Alex van Warmerdam – Schneider vs. Bax (2015)

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A relatively straightforward genre exercise compared with last year’s Cannes-competing “Borgman,” “Schneider vs. Bax” (which has already opened in its native Netherlands, where it did arthouse business rather than action-movie numbers) likely wouldn’t have interested festivals or foreign distribs if not for the career-rekindling acclaim his previous feature attracted. Van Warmerdam would be the first to admit this follow-up was designed to be as different from “Borgman” as possible. Still, there’s so escaping the macabre and borderline-surreal sensibility that underlies them both, which should earn this pic playdates around the world in venues that would have ignored him a year earlier. Continue reading

Sam Stourdzé – Fellini (2014)

The career of Federico Fellini lasted for forty years and made him perhaps the most illustrious of all the filmmakers to have come out of Italy. Those forty years saw the appearance of titles that have carved out a permanent niche in the memory of generations of film lovers. Fellini, a richly illustrated book written and edited by Sam Stourdzé, Director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne (Switzerland), taps into the sources of his fertile imagination and brings the vital power of his work into the limelight providing insight into the obsessions and motivations of the man behind La Strada, La Dolce Vita and 8¿. Continue reading

Steven de Jong – Stuk! (2014)

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Elizabeth, a voluptuous, shy and unpopular girl, is the object of ridicule at school by the cool in-crowd. Her life spirals downward after the death of her only friend, her grandmother. But she has a crush on a popular boy at school, and a deranged plan to make all her dreams come true! Continue reading

Aryan Kaganof – Shabondama Elegy AKA Tokyo Elegy (1999)

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Virtuoso application of digital techniques in a feature combining the genres of film noir, art film and porn. Man condemned to death and on the run (Thom Hoffman) has a last intense sexual relationship (with porn actress Mai Hoshimo).

Ian Kerkhof’s new film boldly clashes genre conventions in a digital melt that seeks to invent a new form of film-making appropriate to the new digital age. On this occasion he is working with a Japanese producer and shooting in Japan with the enormously flexible and light DV camera, ‘re-mixing’ his material on the infinitely flexible AVID editing equipment to create a film for the big screen.No surprise, this determined renegade film-maker takes the opportunity to mix crime film, art film and porn movie. Continue reading

Saskia Diesing – Nena (2014)

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The film tells the story of sixteen-year-old Nena, who is confronted with the suicide attempt of her handicapped father. At the same time she falls head over heels in love for the first time in her life with Carlo, whose father has just outed himself. Away from prying eyes of the adults – who struggle with failed marriages, blossoming love and insufferable physical decline – they push the boundaries of their friendship, love and sexuality. But while discovering her own lust for life, Nena realizes that her father’s existence is becoming more and more unbearable. Continue reading

Tamar van den Dop – Supernova (2014)

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A bored-to-death Dutch teenage girl from the sticks seems to be waiting for an adolescent-age Godot in Supernova, the second feature as a director of Dutch actress Tamar van den Dop, who here co-stars as the girl’s mother.

Resolutely arthouse in its approach, this adaptation of a novel by Flemish author Bo Van Ranst won’t exactly set the box-office alight anywhere but offers more proof of the directorial talents of van den Dop and the serious range and sheer star power of Gaite Jansen (The Cost of Sugar, Tricked) who essentially has to shoulder the burden of making teenage boredom look interesting. The film had its world premiere in the Generation sidebar at the recent Berlin Film Festival and should be appreciated at other festivals as well. It opened commercially in the Netherlands April 17. Continue reading

Jos Stelling – Duska (2007)

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Plot / Synopsis
A socially inept middle-aged man is confronted with an unexpected guest even more clueless than himself in this comedy. Bob is a film critic from the Netherlands who loves and understands the movies but doesn’t have the same knack with the real world, especially the opposite sex. Bob is deeply infatuated with a woman who works at the popcorn counter of his favorite movie theater, but while she sometimes flirts with him, he’s too nervous to follow through. Bob decides he needs to be more bold if he wants to win his dream girl, but just as he’s gathering his courage to lure her back to his apartment, he suddenly finds himself entertaining an unexpected guest. Duska is an even geekier movie buff Bob met at a film festival in Russia , and he’s decided to take him up on his offer to let him stay at his flat if he’s ever in town. While Duska is cramping the style Bob is trying to develop, the larger problem is that his new houseguest seems to be planning a long-term visit and Bob doesn’t know how to get rid of him. Continue reading