The Rembrandts

May 1997

-The Rembrandts are a public opinion prize awarded by Rene Mioch, film journalist for Veronica television in Holland. This year the ceremony took place in Amsterdam's Planet Hollywood. To the astonishment of many, Pamela Anderson won the award for most attractive actress. It may be the only award ceremony that has had the privilege of reading her name from the podium. Even Val Kilmer, who was in town for the publicity on The Saint (and managed to pick up the award for most attractive actor while in town), was amazed. Kilmer had to ask Rene exactly what panel of judges decided upon the award, before it became clear that it was public polling. Lucky Pamela, not only should she be pleased with her brass statuette, but the fact that someone saw Barb Wire. For those of you unfamiliar with the Rembrandt award, let me add, for clarity's sake, that Independence Day won the prize for Best Film of the Year; that should give you a better idea of its value.

-Rene Mioch also had the pleasure of announcing the winner's of this year's Oscars® on television for Dutch audiences. It was slightly unfortunate, however, that as he stood in front of the auditorium building (taped later that night) making the announcements of the winners for each category, giant Oscars® towering behind him and red carpet flowing underneath, the sweepers and cleaners were busy tidying up the debris behind him from the evening's event.

-Tangerine Dream, an already well-established electronic group in the seventies whose popular audience grew after creation of the film score for The Exorcist, have made their first live appearance in Amsterdam after a quarter of a century. (They call it back to the roots.) It was wonderful to hear them performing in an intimate space like the Melkweg, even if a good portion of the evening was already programmed on computer. At least they didn't send their robots.

-Laurie Anderson was in Amsterdam's Paradiso performing The Speed of Darkness, an intimate evening with stories and songs over the future of art and technology. No big multi-media event this time, Laurie has come to the realization that the result of getting so much information is only wanting more. Addictive, isn't it? Nevertheless, despite her remarks about returning to less, she still seems to travelling the globe in order to attend techno-conferences at an amazing speed. No matter how you look at it, she still has her magic and gives great show.

-The Dutch Queen's Birthday (Koninginnedag), which can usually be considered one of the most amazing theatrical entertainments the Netherlands has to offer, has recently transpired (this annual event takes place on April 30th). Unfortunately, Mayor Patijn of Amsterdam has enforced certain new rules and restrictions that may well have signalled the first death throes for this holiday. The free market was not allowed to start setting up until 6 A.M. (in previous years this began the night before and allowed nocturnal visitors a leisurely stroll to view the objects on sale as well as allowing native Amsterdammers some hometown pleasure before the throngs of visitors begin arriving), sale of beer was restricted solely to approved vendors (increasing the already rampant commercialization of the festivities that has been on the increase for several years now -- N.B. I would also like to know what has happened to the vast amount of "illegal" beer confiscated by the police during the day), bars and cafes had to observe normal closing hours (as opposed to late "weekend" extensions in force during previous years). Needless to say, the number of people both selling wares and roaming the streets was markedly less than during previous years, despite news reports stating that the number of people celebrating was approximately the same as usual. Despite the population's love for the royal family, the Mayor of Amsterdam may have made the first move in Holland toward the demise of the monarchy.

-Istvan Szabo will be in town between 21-23 May at the Maurits Binger Film Institute giving a master class with one of his favorite actresses, Johanna ter Steege under the title of The director and the Actress.

© 1994-2006 The Green Hartnett