Amsterdam’s De Melkweg (The Milky Way) is a 1960’s-type counter-culture center, set up in what was once a milk factory. As-yet unknown musical groups, theatre companies and poets perform there… Freedom of expression is absolute, multiform and eclectic; an explosion of rhythms (from rock to New Wave to Afro-Caribbean), colours, words and images attracts a young and cosmopolitan audience with an uncertain future. Portrait of a generation.
ICONOCLASM: A STORM OF IMAGES was made to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Milky Way (Melweg). The Milky Way is a multimedia venue in Amsterdam, which van der Keuken captured in THE SPIRIT OF THE TIME; it was established in the spirit of the ’60s and became an international center of counterculture. Van der Keuken’s free but highly formalized composition creates a milky way of images on the screen, drawing on drama, poetry and particularly music — rock, new wave, Afro-Caribbean and punk. Caught up in this storm, which has its calms as well as its tempests, are six people for whom the former milk factory is a haven. Some live and work within the mainstream of society, like Steve the welder. Others, like Angela or Karin try to exist in opposition to it by living as squatters or playing in a band or demonstrating for peace. ICONOCLASM depicts a jigsaw of a generation, as did THE SPIRIT OF THE TIME. Van der Keuken shows what has survived and what has not, what has changed and what has remained the same about the counterculture.
Returning to similar themes again and again, van der Keuken restlessly tries to achieve “a broad form of beauty, doubt, fear and belief.” He catches various layers of reality and perception rather than isolate a subject. He often cannot give answers. He knows that the latter may be more immediately useful but not necessarily more true. Nevertheless, this “lone wolf” of the independent cinema hopes that his films will become part of the continual struggle to find some of those answers. (Cohn Chambers)
Subtitles:English, French, Dutch