Saturday, December 12, 2015

Euro 2016

The tradition continues of having a book + film spotlight for a major soccer tournament. The expansion of the European Championship to 24 teams certainly posed a challenge regarding the selection process for this spotlight. Having to watch 24 films for each of the 24 countries in 6 months would have been an easy proposition but having to read 24 books in 6 months would have been a stretch. Therefore, the total number of book and film selections is divided, although not in an even manner. 23 nations have either one film or book in the spotlight. That means if a nation has a film in the spotlight, there is no book representing it. The same is true for books as well which means if a country has a book in the spotlight, then that country will have no film selected. The only exception is France, the Euro 2016 hosts. France gets two books and one film in the spotlight.

There are a total of 11 films and 15 books selected with the requirement to have more books than films in the spotlight. The film selections are contemporary with only 2014-2015 titles. However, for the books, the goal was to have a match-up between some heavyweights. As a result, many well known older titles are selected. On the other hand, there are some titles from newer worthy authors thrown into the mix.

All of the films have to be viewed and all the books read by June 1, 2016.


France: Dheepan (2015, Jacques Audiard)

Belgium: The Brand New Testament (2015, Jaco Van Dormael)
Croatia: The High Sun (2015, Dalibor Matanic)
England: 45 Years (2015, Andrew Haigh)
Germany: Phoenix (2014, Christian Petzold)
Italy: Lost and Beautiful (2015, Pietro Marcello)
Romania: Aferim! (2015, Radu Jude)
Russia: The Fool (2014, Yuriy Bykov)
Slovakia: Koza (2015, Ivan Ostrochovský)
Sweden: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014, Roy Andersson)
Ukraine: Maidan (2014, Sergey Loznitsa)

Note: If Loznitsa’s The Event (2015) is available, it will be selected over his 2014 film Maidan.


France: Life A User’s Manual (Georges Perec), The Prone Gunman (Jean-Patrick Manchette)

Albania: The General of the Dead Army (Ismail Kadare)
Austria: The Man Without Qualities (Robert Musil)
Czech Republic: The Other City (Michal Ajvaz)
Hungary: Sátántangó (László Krasznahorkai)
Iceland: The Blue Fox (Sjón)
Ireland: Ulysses (James Joyce)
Northern Ireland: The International (Glenn Patterson)
Poland: The Elephant (Slawomir Mrozek)
Portugal: The Book of Disquiet (Fernando Pessoa)
Spain: Mazurka for Two Dead Men (Camilo José Cela)
Switzerland: The End of All Men (C.F. Ramuz)
Turkey: The Black Book (Orhan Pamuk)
Wales: A Book of Wales, an Anthology (selected by Meic Stephens)

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