After almost 21 years, someone is finally going to film a fictional story about Amsterdam’s world famous ‘Bijlmer disaster’ (‘Bijlmerramp’), where an Israeli cargo plane taking off from Schiphol Airport crashed into two blocks of flats and killed some 40 odd people, wounding many more. The ‘Bijlmer disaster’ is known as the worst aviation disaster in the history of the country.
The plot of the film entitled “Into Thin Air” by Dutch executive producer Maarten van der Ven will be a 50 minute film about a 50-year-old man living in one of the flats whose wife has died. One day a 13-year-old (we don’t know if it is a girl or boy) comes to live with him from Ghana, and just when his life gets better, the plane crashes into their flat.
On 13 April 1999 I came to live in the Netherlands in the flat right in front of this monument, unaware of the entire story. The next day on April 14 while I was unpacking my things with major jetlag, a local camera crew came to the door and asked me in Dutch what I thought of the report on the Bijlmer disaster, which had taken seven years to investigate. I didn’t speak Dutch back then so I just nodded and shooed them away. When my Dutch roommate got home, I told him about the camera crew and he took me to see this tree, the ‘tree that saw it all’, and explained to me what had happened.
On February 10, Dutch animation director Erik-Jan de Boer won a BAFTA award (British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the British version of the Oscars) for the visual effects he co-created for the film Life of Pi, directed by Taiwanese-born American film director Ang Lee.
De Boer is also co-nominated for an Oscar award for his work on Life of Pi, a film based on the novel by French Canadian author Yann Martel. The Oscars will be presented on 24 February, 2013.
Everybody has some sort of party on New Year’s Eve, but what to do on New Year’s Day when you live in the capital and the town gets too quiet? Make going to a museum with friends and family a New Year’s resolution. Or there’s also the zoo, catching a film and some other tourist attractions.
The year 2013 will be a special year for Amsterdam as the city celebrates several milestones. The refurbished Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum will reopen, the Artis Royal Zoo will celebrate its 175th anniversary and the Amsterdam Canal Ring will celebrate its 400th jubilee.
This cute video by filmersblog.nl shows Dutch people aged 1 – 100 tell their age.
It’s been doing the rounds on the Internet for a couple of weeks, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you should. Linguists have already discovered the video and noted that different age groups pronounce words differently (the people were all filmed in Amsterdam, so that variation wasn’t regional).
After hearing from two curators of Amsterdam’s Eye Film Institute (white building on the left, the other is the delightfully retro former Shell building) that Queen Beatrix really liked Sokurov’s The Russian Ark, which is known for having been filmed in one go with no editing, I also find out more about Hollywood heavyweight Paul Verhoeven.
To the Dutch, Paul Verhoeven is a major director who launched the career of fellow Dutchman Rutger Hauer, starring in films such as the 1973 Dutch classic Turkish Delight, while to Hollywood he’s the guy that came up with blockbusters such as Robocop, Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers. Another face you may recognise in his films is Hollywood actor Jeroen Krabbé who played General Koskov in the Bond film The Living Daylights.
After 20 years of tinseltown Verhoeven came back to continue working on films in the Netherlands. In May he was present at the premiere screening of his restored 1980 film ‘Spetters’ (‘Hunks’ (male and female), but also meaning ‘spatter’ and even ‘ejaculation’). Lucky for some, it’s playing a few times with English subtitles in Amsterdam this month.
Spetters is being presented in its ‘uncut’ version, which means explicit sex scenes were put back in the way the film originally intended, including a blow job scene in the Rotterdam subway. Critics were very harsh on the film at the time, saying that it portrayed youth as amoral anti-gay bashers (one of the main character’s is gay) and the feminists had a field day with the blatant sexism and misogyny that actually makes the film amusing today and makes me wonder why the many women in Verhoeven films didn’t make it to Hollywood.
Here’s the Hollywood voice over trailer, with a wee bit of functional nudity:
And here’s the restored version of the trailer in Dutch. This one has explicit sex it in, which doesn’t need translation:
Dutch documentary ‘Meet The Fokkens’ (in Dutch, ‘Ouwehoeren’, 2011) was recently sold to the US while showcased at the Cannes Film Festival. It will hit movie theatres in New York City on 8 August and can also be viewed during the 25th International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam this November.
‘Ouwehoeren’, means both ‘old whores’, ‘whore’ being a neutral word here, and ‘chewing the fat’, as in talking about whatever, a bit like old people do. Fokkens is a proper Dutch last name, but coincidentally sounds dirty in English, surely a nod to 2004 movie title Meet the Fockers.
In the trailer below one of the sisters is putting mountains of whipped creamed on a thick, yellow alcoholic beverage, called ‘advocaat’ (the yellow stuff above), which is often associated with old people.
Twin sisters Louise and Martine Fokkens have been working in the red light district of Amsterdam for 50 years. Despite many setbacks and a great deal of negativity from those outside the world of prostitution, these strong, optimistic and humorous women have managed to survive all those years with verve [...] The twins tell amusing tales of how they came to be in this line of work, how they eventually went into business for themselves, and how relationships in the world of prostitution have changed over the years. Louise stopped two years ago, but Martine is still working – she also wants to quit, but her financial situation won’t allow for it, she claims.
Filed under: Film,Online by Orangemaster @ 11:48 am
Amsterdam film company A-film has its own YouTube channel offering free, full length films online. There are some 20 films such as Alles Stroomt (Upstream), Ik Omhels Je Met Duizend Armen (A Thousand Kisses) and First Mission. Not all films are in Dutch: there are English-language films such as Bend It Like Beckham, The Promotion and Youth In Revolt (watch here below). As a comparison, competitor Ximon.nl, which has a much larger selection, offers a film like A Thousand Kisses for 3,50 euro.
Last year, we told you about the booklet ’50 years of human space flight’ written in English by Steve Korver, with photos by film director René Nuijens who had gone to Russia to gather information on Russia’s Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. This year marks the 51st anniversary of his famous feat, and the guys put together this film about a man from Belgrade who dreamt of becoming a cosmonaut ever since he was a boy.