A film of the only known footage of Frisian Jewish life from before the Holocaust is currently doing the rounds, and “comes amid a wave of popular interest in the Holocaust, including in films and series with record ratings and in the construction of monuments – most recently with the opening last year of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.”
This unique black-and-white, silent document from 1939 shows the wedding of a Frisian Jewish couple who escaped the genocide, and was shown on Frisian public broadcaster, Omrop Fryslân. In late January the film was placed on YouTube by the Frisian Film Archive. The film reel was discovered by the couple’s children in their late mother’s suitcase in 2008, but they needed all those years to process its content.
Just a year after filming, the people in the movie would come under the Nazi occupation that decimated the Frisian Jewish community, along with 75 percent of Dutch Jews — the highest death rate in occupied Western Europe.
The Dutch government’s policy of storing information about its citizens enabled the Nazis to efficiently murder as many Jews as possible. Against all odds, this couple survived. Watch images of the wedding of Barend Boers of Amsterdam and Mimi Dwinger from Leeuwarden, Friesland.
I avoided watching the actual debate and read the fallout, but having a laugh at the idea of Trump and Clinton singing a duet is a nice change from the violence of the entire entreprise. Van de Pavert doesn’t just put an entire new sound on top of a video, he lets any sounds that match what he’s going for permeate, which makes his work recognisable. He wasn’t thrilled with this one, but at least his point is well made, which is more than we can say for either candidate.
Three students from the University of Twente, Nick Schijvens, Pablo Trautwein and Mark de Boer, have developed a big plastic dart with a Go Pro camera inside it, called ‘Throw your Go Pro’, made by their startup, AER. The idea was to get the most out of a GoPro camera and bring it onto the market, with some help from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. The money seemed to be pouring in, with close to 59,000 euro as I write this – their goal is 70,000 euro in another 27 days, which sounds like it will hit the mark.
The gadget has a GoPro mounted into a flying dart which you can throw into the air to create cool aerial footage. Have a look yourself at what AER have shot on their instragram.
“That’s how they speak”, actor and comedian Michiel Romeyn opens a ‘canon of godverdommes’. “Let him go, let him go, idiot, godverdomme!”
The video, not safe for work for more than just a barrage of swearing, shows a litany of classic Dutch films in which actors pepper their speech with the word ‘godverdomme’, literally ‘God, damn me’ but the equivalent of ‘godammit’, and generally considered the big general purpose swear word in the Dutch language.
Eric Vonk, played by Rutger Hauer, uses the word while masturbating to a photo of his dead wife Olga in the classic Dutch film ‘Turks Fruit’. Comedian Wim de Bie plays a small time conman who finds out that his partner is letting him do the heavy lifting (“godver-de-godver”) and Monique van de Ven and Danny de Munk discover that acting is perhaps best left to the professionals, as using big words doesn’t make you a star if you do it tepidly.
The cutesy editing to the tune of Doe Maar’s ‘Heroïne, godverdomme’ is not too distracting.
It will surprise no-one that Paul Verhoeven is represented with three movies – besides the aforementioned Turks Fruit his ‘Spetters’ (also pre-Hollywood) makes an appearance, but perhaps the clip of his recent Dutch film ‘Zwartboek’ is the funniest. A man tries to kill Carice van Houten’s character while releasing a stream of verbal abuse, including the g-word (gvd if you want to keep it clean in Dutch), and gets promptly shot dead by his Christian helper: “You’re cursing, blasphemer!”
‘Godverdomme’, a word that can be made to sound like thunder on the horizon, also makes an appearance in the following memorable dialogues: “Godverdomme what a ride and I have cancer” and “Godverdomme, what is it between you and that woman? I saw her in a dream!”.
An animation film entitled ‘Loving Vincent’ directed by Polish director and painter Dorota Kobiela tells the story of the last days of Vincent Van Gogh’s life. Every frame of this 80-minute film features an entire painting, each made by about 100 painters in Gdańsk, Poland, which adds up to about 56,800 frames.
The team of painters are learning to paint in Van Gogh’s expressionist style for three months, and need to paint 12 paintings for each second of film, each of which takes two days. It would take one person about 9,600 days (26 years) to do this all on their own. The paintings are then photographed using PAWS technology (Painted Animated Work Stations) and are being produced by BreakThru Films that won an Oscar in 2006 for their short feature Peter and the Wolf.
‘Loving Vincent’ isn’t finished and painters are still busy learning until August. The idea is to release the film at the end of this year. Check out the trailer, you won’t regret it:
For anyone who hates 3D movies, look away now: a new virtual reality pop-up movie theatre will open in Amsterdam on October 31, organised by Samhoud media. The idea is to watch short 30-minute films, with many showings to choose from through the evening.
You’d be watching video through a Gear VR headset from Samsung and Oculus, an experience that will run you 10 euro. For 30 euro you can live large and enjoy a loveseat and VIP experience. Oh, and there will be popcorn. Owner Jip Samhoud said that it’s the first time in the Netherlands that they are going to apply such large-scale virtual reality, and it could very well be the first time in Europe.
The films are a surprise: no idea if they are Halloween related.
Seasoned Arnhem stop motion filmmaker Mascha Halberstad is up for a Berlin Music Video Award 2015 thanks to a video she made for the UK band The Prodigy of their song ‘Wild Frontier’. Frontman Liam Howlett asked her personally to make the video, and according to De Gelderlander, she is a favourite to win the German award.
Featured on the album ‘The Day Is My Enemy’ from February 2015, here’s ‘Wild Frontier’:
You’re part of a gang of six guys who have robbed an elderly woman aged 84 of her bank card: what do you do next? You and your mates go and catch the movie ‘Fast & Furious 7’ somewhere in Breda, paying with said bank card and get caught because you all share the IQ of a tree.
The woman noticed her bank card was missing after having bought groceries and probably checked online to see if her card had been used elsewhere, like at the local cinema. The police grabbed the stupid six at the cinema because they bought numbered seats, which is a thing in the Netherlands, along with drinking beer while watching a movie.
A bit like a bad car chase scene, one of the stupid six managed to flee and lock himself in the disabled bathroom only to get caught as well because the cops saw him run into it.
‘Symmetry’, a new film by Dutch film-maker and former dancer of the Nederlands Dans Theater Ruben van Leer, transforms a particle accelerator with its scientists in hard hats into a experimental dance fest. On Saturday 14 Match the show will premiere at the Cinedans Film Festival in the EYE film institute in Amsterdam for anyone who is in town.
According to Van Leer his first challenge was writing a film script for dance, which he had never done before. The main character is called Lukas played by himself, a scientist/dancer, who, by way of a soprano voice in his head sung by Claron McFadden, begins to doubt his rational thinking.
‘Kidnapping Mr. Heineken’, a 2015 American film about the kidnapping of Dutch beer tycoon Freddy Heineken, is not only getting bad reviews from the international and Dutch press, but is also has enough mistakes to keep everybody busy.
Maarten Treurniet directed the 2011 Dutch film ‘De Heineken ontvoering’ (‘The Heineken Kidnapping’), staring a cast of actual Dutch people including Rutger Hauer, while Kidnapping Mr. Heineken apparently couldn’t be bothered with authenticity and casted mostly British and other non-Dutch actors. While the Dutch film set in 1983 Amsterdam has many anachronistic items from the 1990s and a few references to 1984, the American film messed up big time by showing the wrong coloured beer bottles, which should be brown instead of green.
NU.nl says that, “it is a weird mistake because the makers were attentive to very small details, even the police cars are from 1983.” The mistake was easy to make because Heineken has always exported its beer in green bottles, but in the Netherlands domestic bottles were brown, a ‘stupid mistake’. Even Dutch crime journalist and author Peter R. de Vries whose book was used to script the film was so displeased with the final product he couldn’t be arsed to go to the film’s premiere in the US.
If you like your Heineken humour on the absurd side, find out why a Dutch beer brand was a good choice for celebrating February’s Black History Month in the US a few years back.