Sluizer's "Stoneraft" Set for September Premiere, van der Oest's Gay Marriage to See English Language Shoot, and "Soldier of Orange 2" Falls in Trenches.

(June 2002)

  • Looks like we may be getting to see George Sluizer's new film epic "La Balsa de Piedra" ("The Stone Craft" or "Het Stenen Vlot", depending on which is your lingo of choice) sooner than previously expected (as cited in February's TGH BUZZ). The premiere of this political allegory in Holland is now scheduled for coming September. The Dutch/Spanish/Portuguese co-production also features the work of DP Goert Giltaij and composer Henny Vrienten. More news about this hot item next month.

  • Producers Renee Missel and Jonathan Dana have purchased the rights of "Zus & Zo" ("This & That") for an English-language remake which will also be directed by Paula van der Oest. Missel ("Nell") and Dana ("Drowning Mona") have issued a statement saying, "We are extremely excited at having acquired the English language remake rights to Zus&Zo. We feel it will translate brilliantly for an American audience as it is a warm, witty, and sexy romantic comedy that deals with tolerance, and with the perennial issues forever being explored by both sexes across generations and cultures." The original Dutch script, in which three sisters readjust their lives after hearing that their gay brother intends to marry a boyfriend, will most likely have to undergo some revisions, considering gay marriage is still not legal in the States.

    The three sisters develop a scheme wherein they can retain a piece of the hotel Paradiso on the Portugese coast for themselves, which would otherwise fall completely into the hands of their brother, according to the inheritance stipulation, if he should no longer remain single.

  • Shooting, which began last month, continues in Groningen and Gelderland on the tragicomedic family film "Farther Than The Moon" ("Verder Dan De Maan."). Stijn Coninx directs Huub Stapel, Johanna ter Steege, Annet Malherbe, Anneke Blok, Kees Hulst, Betty Schuurman and others in his latest project. The story, written by Jacqueline Epskamp, is situated in 1969 and reveals the dilemma of 9-year-old Caro, played by Neeltje de Vree, who isn't able to comprehend how normal people could be planning to go to the moon since the heavens above are God's residence. She discovers, with some assistance from her father, exactly what the world is all about.

  • Whoops! Trouble around "Soldier of Orange 2". It looks like relations have broken down between Rob Houwer's production company Nedfilm and the Soldier of Orange Ltd. Partnership group. Complications have allegedly come about due to non-closure of a Completion Bond, which means that completion of the film would not be contractually guaranteed. It also seems that Nedfilm told director Jean van de Velde that the budget of 26 million guilders originally agreed upon was going to be reduced to 15 million guilders. (You can work out the difference in Euros yourself!) Soldier of Orange CV has decided to opt out of the collaboration. Their plans to make the film, however, continue.

  • The Dutch Film Annual for 2001 has made its appearance on bookshelves after its introduction last month in Nijmegen. This attractively bound paper edition covers all the films released in Holland during the past year and includes a comprehensive listing of directors, actors, technicians, soundtracks, aspect ratios and video classifications. Among the articles especially written for this edition are journalist Bart van der Put's assessment of what effect the introduction of DVD has had on cinephiles, producer/director Wim Verstappen's essay on the concept of "auteur" in the film business, and editor Hans Hoes' analysis of results from fiscal methods presently applied to stimulate filmmaking in Holland. All in Dutch, of course.

  • The Irish were splashing it out in a big way at the Cannes Film Festival last month. More than 200 delegates were registered at the Irish Pavilion which, supported by the Irish Film Board and the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission, serves as a focal point for business and information. Bound to be a big crop of four-leaf-clovers coming our way this year.

  • Staying with the Irish for a second, actor Liam Neeson has recently been nominated for a Tony Award in New York for his role in the Broadway production of "The Crucible". Laura Linney also appears in the cast directed by Richard Eyre ("Iris").

  • And, continuing the Irish link even 5,000 miles further, production designer Jonathan Saturen appeared at the Abbey Theatre in Colorado for two days last month to answer questions about Sherman Alexie's "The Business of Fancy Dancing" which will be appearing in its NEW and Final edited version at that cinema through June 12th.

  • We are extremely pleased to announce that the late, great Al Hansen is being revived and revivified at the Kino Odeon on the Severinstra▀ in Cologne, Germany. Al, who was one of the major (and definitely most unforgettable) members of the Fluxus art movement, is the central figure in a short film directed by Maurit Mondorf and Amedeo Balestrieri which will be premiering on June 8th. (Those of you unfamiliar with Fluxus, get off your asses and check it out.) "Instructions Before Leaving Earth" is the development of an idea originally conceived by Mr. Hansen, who unfortunately left for yet another planet some years ago.

  • "Spiderman" is set for a 4th of July opening in Holland (which seems rather appropriate).

  • The spectacularly sensual show known as "La Guarda" will be making a four-week appearance in Amsterdam as it starts its European tour this August. Located at the Docklands at the NDSM-terrain, you better hurry and make reservations if you want to see the world from another point of view. A mixture of acrobatics, total theatre, and dance party, it has already pulled in a more than a million visitors during its four-year run in New York. Performed by a group of 15 Argentinean artists, whose agility is on display along wires and walls, other "flying" stars among those attending the show in the past have been Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Alanis Morisette. (Madonna and Drew Barrymore decided to decline the honor of being tossed through the air with the greatest of ease.) Who thought bungy-jumping was rough going? This show lasts seventy minutes and, yes, expect to get wet even if you don't wind up flying through the sky.

  • And, talking about flying through the sky, the first footage of "The Matrix Reloaded" was broadcast over satellite worldwide last month on the 15th of May. We can hardly wait for the rest of it (and the rest of it and the rest of it). And if you think it ends there, you're sorely mistaken. "The Matrix Revolutions" will be spinning onto the screens as the second of the sequels at some further future future date. Bye for now >>>>>>>> Back to those wonderful illusions!!!!!!

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