CHRIS THURMAN: Chasing a utopian future, Europe is still very much defined by the past
The European Film Festival displays the battle between the old and new in 12 fantastic films
Since it was first published in 1930, Hermann Hesse’s novel Narziss und Goldmund (Narcissus and Goldmouth) has been a secular bible for earnest young people (usually men) trying to reconcile “the life of action” and “the life of the mind”. Goldmund is the hedonist-artist, the adventurer who wants to experience the full gamut of love and pain, beauty and sorrow; Narziss is the monastic thinker, the philosopher who eschews society.
The novel is heavy on Nietzschean and Jungian archetypes, curiously anachronistic — set in the 14th century but inflected by modern angst — and does not readily offer itself as a cherished text of 21st century spiritual and intellectual seekers. But it has been given a boost by a new film version, directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky and starring Sabin Tambrea and Jannis Niewöhner (imagine a German Brad Pitt and Ralph Fiennes 30 years ago)...