Every second Sunday of the month, the Dutch film critic Hans Beerekamp presents ‘The realm of the shadows’ (Het schimmenrijk) in cinema Het Ketelhuis in Amsterdam. In 90 minutes, Beerekamp takes us on a trip through film history by focusing on film personalities who died during the last month.
Hans Beerekamp on British actor Alan Rickman
For today’s edition, Beerekamp chose an often personal but very fine selection of fragments from the films of the British actor Alan Rickman, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s favourite actor Franco Citti and, of course, David Bowie. Two great European directors also passed away last month: the Italian filmmaker Ettore Scola and the French filmmaker Jacques Rivette. Watching fragments of Rivette’s work reminded me I should urgently see more of his films, and re-watch Paris nous appartient (1961); as such, Beerekamp’s somewhat morbid show succeeded very well in its goal; honouring the dead by making you wanting to see their films, again or for the first time.
Ashes to ashes, directed by David Bowie himself
‘Electronic’ music video for
One of the goals of my research stay in Amsterdam is to learn more about Holland’s film history. One way to do this is of course to attend the Film NL series at the EYE film museum, which offers specials, retrospectives, talk shows and Q&As on Dutch cinema. Yesterday, the documentary De domeinen Ditvoorst (1992, Thom Hoffman) about Adriaan Ditvoorst (1940-1987) was shown, along with his very intriguing short film debut Ik kom wat later naar Madra (1965). Together with Paranoia (1967), these two films established Ditvoorst as one of the most promising artistic filmmakers of the first wave of graduates of the Netherlands Film Academy. However, as Jan Vrijman put it, he lacked the talent to make his talent happen.
Aftertalk with producer Willem Thijssen and director Thom Hoffman
The (Dutch-language) anthology Media, Democratie en Identiteit has been published (editors: Stijn Joye, Daniël Biltereyst & Sofie Van Bauwel). The book collects a number of essays and empirical studies that deal with the role(s) of media in a democratic society. Contributors to the book are current and former members of the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies (CIMS), the research group to which I belong at Ghent University. My contribution is entitled Een halve eeuw filmpolitiek in Vlaanderen (1952-2002) and deals with the institutional development of film production policy in Flanders.
Since last week, I’m enjoying a 10-week research stay at the University of Amsterdam. It feels a bit like returning; five years ago, I followed a film-philosophy PhD seminar (ontologically called ‘What is film’) at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA), and it’s great to receive a warm welcome by prof. Patricia Pisters and other inspiring people I met back then!
View on the EYE film museum from the ferry
The main goal of the research stay at is the collection of data related to the history of Flemish-Dutch film coproduction practices and policy. The data will be collected at the EYE Film Museum
, the Dutch Film Fund
and at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
. I am grateful to the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) for granting me a Travel Grant for this research stay.
Since I worked there as a volunteer in 2010, I had never returned to the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, although I planned it every year again. Today, I finally did return, to watch two films (Sokurov’s Francofonia and (finally) Gomes’ second part of Arabian Nights) and to notice that the warm, cinephiliac feeling I experienced when I was working at the ticket office or at the entrance of the LantarenVenster six years ago is still very present at one of Europe’s larger film festivals with such an idiosyncratic programming.