4x Netherlands Film Festival

A nine-day film extravaganza is coming to Utrecht again in late September: the yearly Netherlands Film Festival, celebrating the achievements of Dutch filmmakers. Four must-sees for international visitors.

The Netherlands Film Festival is from 21 to 30 September on various locations. See for more information.

Header image: The Smile


The Smile

When Knud comes to America, he’s only a young crocodile. He starts out as a conversation piece at the parties of his owner, a rich film producer, but when Knud gets to play small roles in B-movies he quickly becomes the king of horror films. With his irresistible crocodile-grin, Knud brings ‘the smile back in horror’. His movies – in which he frequently portrays sexy villains who devour scantily clad ladies – are worldwide hits, and female fans dream of being eaten by him. Knud-mania! But his luck changes when he is linked to the disappearances of several young actresses. With one lawsuit after another, Knud’s empire begins to crumble. When a disembodied actress – just a talking head – accuses Knud of having eaten her body (albeit with willing consent), Knud’s smile disappears for good. He plays small parts in quasi-artistic European film flops, tries his luck painting and making a pop album, but eventually comes to a sad end – despised by critics and the public – as a pair of crocodile leather boots at a Sotheby’s auction. Animated film by Erik van Schaaik.

26 & 27 September, 21:00

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Playful and gloomy

We are strange

In this playful but also wry sketch of us people (and other animals), Han Hoezen shows an associative way of looking at humans and what beautiful, ugly and above all strange creatures we are. Sometimes playful and sometimes gloomy, the film is entirely composed of  ‘found footage’. Hoezen: ‘Last year, I collected hundreds of hours of images and sounds from very different sources. By editing this and combining it with other images and sounds, I gave them a new context.’

25 september, 11:45

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Commemorative benches

Walk the land

Twenty years ago, filmmaker Peter Delpeut and cameraman Stef Tijdink made In Loving Memory, a documentary in which they travelled along the historic railroad line between Leeds and Carlisle. They noticed a touching English tradition: commemorating deceased loved ones with benches. They are located in parks, along the side of the road, overlooking the sea or in the middle of the moors. They asked the people sitting on these benches what they meant to them – short conversations about loss, the importance of memory and the fleetingness of a human life. But these encounters portrayed a constricted England: white, middle class, polite. So now, twenty years later, they decided to travel along the same route again with the benches as a common thread. A lot has happened, so the stories will be different.

27 september, 18:00

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Inter-generational tensions

Prince of Muck

In Prince of Muck, Dutch director Cindy Jansen brings a cool, seemingly detached ‘outside eye’ to a classic Scottish scenario, as a Laird surveys his Life and Land. Just as the themes and exact cinematic language in Jansen’s first mid-length documentary film, Auld Lang Syne, reveal complex family ties at play, here too, the carefully constructed narrative gives space to inter-generational tensions, with a slow-burn, dramatic effect.

23 september, 17:30

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