22 November 2010


Amsterdam Central Station, 07:10 PM. The chilly late-autumn wind breezed past the platform where I stood. The air was hot, though. The PA constantly barked new announcements. My Dutch was still too poor to understand correctly, but it was something about there would be no direct train to Amersfoort.

Then some people started to shout.

* * *

I was in Amsterdam for International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam. I'd been checking IDFA's website since two months ago and was so excited about it. Unfortunately, the day before I planned to go, there was a fire in Utrecht Central Station. Utrecht is the main hub of the Netherland's train system. Chaos was the word. And the train system wasn't completely recovered the day after, which made the supposed 1.5 hour ride to Amsterdam became 2.5 hour instead.

But I made it! It was my second IDFA and I enjoyed it more. The weather was nice (as long as there's sun and you don't look at the thermometer) and there was a winterfestival in Rembrandtplein (aka Kebabstraat), which also where the Kassa Box Office located. The crowd was great, and Stania joined me from Brussels on the next day. She didn't watch a single movie, though, which is a pity because they some of them were great!

Maria's Way. Awkay, this one was kind of boring and thank God it was only a 15 minutes short doc. It's about a woman who guards a way to a pilgrimage and gives the pilgrims a stamp that show that they were there. The days are the same for her, except occasional menace and joy. The story was interesting, but not powerful enough. And it was shot beautifully with a good camera. Actually, I just envy the director :P

People Who I Want To Be And Maybe Am. Nice title, isn't it? Contrary to the first movie, this one was shot by a cellphone camera. It tells the story of two people's life in London, two of thousands who have stories which otherwise captured, would be gone unnoticed. The idea is great, but... Alright, I don't mind the cellphone cam. Actually it's not that bad. But the director didn't really explore it, make use of the advantage. But what most annoyed me was that he used texts (instead of narration) to build and connect the pieces and it was long and, basically, break the rule 'show not tell'.

David Wants To Fly. I chose this movie because, after fast reading the movie synopsis in Dutch, I thought the idea was cute. A young filmmaker named David Sieveking was a big fan of David Lynch, and Sieveking looked for a way to grasp Lynch's creative process. Turned out the movie was about the debunking of Transcendental Meditation, a cult founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, famous as The Beatles (and also David Lynch)'s guru. I smell Jack Parlabane :P But the movie was good, well made, entertaining. Love it!

The Green Wave. Mix of various (TV, cellphone, home video) footage, animation, twitter and blog entries capturing the events around Iran 2009 election. I'm not in a position to judge. My comment is that the criticism of biased press has become less and less relevant. Facts can speak for themselves these days. I know that a documentary is also a constructed story, but the footage, no matter cherry-picked, are facts. Politics aside, this is a very moving, beautifully composed movie. Reminds me of Waltz With Bashir, although the director said that he didn't refer to any previous work. It's that good, you kind of wish it were fiction.

* * *

The shouting continued and gradually turned to a song. The display showed that the train to Nijmegen via Ede-Wageningen would arrive within minutes. People were smiling. All was well.

It was Ajax vs PSV that night :D

3 komentar:

  1. Is it late autumn? Dingin benerrr... gimana winterr.... Anyway, hey, I bought 2 DVDs though!

  2. have you watched them yet? if not, my statement's still accurate :P

  3. I've watched Burma VJ in KL :)