Last night I went into town to see a film and as I had about 45 minutes to spare beforehand and the light was still good I wandered around with my camera. Look, we’re in the centre of Brussels. There’s a handy sign:
In this kind of weather there are always plenty of people out eating on terraces.
I’ve always wanted to stand on a street corner with a long lens and pick faces out of the crowd, but I either get self-conscious about pointing a camera at strangers or someone passes in front of me and spoils the shot.
That’s Charles Buls, mayor of Brussels and tireless campaigner for the preservation of its architectural heritage.
And finally I circled round back to the Galeries Royales, where the Arenberg cinema is situated.
Every summer they run a festival called Ecran Total. They always have an interesting programme; this is where I saw In This World, Atanarjuat and Manufactured Landscapes, among others.
Last night I saw Moon.
A woman a couple of seats along from me was obviously unimpressed by the film’s languid pacing and spent most of the running time sending and receiving text messages. I was constantly distracted by either the buzz of an incoming message or the tap-tap-tap of her reply, and the faint blue glow from the phone screen. My sporadic sighs and glares were in vain.
When the film ended and the lights came up I looked across and saw her composing another message, tears streaming down her face.