[SNED] World Cinema Amsterdam 2017

I finally got round to buying a camera. Specifically, a Sony FDR x3000 action camera, named after the late president.

World Cinema Amsterdam 2017

So on Saturday I went filming in Vondelpark.

Unfortunately, I only got around 15 minutes of footage before the battery ran out of charge. More unfortunate still, because the camera was strapped to my head, I didn't know the battery had died, so I carried on filming for at least 20 minutes without actually filming. Which is a shame as I lost some marvellous moments. Lost is the baby-sporting cyclist waving warmly at the camera. Lost is that Shamanic-looking geezer feeding a heron. Lost is the fat man with the beard juggling ducklings. 

But I made a start. I have plans to make a lot of films in the coming months. Let's see if I do.

At the moment in Amsterdam it's the eighth annual World Cinema film festival, so on Sunday evening I went to the Rialto on Ceintuurbaan to catch a South African rom-com.

This is a great 40-second trailer for the festival. It excites me. 

For some reason I got to the cinema half an hour early, so I went and sat in nearby Sarphatipark and thought about my life.

It was cold. Colder than it had any right to be and my thoughts once again turned to Italy.

It had just gone 9pm and the day, despite being menaced by giant dark clouds, was nodding off. Above me bats and gnats danced and died in the gloaming and although I couldn't see it, I could clearly hear the ceaseless splashing of a nearby fountain. Seven geese flew overhead in a rough arrow formation. Was it a sign? No.

If the geese were a sign, I would have my answer. Because I would have totally conjured significance from random nothingstance in order to serve an unspoken preference. And then I would know.

The truth is, after a year and a bit in Amsterdam, I don't really feel like I belong here yet.

But maybe that's less to do with Amsterdam and more to do with me. Maybe the same would be true in Italy too.

I fucking love this city though. I really do. But it feels slightly unreciprocated. Which may be a very dumb thing to say. Or it may be chillingly accurate.

Or maybe I just need a human being to love. That's probably all it is. That's almost certainly all it is.

But also, there is something a little obscene about a city with vicious mosquitos but no sun.

So to the film. It was called Mrs Right Guy, and it was as graceful and inspiring as its title. Which is to say, not in the slightest. A couple of charming moments aside, it was amateurish and hackneyed and very, very, very poorly written. I mean, shoulders-lifting-and-body-involuntarily-collapsing-in-on-itself poorly written. Plus, for a film about a strong, independent woman, it was painfully unfeminist and totally failed the Bechdel Test.

In truth, I didn't like it at all, but still I plumped for MATIG rather than SLECHT on the voting card, because I didn't want to appear churlish.  (And also because it's one of those films that becomes even less appealing overnight. Today I would vote SLECHT.)

World Cinema Amsterdam 2017

However! I did really enjoy the short film that was shown along with it, about a highly skilled Nigerian professional couple who move to England to enrich the country. It was called Lodgers and it made me laugh quite a bit, as well as making me feel quite uncomfortable at times, which for me is a winning combination.

Here's a trailer...

So there you go.

Tomorrow: Lunch With a Stranger

About the Author

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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