Dutch Cry Out "Show Me the Money" as Government Tax-Exemption Scheme Keeps Dangling on Thin Threads  /
European Filmmakers Support Their Dutch Colleagues in Survival Struggle /
Dutch Directors' Guild Shoots Mass Rally of Filmmakers to Emphasize Their Point /
And 23rd Netherlands Film Festival Closes Doors with Gold for "The Twins"

(October 2003)

  • The news of the day, month, and year in the Dutch film world is that further changes are afoot regarding subsidies and the present tax-exemption scheme for stimulation of the film culture in the Netherlands. The sword of Damocles has been hanging over the head of this industry for some time now and it is possible that measures which have successfully assisted filmmaking, both artistically and economically, are on the point of being cast out the window with such speed that no camera could manage to capture it. As a result, naturally, the protests have begun. The turmoil within the film world, a result of indefinite (if not resolutely negative) signals from the government, has been felt for the past couple of years within Holland. The Dutch Director's Guild, one of the many organizations participating in efforts to let their discontent be known, have received support on a wider scale from the Federation of European Audiovisual Directors (FERA), which has accepted a resolution (passed during a meeting last month in Gdyna, Poland) to protest in solidarity against these proposals to dispose of necessary measures that presently stimulate growth within the Dutch film industry. Stating their shared opinion and recognition that it will become impossible to support a Dutch film industry appropriately without sufficient financial incentive, the FERA, represented by 11,000 European directors from 31 associations in 27 countries, have united in solidarity behind the film community of the Netherlands. The Swedish actress Liv Ullman, as spokesperson and chairman for the organization, expressed her grave concern about the disastrous results these measures could have with regard to future filmmaking and filmmakers in Holland as well as the diminishing returns of a culturally valuable and presently economically viable industry.

  • The 23rd annual Netherlands Film Festival has just ended in the Utrecht Municipal Theatre with the presentation of the "Golden Calf Awards", including the Best Film Award for "De Tweeling" ("The Twins"). The film has already been picked up by the Weinstein brothers of Miramax for an American release, so it will be interesting to follow its further progress. Kim van Kooten won Best Actress for her performance in "Pheleine Zegt Sorry" and Tygo Gernandt for Best Actor in "Van God Los". (Gernandt's impressive appearance upon the screen this year was quite an unexpected and welcomed surprise for many a Dutch viewer.) Pieter Kuijpers picked up the prize as Best Director as a result of his work on "Van God Los".

  • The "e-culture fair" will take place on October 23rd and 24th in Amsterdam at the Melkweg, the Balie, and Paradiso. The race to be the leading player in the knowledge economy has begun, with the Netherlands as one of the competitors. Innovation is a key element in these plans, and in particular innovation in the ICT sector. The fair will focus on the creative side of the knowledge economy and look at examples of how innovation in ICT comes about. Not only the cultural sector, but also industry, science and education are represented in the fifty (inter) national projects on display, reflected in various forms of installation, performance and/or presentation. The one thing they all have in common is a fresh look at the future of new media and a venture toward the other side of the knowledge economy.

    On the first day of the fair, presentations will be divided thematically and placed into context by four international experts. Various themes are designed to appeal to different sorts of visitors who have a professional interest in e-culture. Several inspiring alternatives for current practice will be demonstrated in a series of presentations. (e.g. the end of the stage, computer-free classrooms, the future of TV, the digital public space.) During the second day of the fair, presentations will be of single projects -some may be attached to a stand at the fair while others will not.

    The combination of new media and music brings with it innovation in sound. But that doesn't necessarily involve using the most expensive, state of the art equipment. Christoph Kummerer and Matt Wand (Stock, Hausen & Walkman) prefer working with lo-fi, lo-res and lo-cost, hacked, hand-held Nintendos as tools for a new, but diverse sound. A performance evening on Thursday, the 23rd of October in the Melkweg, the pioneers of ambient techno, Thomas Köner en Andy Mellwig of Porter Ricks, will be rounded off with visuals by Karl Kliem (MESO).

    The cultural sector's co-operation with industry and science, as well as a look at new legal and economic models, will be central on the second day of the e-culture fair. A conference will be held with an international group of experts from all sectors to discuss the current state of creative R&D in new media. Using concrete examples of projects on show at the fair, participants will analyze current needs in the sector, future co-operation, and practical issues such as licensing and infrastructure. The aim is to come up with a plan of action for the future of e-culture research and development. Organizations represented at the conference will include Media Lab Europe, BBC Creative R&D, Interact Lab, University of Sussex and Mars Lab at Fraunhofer Institute for the Media.

    Virtueel Platform, organizer of the e-culture fair, is a network for co-operation and policy making in the field of new media and contemporary culture. Its members include De Balie, Doors of Perception, Netherlands Institute for Media art, Montevideo/ Time Based Arts, Paradiso, STEIM, Submarine, V2_ and the Waag Society for old and new media

    Further information available at www.e-culturefair.nl.

  • One of the classics of all time is about to bow once again in the cinemas of Holland (and Belgium) for a one-time only performance (on four separate occasions) in four different cities with live musical accompaniment. Yes, it's that decadently delicious German expressionistic treat, Willem Friedrich Murnau's "Faust" from 1926. A feast in black-and-white for the eye and a voyage into the world of innovative special effects from the past which undeniably prove what a master Murnau was.

    The plague infects the village in F.W. Murnau's masterpiece "Faust" (1926)
    Universum Film AG (UFA) produktion /
    distributors USA: Grapevine video / Kino video / MGM
    When the film first appeared on screens, it could be seen in six different versions and with three different scores. (How hi-tech can you get? And that in 1926!) The original montage has recently been reconstructed for the Filmoteca Española in Madrid by the Spanish film historian and cineast Luciano Berriatùa. This reconstruction took three years to accomplish during which time Berriatua was also able to reconstruct the original score, written for a small cinema ensemble of nine musicians by the Berlin composer Paul A. Hensel. The finished product has already been screened at various festivals. The "Film in Concert Foundation", who have organized the upcoming events, have also invited the Spanish film orchestra "The Silent Band", conducted by Javier Pérez de Aspeita, to perform Hensel's original score live on stage during the screenings.

    "Faust" can be seen in Theater aan de Parade in Den Bosch on Tuesday, October 14th at 20.00, in Utrecht at Vredenburg on Wednesday, October 15th at 20.15, (at the International Filmfestival of Flanders in Ghent, Belgium at the Capitole Theater on Thursday, October 16th at 20:00) and in Amsterdam at the Tuschinski Theatre on Sunday, October 19th at 13:30. And what a treat Murnau's masterpiece is! A Don't Miss! (see also: the TGH Green Emeralds).

  • The fabulous Nostalgia series ("Nostalgie") of classics at the wonderful art deco Pathé Tuschinski Cinema in Amsterdam starts its new season on Sunday, October 5th with Fons Rademakers' "Max Havelaar". Between now and June 13th of next year ten films, as arranged by Pathé in cooperation with the Filmmuseum, will be screened and preceded by a special live introduction. The program for 2003/2004 (all shows screened Sunday mornings with the exception of the Christmas day special) is as follows:
    • October 3th: "Max Havelaar" (Netherlands 1976)
    • October 19th: Friedrich Wilhelm Murneau's "Faust" (Germany 1926)
    • Nov 9th: Charlie Chaplin-program with live music
    • Dec 25th: Michael Curtiz' "White Christmas" (USA 1954) starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kay and Rosemary Clooney
    • Jan 18th 2004: "Op de Hollandse Toer" (Netherlands 1973)
    • Feb 15th: Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" (USA 1940)
    • March 14th: "Rififi in Amsterdam" (Netherlands 1962)
    • April 18th: "Gigi" (USA 1958)
    • May 16th: "Fiddler on the Roof" (USA 1971)
    • June13th: "Zeemansvrouwen" (Netherlands 1930)
    "Zeemansvrouwen", which was the last Dutch silent film, had originally been intended to become the first Dutch sound film, has now finally been realized as a sound film - for those who may be confused regarding this matter, please refer to TGH Buzz of the Month for May, 2003. A brand new soundtrack by composer Henny Vrienten has been added, as well as spoken dialogue.

    Further information available at www.filmmuseum.nl and tickets for all shows can be ordered at www.tuschinski.nl.

  • Ridley Scott's unforgettable "Alien" will be re-released on the big screen in the director's cut this month in Amsterdam. Another real treat, anyone who has never had the pleasure of seeing this classic in the cinema (meaning on the big screen) should run to get a ticket. Don't eat too much before the screening, think twice if you're experiencing stomach pains, and bless that Giger and his wonderful twisted mind. Amen

  • The 30th edition of the Flanders Film Festival in Gent (which will take place from October 7th to October 18th, highlights the symbiotic effect of music and film once again. Guest of honor this time around at the World Soundtrack Awards evening will be French composer Maurice Jarre, famed for his compositions heard in such films as "Ghost", "Lawrence of Arabia", "Doctor Zhivago", and "Dead Poets Society". He will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his enormous career, body of work, and dedication. Winner of the World Soundtrack Awards in 2001 and 2002, Patrick Doyle, will be performing live at this year's events and Oscar® winner Nicola Piovani will round off the festival with a spectrum of scores from Italian movies. Ticket sales for the World Soundtrack Awards concert and the closing night with Nicola Piovani started in July, so you'd better hurry. More information available at: www.filmfestival.be.

  • Actress Vanessa Redgrave will be representing UNICEF at the Flanders International Film Festival. Redgrave, the world famous English actress and UNICEF ambassadress, will be present this year for a benefit screening of"Julia" from which proceeds will be donated to UNICEF Belgium. This screening will take place on October 18th at the Kinepolis in Gent at 10 in the morning. Tickets cost 25 Euro each (including a drink after the film during which Ms. Redgrave will be present).

    The film "Julia" (1977), directed by Fred Zinneman, tells the poignant story of the close friendship between the writer Lillian Hellmann and her childhood friend, Julia, as well as revealing their anti-Nazi activities during the Second World War. Jane Fonda plays Lillian Hellmann and Vanessa Redgrave is brilliant in the title role of Julia. Jason Robards appears as Dashiell Hammet, noted novelist and Lillian's partner, and the film includes the debut role of Meryl Streep. The production received an Academy Award® for Best (Adapted) Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Jason Robards) and Best Supporting Actress (Vanessa Redgrave).

    More information, as already mentioned above, available on this and all events at the 2003 Flanders International Film Festival at: www.filmfestival.be.

  • Four Dutch productions and co-productions have been selected for nominations in the 16th annual European Film Awards 2003. A total of thirty-four films have been chosen by the Board of the European Film Academy, from which the award winners will be announced on December 6th in Berlin. The six Dutch productions include: Ben Sombogaart's "De Tweeling" ("The Twins"), Stiijn Coninx' "Verder dan de Maan" ("Sea of Silence"), Lars von Trier's "Dogville", and Margarethe von Trotta's "Rosenstrasse". The nomination procedure will be completed at the beginning of November and winners' names will be announced during the Awards Ceremony at the Arena in Berlin. Time to wake up, cinefanatics! All European cinema-goers are welcome to cast their votes toward the Jameson People's Choice Awards via national newspapers, local websites or specialist film magazines - take a look at: www.jameson.ie/peopleschoice. The European Film Awards 2003 are backed by Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH, the Filmforderungsanstalt, the German National Lottery, the German State Minister for Culture and Media and the MEDIA-Programme of the EU as well as by sponsors Jameson Irish Whiskey, TNT, Toronto Stock Exchange, UIP and UK Film Council.

  • Diederik van Rooijen's "Zulaika", the first children's film from the Antilles, will premiere at the Cinekid Festival on October 23rd. Park Junior, the distribution company releasing this film, has followed their steadfast plan of bringing as many films as possible into the cinema annually for children and young people. During the 2003/2004 season they will be releasing the following films in Dutch cinemas: Morten Khlert's "Tinke" ("Ulvepigen Tinke" /"Little Big Girl") - Denmark, Pia Bovin's "Wallah Be" ("Kald mig bare Aksel") - Denmark, Harley Kokeliss' "An Angel For May" - England, and Henrik Rugen Genz' "Hodder" ("Someone Like Hodder") - Denmark as well as Diederik van Rooijen's "Zulaika" ("Zulaika, kobra ta dura") - Neth. Antilles.

  • Dana Nechushtan will direct production company Waterland Film & TV's new TeleFilm thriller "Nachtrit" ("Nightride"), written by Franky Ribbers, that takes place on the streets of Amsterdam and which is situated during the taxi-wars that took place at the beginning of 2000.

  • Wendy van Dijk and Thomas Acda have officially announced that they will be joined together as the leads in the Dutch family film "In Oranje" ("In Orange"). The story is about 11-year-old Remco, whose father, Erik (Acda), has passed away, but with whom he is able to keep contact through dreams. Remco is a talented football player and his father was not only a good friend, but his coach. Remco's mother, Sylvia (van Dijk), always manages to keep a cool head when emotional problems arise.

  • The poster designed by Gijs Kuijper for the film "Van God Los" has won the "Skrien" magazine poster award for 2003 during the Netherlands Film Festival. Winner of Honorary Mention is Ron van Roon for his design for the film "Go West, Young Man". Jury members this year included designer Lex Reitsma, director Paula van der Oest, Ketelhuis cinema manager Alex de Ronde, ex-manager of the poster collection at the Netherlands Filmmuseum Bastiaan Anink and marketing specialist Paul Verstraeten. Both films are well worth seeing, and the posters advertising them serve as a good introduction.

  • A special film edition of the novel "Phileine Zegt Sorry" has been available in Dutch bookstores since last month. Publisher Podium decided to release this new edition simultaneously with the release of the film. Having already sold 20,000 copies, the book has reached number one in the present top ten list. Ronald Giphaart's novel has sold more than 250,000 copies to date. At the rate the new edition is selling, Giphart himself has smilingly suggested that "Perhaps the book is still better than the film?"

    Directed by Robert Jan Westdijk and starring Kim van Kooten, Michiel Huisman, Tara Elders, Liesbeth Kamerling, and Daan Schuurmans, "Phileine Zegt Sorry" is a romantic comedy about a super-bitch named Phileine who learns the meaning of true love when she almost loses her boyfriend, Max, and, for the first time in her life, has to say that she's sorry.

  • SabuCat, headed by Jeff Joseph, organized a 3-D festival that took place last month at Hollywood's Egyptian Cinema. Although it is too late to take advantage of the event, it is nevertheless interesting to note that interest in so-called "old-fashioned" 3-D still exists. Anyone California bound might check out the possibility of any future events taking place at the Egyptian Cinema, but it looks as if Joseph won't be organizing another 3-D experience anytime in the near future. Even if there isn't any 3-D on screen, the corridors of this cinema are well worth a visit. Real freaks who want more to bulge toward this other dimension might wile away their otherwise wearisome hours by checking out: http://www.rollanet.org/~vbeydler/van/3dreview/index.htm and spending an evening or two enriching and scratching their expanding brains.

  • Yes, folks that madman without the Russian cap is soon returning to host the 76th Academy Awards®. February 29th, 2004 is just around the corner (if you live on a big street) and Billy Crystal will be the one splitting our sides as the créme de la créme tour the boards. Telecast producer Joe Roth announced, "I can't tell you how happy I am that Billy will be hosting this show. He was my first and only choice." Crystal said, "When Joe called, I didn't hesitate. He has such a passion for the show I felt I could have a great time doing it again. It was either this or run for governor." Winner of four Emmys for his writing and hosting of the Oscar® show, as well as having received six other Emmy nominations for his contributions, Billy boy is always a special treat (as those who have seen him well know).

  • Roman Polanski finally received his Oscar® for "The Pianist" last month in Deauville when it was handed over to him by actor Harrison Ford. Roman doesn't travel back to the States anymore.

  • Christopher Nolan is set to direct the next Batman which is slated to star Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. So what ever happened to Darren Aronofsky? In either case, it's bound to be a dark and divine bat flying overhead, don't you think?

  • "Schindler's List", due to be screened at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Diamond Anniversary Screening Series at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater this month has been shifted from the regular Monday night time to Tuesday evening, October 7th at 7:30, due to Yom Kippur, which falls on a Monday. The Oscar®-winning Animated Short Film of 1993, "The Wrong Trousers," will also be featured during the evening. Located at 8949 Wiltshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

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