Phantom of the Opera
November and October 1997
- Rupert Julian's magnificent Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring Lon
Chaney will be accompanied by the live music of Carl Davis on November 4th
at the Vredenburg Music Center in Utrecht and November 10th at the
monumental Theatre Carre in Amsterdam Davis himself will be conducting
the North Netherlands Orchestra during the screenings. Eat your heart out,
Andrew Lloyd. For those who have had the chance to see the many filmed
versions, it remains painfully true that this remains the only one of note. As
an added treat, the screening at the Vredenburg Music Center will be
preceded by the introductory lecture of Theodor van Houston (in Dutch, of
course), organizer of the series "Film & Music" which throughout the coming
year will also be showing Chaplin's The Idle Class & The Kid as well as
Harold Lloyd's The Freshman (all accompanied with the live music of Mr.
- For those of you who can speak Spanish or read Dutch, 6 hours of delightful
Latin American soap operas ("Telenovelas") from Costa Rica, Chile,
Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, and Brazil will be shown back to back at the
Balie Theatre on Sunday, November 2nd, near the Leidseplein in Amsterdam.
For those who manage to survive the day and still want more, there will be an
8 o' clock screening of the 1995 Mexican film El Anzuelo (The Come - on) in
which a wedding couple discover that, with a number of debts incurred by the
bride's parents in order to pay for the ceremony, the salary for the musicians
has been stolen during the festivities.
- The Maurits Binger Film Institute will be holding a seminar and associated
workshops dealing with the theme of "Bringing the Minority to the Majority"
starting on Saturday, November 15th at 9:30 A.M. at the Renaissance
Amsterdam Hotel and continuing on Sunday, same time, at the Institute
headquarters, Nieuwe Zijds Voorburgwal 4 - 10. Guests include Andy
Borowitz, Ferid Boughedir, Meera Syal, Canan Gerede, and Riwia Brown.
Further information available at tel: 020 - 4212048 or fax: 020 - 6383002.
- The 10th annual International Documentary Filmfestival of Amsterdam
(IDFA) will take place from November 26th till December 4th. Further
information concerning this event, which has grown to a formidable size
during the past few years, can be accessed at
website). This festival places a special emphasis on the use of
music for scoring a film and, indeed, has a special prize for "The Impact of
Music on Film" which sets it apart from other festivals. There was an exciting
array of workshops (e.g. Digiform), concerts and discussions as well as films.
One can only expect an even more exciting event for their special 25th
edition next year. Gina Lollabrigida, who performed this year as chairperson
on the festival jury, certainly didn't disappoint any fans awaiting something
out of the ordinary in her behavior. (Some may recall the consternation she
caused some years ago when she was a judge on another panel at another
film festival.) This time she felt, for some reason or other, she not only had to
refrain from making the vote unanimous for Best Film, but tell members the
press that she felt she could not vote for the winning film. Maybe Gina would
be happier restricting herself to writing her children's books in the future.
Ironically enough, the theme of Film and Repression was the theme for
several screenings at the same festival in acknowledgement of the HUAC
blacklisting of the 50's. One wonders if Miss Lollabrigida took advantage of
seeing some of the films available.
- Eurochocolate, the International Chocolate Exhibition in Amsterdam, closed
on Sunday the 26th of October with three sculptors hammering, chiselling,
and slicing their way through three 1000 kilo blocks of chocolate positioned
on Dam Square. Should have been an impressive show; what a pity it rained
the whole day. I guess it's what the Dutch could have easily called "hagel -
- De Gordel van Smaragd (The Emerald Circle) was the opening film (Sept.
24th) this year for the Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht which takes place from
September 24th till October 3rd in Utrecht, Holland. As always, this is the
time and the place to catch up on your Dutch films.
- A TV documentary about director Orlow Seunke filmed on location during the
making of De Gordel van Smaragd was broadcast recently, revealing how
this latest venture opens up new territory in his work.
- Dutch author Jan Wolkers & Dutch actress Monique van de Ven appeared
together in a Dutch TV special in anticipation of her commemoration as star
at the Dutch Film Festival this year. They spent a lot of time reminiscing
about life and Turkish Delight.
- In anticipation of a festival of "Werkteater" films shown at De Balie in
Amsterdam, Dutch television aired The Work Theatre (excuse the "h" folks, I
know how you ex - members of the group feel about it), a documentary about
the ensemble which disbanded some fifteen years ago. Included were
nostalgic moments during interviews of those involved at various intervals
during the fifteen years the group existed. Noticeably obvious was the fact
that some presently renowned Dutch actor had difficulty with the original
director of the group because he was telling the actors what to do. (How dare
the man! What did he think he was, a director?) Also remarkable was the
fact that when the director parted the group as a result of this confrontation,
his closest friends and colleagues in art declined to support his position or
even attempt to speak up in his defence. This seems to be the moment that
the seams began to fall apart. Floundering onward, lacking leadership, the
improvisational working group of actors (albeit staging some exciting
performances throughout the years) developed various internal tensions and
declined artistically until little was left over of the central core. Perhaps they
would have had a better future before them if they had decided to allow a
director oversee the performances. One cannot refrain from reflecting on the
ancient method of staging performances until approximately 200 years ago
when wisdom and need finally brought about the creation of the function of
director. Two centuries ago, however, seems to have been too late in this
- On September 20th, the Dutch Labour Party organised their third annual
Festival of the Future orientated toward the youth and entitled "On the Road
to the 21st Century." The event included (among discussions, debates and
other activities) screenings of the Dutch films Zoos (Little Sister)and Nab de
Clot (All Screwed Up), as well as the contemporary Scottish classic
- The 15th World Wide Video Festival opened at the Stedelijk Museum in
Amsterdam on September 12th and ran until September 17th. If you didn't
see me there, perhaps you were looking at the wrong screen.
-The Balie Theatre and Melkweg cinema on the Leidseplein both begin
showing a series of films under the title of The Beat Generation October
23rd which includes, among others, The Lenny Bruce Performance Film,
Shirley Clarke's The Connection, The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg, Pull
My Daisy and Conrad Rooks' Chappaqua (see Green Hartnett Emeralds
regarding the last title). The series continues through November 5th. Cool,
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