Sling Blade is the best thing to hit the screen

September 1997

Sling Blade is the best thing to hit the screen in years and has finally arrived in Holland. It's the kind of film that I could go on about for hours, but let it suffice here to suggest everyone go to see it. You can also check out the Green Hartnett's review (which doesn't go on for hours).

Paul Verhoeven's Turk's Fruit will be appearing in Dutch cinemas once again (in splinter new copies) beginning on September 18th. This is not only an introduction to those who might be too young to remember the film, but also a forerunner to the upcoming Dutch Film Festival which takes place in Utrecht from September 24th till October 3rd at which star Monique van de Ven will have the place of honor. Having drawn more than 3.5 million viewers, this remains the most successful Dutch film made to date.

Yes, folks, among the 300 screenings there will be 140 feature films and approximately 30 short films at the 24th International Film Festival of Flanders in Ghent, Belgium between October 7th and 18th. 15 of the 35 premieres will be included in the official selection for the competition "The Impact of Music on Film." Among the international jury members are Dominique Janne (Farinelli), Irvin Kershner (director of The Empire Strikes Back) and Gina Lolobrigida (Gina certainly gets around the festivals. Wonder what she'll have to say this time.) The 4th annual retrospective "The filmic memory" deals this time with the theme of Film and Repression to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the unforgettable House Committee on un- American Activities (HUAC) and will include a combination of films made by victims and informers as well as many movies whose release at the time stirred up heated debate concerning the role of censorship. Full details are available at the festival website http://www.surf-inn.be/filmfestival

The International Broadcasting Convention 97 will be opening its doors on September 12th and running until the 16th at the RAI convention hall in Amsterdam. The latest in image compositing and visual effects will be on display as usual with continual demonstrations thoughout the day.

"De Eland" auction house will be holding an auction of theatrical clothing from a private collection at their "Dependance 't Lieverdje" on September 22nd. Many of the costumes once did service on stage for the now defunct "Haagse Comedie" theatre group and were worn by such notables of the Dutch stage as Kitty Courbois, Fie Anderson, Jan Retel, and Ank van de Moer. Viewing of the articles is possible on September 14th & 15th .

Fahrenheit 451 has recently been screened on BBC-tv's Moviedrome. Mel Gibson is preparing to direct a new version of Bradbury's story and it should easily surpass Truffaut's rendition in the same kind of way Michael Radford's 1984 version of "1984" did with Michael Anderson's 1955 version of "1984". (Speaking of BBC's Moviedrome, why is it that all presenter's of this series seem to feel a need to introduce the films to the viewer with a hushed voice speaking in a condescending fashion?

Murnau's Faust received an open air screening on the Herengracht (Gentleman's canal) in the center of Amsterdam August 8th with live accompaniment by the Silent movie Music Company, consisting of Gunter Al Buchwald (piano and violin), Matthias Stich (saxophone and clarinet), and Frank Bockius (percussion). The boats were full, the atmosphere was pleasant, the weather was wonderful and the film, as always, was a pleasure to behold. The only questionable remark to be made is perhaps the strains of Dies Irae used as a leitmotiv at the beginning and end of the film was not the best of choices since the movie is, in fact, a film about love and redemption.

The Dutch Labour Party will be holding their 3rd annual Future Festival on September 20th at the University of Amsterdam during which The Dutch films "Zusje" and "Naar de Klote" will be shown as well as the now classic English "Trainspotting."

Garbo returns, this month at the Dutch Film Museum in lots of toppers.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is showing (until September 9th) a retrospective of sketches of Holland made by James McNeil Whistler. One can only wonder if this exhibition was designed to coincide with the release of "Bean" starring Rowin Atkinson in the cinemas, a feeble film in which an art is used to show art imitating art. James' mother must be turning in her frame by now.

Robert Jan Westdijk's Siberia, starring Roeland Fernhout and Hugo Metsers III as two charming con men opposite the Russian tourist Vlatka Simac, will be released in the fall of 1998.

The International Film Festival of Rotterdam (which will be showing Jan Svankmajer's Conspiracies of Pleasure) is slowly creeping toward us and will take place from January 28th until February 8th of the coming year.

The BBC broadcast a program in their series Inside Story on August 6th concerning the "Heaven's Gate" group. While watching the various clips with Do (the leader guru of the group) I couldn't help wondering if anyone in TV land has considered casting Mr. Roberts (from the American children's series) in his first dramatic lead.

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