Arnett and Adie in Amsterdam for Amnesty
"Fog of War" Soon To Cover International Criminal Court in The Hague
Angels' Haute Cuisine for Homeless Follows Oscar® Ball
First CinemAsia Festival Hits the Dutch Capital
Crusader Bale Dons Leather Duds
Marlon on the Docks Still Lookin' Good Fifty Years On
And Soon the Naked Trojans Will Be Coming Our Way!

(March 2004)

  • Human rights and the role of cinema are once again central aspects of the Amnesty International Film Festival as it celebrates its 6th edition at the end of this month. The Grand Opening will take place on Wednesday, March 31st at the Tropenmuseum (KIT) in Amsterdam, where Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi will deliver a video message to the audience. Themes concentrated upon this year include 1) violence against women, 2) wartime journalism, and 3) the situation in Haiti.

    During the five days, numerous events will capture the interest of all in attendance. War correspondents Peter Arnett, Kate Adie, and Âsne Seierstad will participate in a debate and discussion concerning the journalism of war and comment upon Lluis Jené's and Enric Miró's film "Miguel në Terren" (2003). This film is about the Miguel Gil Moreno, the Spanish journalist who gave up his position as lawyer in order to film in Bosnia and (former) Yugoslavia until he was killed in 2000. Another film, Jonathan Demme's, "The Argronomist" about the charismatic radio personality and Haitian human rights activist Jean Dominique is to be screened on April 3rd, the anniversary of Dominque's murder; his widow, Michéle Montas, will be present on the occasion. A retrospective of films directed by Costa-Gavras will also be screened throughout the festival.

    The festival will run through Sunday, April 4th and be situated (after the opening) at De Balie and Pathé City cinemas on the Leidseplein as well as in the Filmmuseum Vondelpark (which has been especially reserved for the Costa-Gavras screenings).

    More information available about all aspects at: www.amnesty.nl/filmfestival

  • Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard announced that, in an unprecedented event, the 2004 Academy Award®-winning documentary "The Fog of War" will be screened for the International Criminal Court, part of the World Court organization in The Hague, the Netherlands, on March 24th, 2004. Director Errol Morris and his documentary subject, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, will be present. The screening will be attended by the 18 elected members of the International Criminal Court, members of the International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia (ICTY), other prosecutors and the working administration of the World Courts. In addition, government officials from both the Netherlands and Belgium are also expected to attend. Political journalists from around the world based in The Hague and European capitals will be invited to attend the screening. Following the screening, Errol Morris and Robert S. McNamara will be part of a debate introduced by Philippe Kirsch, President of the International Criminal Court, followed by a reception.

    "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons of Robert S. McNamara" is the story of America as seen through the eyes of this former Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, one of the most controversial and influential figures in world politics, as he examines the psychology and reasoning of the government decision-makers who send men to war.

    Errol Morris, multi-award winning documentary filmmaker best known for the intensity of the interviews he conducts, has made such films "A Thin Blue Line," and "Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter. Jr." Morris' work received a full retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1999.

  • At midnight on Sunday, February 29th, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' post-Oscar® Governors Ball came to a close, refrigerated trucks from Angel Harvest, a non-profit agency that provides food to those in need in the Los Angeles area, arrived at the Hollywood & Highland® complex to pick up remaining Ball victuals for immediate distribution to the homeless. For the ninth consecutive year, Angel Harvest delivered the Ball leftovers to social service agencies providing emergency food to the hungry men, women and children of Los Angeles. This food was the same Wolfgang Puck cuisine enjoyed by those Hollywood stars who attended the Ball. The meals will be served for lunch and dinner the following day at local Los Angeles shelters. Founded in 1995, Angel Harvest is part of a network created and established by Helen verDuin Palit in 1982, now with 122 sister programs in the United States and 83 internationally. These organizations provide 700,000 meals a day, seven days a week, worldwide. In the Los Angeles area alone, Angel Harvest provides enough food for 3,326 meals per day. Food is donated from film premieres, studios, hotels, private parties, retailers, caterers and schools.

  • Now entering its seventh year, Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children exposes young people to the diverse ideas stemming from cultures as far flung as Europe, Africa and Asia. It provides children the opportunity to see the best of international family film, and the chance to discuss universal issues that pertain to them. The Toronto International Film Festival Group is committed to providing children and their families access to special films and activities through a fund-raising initiative called the Pocket Fund which ensures underprivileged children have equal access to this very important art form. As a charitable and not-for-profit organization this group relies heavily upon the generosity of others. Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children, which will take place this year from April 16th through 25th, is a division of the Toronto International Film Festival Group, which is a charitable, cultural, and educational organization devoted to celebrating excellence in film and the moving image. Further information about the festival (as well as where you can offer donations) available at: www.tiffg.ca .

  • CinemAsia, the first Asian film festival in the Netherlands with a mixture of documentaries from independent Asian filmmakers and video artists, will take place from March 24th through 28th. More than 70 feature films, shorts and documentaries are to be screened that represent such diverse countries as China, Philippines, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Locations for the screenings in Amsterdam are the Rialto cinema (Ceintuurbaan 338), the Kriterion cinema (Roeterstraat 170) and the KIT (Linnaeusstraat 2). Panel discussions and other events will be taking place at the Filmhuis Cavia (van Hallstraat 52), Binger Institute (Nieuwe Zijds Voorburgwal 4-10) and the Festival Lounge Tjing Tjing (Cornelis Trooststraat 56). There's even a Drag Queen Lounge!! CinemAsia programs will also be touring other Dutch cities including Eindhoven, Groningen, Maastricht, Rotterdam, and Tilburg. Details about the screenings and dates, as well as all further information available at: www.cinemasia.nl/en/program.php .

  • The Netherlands Filmmuseum will start a short retrospective of Stanley Kubrick's early work, including "Killer's Kiss" (1955), "Paths of Glory" (1957) the re-release of "The Killing" (1956). Jan Harlans' "Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures," the fascinating documentary about the great director, will also be screened at the Vondelpark location on March 17th (and he's not even Irish!). Dates, times, and locations available at www.filmmuseum.nl .

  • From the 14th through the 21st of April the 20th edition of the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival will take place in the Filmmuseum Cinerama (Marnixstraat 400-402), Melkweg Cinema (Lijnbaansgracht 234 A) and Paradiso (Weteringschans 6-8). The main program will include a selection of approximately 25 recent "fantastic films" which may or may not eventually be released in the Dutch cinemas. These include "The American Astronaut", "Bhoot", "The Ghouls", "Dawn of the Dead" (remake of Romero's zombie classic, and "Robot Stories." Various guests and will be present during the numerous talkshows planned for the week.

    A special edition of the "Rocket Cinema", screening a series of new short films and clips screened alongside existent soundtracks from science fiction and fantasy films, will take place on Friday, April 16th in the Paradiso.

    During the "Night of Terror" (in the Filmmuseum Cinerama) on April 17th, four feature length films will be shown back-to-back starting at half past midnight. Further information available at www.afff.nl .

  • Dutch film actor Thom Hoffman will have a photo exhibition opening at the Melkweg Gallery on the Marnixstraat in Amsterdam on March 11th and on display until April 11th. The Melkweg Cinema on the Lijnbaansgracht will simultaneously be screening films in which he appears from March 11th until March 31st, including such features as "De Vierde Man" ("The Fourth Man") and "De Avonden" ("The Evenings").

  • Ineke Houtman's "Polleke" (based on the Polleke books by Guus Kuijer) won the Jury Prize at the European Youth Film Festival of Flanders last month in Brugge, Belgium. Maria Peters' "Pietje Bell 2: De Jacht op de Tsarenkroon" ("Peter Bell 2: The Hunt for the Czar's Crown"), based on one of the Pietje Bell books by Chris van Abkoude, also came into the spotlight as public's choice for Best Film at the festival.

  • Principle photography has started on "Gebroken Rood" ("Broken Red") the Waterland Film & TV/IKON TeleFilm co-production directed by Eric Oosthoek from a script by Carel Donck and starring Hans Croiset, Kitty Courbois, Bram van der Vlugt and André van den Heuvel, all of whom have, at one point or another during their career, won the noted "Louis d'Or" Dutch theatre award. It tells the story of Simon, a pensioner who was a member of the underground resistance during World War 2. When two young boys viciously murder a colleague of his from those days, Simon finds himself together once again with his old war mates at their mutual friend's funeral. The past and present unexpectedly come into confrontation with each other as the old men decide once again to join in a fight against evil. The film is scheduled to premier at the Netherlands Film Festival 2004 this autumn previous to its television broadcast.

  • Lars von Trier's upcoming film "Manderlay," a sequel to "Dogville" due for release in 2005, is being co-produced by the Dutch film company Isabella Films and begins shooting in Trollhättan, Sweden on March 8th. The starring role of the shy and gentle Bingo will be portrayed by Ruben Brinkman, who recently achieved notoriety in London's West End as the actor who succeeded the highly praised performance of his predecessor Jochim ten Haaf as Vincent van Gogh in the play "Vincent in Brixton." The script for the film was written by Dutch actor Rik Launspach, who will also appear in the role of the cruel slave driver Stanley Mays. As Dogville ends, Grace, her father and the gang travel through the southern States of America and wind up in Manderlay, an old plantage, which is still run on the backs of slaves. Grace, still a sensitive woman, it would seem, empathizes with the slaves and decides to utilize her father's ammunition depot in order to help free them from their plight. Some people only learn the hard way.

  • Paul Verhoeven, director not only of such Dutch classics as "Turk's Fruit" ("Turkish Delight") and "Soldaat van Oranje" ("Soldier of Orange"), but also of American blockbusters as "Basic Instinct" and "RoboCop", will be awarded an "oeuvre" prize from the Dutch Film Fund during an "invitation only" ceremony to take place at the Paradiso on Tuesday, March 30th.

  • Howard Shore, the Canadian composer who recently won two Oscars® (best original score for "The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King" and best original song for "Into the West", performed by Annie Lennox) at the 76st Annual Academy Awards® ceremony, will conduct his Lord of the Rings symphony in six movements at the Antwerp "sportpaleis ("sport palace") on April 16th. Earlier this year, Shore won two Golden Globes for the same categories.

    Shore created a moving concert suite using music fragments from the three films. The Flemish Radio Orchestra and chorus will perform live. More than 200 performers will bring the adventures of Sam, Gandalf, Saruman and many others come to life. Various pictures of film settings by Alan Lee and John Howe will be shown. The concert, organized by the Flanders International Film Festival in collaboration with the Flemish Radio Orchestra

    More info on www.filmfestival.be and www.sportpaleis.be .

  • De Brakke Grond, breaking ground for theatre, art, and all things related maintaining the Dutch-Flemish connection in the heart of Amsterdam, will open an exhibit titled "Being in the Middle" displaying the work of Laurence Malstaf. After studying industrial design in Antwerp, Malstaf began creating interactive installations that bridge the territory between plastic arts and theatre. Whether you go along and wind up in a snowstorm or getting wrapped up like a package of microwave meat, you should be in for a special kind of thrill. At your own risk! Curious? Go to: www.brakkegrond.nl/malstaf.htm .

  • Mel G. may be making headlines with his rendition of a cinematic crucifixion in "The Passion of the Christ" (2004), but Carravaggio is undergoing a similar fate in Rome. An Italian academic, it seems, has cast doubt upon "The Taking of Christ" (1602), a painting presumed missing until it was found in a Jesuit home in Dublin during the early 90's (thoughts of Kevin Spacey in "Ordinary Decent Criminals") and was shortly afterward established as the lost masterpiece. A recently found painting in Rome, however, is challenging the authenticity. Take heart, true believers: Sir Denis Mahon, British art expert, has pronounced that both canvases were painted by the divine CaraV. One might also, in a whimsical mood, venture that both paintings were done by Michelangelo Merisi. Take a look for yourself at www.nationalgallery.ie/html/paintings.html .

  • Marlon Brando starred in the 1954 Academy Award®-winning drama "On the Waterfront," which received 12 Oscar® nominations and won eight. "On the Waterfront" will screen at the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International in Manhattan on Monday, March 22, as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' monthly screening series "Monday Nights with Oscar®."

    Speaking of sacrifice and Christian suffering, the 1954 Oscar® winner for Best Picture "On the Waterfront" will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a screening in New York on Monday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Academy Theater at Lighthouse International, located at 111 East 59th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Budd Schulberg, who won the Oscar® for writing the story and screenplay is scheduled to attend and the screening which will be hosted by Julian Schlossberg, producer of "Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey," the documentary about the life of "On the Waterfront" director Elia Kazan, who won his second Academy Award® for his work on the film. Brando won his first Best Actor Oscar® for his performance in the film and Eva Marie Saint gave a performance that garnered her the Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress. Other Academy Awards® were given for Art Direction (Black-and-White), Cinematography (Black-and-White), Directing, Film Editing, Writing (Story and Screenplay) and Best Picture. Further nominations included Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) and Best Supporting Actor nominations for Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden and Rod Steiger.

    This print of "On the Waterfront" is from the Academy Film Archive and will screen courtesy of Sony Entertainment. Tickets for the screening are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid I.D. Tickets, filled on a first-come, first-served basis, may be reserved over the phone by calling 888-778-7575.

  • Two exhibitions, one of film posters from the Czech Republic and the other focusing on the career of famed silent film director F.W. Murnau, which opened last month continue at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    Designs for film posters by artists from what is now known as the Czech Republic have long been noted world-wide for the sophistication and creativity of artistic expression in the field of graphic design. This application of this high standard has resulted in some spectacular results for the cinema. The Academy's exhibition features 70 posters dating from 1910 through 2000, highlighting the work of many of the most important artists working in this field. Posters created for Czech, American, Russian, European and Scandinavian films are included. Among the titles represented are "Nosferatu," "Erotikon," "King Kong," "Wild Strawberries," "Closely Watched Trains," "Easy Rider," "The Great Dictator" and "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest."

    "Czech Film Posters of the 20th Century" is presented in association with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. The posters are from the collections of the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, and several private collections.

    The co-curators of this exhibition will present companion lectures in the Academy's Grand Lobby Gallery on Thursday, March 18, at 8 p.m. Petr Stembera and Marta Sylvestrova will travel from the Czech Republic to give a guided tour of Czech film and poster history, presented as part of the Academy's intimate "Lectures in the Lobby" series.

    In "The Beginnings of Mass Entertainment," Stembera will introduce the most imaginative poster images from the beginning of the age of cinematography until the first years of WWII. His discussion will explore the creation of monumental poster lithographs that mainly depicted horror themes, romantic dreams and passionate emotions. The first attempts to design the modern film poster will be traced to the works of Frantisek Zelenka, as well as photomontage and collage posters by Antonin Pelc. Other highlights in the overview will include posters for such world-famous Czech movies as "Eroticon" and "Extase" by Gustav Machaty.

    In her companion lecture, "Posters as an Art of the Street," Sylvestrova will introduce posters designed in the former Czechoslovakia (post-WWII) through today. Her talk will begin with the communist coup in 1948 and the resulting establishment of socialist realism as the state doctrine in art. After 1958, in the period of political liberation, Czech poster art achieved a sort of artistic independence, during which fine art artists were able to communicate with a wide public, using a diverse range of styles including informal, structural, abstraction, letterism, psychedelic, pop and op art and surrealism. In the so-called "normalization" period (after 1968), many talented artists emigrated to the West or chose to pursue their personal projects. The possibility of expression was again suppressed by state censorship and even self-censorship. Artists working under these conditions employed symbolic poster metaphors, surrealist visions, typographically witty solutions and grotesque styles. Sylvestrova, of the Moravian Gallery in Brno, will also highlight examples of Czech film posters influenced by western commercial views and will explore the attempts of young contemporary designers to move the traditional forms of poster design towards contemporary graphic minimalism.

    Tickets for the Academy's "Lecture in the Lobby" on March 18 are $3 for the general public and free for Academy members and students with valid ID. They may be obtained in advance at the Academy during regular business hours, or on the night of the lecture when the doors open at 7 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call 310-247-3600. (Admission to the exhibitions, however, is free.)

  • "F.W. Murnau: Film Pioneer" is an installation of video clips, documents, photographs, production designs, costumes and set models that provides insight into the legendary silent film director's work. Organized by the Berlin Film Museum, the exhibition was originally presented as part of the 2003 Berlin Film Festival. The Academy will be the only American stop on a multi-city international tour.

    Born in 1888, Murnau had made ten feature films in Germany by 1921. It was his next, "Nosferatu," that became an instant classic, with its influence over the genre of vampire film (and horror film in general) continuing even to this day. After making several more films for UFA Studios, including "Der Letzte Mann" (released in the U.S. as "The Last Laugh") and "Faust," Murnau was signed to a contract with Fox Studios, and he left Berlin for Hollywood.

    Murnau's first project in the United States was "Sunrise," which went on to earn Academy Awards® at the very first ceremony for actress Janet Gaynor and cinematographer Karl Rosher, as well as a special award for Unique and Artistic Picture (1927/28).

    During the production of "City Girl" (1929), which was plagued with difficulties, Murnau became friendly with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty, which led them to travel to the South Pacific to make "Tabu" (1931), financed by Murnau himself. Toward the end of filming, with his resources exhausted, Murnau was offered a ten-year contract by Paramount, which also bought the rights to "Tabu." But prior to the film's New York premiere, the director was killed in an automobile accident. Mourned by the top talents of the German film industry and eulogized by director Fritz Lang, Murnau was buried in Berlin in April 1931.

    "F.W. Murnau: Film Pioneer" is presented in association with the Goethe Institute - Los Angeles, which, along with Lufthansa Cargo, has provided generous support for the exhibition.

    In conjunction with the Academy's installation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Film Department will present a screening series of Murnau's films. The kick-off to the series will be the March 25 Los Angeles premiere of the newly-restored version of "Sunrise," completed by the Academy Film Archive, 20th Century Fox and the British Film Institute. Details of the series and the "Sunrise" screening will be announced separately.

    Admission to these two new exhibitions, which will continue at the Academy through April 18th, is free. Gallery viewing hours are Tuesdays 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 310-247-3600.

  • Frank Langella ("Fortune's Fool," "Dracula"), the man with the eyes you could swim in, who first achieved stardom while sucking his unsuspecting victim's blood on Broadway and impressing his admirers once again some years later while playing the title role in Strindberg's "The Father" is on those big boards once again, this time starring in "Match" opposite Ray Liotta ("Goodfellas," "Identity") and Melora Walters ("Magnolia," "Boogie Nights"). This gripping, suspense-filled new play at Broadway's Plymouth Theatre. Is written by Stephen Belber ("Tape", co-writer, "The Laramie Project") and directed by Nicholas Martin. The story is about Mike and Lisa Davis, who, on a crisp winter afternoon, arrive at the home of Tobi Powell to interview him about his work as a renowned choreographer. Tobi proves to be enchanting and entertaining (sounds like Frank) as he pours wine and tells witty tales about his past. As evening begins to unfold, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary visit. A startling secret is uncovered and truths are revealed that will change them all forever.

  • Milestone has released a newly restored version of Rupert Julian's "Phantom of the Opera" (1925-1929) starring Lon Chaney available on DVD. A two-disc package, the original 1925 version is available on one and the shorter 1929 restored version (including the technicolor sequence at the ball) is on the second. The 1925 version (which is rarely shown because of poor source materials) was supplied by Ray Faiola and contains a score by Jan Mirsalis. The assistance of Kevin Brownlow, David Gill and Patrick Stanbury helped make the realization of this package, which includes the earlier version, possible for this project. The edited 1929 version includes the new score by Carl Davis. Scott MacQueen, who participated in the extensive salvaging techniques utilized, explains much of the process on a commentary track. A must for film lovers. Another one of TGH green goddess award winners is made available to the public once again.
    Further information available at: www.image-entertainment.com/image/ies/control.jsp .

  • "Constantine," a new Sci-Fi flick Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz and Tilda Swinton has gone into production. Reeves plays the clairvoyant John Constantine who tries to uncover the veiled truth hidden behind the mysterious death of police woman Katelin Dodson's (Weisz) twin sister. He, naturally, winds up in the world of demons and angels below Los Angeles. Something more new millennium than the "Twin Sisters" of Dutch fame.

  • Principle photography is about to begin with Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne (this time around) in the prequel "Batman Begins." After a gaze at what he looks like running down a hallway and wielding an axe, one can only wonder what he'll do when done up in leather duds. "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" A treat surely awaits us, this time directed by Christopher Nolan of "Memento" fame.

  • And, speaking of treats, when will Troy arrive? What is the hour when our ship comes in??????????????

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