Tag Archives: Netherlands
Nisantasi is a classy Istanbul residential district. Its inhabitants may be rich and beautiful but they are not necessarily happy. This is the case for 52-year-old architect Can and his wife Ela, an artist who is already past her creative prime. Their daughter Nil has left home to study in Ankara. Left to their own devices, the couple realise that their passion for each other is not what it once was. Nonetheless they both feel secure in the safe harbour of a marriage which places no demands for critical questions or complex explanations. One day, Ela happens to overhear her husband talking on the phone. Director Asl? Özge sketches the story of a lost love, filmed in desaturated colours and fashionably cool interiors which emphasise the emptiness that lies hidden beneath the surface. Caught in a thick web of lies, alienation and loneliness, the film’s protagonists appear to have made that typical middle-class mistake of sacrificing their personal lives on the altar of their careers.
König der Diebe / King of Thieves (2004) Ivan Fíla, Lazar Ristovski, Iakov Kultiasov, Katharina Thalbach, Drama
Two amateur circus kids from a poor Ukrainian village, ten-year-old Barbu and his older sister Mimma, are sold to a circus artist called Caruso who promises them a career in the West. Caruso smuggles them to Berlin and separates them from each other. Mimma is sold to prostitution, while Barbu is taught to snatch purses together with an older Albanian boy Marcel. Barbu finds out about Mimma’s fate and decides to free her from the brothel.
An idealistic Dutch colonial officer posted to Indonesia in the 19th century is convinced that he can make the kinds of changes that will actually help the local people he is in charge of, but circumstances soon make him realize just how out of touch he really is, and it doesn’t take long for things to go from bad to worse.
Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993) François Girard, Colm Feore, Derek Keurvorst, Katya Ladan, Biography, Drama, Music
As the title suggests, this dramatised documentary about the eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is broken up into thirty-two short films (mirroring the thirty-two part structure of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’, the recording that Gould made famous), each giving us an insight into some aspect of Gould’s life and career. Out of respect for the music lead actor Colm Feore is never seen playing the piano, merely reacting to Gould’s own recordings, which are extensively featured.
Frailer tells the story of an actress playing a part that reflects her real life story. Whilst playing a woman dying of cancer, Muis her doctor tells her she has not much more time left. She will die soon. The film follows the transition of her and her film sisters, shifting from their characters to who they really are, actresses dealing with their friend upcoming death. We watch Leonoor become physically frailer but mentally stronger as she is slowly accepting her faith. Whilst ending the film, she leaves her film sisters, her real life husband and children but also the viewer, behind forever.
A Question of Silence / De stilte rond Christine M. (1982) Marleen Gorris, Edda Barends, Nelly Frijda, Henriëtte Tol, Drama
Three women, all strangers to each other, meet in a dress boutique. One of the three is approached by the male proprietor as she is shoplifting a garment. When he approaches her the other two join her in beating the man to death. Other female shoppers ignore the whole situation and leave when the crime is complete. The court appoints a female psychriatrist to examine the women; contrary to public opinion the psychiatrist finds they are not insane but implies the rage expressed by the crime is a result of the male dominated society. An interesting study of extreme behavior. The prisoner’s cells were a revelation.
Said to be inspired by British photographer Felice Beato, who for a time lived in 19th century feudal Japan and married a geisha named O-kiku. The plot centers on his having abandoned her (in order to move-on with his professional work) and his eventual return in the mid-1890s, expecting everything to be as before. Of course now, six years on, O-kiku has long gone and the story follows Beato on a journey throughout Japan, notably Nagasaki and Yokohama where he hopes to find clues as to her whereabouts (specifically because those were the places where they both traveled). Only then does this Westerner come to know from their former friends, family and acquaintances what exactly his actions meant to the abandoned girl.
De Noorderlingen / The Northerners (1992) Alex van Warmerdam, Jack Wouterse, Annet Malherbe, Rudolf Lucieer, Comedy
A surreal black comedy set in a decrepit 1960’s housing development. When his mother is drawn into sainthood and the resulting frustrations of his father become too difficult to manage, Thomas, a young boy, becomes obsessed with events on the broadcast news. The liberation of the Belgian Congo is taking place and Thomas becomes Lumumba, one of the contenders as the Congo’s new leader. He is encouraged in this escapism by Plagge, the postman who reads all the mail and knows all of the bizzarre and intimate secrets of the eccentric inhabitants of the estate.