perhaps worst of all, does a very good job of making ‘Red Devils’ fans appear likeable. Almost. Paul Laverty (who worked with Loach on his previous ﬁlm) constructs a tale that appeals to heart and head alike – Steve Evets plays down-on-his-luck Manchester postman Eric Bishop, a life-long United fan who idolizes the one-time King of Old Traﬀord, Eric Cantona. He’s in the pits – burdened with two teenage stepsons from his previous marriage (there is no longer a relationship,) and still doting on his lost love Lily (Stephanie Bishop) of 30 years ago, with whom he had a daughter, Sam (Lucy-Jo Hudson) then left in the lurch, Eric is looking out on a world without hope. Or so he thinks. A plaintive plea to a poster of his hero receives an answer, amazingly enough – a visit, in person no less, from ‘Ooh-Ahh’ himself. But Eric is not here to oﬀer soft soap – he’s taking our man in hand, and there will be ﬁreworks. Loach rarely makes a ﬁlm with
characters that are diﬃcult to warm to, and this is no exception – while the basic premise is obviously rooted in fantasy, straightforward, gutsy performances from Evets, and particularly from Gerard Kearns and Stefan Gumbs as his stepsons Ryan and Jess, keep it grounded in working-class, football-loving realities, while the story’s darker side (Ryan’s growing allegiance to a gun-wielding local ‘psycho’ businessman, and the danger this poses to all concerned) is treated with respect and unﬂinching realism. A fairy story this ‘aint, but that’s not to say there isn’t room for magic. And Cantona himself? A marvel, as you might expect – he’s already won his spurs as an actor, and he’s clearly having a great deal of fun playing himself here: ‘I am not a man. I am Cantona.’ In addition, there’s a rare chance to see just how good he was – nothing short of magic on the ﬁeld. There, I’ll unclench my teeth now. 116 mins. In English and a bit of French(!). Show me the Munez Footie and the ﬂicks have, down the years, had a relationship best described as
lacklustre. Let’s face it, a Nationwide Conference battle between Accrington Stanley and Crawley Town has more passion (and more realism) than the alleged soccer in movies such as Escape to Victory or When Saturday Comes. But a ﬁlm from director Danny Cannon (I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, and, erm, Judge Dredd) tried to change all that. In Goal! (2005) Kuno Becker stars as Santiago Munez, a young Mexican football-obsessive living in Los Angeles. His dad doesn’t approve of his obsession with the beautiful game, but, when he’s talent-spotted by former Newcastle striker Glen Foy (Stephen Dillane) who’s on holiday in LA, the big-time (well, Newcastle United) may beckon... As Foy says: “I’ve spent muddy days watching young lads beat the hell out of each other. But once in a while, there’s one that comes along and lifts your heart.” Some of the hottest representatives from the world of football also appear in the movie, including David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Raul, and Newcastle United’s then captain Alan Shearer. Judge for yourself whether or not it hits the back of the net. We think it does. 118 minutes.
Around Brussels in 30 days - Page 20
New game is wide of mark Mike Moscrop ﬁnds that old habits die hard as he returns to his roots playing EA Sports latest footy fest, UEFA Euro 2012: The Game. Never before in the history of video games has a likeable tournament game ever been produced by any studio. The mainstream games (such as Fifa, and Pro Evo) have always reigned supreme, seldom disappointing us. But as for those Euro, World Cup and Champions League spinoﬀs, we’re always left feeling as though we’ve had our pants pulled down. I was optimistic that this might change with EA’s UEFA: Euro 2012...but I’m still pulling my pants back up. After getting done for twenty notes, I angrily pieced together the cracked pieces of this broken eﬀort to understand why it had gone so wrong. UEFA Euro 2012 isn’t a standalone release, unlike its predecessors. Rather, it is more of an expansion pack, an expensive add-on to FIFA 2012, which you must already have in order for this game to work. So it isn’t really twenty notes, is it? If you’re a Pro Evolution Soccer fan for instance, you’ll ﬁnd it closer to the seventy mark. As with most of the tournament games, it was released much too early. The downside of this is that the squads are all to cock, and the kits are incorrect. This isn’t too much of a calamity though, but where you really feel like you’ve been screwed is the licensing, or lack thereof. How do we begin to decode this disaster? Well, the licensing is my main issue with this débâcle. In FIFA 12, we already have 14 of the 16 teams represented in Euro 2012 n the international section of the game, licensed. So what you get for your extra dosh is the other teams of the ﬁnal tournament and the rest of the teams that were too crap to be there. To shell out this sum of money merely for Ukraine and the Czech Republic is somewhat silly. Do you know what else is rather silly? EA Sports is prepared to charge you this fee
for an add-on that is “oﬃcially licensed” with many of the additional teams in the add-on actually unlicensed. Take Ukraine. Not only is the team unlicensed, it doesn’t even feature authentic players because EA couldn’t pin down the licensing rights. So, wait, an oﬃcially licensed product, bearing the oﬃcial tournament name and logos, doesn’t actually one of the hosts properly licensed. It’s absolutely bloody abysmal. Worse, because it is an add-on, the graphics are unchanged from its parent FIFA 2012. Though sublime in their own right, wouldn’t you want some kind of improvement? The sound is classy as ever, although would it have killed them to have had a new soundtrack? UEFA Euro 2012 is basically then, a downloadable tournament to add to your playable FIFA 12 tournaments. And, yes, there is a custom tournament function in FIFA 12 anyway, making this release pretty-much redundant. All-in-all, this is hugely disappointing. How am I supposed to replay the inevitable exit of the England national team from the summer’s tournament with this pile of poo? Evidently I’m not. I’ll get out the Subbuteo set.
Graphics: Playability: Addictiveness: Value For Money: Sound:
9/10 4/10 4/10 1/10 4/10
If you like this then try: Fifa 2012, Subbuteo, kicking around a football in the park or watching the game in the pubs
Around Brussels in 30 days - Page 22
Give that man a booking! For this month’s Euro 2012 tournament, Tony Mallett takes a look at three football books, old and new
A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke Ronald Reng The ﬁrst tranlated book to win the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, Reng’s biography of a gifted yet suicidally depressed German goalkeeper deserves all the plaudits it’s received. Reng had known Enke for several years (they had talked of writing this book together) before the young ‘keeper, battling to become his country’s Number One prior to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, threw himself in front of a speeding train in late 2009. Self doubt and depression had dogged Enke throughout his career and it was becoming increasingly diﬃcult to hide his condition from the public. His ﬁrst child had died young of a rare heart condition and, with his own aﬄiction worsening, he feared that he and his wife
would lose their adopted daughter to the authorities. The fact that this gifted and decent young man decided seemingly calmly and coolly, yet surely to most of us illogically, to end his life speaks volumes about this often misunderstood disease. Enke had determined to tell the world about his condition yet continued to ﬁght it while suﬀering the stresses and strains of being a top athlete in his chosen ﬁeld, subject to public scrutinity while ﬁghting to wear the halllowed goalkeeper’s jersey for his country. Reng’s careful use of the footballer’s poetry and diaries, handed over by Enke’s wife, Teresa, allows us an insight into the mind of a man who, tragically, could not see any way out except the violent end he eventually chose. Reng has since explained how “he [Enke] and Teresa had this vision, a dream scenario, that one day Robert would have moved to Lisbon and we would all sit on a roof terrace and contemplate his autobiography”. It was not to be. This is a book that goes beyond football and into a darker world of mental illness. It is moving, informative, shocking and, at times, surprisingly funny. It’s also profound, thought provoking and often painful to read. But read it you most deﬁnitely should. Brilliant Orange David Winner This is a cracker of a soccer book, essentially a lengthy essay on how the Dutch teams of the 1960s, 70s and early 80s created and mastered ‘total football’, dazzled the sporting world, stunned countless opposition sides...and yet failed to win the World Cup. Twice. What sets this book apart from just another footie story is Winner’s convincing argument that the brand of football developed in this relatively small country was due in large part to the necessarily clever use of space that seems
to be part of the Dutch psyche. Also part of this mentality down the years has been the damaging philosophy of prefering to ‘lose beautifully’ rather than ‘win ugly’ and the arguably more damaging propensity for in-ﬁghting prior to and during big tournaments. Also discussed at length is the fact that, since their back to back World Cup defeats in the 70s, and the successes of Ajax and Feyenoord, Johan Cruyﬀ and other Dutch Masters have taken their brand of football further aﬁeld with eventually greater success: Barcelona and Spain (featuring many Barca players) actually win stuﬀ. Compare that to the 2010 Dutch side, the one that virtually destroyed its own legacy in the last World Cup Final by trying to kick Spain oﬀ the ﬁeld, and one can understand why Winner, speaking recently in Brussels, made a heartfelt plea to the Oranje to revert to the more beautiful form of the game. Time - and this current tournament - will tell.
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Addicted Tony Adams The old gag that behind every great football stadium is a pass from Tony Adams is a bit harsh, ref, but in the former England and Arsenal captain’s autobiography he’s even harsher on himself. His rise to the top of the game was matched by his descent into alcoholism and this book deals with the issues that he (eventually) faced up to starkly, commendably frankly and with a rawness that often shocks and certainly disturbs. He ﬁnally said ‘yes, yes, yes’ to rehab, but it took a failed marriage, a gazillion binges, a spell in prison and countless bedwetting mishaps before he turned the corner. These days he’s left his (literal) car crash of a previous life far behind and has undertaken much acclaimed work to help fellow professional sportspeople with similar problems.
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