August has seen some of Amsterdam’s finest film festivals, starting with the World Cinema Amsterdam,n De Balie and Rialto, and continuing with Pluk de Nacht, which is still ongoing while I write these lines.They differ from each other in spirit and scope, though both are made with the enthusiastic and unpretentious attitude that characterizes Amsterdam.
I didn’t have many expectations of the World Festival Amsterdam, so I was pleasantly surprised when I und a perfectly organized event, with a wide range of activities and a complete and diverse program. The quality of the films was diverse, as it couldn’t be any other way, but hardly uninteresting.I couldn’t attend the whole festival, but watched at least two noteworthy films: the delightful “A casa de Alice”, an unusual look at a Brazilian family, and the dense “Al juma al akheira” (The Last Friday), by Jordanian director Yahya Al Abdallah, which won the Jury Award. I’ll definitely mark this festival in my calendar for the next year.
Pluk de Nacht is an open air festival showing a selection of recent movies and shorts films from around the world that are still unreleased in the Netherlands. These range from American indie (“Terri”) to Czech cinema (“Four Suns”) to Korean experimentalism (“The Day He Arrives”). Located in an empty stretch of land in the west on the river IJ, it actually summarizes the spirit of the ‘summer festival’, with deckchairs lined up in of the screen instead of normal seats. Rolling kitchens and bars offer a great variety of food and drink whilesmall art exhibitions offer you a respite from sitting all night. The after-parties are great and the laid-back atmosphere welcomes everyone. The entrance is free, and if you want a deckchair, you can decide the amount that you want to pay for renting it. Pluk de Nacht somehow marks the end of the summer and is constantly
threatened by the unpredictable Amsterdam weather; in case of rain, however, they have a huge tent under which to show the films.
Amsterdam is a city of festivals and seasonal events, and September is no exception to this. To start with, we have some regular screenings back, more remarkably the Cinemanita (at De Nieuwe Anita, on Mondays www.denieuweanita.nl) and the weekly screenings at the OT301, a legalized squat that used to bethe Netherlands Film Academy (ot301.nl).
By the end of the month, between the 20 and the 23, the Pathè Tuschinski hosts the 3rd edition of the Amsterdam Turkish Film Festival. This year its programme is organized under the concept of ‘Diaspora’. The selection comprises films by young directors as well as works by filmmakers of Turkish origin livingin European countries. German-Turkish director Fatih Akin (“Head-on”, “The Edge of Heaven”) will be given a retrospective. I definitely like his documentary “Crossing the Bridge: the Sounds of Istanbul”, so I can’t wait o see it again on big screen (check the program at atff.nl). Parallel to this event, The Eye Film Institute has organised the “Turkish Beat” series, featuring films by new directors.
The offer this month is too big to be summarized in a few lines, so I recommend you to regularly check the cinema’s listings. Check The Eye Film Institute (www.eyefilm.nl), which,on the occasion of the release of oody Allen’s “To Rome with Love”, is showing a retrospective on movies set in the Italian city, including Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”, William Wyler’s “Roman Holiday” or Jarmusch’s “Night on Earth”. Also have a look athe “Modern Classics” series in Kriterion (“Happiness”, “Paris, Texas”) as well as the Café Cineville (“Boogie Nights”, “Airplane!”) at De Uitkijk. As usual with AmsterDO, all relevant sites can be linked to by viewing this page with the Layar app.
And finally, September 13 sees the release of “Ted”, the longawaited film by Seth MacFarlane (“Family Guy”, “The Cleveland Show”), starring Mark Whalberg, Mila Kunis and… a teddy bear.
Jaime Menchén López is passionate about any kind of movies, from Murnau’s ‘Sunrise’ to anything made by Fritz Lang to some of the Coen brothers films. The most recent film he feels very impressed by is ‘Take Shelter’. You can check out more reviews at Jaime’s’ blog jaimemenchen.wordpress.com and at UA