Latvia – Vanesa Strautniece, Splendid Palace (Riga)

Cinema for me is…

Latvia – Vanesa Strautniece from Europa Cinemas on Vimeo.

Vanesa in 23 frames

1. Describe yourself in ten words.
Polite, curious, witty, empathetic, critical, realistic, fashionable, provocative,
moody, theatrical.

2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
Best quality: loyal
Worst habit: overthinking constantly.

3. Your dream job?
Modelling? Possibly.

4. What do you like most about your country?
The Baltic Sea and our beaches.

5. Your favorite dish in your country?
Specifically Latvian — Sklandrauši (little rye cakes with mashed carrots and cinnamon inside). Yes, from the description sounds horrible, but they are actually excellent.

6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
‘Kurš putniņš agri ceļas, agri slauka deguntiņu.’ ‘Which bird wakes up the first is the first one who cleans his nose.’ It is a mystery for me why would a bird want to be the first one to clean his nose (and clean nose in general), but I like the idea that earlier you wake up, more you can manage to do.

7. What European capital have you visited lately?

8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?

9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
Travelling without borders, the continent in which I feel at home, cultural heritage.

10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati, 1958, FR).

11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
Splendid Palace in Riga — it is the most elegant film theatre I’ve visited, and with the best film repertoire in Latvia.

12. Who is your movie hero?
Sophia Loren in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Vittorio De Sica,1963, IT). She plays there three different characters and I admire all of them, as well as herself as an actress.

13. Which movie director would you like to be?
Alfred Hitchcock (because he was talented and respected, and such an important part in the history of cinema) or Ana Lily Amirpour (because she has a lot of creative energy and original ideas).

14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
It is a bar scene from Soy Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964, CU). Camera floats through the bar, we can see different women from different social layers drinking cocktails and jazz musicians playing. I like the fluidity of the scene and the music in the background, very warm atmospheric impression, just as I imagine Cuba to be.

15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
Like Crazy (Paolo Virzì, 2016), IT
American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016), UK
Amama (Asier Altuna, 2015), ES.

16. Which film character do you most identify with?
Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards, 1961, US).

17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
Main Theme from Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012, US).

18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960, IT).

19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
Marion Cotillard. I feel that we might have a connection.

20. Which talent would you most like to have?
Low and husky voice so that I could become a jazz singer.

21. What is your most treasured possession?
The pictures from my analog camera.

22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Getting a scholarship for studying in Italy (UWC).

23. What is your motto?
YOLO — you only live once (and as Mae West would continue — ‘but if you do it right, once is enough.’)

Vanesa is the Ambassador of Splendid Palace. Find out more about the cinema here.