Wowwee! What a weekend coming up! Let’s start with the all-weekend festivals before going day-by-day.
Friday and Saturday bring the Khmer Literature Festival! It was created to promote Khmer literature, reading and writing as well as to promote the local writing community. With workshops, talks and performances in locations around the city, this festival promises to cover a wide breadth of topics. We’ll cover them individually below to help keep you straight!
The Institut français is wrapping up its Animated Film Fest this weekend. Over Friday and Saturday, the French cultural center will screen three more films: Funan, Claws, feathers, hairs and whiskers, and Dilili in Paris. Yes, the movies will be shown in French, but they’ll have English subtitles.
Various times Friday and Saturday, Institut français, St. 184
Sofitel Phokeethra Classical Music Festival will be hosting a full orchestra concert performance of the opera Pagliacci. Though the opera’s title translates to “Clowns”, it is not a comedy; it’s actually a story of love and murder. It was first performed in Milan in 1892. The Cambodia Opera Project is bringing it to life now in Phnom Penh. Tickets are $25.
7pm Friday and Saturday, Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra, Sothearos Blvd.
Do you love Japanese food? Yeah, so do we. Well, Aeon Mall is holding a Japanese Food Fair Exhibition all weekend, where there will be “experiences” (like making mochi cakes and cutting a big tuna fish), a Japanese fashion show and other “Japanese activities”. And food, of course. The fair promises over 300 items!
All day Friday through Sunday, Aeon Mall Daylight Plaza, Sothearos Blvd.
The opening ceremony of the Khmer Literature Festival takes place tonight at the Bophana Center. There will be music and song performances, “video poetry”, and an announcement of the full program. There will also be snacks and drinks. 🙂
6-8pm, Bophana Center, St. 200
Artist Chea Sereyroth will give a talk (in Khmer with English translation) at Sa Sa Art Projects. The painter and graphic designer from Battambang will be discussing his latest exhibition “Rice Field Mirages”, currently on display at Sa Sa Arts until November 27.
6-7:30pm, Sa Sa Art Projects, St. 350
What’s On Stage?
“Laughter on Tap” open mic comedy show is back at Riel Brewing. This is Phnom Penh’s event where the city’s stand-up comedians try out their new material and, of course, where newbies can try stand up – all in the comfort of a chill barroom. So basically, it’s good for everyone. The night is free, but you have to write ahead to reserve a spot.
7:30-10:30pm, Riel Brewing Taproom, St. 464
The lush green patio of Botanico Wine and Beergarden will set the stage for guitarist Brin Wood tonight. Hailing from southern California and making his way to Phnom Penh via Siem Reap, Wood will be playing covers of b-side rockabilly, swing psycho boogie, punkabilly (and all the rock and punk and billy off-shoots) from the 1940s to 1990s.
7-9:30pm, Botanico, St. 21
“We want the funk! Gotta have that funk!” Pocket Change is playing that Parliament Funkadelic tune (likely–at least they’re playing Parliament) and other groovy hits at a late show at LF Social Club. Expect some Erykah Badu, Chaka Khan and Rick James, too. “Give me that stuff. That sweet, funky stuff!”
9pm-1am, LF Social Club, St. 308
And if it’s like, “Man, I dig what you’re grooving to, and I ain’t no jive turkey,” [totally plausible thoughts] then head to Duplex for its Retro Carnival, where the Retro Carnival Band (from the Philippines) will be playing 70s and 80s disco tunes.
9pm-midnight, Duplex, St. 278
What’s On Screen?
Khmer film The Father opens this weekend at Legend Cinemas. Made by Cambodian director Long Sokpheap, it follows the stories of three different fathers, each of whom have suffered the tragic loss of their wives, and their struggles to provide for their children.
Various showtimes, Legend Cinemas, various locations
Khmer Literature Festival and Khmer Collaborative Writers is holding a workshop with writers Ouch Thavy and Tim Many, who will discuss novel writing and share their own experiences. They will also discuss how to develop a character in a novel. Entrance is free.
2:30-4pm, National Library of Congress, St. 92
The works of Khmer novelists from the 1960s and 70s are on display at the National Library of Congress all weekend. “The main purpose of this exhibition is to appreciate and honor the ancestors of former talented Cambodian writers throughout history.”
8:30am-5:30pm Saturday and Sunday, National Library of Congress, St. 92
Also part of the Khmer Literature Festival, and brought to you by Kok Thlok – Khmer Theatre and Shadow Puppets, are two sets of of performances of traditional Khmer shadow puppets, big and small. The show is free, but donations are appreciated.
7-7:30pm, National Library of Congress, St. 92
Halloween is still over half a month away, but for kids the whole month of October might as well be the big day – nothing supersedes this big day of costumes and candy. If this is the vibe that you’ve been getting from your munchkin, perhaps consider giving into the fever by bringing him or her to Make It’s trick-or-treat bag making workshop. For $5, you can give your child a chance to really dedicate thought to what that bag will look like…and likely also, the types of candy that will soon(ish) be in it.
10am-noon, Make It, St. 135
Everybody celebrates Halloween in a different way; many put on a costume to temporarily step out of their personality whereas others use it as an opportunity to allow their natural self to be free, if only temporarily, before ultimately covering it up with a disguise of everyday conformity. To the latter group, Bong the Gallery is offering a chance at permanency with their “impulsive piercings and flash tattoos” Vanity Fair party. And the piercings don’t have to be limited to the ears; according to the invite, the piercer is experienced with “all ear, facial, body and genital piercings as well as dermal anchors and scarification”.
1-11pm, Bong the Gallery, Sothearos Blvd.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Mad Monkey is doing its part to bring awareness and raise funds for those afflicted by this awful disease by, well, throwing a pool party. A percentage of the proceeds from the Paint It Pink Pool Party will go towards treatment efforts at Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE. To make the evening extra special, they’ll have drink specials on pink cosmos in honour of the colour representing breast cancer awareness.
8pm-midnight, Mad Monkey, St. 302
Meta House is celebrating someone’s birthday. AYA, happy birthday! And thank you for sharing an invite with the rest of Phnom Penh to free barbecue, free beer and dancing to trance music spun by DJ Elmo. We appreciate it. 🙂
7-11pm, Meta House, St. 178
What’s On Stage?
LF Garden is opening its backyard to blues and country guitarist Gonzolo Rodino who will serenade concert goers to smooth classic tunes of days of yore as well as some of the ones he wrote himself.
8-11pm, LF Garden, St. 308
Down the road at Cloud there will be Latin music dance night featuring classic sounds of Central and South Americas. Son Latino is a trio from Bolivia, Cuba and Argentina so they probably know their stuff.
8-11pm, Cloud, St. 9
What’s On Late?
Party promoters Hypelab are holding a takeover at Club Love. We can’t tell you which DJs are playing, but we can say that they’ll be bringing something different from the usual pop hits from 2000 to present. It’s $5 at the door, but that comes with a free drink. There’s also some drink specials aimed at buying multiple drinks at once, so get your friends together to make the most of it (or give it a go on your own, Champ).
9pm-4am, Club Love, St. 278
What’s On Screen?
Peng Phan was a child during the Khmer Rouge era. She was held in prison during the regime, but survived to eventually open an orphanage/Khmer creative arts school in honour of the children who didn’t survive. The Bophana Center is showing Good Luck For You Everyday, a documentary that covers her work as well as the students in her school. The film is in Khmer with English subtitles.
5-6pm, Bophana Center, St. 200
If you haven’t been to The Factory yet, then you’re missing out on what is, essentially, an outdoor art gallery, where murals painted by contemporary Khmer artists pop out at you from unexpected places or are emblazoned in enormous scale across the facade of a building. Photographer, business director and footballer, Shunsuke Miyatake is leading a photowalk around the massive campus for photography enthusiasts and aspiring photographers to discover this artwork, while they develop their own. It’s free, but you must reserve a spot in advance.
8-11am, The Factory, National Road 2
What’s On Stage?
Smooth singing Mirasol Aguila will bring her virtuosic soul style to Hops on Sunday, in an acoustic set under the fairy lights of this outdoor beer garden. She’ll be performing with talented musicians Anttii Siitonen and Arone Silverman.
7-10pm, Hops Beer Garden and Restaurant, St. 228
What’s On Screen?
Well…it’s Sunday. It’s the day of rest before a new week begins. A day to not think too much, to not do too much, maybe indulge in some yummy comfort food. In short, it’s a day made for seeing a bad action movie in the theatres. Enter Gemini Man, the latest Ang Lee film in which Will Smith plays an aging hitman who has to battle a younger clone version of himself. I mean, I have a feeling he’s going to win…or there will be some twist where he doesn’t. [Shrug] It’s Sunday. Pass the popcorn, please.
Various showtimes, Aeon Cinema, Sothearos Blvd.