CIFF 2010: The Happy Housewife (De gelukkige huisvrouw, 2010)
Director: Antoinette Beumer
2010 Chicago International Film Festival
By Marilyn Ferdinand
“I hate actors,” the cinephile said to me after a screening of a personal essay film that had no actors in it at all. I vaguely understood what he was saying, that actors are tricksters whose presence can take away from the sincerity of a film. As someone who treasures the films of Robert Bresson, the Neorealists, the Nouvelle Vague directors, as well as a slew of more contemporary films that use nonprofessionals, I find the unstudied spontaneity of the performances helps me appreciate the film as a whole rather than focusing on the accomplishments of a single performer. Continue reading
Plot / Synopsis:
Emilia leads a quiet life, together with her husband Charles and her little daughter Anna. To love is a familiar feeling to her, but she is totally oblivious to a feeling such as pure lust. Until she meets Leon.
Their affair starts as a game to which Emilia completely surrenders. But when it starts interfering with her daily existence, she wants out. Continue reading
From an interview about this film, conducted by Serge Toubiana,
Is Amsterdam Global Village intended to be the portrait of a city? Can one in fact portray a city?
– I don’t think you can portray anything, but you can build a city through film, using both fictional and direct cinema techniques, which I purposely blend. The constructivist concept is very important to me. At the end of the film, there is a dedication to my friend, the writer Bert Schierbeek, who died this year. Bert Schierbeek wrote: “I always felt that life was made up of 777 stories going on at the same time.” So I thought we could do 777 four-hour films about Amsterdam, even if it’s a small city. But you have to make choices, take risks. When you film you have to disregard certain realities in order to recreate something physical on the screen. In that way, it’s possible to portray a city. Continue reading