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Added by johanlefourbe on 25 Aug 2013 05:50
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The Dutch Film Club

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People who added this item 91 Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7
mother! (2017)

chosen by Johan

Notes: To be honest, following the extremely polarizing responses towards this movie, I became slightly worried but since I'm always looking for something really challenging, this movie turned out to be the right choice. First of all, I have to admit it, it was a difficult movie to read as the whole thing was just so bizarre and chaotic and I can imagine that not everyone might be able to connect with this picture. But that was also the real beauty of it, the fact that you could give it pretty much any meaning you want. Indeed, someone might think that it is a story about motherhood, some others might say it is about how chaotic our society and way of life has become. As far as I was concerned, it felt like a fascinating and endless nightmare, the way everything seemed familiar and yet odd at the same time and the way the main character seemed to a be mere spectator with no control over the events happening in front of her. Their world kept shifting, unfolding and exploding with some continuous random small or big events which felt really reminiscent to a nightmare, at least, to me, and this process was quite spellbinding to behold.

(Oct. 2017)
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Henk

Notes: Well, even though (almost) everyone else really loved this movie, to be honest, I had actually a hard time to really get into the damned thing. I mean, I have to admit it, it was a good movie , especially thanks to a really strong performance by Daniela Vega who completely deserved the praises she has received. Still, I never really felt blown away by the whole thing. The first thing that bothered me was that the main character ended up in a situation with such extreme circumstances. Indeed, even though she could have been involved with a young boy, she was with a man at last 30 years older than her who had lived before her, as far as I could see, a very average hetero life with a wife with at least 2 kids, one older than his new lover and one around 7 years old. Then, another thing that bothered me was how the main character was presented as someone apparently flawless (in fact, she was even fantastic according to the title) while the rest of the world seemed to be ignorant, intolerant and sometimes even downright mean to her. Basically, everything was told only from her point of view which felt really limited and I think it would have been more interesting if she would have displayed some flaws.

(Sept. 2017)
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 6.5

chosen by Wilma

Notes: First of all, I thought it was pretty neat to see another movie directed by François Ozon less than a year after watching his previous directing effort. On top of that, I actually enjoyed it more than 'Frantz' and this movie was more a typical Ozon feature dealing with his usual twisted characters with some rather dubious promiscuous sexuality. Indeed, most of the movie was a very entertaining and intriguing mystery and, for a very long time, I was wondering how it would end (personally, I was toying fo a while with the idea that Paul and Louis were actually one guy having a double life). Unfortunately, Ozon had to wrap everything up at some point and, like most similar thrillers, it was rather weak, I'm afraid. Indeed, after all, it turned out that the main character we even crazier than we first thought and that she imagined/fantasized the whole thing up. It was a rather weak choice because, as a viewer, you feel cheated after investing yourself for so long in the characters and what they were going through. It was also a really easy way out for the director. Still, even if the end didn't really work for me, the rest of the movie was fine, it looked really neat and both Marine Vacth and Jérémie Reinier should be praised as they delivered some really strong performances.

(Aug. 2017)
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People who added this item 17 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Ietje

Notes: In France and Netherlands, there has always been some kind of obsession about what the Nazis did during WWII, which is understandable but, as a result, many atrocities that happened elsewhere in the world never seemed to get the attention they deserved. In this case, they focused instead on what the Soviets did in Estonia and some other Eastern European countries and since I didn't know much about these events, it was already a really interesting watch. However, instead of going for something straightforward, Martti Helde, in his directing debut, decided to go for something much more original, shooting in black-and-white, with no dialogues and only a voiceover provided by the main character. In fact, he went even further as most of the movie was composed of very long shots with everybody standing still. Well, it was all very beautiful to look at, that's for sure, but did it really enhance this story? To be honest, I'm not so sure. I mean, at first, you keep wondering how they pulled it off and even though it must have be peen painstakingly difficult to coordinate, it felt as if the tale was not strong enough and the makers tried to cover it up somehow showing off their skills in the process. The fact that I dozed off a couple of times wasn't a good sign either (it may have had to do with the fact that it was so warm in the movie theater though). Anyway, even though it didn't completely blow me away, it was still an intriguing watch.

(May 2017)
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People who added this item 383 Average listal rating (282 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.7
Get Out (2017)

chosen by Ria

Notes: Since I kept hearing some really great things about this movie, I was really eager to check it out and when I heard we would watch it with our film club, I was just thrilled. Indeed, it would be the first time someone chose a horror movie so my expectations were really high. Unfortunately, even though it turned out to be a decent watch, I can't say I was really blown away by the damned thing though. I mean, to be honest, after watching this movie, you could be wondering why the critics loved it so much. Seriously, the structure was just really classic and predictable and, from the moment the mystery was revealed, as usual in this genre, the whole thing went just way over the top and, to be honest, I had a rather hard time to really care about what happened afterwards. Still, even though it didn't turn out to be such a masterpiece, it was still fairly entertaining. Indeed, Daniel Kaluuya gave a really a solid performance and even though his character went through some completely unbelievable nonsense, he kept it really grounded and I was always rooting for the guy. His buddy Rodney was also pure gold and, in fact, I wish they brought him as well in this demented journey.

(Apr. 2017)
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People who added this item 460 Average listal rating (324 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.5
Moonlight (2016)

chosen by Bea

Notes: Well, eventually, I wasn't disappointed, that's for sure. Basically, it was pretty much a flawless drama that worked on all levels. Indeed, I was at first quite impressed by its visual style which was sober but also so effective and, yet, they managed to make some rather simple scenes like a character smoking beautiful to look at. Then, you had the score which was a perfect mix between classic and modern. So, the directing was really strong but the performances were just really fine as well from all the actors involved. Another thing I really appreciated in this movie was how deep and complex all the characters were displayed. Eventually, there was something really hearbreaking about this tale and it displayed how merciless such environment can be, especially if you show any kind of weakness. It raises such questions like should we always be true to ourself even it will probably result in our own destruction or should we adapt in order to survive?

(Mar. 2017)
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People who added this item 320 Average listal rating (132 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.2
Silence (2016)

chosen by Johan

Notes: Since I'm a huge of fan of Martin Scorsese, of course, I was really eager to check this flick but there were a couple of things that worried me about this project. First of all, even though Scorsese had announced that he will direct this movie, he kept pushing it indefinitely to release something else and, when it finally seemed that he would finally get it done, I had the feeling that it was partially because he was contractually obligated and also to finally getting done with it. On top of that, it wasn't exactly a huge critical success when it was released so, to be honest, I had lowered my expectations and I thought it might turn out to be a minor effort for this great master. Well, even though it was definitely one of his least accessible movies, the damned thing was actually quite spellbinding to behold. Indeed, I thought it was visually rather impressive and Andrew Garfield has delivered a solid performance. Above all, the fact that I have always been fascinated by the subject of religion certainly did help and I thought that this movie was a really interesting study on faith and on how, at the same time, it can be completely misguided but also quite inspiring.

(Feb. 2017)
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People who added this item 375 Average listal rating (246 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.9

chosen by Eric

Notes: Well, I can't imagine a better way to start off this new year with the film club. Indeed, even though it was maybe not completely flawless, it wasn't far from it and I can't remember the last time I saw a movie combining so perfectly drama and comedy. Seriously, this movie was so funny, it was very often much more hilarious than most of your average comedy. And yet, it was dealing with a really tragic story but, somehow, this mix worked miraculously well. I think that, even though the acting was quite impressive, I enjoyed most of all the writing. Indeed, the two main characters (an uncle and his nephew) were just so fascinating, with so many layers, and their dialogues were just pure gold. The ending was also very effective without forcing these characters into a more traditional happy-ending. More than 15 years ago, I was lucky enough to see 'You Can Count on Me' when it was released, it was just great to see Kenneth Lonergan making such an impressive come-back and the guy displayed once again that he has a gift to show the complex relationships within a family.

(Jan. 2017)
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People who added this item 47 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5
Frantz (2016)

chosen by Peter

Notes: You never really know what you will get with François Ozon and, this time, he came up with some hommage to the 30's German black-and-white movies (apparently, it was even a remake of a movie directed by Ernst Lubitsch called 'Broken Lullaby'). Well, first of all, it was easily the most gorgeous movie delivered by Ozon so far and the actors involved were all pretty strong. Unfortunately, even though everybody seemed to be really enthusiast about this tale, I can't say it really amazed me. I mean, I really liked the mix between drama, romance and even thriller but, somehow, it was still missing something. The main issue, I guess, was that this concept of having a mysterious stranger somehow replacing someone who has been recenly deceased was actually a rather old gimmick and I don't think that Ozon added much to this old formula. Especially from the moment you finally learn the truth, it became rather flat and, in the 3rd act, when the German woman goes after this mysterious French man, it felt rather redundant and didn't really change the situation of both characters. Still, even though it didn't completely blow away, it was a very nice watch.

(Dec. 2016)
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People who added this item 765 Average listal rating (538 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8
Arrival (2016)

chosen by Johan

Notes: Right now, according to IMDb (Internet Movie Database), this is the best movie released in 2016 so you can't argue that I did not try to show the best movie possible to the filmclub. It's just a shame that it didn't turn out to be really amazing. I mean, I thought it was visually really neat, Amy Adams gave a solid performance and I really loved the fact that they put the focus on language and on the difficulty and importance to be able to communicate with a possible Alien life form. As a result, it was probably one of the most minimalistic Science-Fiction features I have seen but it wasn't a bad thing, in the contrary. Unfortunately, I'm familiar with this old gimmick of creating an ominous mood and keeping the audience for as long as possible in the dark but, at some point, they have to deliver an explanation and such movies very rarely manage to end up in a satisfactory manner. In this case, it was not bad but I thought that, when this first encounter should have been a worldwide historical event, its impact was reduced to one single human being. What was actually the impact on the rest of the world? In what way was this event something really life changing? Anyway, even though it didn't completely blow me away, it was still a decent SF feature.

(Nov. 2016)
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People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 6.8
Fire at Sea (2016)

chosen by Henk

Notes: When I heard that we would watch a movie dealing with the current immigrants crisis, I have to admit that I was a little bit apprehensive. The tricky thing with a movie like this one is that, since it is a documentary, there is plot to hang on to and, since there was no commentary whatsoever, you are basically left on your own to try to figure out what the director actually tried to achieve. Eventually, I was rather surprised about the little time they actually spent with those immigrants. On the other hand, it was just as well because, each time the movie was focusing on them, it was almost unbearable to watch. Instead, the focus was set on the people living and working on this island, especially a hilarious little boy. By the way, why did they spend so much time with him? I mean, he was entertaining, that's for sure, but his connection with the topic was really thin and, at some point, it felt almost like watching a documentary about the last great Italian comedian. My guess is that the makers wanted to show that, even during such horrific events, children must remain children. They have to remain innocent and oblivious about the horror around them, they have to keep playing, they have to keep pretending that they kill the whole world during their games, even if, almost every day, just a few kilometers from them, 100s of people are actually dying at sea.

(Oct. 2016)
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People who added this item 61 Average listal rating (34 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7

chosen by Ietje

Notes: For the 2nd time around this year, we went to see another movie starring Isabelle Huppert who is slowly becoming one of our favorite actresses. Concerning the movie itself, it was basically about a very rational woman who had to face some really emotional events (the loss of her job, the death of her mother and the separation with her husband). However, even if this process was quite interesting, thanks above all to a really solid performance from Huppert, I never really felt swept away by the whole thing. It probably had to do with the fact that, as a French boy, I more or less grew up in such an environment which might seem incredibly enlightning but, from my own experience, this way of life can also be eventually rather cold and frustrating. It is also a way that you might describe this movie. On one hand, this woman discovers herself again, finding some new challenges and pleasures but, on the other hand, she remains also the same woman, with the very same qualities and shortcomings.

(Sept. 2016)
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People who added this item 140 Average listal rating (77 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.6

chosen by Bea

Notes: First of all, the whole thing was just gorgeous to look at but I wouldn't expect less from a Studio Ghibli production. Same thing about the soundtrack, it was just mesmerizing, and I always enjoyed a movie without any dialogue. Eventually, it was one of the most poetic movies I have seen for a very long time. And, yet, I have to admit that the whole thing kind of lost me when the turtle became a woman. I do understand that the makers had to do something otherwise it would have been just another tale about a stranded guy on a desert island but I wasn't completely sold. I mean, just before that, the guy actually killed this red turtle which was the only violent act through the whole movie but, somehow, even though what he did made sense (who wouldn't react like this in such a situation?), I wasn't so sure about the outcome though. I mean, it felt to me as if this man was somehow rewarded for killing this turtle by getting some really nice-looking red-haired woman which was slightly awkward. Or maybe the guy was just so traumatized about his actions and for being alone on this island that he ended up hallucinating and he then started a relationship with an actual red turtle. Anyway, the whole thing was quite fascinating and I will definitely keep thinking about it for the coming days.

(Aug. 2016)
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People who added this item 27 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.7

chosen by Ria

Notes: Once again, after 'Borgman' and 'The Lobster', Ria went for another really absurd black comedy but I think, this time, she really outdid herself. Indeed, it was so weird, I'm afraid I never really managed to get a grip on the damned thing. I mean, first of all, even though it was taking place in Hungary, there were many references to the Japanese culture and this mix of 2 really foreign cultures was sometimes hard to swallow. For example, sometimes, I wasn't even sure if the main character was actually speaking Hungarian or Japanese because she basically used the very same accent for both languages. It doesn't mean that it wasn't a funny, in the contrary, I really enjoyed every time we got to see this Japanese crooner doing his whacky little songs. Eventually, for me, the best way to summarise this movie where those scenes with an old police officer trying to tell a proverb but he never manages to end it up and instead says 'shit...'. Sure, it was funny but it didn't fly very high.

(Jul. 2016)
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People who added this item 231 Average listal rating (137 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.2
Elle (2016)

chosen by Wilma

Notes: At last, after 10 long years, Paul Verhoeven finally came up with a new directing effort and I was really eager to check it out. Obviously, the critics won't miss the fact that that it was rather misognist as the women seem to almost enjoy to be brutalised to the point that they might even fall in love with the perpetrator but Verhoeven has never been a subtle director in this area. Eventually, what won me over was this fascinating main character, perfectly played by Isabelle Huppert who is still one of the best French actresses. Indeed, during the whole thing, you are never sure if you should despise this manipulative ice queen bitch or admire this attractive incredibly sharp woman. I also loved the fact that the whole thing was never about finding who did the deed and it keeps going on in some unexpected very dark corners after you found out who it was. The only major problem I had is that they were probably too many characters with their own agenda and, as a result , they kept adding layers upon layers of various conflicts and intrigues and it was just too much too handle for this movie . Still, even though it wasn’t flawless, I thought it was really captivating and I hope we won't have to wait another decade to see something new from this fascinating director.

(Jun. 2016)
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People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.1
Chocolat (2016)

chosen by Eric

Notes: Omar Sy, probably one of the most famous French actors at work nowadays, was just really charismatic and very often really funny. Indeed, he was just perfect to play this part and, without him, I'm not sure it would have actually worked. Basically, even though it was an intrigued story with some great potential, it turned out to be a decent biopic but nothing really mind-blowing, I'm afraid. The first problem is that the whole thing was just so rather pedestrian and predictable. Then, the other problem is that they kept adding some elements to the story without properly developing them. It was above all obvious with his partner Footit. Indeed, during the whole thing, they never really make up their mind if the guy was actually his friend or if he was just exploiting him. At some point, already half way through, Chocolat himself even asks him what the hell does he do with his money and his free time. Eventually, we get to see a random scene in a gay bar which had nothing to do with what happened before or after. Anyway, in spite of its flaws, thanks to Omar Sy, I still think it was a decent watch after all.

(May 2016)
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.8
Belgica (2016)

chosen by Peter

Notes: Since I kept hearing some pretty good things about Felix Van Groeningen, I was really glad to finally watch one of his movies. Eventually, I was certainly not disappointed and I will definitely check his other movies when I have the opportunity. Still, even though I did like the damned thing, there were still a couple of things that did bother me. First of all, even though it was a decent tale, it was nothing really original and, above all, it was all rather predictable. On top of that, Frank, the older brother, was never presented as an actual asset for this business and, in my opinion, instead of showing him constantly getting high and having sex with some random girls, they should have balanced this character a little bit more because, this way, it was nearly impossible to root for the guy. Still, it was quite exhilarating to see those misfits running their own business and it was quite interesting to see their neverending struggle between rules and freedom, between chaos and order and between creation and destruction. Furthermore, Van Groeningen has a real talent for adding everywhere some nice details (like the left eye of the younger brother) creating a genuine authentic feeling in the process.

(Mar. 2016)
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People who added this item 846 Average listal rating (602 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.8

chosen by Johan

Notes: Well, at last, Quentin Tarantino has made an amazing come-back, delivering his best movie since many years. I mean, this time, even though it was maybe not perfect, it surely came close. Basically, not only it was a gorgeous Western with a great soundtrack by the legendary Ennio Morricone, it was also combined with a spellbinding thriller, some kind of mystery that could have come out of an Agatha Christie novel or an Alfred Hitchcock movie and this combination was just really spellbinding. Indeed, even though everyone talks during this movie, you are never sure what's actually their agenda and, during the whole thing, the only thing you can be sure is that none of them can be trusted. Eventually, what impressed me the most was how well written the whole thing was. Obviously, Tarantino has quite a reputation in this area but, recently, I thought he took himself really for granted with some half-baked results. Here, it was totally focused with some really hilarious dialogues, some very well developed characters and a tale that finally kept me on the edge of my set until the very end.

(Jan. 2016)
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People who added this item 13 Average listal rating (5 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.4
Chorus (2015)

chosen by Henk

Notes: To be honest, I thought it took a while to take off but I guess it was maybe due to the fact that I didn't know anything about this movie or its plot before watching it. At least, right from the start, I have to admit that I was taken by its esthetic beauty thanks to a beautiful black and white photography. In fact, he did remind me of the work of Ingmar Bergman, not only with the black and white imagery, but also for its sober and minimalist look, removing any artificial effects and focusing more on the harrowing emotions experienced by the characters. Still, at last, at some point, it became pretty obvious what it was all about and, from then on, it became basically the worst nightmare for anyone who is a parent. It shows how devastating such an event can be, obviously for the parents, but also the rest of the family and even for the perpetrator. For some reason, I was especially touched by the emotions displayed by his friend who spent 10 years thinking about his buddy when he was himself only 8 years old when it all happened. So, it was a very strong drama and probably one of the best movies I saw this year with the filmclub.

(Dec. 2015)
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.3

chosen by Bea

Notes: For once, we went to see a comedy with the film club but, to be honest, I'm afraid I wasn't really in the right mood to really enjoy it. Still, I have to admit that this one was decent but I can't say I really connected with it. Basically, I thought it was rather oddly constructed. Indeed, the makers came up with a whole bunch of ideas and they just threw all those ideas, good or bad, in the mix and the end-result was pretty random and messy. For example, I was never convinced that such a band would manage to get a concert tour in the US and to go on after the lead singer was dead was also rather far-fetched. Furthermore, you get introduced to some characters (even some members of the band) who just vanishes without much of an explanation. Still, I have to admit that it was sometimes quite hilarious and the characters were very well developed thanks to some good performances. Finally, the last act taking place taking place in some kind of Inuit city in Quebec was just pure gold.

(Nov. 2015)
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People who added this item 474 Average listal rating (312 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.1
The Lobster (2015)

chosen by Ria

Notes: It turned out to be a rather dark comedy constantly filled with some really weird scenes and some rather funny bits here and there. It was clearly something original and I really liked the fact that the director managed to create a dystopian future without one single futuristic gadget or some fancy items. I also enjoyed the fact that he constantly managed to keep me on the wrong foot and I had seriously no idea what would happen next which is always delightful. However, and it is something actually common to most of the other absurdist movies I have seen, there was a terribly cold detachment towards the characters. Indeed, even though I don't really need to have the usual stereotypical heroes, here, all these characters were some really emotionless zombies without much thoughts or feelings and, therefore, it was rather difficult to care about what they were going through. On the other hand, maybe, what the director was getting at, was the fact that we are actually, every single day of our life, following some really absurd rules, either because everybody does it or because those rules have become so important, that this process is now completely unconscious and we don't notice how ridiculous our lifes have become?

(Oct. 2015)
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People who added this item 240 Average listal rating (156 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6

chosen by Ietje

Notes: I really wanted to like this movie... But all things considered, I must admit that it was rather disappointing. The first issue I had was that the two main characters were rather unlikeable. Indeed, Abe Lucas was pretty much a drunk who happened to have read a lot of books. However, thanks to a very good performance by Joaquin Phoenix, he was still intriguing to watch. Unfortunately, from the moment that he kills a man that he barely knew just to feel alive, it became pretty much impossible to root for the guy. Concerning the other lead character, also very well played by the lovely Emma Stone, she was pretty much a promiscuous rich spoiled girl who doesn't seem to have any issue with first telling her boyfriend that she loves him and then, 5 minutes later, to hook up with her philosophy teacher. Eventually, the main issue is that the whole thing wasn't really funny or entertaining. The mistake made by Woody Allen, in my opinion, is that he thought that there was something supposedly hilarious to have someone killing someone else rather at random. I mean, Alfred Hitchcock made an amazing film called 'Rope' which was pretty much about the same subject, a perfect murder made for some philosophical reasons and it was just fascinating. This movie did work because it was a nail-biting thriller and that movie didn’t work because it was supposed to be a comedy when there was nothing really funny about the subject. Still, in spite of its flaws, it was a decent watch though, especially thanks to the fine actors.

(Sept. 2015)
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People who added this item 186 Average listal rating (126 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.8
Amy (2015)

chosen by Eric

Notes: To be honest, I have never really cared about Amy Winehouse while she was still alive. I mean, she did have an interesting voice but, especially towards the end, she looked just terrible and I mostly remembered how her chaotic behavior was described in details in the media and, soon enough, she was already gone. With this is in mind, I thought it was still a decent documentary, even if it wasn’t groundbreaking. Basically, the most interesting part was roughly the first half, before 'Back in Black' was released, when you get to see some rather intimate footage before she became famous. There, you had more or less the possibility to get to know who she might have been at the time and you definitely get to see her great musical potential. Unfortunately, the second half, after 'Back in Black', was much less interesting as it pretty much focused on her downward spirale without giving much new insights and it felt like a very long tabloid story.

(Aug. 2015)
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People who added this item 1229 Average listal rating (894 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8.2
Inside Out (2015)

chosen by Johan

Notes: Even though it was a big gamble to choose for an animated feature, eventually, it paid off very well. Indeed, the whole thing was just downright impressive and it worked on every possible level. As expected, the animation was quite gorgeous, even though I easily could have done without the 3D. Above all, it is the amount of depth in the story and the characters involved that made the whole thing quite mesmerizing to behold. Indeed, basically, they became incredibly ambitious and decided to show what happens in the human mind, no less than that, and this journey was just fascinating. To be honest, I'm not sure young kids will be able to grasp what was exactly going on and even though it is sold as a family feature, I think it is above all really enjoyable for the grown-ups.

(Jul. 2015)
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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.7

chosen by Henk

Notes: After watching only 2 movies directed by Alex van Warmerdam, I can already say that he has become one of my favorite Dutch directors. Some people might say that they love his unique way to throw in some absurdism in his pictures but, personally, what I enjoy the most is his humor. Indeed, the tone is always pitch-black, filled with witty oneliners and some really funny dialogs. Basically, I think his movies are just hilarious even if the characters themselves are not really funny. Anyway, this time, he made almost a straightforward picture which was less ambitious but definitely more accessible than 'Borgman', his previous directing effort. To conclude, Alex van Warmerdam remains one of the only Dutch directors to bring something really interesting nowadays.

(Jun. 2015)
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People who added this item 15 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 7.5

chosen by Wilma

Notes: I don't know about you but I have seen this already 100 times before. Indeed, you get a fallen genius who has to coach a band of misfits and, against all odds, towards the end, they still manage to win a big tournament of baseball/basketball/football/ballroom dancing/whatever. So, they definitely used a very old formula and, yet, I was really touched by this picture. Indeed, they started with this old gimmick but then they added a layer, then another layer and then another one and, as a result, you didn't see the formula anymore but only a really emotional tale with some really compelling characters. I also really liked the fact that the older brother was not just some one-dimensional villain and they gave us the opportunity to understand the motivations behind his actions. And, of course, Cliff Curtis, for once playing the lead, was really impressive and it was really nice to have a main character who didn't look like a top model but like a regular guy.

(May 2015)
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Wild (2014)

chosen by Bea

Notes: To be honest, after watching a couple of times 'Into the wild', a movie with not only a very similar title but also an almost identical plot, I find it rather difficult to really love this movie. I mean, it was good, I really liked it, Reese Witherspoon gave one of her best performances and, yet, it was missing something to be become really remarkable. For example, the back and forth in time made sense since she was thinking about all those moments in her life while hiking but it didn't make for a really satisfaying viewing. I mean, as a result, you get some half-baked moments which totally made sense for the character because she experienced it but not for the viewers since we were not actually there. On top of that, I had a hard time to swallow that most of the men she met were described as some potentially evil threat (one of the few exceptions was some hunk played by some Dutch actor and, of course, she ends up in bed with the guy). Still, all in all, I thought it was a pretty good drama.

(Apr. 2015)
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Far from Men (2014)

chosen by Peter

Notes: Considering my own background (French mother, Dutch father), it was pretty obvious that I would feel a connection for this man torn apart between two cultures. To be honest, even though I can imagine that Viggo Mortensen was interested for exactly the same reasons by this project, I'm not sure a half-Danish, half-American actor was the best choice to play a Frenchman with Spanish roots living in an Algerian village. Indeed, even though Mortensen did deliver a solid performance, I wasn't really convinced by his French. On top of that, it is always a little bit disappointing that, even though the movie takes place in Africa, the main character is still a 'white' guy who is good-looking, smart, good with kids, heroic, war veteran, so wise that he knows exactly what is best for his Algerian prisoner. So, the whole thing was a little bit flawed on the edges but I still enjoyed the damned thing. Indeed, the directing was solid, displaying some gorgeous landscapes and you could get a pretty good idea of what it must have been like to be living in this country during these insecure and dark ages.

(Mar. 2015)
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chosen by Ietje

Notes: Even though it might be a rather straightforward biopic, I really liked this movie a lot above all because it was a dealing with such a fascinating character. I mean, of course, we will never know for sure, maybe the guy was actually a major douchebag but there is no doubt that he was just brilliant, probably one of the greatest human minds that ever lived. I mean, not only the guy had pretty much single-handedly stopped WWII, the biggest war of all time, but he also invented the concept of computers, probably the biggest invention of the 20th century. Thanks to this movie, you get a glimpse of what this man could have been and I thought he was just fascinating, thanks to a really good performance by Benedict Cumberbatch. Unfortunately, not only was Alan Turing a great genius, but also really autistic but worse, even homosexual so, obviously, it was a little too much to handle for the British society and they pretty much killed one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived.

(Feb. 2015)
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chosen by Ria

Notes: It was what you could call a nice little movie. Indeed, it is nothing really life changing but there was something really sweet about this love story about 2 guys who have been together for 40 years. One of the biggest pleasures while watching this flick was that those two men were not played by the usual big Hollywood stars but 2 great character actors : John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. All the cast did a fine job but they were just great, giving many interesting layers to those interesting characters. Concerning the story itself, I wasn’t really sure though. I mean, they make a big deal of the fact that they loose their cherished apartment but, eventually, they find a new one in the most random way possible. Still, even though it might not be a masterpiece, I really enjoyed it a lot.

(Jan. 2015)
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Leviathan (2014)

chosen by Eric

Notes: Even though many of my fellow Filmclub members thought it was dark and gloomy, since I was a little bit more familiar with Andrey Zvyagintsev's work, I was expecting something actually even bleaker. I mean, it was still hardly a picnic, you don't really get a positive image of Russia as it seems that all the governmental workers are either incompetent or corrupt and most of the adult population seems to be half of their life completely drunk. Still, it was quite bearable and Zvyagintsev managed again to give some gorgeous shots and I thought that the directing was really solid. The actors did a fine job but, in my opinion, the wife's character was too ambiguous and eventually, you never really get the opportunity to understand her motivation behind her actions. I also had a hard time to get what the director was eventually getting at (apparently, it was a modern reworking of the Book of Job but since my knowledge of the bible is rather limited, I kinda of missed that). Still, it was definitely an interesting watch and I thought it was pretty good.

(Dec. 2014)
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Interstellar (2014)

chosen by Johan


(Nick, my step-son, was present as a special guest!)

Notes: I knew beforehand that to choose this movie was a bold choice and the IMAX format was rather overwhelming for my fellow club members (the really loud sound system was not really popular, I'm afraid). Anyway, personally, I really liked this movie a lot. Indeed, it seemed that Christopher Nolan's ambition is pretty much limitless as he decided to tackle this time an epic science-fiction feature reaching out for a seminal masterpiece like '2001: A Space Odyssey' and the guy almost pulled it off. I say almost because even though the whole thing was really entertaining, emotional and gorgeous to look at, the story was actually rather shaky and half of it didn't make much sense whatsoever. Above all, with this movie, you finally got a glimpse of Nolan's actual limitations. By now, I do believe that he is one of the most talented directors at work today but if you want to go all the way and make a really awesome masterpiece like his model Stanley Kubrick, he has to stop to please the average movie watcher by throwing some random action scenes here and there. Still, you get here some rather deep thoughts about life, death, love, the relativity of time and space and it was just exhilariting to see a blockbuster at least trying to tackle such ideas.

(Nov. 2014)
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Locke (2013)

chosen by Henk

Notes: Henk had once again picked up a really nice movie. Basically, it was a movie with a concept as you follow one character driving in his car and, that 's it, you get nothing else. Of course, they had to spice up the whole thing so the guy has a cool BMW, a bluetooth phone and two dramas to deal with. Obviously, the possibilities with this set-up were rather limited, but they managed to get most of it thanks to an outstanding performance by Tom Hardy who was obviously all the time on the screen, in close-up, and he literally carried the whole thing on his shoulders. They also managed to create a realistic and intriguing character and the whole thing was definitely quite spellbinding to behold.

(Oct. 2014)
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chosen by Wilma

Notes: Honestly, it is not the kind of movies I would have expected to watch with the filmclub. Indeed, it is a commercial feature adapted from a popular young adult novel so we hardly seemed to be the targeted audience. So, it was definitely a daring choice but, eventually, I thought it was not bad at all. Indeed, the relationship between those two teenagers was really touching and convincing thanks to the amazing performances by Shailene Woodley (the new rising star) and Ansel Egort (never heard of the guy before). Unfortunately, pretty much everything else in the movie was at best decent and sometimes even rather worthless. The worst was probably the few scenes involving the writer which were just contrived and rather cringe-inducing. So, as a result, you had one of the most beautiful and emotional love-stories involving teenagers I have ever seen but those kids were unfortunately stuck into the gimmicks and tricks of your average Hollywood melodrama. Still, it was emotional, funny and I had once again a great time.

(Sept. 2014)
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Boyhood (2014)

chosen by Bea

Notes: I already heard about this movie 6 or 8 years ago and, of course, I was really intrigued but I didn’t expect it to be so amazing. I mean, sure, it is a very nice gimmick (shooting a movie over a period of 12 years starting with a boy at 6 years old until he reaches 18 years old) but a gimmick remains a gimmick unless you manage to do something great with it and Richard Linklater certainly did something quite amazing here. Indeed, a traditional movie would give you a nice story, a great story if you’re lucky, but here they gave us a genuine slice of life. Of course, you could argue that they could have shot a documentary and you would have ended up with the same results but I highly doubt it. Indeed, for almost 3 hours, you spend more than a decade with these characters and even though nothing hugely dramatic happens, the whole thing was just spellbinding to behold.

(Aug. 2014)
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chosen by Peter

Notes: I have actually already seen this movie but it was a very long time ago and, this time, I went to see it on the big screen with my beloved film club so it was a really different experience. Eventually, I thought it was pretty good but it is definitely an acquired taste, a taste obviously shared by Wes Anderson who was definitely inspired by this movie, especially when he made his last flick ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. Still, you have to admit it, for a movie which was made almost 60 years, it was quite bold and, unsurprisingly, it was a flop when it was released but it has become since then a French classic. By the way, it was pretty neat to see for the first time a French movie with the club. Eventually, it looked all great and there were even some funny bits but, eventually, you never really got to know Lola Montès. Exactly like Wes Anderson, it seems that Ophuls didn’t care much for the character(s) and above all focused on the impressive scenes, full of colors, daft costumes and once again, it was all about the mood but not really about the substance. Still, it was definitely an intriguing flick.

(Jul. 2014)
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chosen by Ietje

Notes: It was once again time for our mighty filmclub, and this time again, I didn’t know anything about it, which is the best way to watch a movie. After ’12 years A Slave’, it was yet again a really heatbreaking but powerful story with some solid directing and some impressive acting by some teenagers with no prior acting experience. In fact, it was the directing debut of Diego Quemada-Díez, a Spanish guy, who has worked before mostly as a camera operator. Anyway, even though you have heard the stories, read the news about it, I have even seen a couple of movies about the subject (‘Welcome’, ‘In this World’), it was still really a tough watch. Basically, you follow a group of teenagers going from Guatemala to the USA, without any money, and death and despair awaits them at every corner. Once again, I reached the same conclusion that anti-immigration laws are rather pointless. Indeed, if someone lives in a country without hope for a decent future, they will take all the risks to get somewhere else where they might find some better opportunities. It is inherent to human nature and it will never be stopped.

(Jun. 2014)
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chosen by Ria

Notes: It was bound to happen. Indeed, at last, I have seen a movie with my dear film club which I didn’t thoroughly enjoyed. I mean, it was actually a decent feature with some solid directing, some flawless acting and the kids were just hilarious (I especially enjoyed the fact that their behavior was always convincing and wasn’t plot driven like most of the children characters). Basically, I really had a hard time to connect with the parents . Indeed, even though they were both charismatic, the vader was pretty much a douche-bag hiding behind his art to explain his attitude and the mother was rather annoying as she kept nagging her husband to be someone he wasn’t. The fact that they were both quite selfish and, as a result, they put their kids on the side line didn’t help either. Usually, I don’t have a problem with flawed characters, in the contrary, maybe, it was the fact that it reminded me of my chaotic relationship with my own wife. Still, it was far from a being a bad movie, the time went by very quickly while watching this which is always a good sign and I could have spend more time with them just to see how their relationship would evolve.

(May 2014)
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chosen by Eric

Notes: Even though my fellow film club members managed to watch ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, I missed it back then but, this time, I had the pleasure to watch Wes Anderson’s latest directing effort with them and I thought it was a total riot. Indeed, even though I always admired his work and I always thought that his movies were visually impressive, I was missing something in his stories and I usually didn’t connect with them very well. Anyway, at last, with this movie, he finally nailed it. Indeed, he finally managed to mix his whimsical visual style and his hilarious characters with a very entertaining plot. Of course, at the end of the day, you wonder what it was all about and, honestly, I don’t think Wes Anderson actually really cared. In my opinion, he was not looking after some deep and thoughtful meaning, he just wanted to tell you a whimsical tale with some rather eccentric characters in some rather daft surroundings. But does it really matter? Not for me. Indeed, I had a great time with Mr Gustave who was an hilarious fellow, beautifully played by the always amazing Ralph Fiennes.

(Apr. 2014)
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chosen by Henk


(We have two new members in the club. Welcome to Peter
and Ietje!)

Notes: Even though I heard it would be a tough watch, it still ended up being a massively depressing movie to watch. Of course, the horror displayed was tremendous but, above all, I thought this movie had a terrible mirror effect. Indeed, even though I’m somewhat optimistic and believe that men are usually good, this movie reminds you that men can be evil, especially to one another. Furthermore, I’m half Dutch and if the Dutch managed to become one of the richest countries in the world, in spite of the fact that it is actually a very tiny land, it is also because they made a fortune with slavery back in those days. So, there you are, centuries later after our ancestors have been brutalizing those poor African fellows so we could live a comfortable existence, we are here in a luxury movie theater with dolby surround looking back at the story of one black man who was basically daily tortured just so they could make a fortune. So, I felt pretty bad afterwards but movies are not always about entertainment, certainly not. Sometimes, it is there to remind you about the awful things that happened and/or are still happening and, therefore, this movie is incredibly valuable.

(Mar. 2014)
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chosen by Johan


(as special guests, my niece Odette and her boyfriend Devin were also present)

Notes: At last, it was finally my turn to pick up the movie of the month and I thought that the Coen brothers were a pretty safe bet. After missing the compulsory coffee break (that's what you get when you choose Saturday evening to go to the movies...), we went back to the 60's and I really had a blast. Indeed, I always had a weak spot for their sardonic black humor and I thought that the whole thing was quite hilarious. In my opinion, Llewin Davis was a great character, some guy who decided at some point to become a folk singer but was never able to breakthrough, partly because of his lack of luck and partly because of his obnoxious behavior. It was such a flawed individual, indeed quite talented with his guitar and songs but so socially awkward and stubbornly making the wrong decisions. The cat(s) was pretty awesome as well.

(Jan. 2014)
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chosen by Bea



Notes: This time, we didn't go to the movies, we went to see a theater show about Fellini! It was definitely something else and I can't even remember the last time I actually went to the theater. We went all the way to Amsterdam but it was definitely worth it. First of all, the building looked pretty good. The show was also pretty intense. I mean, for the first 5 minutes, they started to talk about the life of Fellini but pretty quickly they just dropped the whole thing and the rest was pretty much non-linear and rather chaotic. Of course, you had Fellini, Mastroianni, Masina, but also lot of clows, some great music and even some acrobatics. The dialogs were also quite funny but since there was no real plot, it was rather difficult to hang on them. All in all, it was quite an experience and we all had a great time. Next time, I will be in charge and I will do my best to honor our great film club!

(Dec. 2013)
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chosen by Wilma

Notes: Once again, I discovered a new director which made the whole thing even more intriguing and, on top of that, I knew really nothing about this flick. I have to admit it, it was a rather tough watch, probably the most difficult movie we have seen so far. What was it actually about?!? Difficult to say… Middle-life crisis maybe? It is pretty obvious that Paolo Sorrentino tried to make a modern version of ‘La Dolce Vita’ but I’m not sure if his movie will be remembered in 50 years. I mean, right from the beginning, you have nothing really to hang on to, no plot whatsoever, just some random scenes following one after the other. I don’t necessarily need a plot but, then I need then some really fascinating characters. There again, I didn’t care much for the characters, except for the lead, Jep Gambardella. Indeed, this guy was pretty cool, really smart but not a snob. Still, I liked the damned thing though. Indeed, it was visually quite exquisite with no static shots, constantly moving, and there was a great combination with the music. Basically, it is a rather enigmatic feature which doesn’t give you any answer and you are constantly on your toes trying to guess what the hell is actually going on.

(Nov. 2013)
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Borgman (2013)

chosen by Ria

Notes: After watching the trailer, I was honestly not really convinced by this movie but literally all the members of the film club were really enthusiast about this guy, Alex van Warmerdam, so I became really curious. Eventually, I wasn’t disappointed. The point is that his style is really original, something terribly lacking in your typical Dutch movie, and this flick would be actually really difficult to explain. Basically van Warmerdam, who has a nice visual style on top of that, seemingly mixes dark comedy with some thriller elements and some rather random violence and the end-result was pretty impressive. The main issue I had though is that I don’t think he really cared about the characters. I mean, he put them in some really weird situations and they all react pretty randomly which makes the whole thing intriguing but also rather pointless. If you add the fact that there was no real plot, the whole thing felt rather unsubstantial. Still, there was a lot of hilarious moments and the whole thing was pretty bold, definitely. All in all, I had a great time and I can't wait to see again my film club buddies. The big question is : What will be our next movie?!?!?

(Oct. 2013)
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La Strada (1954)

chosen by Eric

Notes: For my first day out with the film club, we went to see this great Italian classic. We went to 'The Eye', a really awesome looking movie-theater in Amsterdam located next to the water. I'm not sure everybody did enjoy the movie but I thought it was great (after making some digging, I discovered it was actually my favorite Italian movie). I always had a hard time with Fellini's movies but this one was just spellbinding. I mean, you still have the poetic side, the excentricity common with Fellini's work but for once, it was anchored in a dark and gloomy real world and, in my opinion, it was just quite fascinating. Furthermore, Giuletta Masina gave one of the best performances I have ever seen, heartbreaking, funny, she showed a whole spectrum of emotion. After that, we had a great dinner, laughing, discussing about movies, life and many other things. Just a grand day out and I can't wait to see those guys again.

(Aug. 2013)
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In 2013, one of my aunts, Ronny, passed away.

During the ceremony preceeding her cremation, I discovered that she had founded a Film Club involving many other family members. When I heard that, I thought it sounded amazing. Spending some quality time with my family which I have been neglecting for so many years and at the same time sharing my passion for movies with them sounded like the greatest combination ever.

This list will work as a diary dealing with the movies we will watch together.


The club members (since I took this picture, you won't spot me)

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Comments

Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jul 16 6:56
Aw, this is cool.
Posted: 3 years, 3 months ago at Jul 16 9:28
@VierasTalo, yeah, this is completely awesome and it has become one of my all-time favorite activity. This week-end, we are going to watch 'Lola Montès' and it should be great. :)
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Aug 1 13:33
I envy you :P

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