A Very Merry Grinch™ to you all!

(December 2000)

  • The Grinch is on the loose. Definitely worth a visit (or two), this is the film that soars with the refrain "You gotta have heart." The first time in many years that the holiday season has seen such a good old-fashioned Christmas feature, you can catch up with the details in the Green Hartnett review, now available on line.

  • "Babs," the new Dutch film billed as "a musical comedy about a criminal romance" will also be released for the enjoyment of Lowlands' audiences on December 14th, anticipating the Christmas season.

  • Talking about Christmas films, "Minoes," a story in which the cats of Killendoon play an important role, will begin shooting early in 2001. Based upon the childrens' book by noted Dutch author Annie M.G. Schmidt, this film is being slotted for release in December of 2001.

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
    Photo: Terry O'Neil

  • And, speaking (further) of children's films, JK Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" has already starting shooting in England. Young Daniel Radcliffe is appearing in the title roll and John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Julie Walters, and (the Marvelous) Dame Maggie Smith are among the more familiar names in the cast. Due for release in November 2001. (What a surprise! Just in time for Christmas.)

  • And since we're on the subject of Christmas films, be aware that the Netherlands Filmmuseum located in Amsterdam's Vondelpark will be showing (from December 17th through January 7th) the restored copy of Frank Capra's Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life." Ding-a-ling-ling! (You know what that means.) Oddly enough, the film was not a great success when first released in 1946 (despite receiving five Oscar® nominations, but managed to achieve its status during the years following release due to its annual showings on television. Further info at www.filmmuseum.nl

  • "Sonic Acts 2000" will take place at the Paradiso concert hall in Amsterdam (Leidseplein) on the 7th and 8th of December. The annual two-day festival, filled with projects using image, music, sound, and performance, is platform and temporary laboratory for young interdisciplinary artists. Presented in a professional venue for a mixed audience consisting of art-lovers as well as a general public interested in dance and popular music, this event offers ample opportunity to meet, exchange views, and possibly even co-operate or perform as an 'ad hoc' formation. Since its inception in 1994, Sonic Acts has grown in prestige as a platform for those interested in the presentation of new attitudes in interdisciplinary arts, confrontations, blending and fusing, and the transformation of culture into a little known domain of cultural and artistic practices. The four themes chosen for this 7th edition are> games, pixel, arcade, and landscape. Further information available at www.sonicacts.com

  • The Emmy award for best foreign drama series has been awarded to VARA television's production of Jean van der Velde's "All Stars." This series was based upon the Dutch box-office success made by the same director. The program screened for entrance in the competition dealt with a soccer game between the "All Stars" and a team of mentally challenged boys.

    © Pathé Munt Cinema

  • The Amsterdam Tuschinski Theatre has temporarily closed its doors for renovation and will remain shut until the end of 2001. A pity for any foreigners visiting the country who have never enjoyed the interior of this fabulous art-deco palace. Take heart, however, because the splinter-new (yes, there are even wooden balustrade handles) Pathé Munt (on the Muntplein) has opened its doors in November. The magnificent facade (with a sprinkling of spots bathed in a rotating wash of colors), designed by French architect Christian de Portzamparc (also responsible for the LVMH Tower in New York) in association with George van Delft (designer of the Pathé Groningen and for renovation of Buitenhof cinema in The Hague), is a sight to behold and fits neatly between the old Dutch edifices without disturbing visual harmony. The aforementioned lights on the towering block above the doors make quite a distinctive impression as one enters the edifice which houses 13 cinemas with wall to wall projection, digital surround sound, comfortable seating with lots of leg space, as well as automatic climate control. The warm, functional interior has been designed by Elizabeth de Portzamparc (also designer of the interior French Embassy in Berlin). The 13 cinemas screen more than 50 films each day, three beginning each half-hour. Yes, the world of multiplex is finally taking hold in Holland too. (And to prove that attendance at Dutch cinemas is on the increase, let it suffice to note that visitors during 1999 managed to devour 2,000 cubic meters of popcorn.) That cock certainly has something new to crow about.

  • Steven Spielberg has wrapped on AI. This project is one of the unmade features of Stanley Kubrick, who intended to shoot the script when he felt the technology had caught up with his demands. One can only wait in anticipation.

Happy Holidays and A Very Merry Grinch to you all!

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett