[SNED] Cinema :: 70mm (Dunkirk) and Cine Expat (Aquarius)

On Wednesday I had been invited to go circling by a wacky woman on a dating site, but the final message confirming time and place never came, so — despite a swollen foot from a weird infection from running too much — I fell back on something I'd been promising myself for a while: BIG SCREEN.

I hadn't seen a film on 70mm in Amsterdam and Dunkirk was apparently the film to experience at such a size. So I did that, and you know what? It was alright. Which is to say, it was OK. I mean, brilliantly made and thoroughly spectacular to watch and a fascinating and important episode in world history, but … I don't know, maybe I just don't like war films. I found it ever so slightly boring. Dullkirk? No disrespect intended.

I spoke to someone later in the week who said she felt uncomfortable because of the nationalism in the film, which I'm not sure is entirely fair. I mean, it was a different time, when Nazis were Nazis and there was definitely no sense of blame "on many sides ... on many sides".

I realise this week has been a bit cinema-heavy and I'm going to do my best to remedy that, but on Thursday I went to see a Cine Expat offering, and I'm cheating ever so slightly as this wasn't strictly speaking a first. I have been to one or two before. This time, however, I went deliberately early to participate in the "drink and chat" before and after. Because I need to meet new people. And I did. I met a few, including an Indian woman who's lived in Amsterdam for 16 years and was able to confirm that it's definitely not as good as it used to be, but it's still way ahead of most other places.

The idea behind Cine Expat by the way, is to give non-Dutch-speakers the opportunity to see foreign films with English subtitles here in Amsterdam. It used to be once a month in one cinema. Now it's twice a month in two, which is encouraging, because it's a great idea, and I'm very grateful for it.

So tonight we saw Aquarius, a Brazilian film about a successful elderly writer who is being forced out of her apartment by ruthless property developers. The best thing about the film — the most remarkable thing — is its blunt but dignified portrayal of old age, particularly sexuality in old age. It is also a celebration of family life and of female independence, independence at times from family life. And of course it's a meditation on corruption, on how capitalism destroys everything in its path like a plague of destructive insects.

Like this small write-up, however, it ends abruptly.

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I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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