Buy a book or two dozen
The Moscow International Book Fair (Sept. 24-27) is one of Moscow’s biggest book fairs — in fact, it’s two book fairs: one on Red Square in the summer and another, bigger one at the Expo Center in the fall. A few hundred publishing houses, periodicals, bookstores, museums, and organizations will be presenting and selling their books while authors, publishers, and other guests meet with readers and explain why their book will help you lose weight, quit smoking, disappear into the past, forget your troubles, understand history/music/science and celebrate the glory of a new author, new novel, or new album. Sounds divine. Check out the site for advance tickets — a bargain at 150 rubles — and speaker schedule. If you work the halls right, you might get all your holiday shopping done this weekend.
Spend a night or ten in the theater
For the next two months Moscow’s theaters will be hosting the Fifth Biennale of Theater Arts: Director’s Lessons 2021 — a festival of 13 theatrical productions by young directors. In addition to those productions competing with one another, there will be a non-competition plethora of some of the world’s best plays interpreted by some of Russia’s best directors, such as Yuri Butusov and Dmitry Krymov, not to mention master classes and lectures by the theater’s most celebrated performers. This is a great opportunity to see guaranteed-not-to-disappoint performances. For more information, schedule and ticket purchases, see the festival site here.
Eat, drink, repeat
Now that we’re all vaccinated and boostered and Sputnik-lited, we can go back to eating out again. But if your favorite restaurants and cafes closed during the pandemic, or if you feel you need to up your restaurant game, you’re in luck: the Russian Restaurant Festival (hosted by Courvoisier) is on until Oct. 5. More than 160 restaurants in Moscow are offering set menus at 990, 1190, 1690, 2590 and 4900 rubles per person. The price of the set is determined by the restaurants, which range from old favorites like Jean Jacques to newly opened eateries like La Vie Aquatique. It’s a terrific way to try new places without a full dinner commitment. For more information and list of restaurants (mostly in Russian), see the festival site. There’s a convenient map for those times when you’re in a neighborhood and not sure where to go.
Follow the FANK festival
If you have a geeky streak, or even if you don’t but are interested in everything from how your brain works to how bears sleep through the winter, you will love this festival. Over seven days FANK (the acronym of Festival of Essential Science Cinema) is showing almost two dozen full-length feature films on the widest possible range of topics, many in English (with Russian subtitles). There will also be opportunities to meet with specialists, professors and scientists and ask questions about what concerns you, from climate change to space travel. The films will be shown in several theaters around the city. For more information, schedule and ticket purchases, see the program site here.
If you haven’t already seen it — and perhaps even if you have — you must see “Dune,” a remake/update/reboot of the David Lynch film made in 1984 based on the novel of the same name written by Frank Herbert in 1965. Now it’s 2021 and the themes of life on a planet with a brutal climate and dangerous inhabitants but rich resources underground have not lost their relevance. The film is playing all over town; for schedules and tickets, see the subscity site. Another film for the whole family is “Legend of the Green Knight,” also in many theaters across the city. For something a little less mainstream but as captivating, go see the Manhattan Short Film Festival at Pioner during the day on Saturday and Sunday. The ten short films shown — the program is a bit over two hours — are from the U.K., Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Italy, Canada, France, and the U.S. The genres range from animation, horror, drama and comedy.