"Holland's Light" and Two Upcoming Cases of Alzheimer's / 23rd Edition Netherlands Film Festival Starts Festivities in Utrecht and Phileine says she's Sorry! / "Car Craze" heads to Hollywood and so does "De Tweeling" / Tati smiles As Africa comes to Amsterdam

(September 2003)

  • The Netherlands Film Festival (September 24th - October 3rd) will open its doors in Utrecht, Holland, for the 23rd edition with director Robert Jan Westdijk's latest film (based upon a book by Dutch author Ronald Giphart) "Phileine Zegt Sorry" ("Phileine Says Sorry"). The Benelux screenings and world premieres of the Pieter-Rim de Kroon's and Maarten Kron's documentary "Hollands Licht" ("Holland's Light") as well as Stijn Conninx's feature film "Verder Dan De Maan" ("Further Than The Moon") will also be included on this year's schedule.

    Maria Goos is definitely "In The Picture" for 2003. The redheaded writer with the whirling pen's newest Tele-film "Cloaca" (scheduled for broadcast on television next Spring) will also be premiering at this year's festival. Considering that the film was in the hands of director Willem van de Sande Bakhuyzen, who also takes credit for directing the staged version, one sincerely hopes that the result is as exciting on screen as it was in the theatre. Goos' directing debut, the drama series "Lieve Mensen" ("Dear People"), is also to be screened during the festival.

    A retrospective of director Fons Rademaker's work will include "Max Havelaar", "Het Mes" ("The Knife"), and "Dorp Aan De Rivier" ("Village on the River"). The presentation of a new boxed-DVD set of his films and a book, penned by Mieke Bernink, about Rademakers as man and director will also taking place. Rademakers, best known abroad for his Oscar® winning film "De Aanslag" ("The Assault") will, needless to say, be appearing frequently in Utrecht during the week to discuss his work (after a strenuous week on the sea in Vlissingen).

    Recently deceased director Rob du Mee is also to be honored with an "homage" for his work, which will include screenings of "Rooie Sien" ("Red Sien"), "De Inbreker" ("The Burglar"), and "The Family".

    Amongst the lot of ten new Dutch film projects being presented this year at the annual Netherlands Production Platform, where film professionals discuss and analyze productions proposed for the future, is "Jennifer, Tiffany & Michelle." This film project, based upon the notorious and incredibly simple diamond theft that took place in Amsterdam a couple of years ago, is to be produced by Tsunami Film, written by Rogier Propier and Martin Bril and directed by Jean van der Velde. It will be interesting, at one of the future Netherlands Film Festivals, to view this portrait of a shy "schlemiel" who successfully ventures into a world of crime with high hopes of eventually winning the heart of a prostitute he adores.

    The entire festival will be running in Utrecht through October 3rd. Hope to see you all there!

  • "Films By The Sea", the film festival that takes place from September 8th through 14th in what is on other days the quiet village of Vlissingen, will be celebrating its fifth edition by putting the spotlight on Italy (as well as other things) and therewith includes a small, but interesting line-up of films from "il maestro" Fellini (as well as other directors from the boot). (Keep an eye open for Fons Rademakers who will be keeping on the move here before heading toward Utrecht.) Further information available at: www.filmbythesea.nl.

  • Africa can be found indoors this month at the Rialto Cinema in the center of Amsterdam (as well as at other select cinemas in Rotterdam, Den Haag, Utrecht, and Eindhoven). Between September 3rd and 14th, the seventh biennial edition of "Africa in the Picture", the largest and most swinging African film festival to be found in Europe, will be offering a mixture of feature films and short films as well as documentaries. The three major programs at the festival are clustered together under the labels "Maghreb in the Picture" (which will screen North African films from Morocco, Algeria, and Tunesia", "Copyright South Africa" (offering cinema from the South African film industry), and "Gay Africa" (a series of films dealing with an area of sexuality that still remains taboo throughout most of the country). "Video Ghana", "Madame Africa", "Alien Nated", "Urban Vibes" and "Aids Alert" are among other programs organized for the festival. Besides some eighty films and dozens of guests, there will be symposiums, workshops, a school's program and a number of interviews taking place in Rialto's Filmcafé. More information about the schedules as well as the entire festival is available at: www.africainthepicture.nl.

    Two of the high points from "Africa in the Picture", which were screened outdoors in Amsterdam last month, are the films "Rachida" and "Madame Brouette." "Rachida" takes place in Algiers and is the story of a teacher in a working class neighborhood. One morning, on the way to school, she is attacked by a gang of terrorists which includes some of her former students. After being asked to place a bomb in the school and refusing, the men retaliate by shooting her in the stomach. Everyone runs away and leaves Rachida alone as she lies bleeding in the street. After surviving this attack, she moves away to a village far from the city where she winds up making a surprising discovery. "Madame Brouette" is the story of Mati, nicknamed Madame Brouette, who has been divorced and decided to finish with men completely. She pushes her cart of wares through the streets of Sandaga marketplace while dreaming of one day opening her own restaurant. Upon meeting a charming policeman named Naago, a man free with his money as well as his pretty words, Mati falls in love again. When she discovers she's pregnant, her father shows her the door and Mati is headed for a rude awakening about the real world that exists around her police officer.

  • On Friday evening, September 26th the Dutch Institute for South Africa (NiZA), in association with Felix Meritis and the Beira City Group of Amsterdam, will organize "Levend Jaarboek Zuidelijk Afrika 2003" ("The Living Yearbook of South Africa"). Visitors can make a choice from among a number of debates, interviews, films, exhibitions, and more. Mix and mingle with South African guests and dance to the music of an African swingband. Sculptor Gonçalo Mabunda (Mozambique) and photographer Margrit Coppé (Angola) will be there to discuss their work. The problems surrounding AIDS in South Africa and Dutch breakdancers who have performed with the band Djaaka! from Mozambique are only two of the topics dealt with in the area of documentary film. Further, to discuss the natural resources of South Africa and the effect of industry on the people living there, as well as industry's responsibility toward these people, representatives of Shell Corporation, Erasmus University, and various other organizations will be present. Another panel will analyze violence used against women and women's right to protection. And there will be much, much more. Further information available at: www.felix.meritis.nl and www.niza.nl.

  • The IBC exhibition takes place in the Amsterdam RAI from September 12th through 16th and the IBC Conference from September 11th through 15th. Among the events on schedule are a Master Class about making IMAX movies ("Praying Mantis Lunches on Butterfly", Saturday, September 13th from 14:30-16:00), a Master Class on film restoration ("It Looks Like It Was Made Last Week", Monday, September 15th from 14:30-16:00) and a Conference Program discussing the options for transition from to D-Cinema and Alternative Programming (also Monday, September 15th from 14:30-15:30). More information available at: www.ibc.org.

  • The poster for Jacques Tati's delightful "Mon Oncle".
    Photo: courtesy Nederlands Filmmuseum.
    Jacques Tati and his unforgettable form (with umbrella or without; with pipe or without; as Monsieur Hulot and as other characters) will be enticing and entertaining both young and old in a fabulous retrospective of his work on show at the Netherlands Filmmuseum Cinerama theatre located near the Leidseplein in Amsterdam (as well as at other select theatres throughout the country) starting on September 5th and running through November 5th. Those who might be, astonishingly enough, still unacquainted with the funnyman's fantastic work can read the combination review "Tati" that will be shortly be appearing on TGH review list. In the meantime, for a full schedule of the films to be screened, please refer to www.filmmuseum.nl.
  • The Venice Biennial Filmfestival "Mostra Internazionale D'Arte Cinematografica Venice" may have begun on August 27th, but you still have time to make it there until September 6th. The 60th Venice International Film Festival was opened with "Anything Else." A conundrum? No, his latest film with Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci, Danny DeVito and (who else?) Woody Allen. "The Human Stain", based upon Philip Roth's book, had its world premiere on August 30th and so director Robert Benton was there alongside Nicole Kidman, Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Gary Sinise, and Wentworth Miller. But there's still more goings on (as usual at festivals). Hurry, hurry to: biennale.tiscali.it/en/cinema/60thmostra/introduction/.

  • The Toronto International Film Festival™ starts its latest edition on September 4th and runs through the 14th. As a forerunner, a free screening of Wim Wenders' "Buena Vista Social Club" took place last month under the stars at the CIBC Stage at Harbourfront Centre. Cinema under the Canadian stars while letting yourself be carried away by the sights and sounds of Cuba. mong the treats in store during the TIFF itself: Colin Farrell, the high-rising shooting-star, will be appear in the brand new Irish film "Intermission"; "The Human Stain" will also be screened. And Alex van Warmerdam's exciting new film fairytale "Grimm" has also been placed on the menu. Festival director Piers Handling, members of the Toronto International Film Festival programming team and the Festival staff have been enticing the public for months with a series of festival insights and a series of exclusive video clips on line, but now the real thing is about to burst free. The full film line-up for the festival is now available on their TIFF's website at: www.bell.ca/filmfest.

  • "Ecocinema", the international environmental film festival that takes place every year, will begin on September 9th and run through 14th on the island of Zakynthos, Greece. Further information available at: www.ecocinema.gr.

  • The World Soundtrack Academy has recently announced nominations (selected by the Academy's 150+ members, the majority of whom are soundtrack composers) for three categories in the World Soundtrack Awards. The final winners will be disclosed on October 12th at the 30th Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent. A complete list of nominations can be found at: www.worldsoundtrackawards.com/about.asp?nav=about&subnav=news&ID=18.

  • In France, the Deauville "Festival du Cinéma Américain" will take place from the 5th until the 14th of September. Roman Polanski will be serving as jury president for this edition of the festival and flanked by Claudia Cardinale and Nastassja Kinski. "Naturalment", more luminaries will be "en presence": producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory (with the entire French cast of their latest film) will unquestionably be seen attending the official screening of "Le Divorce", Holly Hunter and director Catherine Hardwicke will be there for the much-talked-about "Thirteen"; and, yessir, Sir Ridley Scott will be there too for the press conference of "Matchstick Men."

  • The fabulous Nostalgia series ("Nostalgie") of classics at the wonderful art-deco Pathé Tuschinski Cinema in Amsterdam will start its new round of cinema on Sunday, October 5th with Fons Rademakers' "Max Havelaar". The highlight of this season will be the October 19th screening of Murnau's "Faust" supported by the live musical accompaniment of The Silent Band. The last film of the new series, the Dutch classic "Zeemansvrouwen" from 1930, will be screened on June 13th, 2004. ("Zeemansvrouwen", the last Dutch silent film, which was originally intended to be the first Dutch sound film, is now finally realized as a sound film - for those who may be confused regarding these matters, please refer to TGH Buzz of the Month for May, 2003). A brand new soundtrack by composer Henny Vrienten can be heard as well as the recently post-synchronized spoken dialogue.) A full schedule of the 2003/2004 screenings will be listed in the October 2003 TGH "Buzz of the Month."

  • The CineKid Film Festival will open later this year with "Polleke", the new Dutch film directed by Ineke Houtman, based upon a book by noted author Guus Kuijer, and starring Dan Schuurmans and Halina Reijn. Further information available at: www.cinekid.nl.

  • Despite the hot and muggy tropical days in Amsterdam last month, the opening weekend of "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life" (directed by Jan de Bont) managed a cool box-office turnover by attracting one out of every three cinema visitors. She does have her ways, doesn't she! Eat your heart out, Barb Wire.

  • Principle photography has begun on "Flirt". Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

  • Director Nicole van Kilsdonk, whom many of you may remember for her impressive 2002 TeleFilm "Ochtendzwemmers", is busy shooting her latest feature "Cellavie." A tragi-comedy about an ambitious journalist (and resenter of a popular talkshow) and her famed violinist mother, who presently suffers from Alzheimer's, the film stars actresses Jacqueline Blom and Kitty Courbois.

  • The new Flemish film "The Alzheimer Case," directed by Erik Van Looy, will be screened on the opening night film of the 30th Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent. Based on the novel of the same name by noted crime author Jef Geeraerts and featuring actors Koen De Bouw, Werner De Smedt and Jan Decleir, the film will enjoy its world premiere on October 7th. The 30th edition of the Flanders International Film Festival at Ghent is scheduled to run from 7th through October 18th. Ticket sales start on 29 September 2003. For more information: www.filmfestival.be.

  • Eddy Terstall was surprised to see his name appear recently in a local Amsterdam newspaper as the active partner rather than the prime mover involved in "Adultery" ("Overspel"). As neighbors lured out their windows and on their balconies, catching wind of a nude shoot, preparations were being made for the closed-set shoot of a bedroom scene in east Amsterdam last month. One paper cited Terstall as director instead of scriptwriter for this comedy. Corrections and apologies have been made in the meantime. The building location is allegedly soon to be demolished. Who knows what could possibly be left behind?

  • Ben Sombogaart's "De Tweeling", based on the novel by Tessa de Loo, has been chosen as the Dutch entry for competition among the foreign language films being entered with hope toward becoming one of the five chosen for the upcoming Oscar® short-list nominees.

  • Also being sent in the direction of the Oscars® is Evert de Beijer's "Car Craze", a fascinating animation film about a environmental inspector trapped in an industrial city dominated by monstrous automobiles. This latest film of de Beijer has already been awarded "Mention Speciale" at Annecy earlier this year.

  • The "Collected Works" of the DocuZone has been published to celebrate the opening of the cinema season of 2003/2004. It contains essays inspired by eight films that will be released by the DocuZone in the Rialto Cinema in Amsterdam (and select cinemas throughout Holland) between September 11th and December 18th of this year. The book is available free of charge when purchasing a cinema ticket at one of the DocuZone affiliated theaters. Further info available at: www.docuzone.nl.

  • Mike Newell has been contracted to direct the fourth installment of the Harry Potter films ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"), scheduled to appear at the cinemas in 2005. By adding his name to the illustrious HP list alongside predecessors Chris Columbus and Alfonso Cuarón's, Newell, noted for "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Donnie Brasco", becomes the first English director to have his name associated with a Potter project. Production doesn't start until April 2004, but, before that happens, we will all be treated to Alfonso Cuarón's upcoming "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", due in the theaters next summer.

  • What's this we hear about The Pitt-man eyeing up James Dean's role in "East of Eden". Touchy as this may seem (after all. King Dean only managed to appear in three big cinema events before the silver Spider took him off to lullaby land), there is probably no question that a superior script could be written based upon the novel and a brand new super-cast could be found to fulfill Steinbeck's dream. But how about all that comparison stuff that will go along with the role of Cal? Good idea or not, decide for yourself. (And, now that we're at it, how come the Emmy award winning television version of Dean's life, directed by Mark Rydell, written by Israel Horovitz, and starring James Franco (who picked up a Golden Globe for his performance) still hasn't received either a cinema release or broadcast here in Holland?)

  • Look out, Buffy! "Underworld" is Romeo and Juliet with supernatural creatures at each other's throats instead of the Montagues and Capulets. Loosely (to say the least) based on the Shakespearean tragedy, this time it's a feud between vampires and werewolves featuring an interspecies romance between female vampire warrior Kate Beckinsale and young pacifist werewolf Scott Speedman. (I believe I hear the rustle of Bill the Bard turning in his grave.) You can start chewing your way into this updated fright right now with the Quicktime exclusive trailer now at: www.apple.com/enews/2003/qissue/16/03ht.html".

  • "Imaging and Imagining: The Film World of Pat York" is a new exhibition that will open its doors at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on September 12th. It contains one-hundred-and-fifty images of film figures from both sides of the camera, all shot by fine art photographer Pat York during the past four decades. Like all exhibitions at the Academy, "Imaging and Imagining" is free and open to the public.

    York started her career as a journalist in the fashion department of "Vogue." After a stint as a photographer/travel editor at "Glamour," which took her around the world on assignments, she became a freelance photographer, often being hired as "special photographer" on film sets, including those on which her husband, actor Michael York, was working. Over the years, her freelance work has appeared in such publications as "Life," "People," "Town & Country," "Playboy" and "Newsweek."

    "Imaging and Imagining" includes images of film talents as diverse as Sean Connery, Zooey Deschanel, Federico Fellini, Jane Fonda, Henry Fonda, Whoopi Goldberg, Anthony Hopkins, John Huston, Anjelica Huston, Tony Kaye, Gene Kelly, George Lucas, Liza Minnelli, Jack Nicholson, Laurence Olivier, Tom Stoppard, Barbra Streisand, John Travolta and Andy Warhol. The earliest images are from the very beginning of York's career; the most recent have been shot within the last month.

    Whilst the exhibition features images from the past four decades, York has used today's most advanced archival printing technology to print her photographs. The vintage and newly-shot color and black-and-white images will be printed specifically for this installation, the Academy's first exhibition to be entirely digitally printed, since new Ultrachrome inks have now made it possible to produce archival quality, long lasting exhibition prints that meet the standards of fine art photographers. A feast for the eyes. The exhibition will continue through December 7th. Gallery viewing hours are Tuesday through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call +1 310-247-3600.

  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will expand its film programming efforts in New York City when it kicks off on September 22nd with a new series known as "Monday Nights with Oscar®." This series will feature high quality prints of films that have either been nominated for or won Academy Awards® during the organization's 75-year history. The films will screen one Monday each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in Manhattan. Each screening will feature additional materials, ranging from rarely seen Oscar® telecast footage to Academy Award®-winning Animated Short films and each program will be introduced by a noted film historian, filmmaker or critic. Opening this month with "The Lion in Winter", the following months will offer screenings of "The Hustler", "Roman Holiday", "The Diary of Anne Frank", "All the King's Men", "Carmen Jones" and "On the Waterfront". That should keep lots of people in The Big Apple at least a little happy through March of next year.

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