Welkom in Holland: Home of Crop Circles, Creator of Lara 2, and the Man with the Golden Penis.

(August 2002)

  • The "All Night Horror Show" travels on. Although the rare and weird series of screenings known as "Mundo Bizarro" came to an end last June, there still remains one series of cult films presently available for viewing in the Lowlands (including such freaky favorites as "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies" and "Sexy Nights of the Living Dead") See July's TGH Buzz and check out website goforit.nl.

  • Dutch director Jan de Bont's next film will be "Tomb Raider 2: Lara Croft And The Cradle Of Life" (starring, of course, the inevitable Angelina Jolie as LC with Chris Barrie and Noah Taylor at her titillating side). Shooting starts shortly in England, Africa, Greece, and China. This time around our new age heroine goes searching for Pandora's box under water. Once a Chinese gang grasps the box from her, Lara naturally has to travel in search of it along the Great Wall. De Bont's work is always visually stunning, so we can expect a super-duper time undisturbed by any extensive story line which might not fit the image.

  • Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how the Lowlands react to the portrait given of "Goldmember" as a glowing-penised, excema-eating, evil Dutchman. We think it's hysterical! But don't tell your "fa-wah".

  • The annual Amsterdam "Uitmarkt" will take place this year between the 23rd and 25th of august on the Museumplein. This square itself has been troubled by its new grass lawn ever since the field was renovated. It seems that the grass here suffers as much as the grass in the new ArenA and costs millions to replace each time it's used. (What happened to the good, old-fashioned kind of grass? Seems like you just can't find it in Amsterdam anymore.) This edition of the Artistic Market ("Uitmarkt") will mark the last time this particular square will be used without the exploiter being charged for the laying of a new grass field when extensively damaged. The times, they certainly are a-changin'! Anyhow, back to the "Uitmarkt": One of the many performances on show this year will be: "Puppetry of the Penis: the ancient art of genital oragami" from Australia.

  • Somewhere in the flatlands between Stadskanaal and Onstwedde in Holland, crop circles have recently been discovered for the third year in a row. According to the DCCA (Dutch Crop Circle Archive), these cannot possibly be the work of man. Nevertheless, the Dutch distribution division of Buena Vista denies that there is any connection between these events and the upcoming film "Signs", due to be released in Holland next month. (And let's be honest, how could there be, unless they have aliens working inside their PR department?) You're probably wiser staying out of the fields this month. I don't know about you folks, but I prefer to go into the cinema to blow my nodes.

  • Remember the teaming of Irish actor Liam Neeson with his wife, English actress Natasha Richardson, in the Jody Foster film "Nell"? No? Well, the couple has been searching for another viable vehicle to work on together and have finally come up with the gothic thriller "Asylum", based on a novel of the same name by Patrick McGrath. Focusing on a taboo love affair that develops in a mental asylum in 1950s England, Richardson will play the wife of a superintendent at a mental hospital whose loneliness drives her to develop a relationship with an artist who killed his wife and was declared insane. An intense, character driven piece, the film, to be directed by David Mackenzie, is scheduled to begin shooting next spring.

  • 911 will live in everyone's minds for a long time to come. The six designs handed in by architects for a memorial have met with disapproval from a specific segment of the public (who allegedly would rather see space utilized for housing and real estate). Could these people be real estate developers? We must await future reports on this. Another memorial, however, and this one to the victims of the Great Famine in Ireland has been formally opened in New York's Battery Park recently. President Mary McAleese was guest of honor at the ceremony for the unveiling of the creation by American artist Brian Tolle who has used the quarter acre available to him to recreate a corner of rural Co. Mayo, complete with the reconstructed remains of a cottage from Attymass. A little part of Ireland in NY: turn west by Battery Park, Lower Manhattan and you will be transported into a small, rocky green field with rushes, stone walls and a ruined cottage. Almost a million Irish people immigrated to New York in the years around the Famine and many of their descendants were in attendance at the recent opening ceremony. A gift from the Irish people (or more specifically the Slack family in Co. Mayo on whose land the cottage originally stood) Tolle oversaw the dismantling, shipment and reconstruction of the stone cottage which now stands, as he described it, as a "living memory" to the emigrants of Ireland.

  • Ireland is tied to America and America is tied to Ireland. John Mahoney, best known as Martin Crane in the TV sitcom "Frasier", formally opened the Galway Arts Festival (which he referred to as "the best arts festival in the world") last month where he also appeared in the stage play "The Drawer Boy." The play has since transferred to the Peacock Theatre in Dublin and will run till August 10th.

  • One last sad note. With the closure in New York of Forty Second Street's "Peeporama" on July 31st, an era has come to an end. Long lost forever are the late night cinemas where one could enjoy cheap movies and cheap thrills at the same time.

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