Vozvrashcheniye (The Return)

This is an intense story about two sons who have grown up without a father. One day their father suddenly appears, and he wants to take them with him on a short holiday to go fishing. While they are on their way, the orginal plan changes. Father has to do some kind of job somewhere, […]

Squint your eyes

This Polish director (who can be compared to the Dutch Alex van Warmerdam) has made an unusually intriguing comedy about, well about nothing actually. The story deals with an ‘unemployed man’, who lives on a big farm, where he is surrounded by other jobless people and more or less lunatics. He lives a peaceful life, […]

Rhinoceros Eyes

Aaron Woodley’s film is a bizarre fairytale about a boy named Chep. He works in a storage depot for movie attributes. One day a beautiful lady comes round to ask for some props. In the blink of an eye Chep falls in love and he begins to mix reality and fantasy. He is prepared to […]


When a dvd has various words like ‘explicit’, ‘shocking’ or ‘uncensored’ on the cover, I can’t take it too serious. But I remember that it aroused some media attention too when it was showing in smaller film theatres a few years back. It’s indeed a rough film, made by two female directors. Two girls are […]

Good Bye, Lenin!

‘Good Bye, Lenin!’ attracted millions of Germans to the cinema. They were of course appealed by the themes taken from recent German history: the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the demise of the German Democratic Republic, the unification of the two Germany’s. These developments went very fast, and in no time complete households […]


Today was the yearly Kristallnacht commemoration in Amsterdam. This year more people than usual came to this memorial for the 1938 nightmarish events. This may be caused by the recent Dutch media attention for increased anti-semitism, especially under Islamic school children. I did not realize that it was a memorial day when I visited ‘Rosenstrasse’ […]

Spirited Away

Animation is growing up and is becoming more interesting day by day. Especially in Japan, where the highly aggressive and rather rude manga is developing into a mature form of art, with attractive animation both for adults and children. One of the better directors from Japan is Hayo Miyazaki. After ‘Princess Mononoke’ and ‘Ghost in […]

Cidade de Deus (City of God)

A confronting portrait of present-day Brazil, told from inside a slum neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro (the City of God). The main character describes in a kind of voice-over how his friends turned from small thiefs, who were relatively symphathetic, into unscrupulous drug bosses who slaughter their competitors without mercy. The director sketches the story […]

The Virgin Suicides

Last year I already read the book by Jeffrey Euginedes, this week I finally saw the film of Sofia Coppola. ‘The Virgin Suicides’ was the debut for the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola. I found it an enjoyable movie, as far as you can use that term for such a tragic story. Very well done […]

The Commitments

Around 1991 ‘The Commitments’ was one of the first movies I ever saw in the local film theatre. Now, a dozen years later, it still looked fresh when I watched it on tv. It’s one of my favourite music movies, directed by Alan Parker (Fame!). The opening scenes show vivid images of the poorer parts […]


A lovely movie about the stirring life of the artist Frida Kahlo. “Frida” is designed in a sublime manner by play director Julie Taymor. She manages to portray the spectacular and dramatic biography of Friday with exotic spheric scenery and dazzling colourful images of Mexico. Absolute a pleasure for the eye. Salma Hayek delivers an […]


The highly original first movie from Carlos Reygadas. It tells the story of a painter who is fed up with his life. He travels to a canyon in Mexico (which is filmed breathtakingly beautiful) to commit suicide. His last stop is a shed, where he stays temporarily. This shelter is supplied by an old woman […]


When it comes to money you can’t trust anyone. And the grass is always greener on the other side. That seem to be the main themes of ‘Lichter’, a movie directed by Hans-Christian Schmid, a succesful young German director. ‘Lichter’ consists of various episodes, with different characters, all with their own dreams. Each story has […]

Tan de Repente

I saw ‘Tan de Repente’ in a German cinema, where the title was translated as ‘Aus heiterem Himmel’. Luckily the Spanish-spoken film was not synchronized, but subtitled. The film is shot in black & white, which is very fitting for this rather surreal, somewhat vague existential roadmovie. The main character is Marcia, who works in […]

One Hour Photo

A fine movie by Mark Romanek, who previously worked a lot on videoclips. He made the clips of ‘Closer’ and ‘The Perfect Drug’ for Nine Inch Nails, amongst others. The story tells about Sy the Photoguy (Robin Williams). Sy is employee of a large company called the Savemarket. For many years now he works at […]


‘Adaptation’ is the second movie by Spike Jonze, after ‘Being John Malkovich’. It has one of the most original and funniest opening scenes I know: protagonist Charlie Kaufman (played by Nicholas Cage) enters the set of ‘Being John Malkovich’ and is brutally sent away by the director. Then a film starts which is almost impossible […]

24 Hour Party People

An entertaining film about the music scene in Manchester, and more precisely about Factory Records and the people surrounding the label. First of all labelboss Tony (Anthony) Wilson, who combines the realization of his musical dreams with a job as reporter for local tv station Granada. He is also the all-knowing narrator of the story, […]

Morvern Callar

I already wanted to see this movie on the Edinburgh festival last summer, but it was sold out then. Not so this time, there were only five other people in the cinema, though I saw it in its first week in Utrecht. But it was a Wednesday early afternoon, and it was very bad weather. […]

Lilja 4-Ever

‘Mein Herz brennt!’ This film has no gradual introduction, but you get Rammstein directly thrown at you at loud volume. You see a young girl in bad condition, running desperately in a western European landscape of busy motorways. You get the impression that there is no way out. Then she stops at a bridge, staring […]

Magdalene Sisters, The

This film won the ‘Golden Lion’ at the Filmfestival of Venice. Don’t watch it when you want a feel-good movie! The Magdalene Sisters is a grim, realistic portrayal of the life in the Irish catholic convents of the ‘Sisters of Mercy’. It is inspired by a Channel 4 documentary of a few years ago, which […]