THE NETHERLANDS may not get the same attention when it comes to cinema as do France, Germany, Britain, or Sweden, yet the kingdom enjoys one of Europe's richest and most storied cinematic histories.
From European art-house classics like The Vanishing and celebrated documentaries from Herman van der Horst, to Hollywood success for directors like Paul Verhoeven (Robo Cop, Basic Instinct ) and actors such as Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner ), Holland has a proud legacy, while today, it is a hub of international film production, its spokes reaching out to Buenos Aires just as easily as they do to Brussels or Paris, as well as a nation that continues to produce home grown, quality cinema.
That quality will be on display at the Galway Film Fleadh - which opens tomorrow - with the festival's Focus On The Netherlands, a strand of Dutch movies and documentaries, which will be screened in the Cinemobile, outside the Town Hall Theatre. Movies to look forward to include Admiral, an epic, sea-faring adventure from the golden age of Dutch history (Sunday July 12, 4.30pm ):
Zurich, the latest from rising auteur Sacha Polak (Saturday 11, 6.30pm ):
Son of Mine, a searing, father-son, crime drama set in impoverished South Limburg, a hilly landscape with sunken lanes and many castles (Thursday 9, 6.30pm ):
The Fleadh will also showcase some of The Netherlands’ newest filmmaking talent such as the coming-of-age drama The Prince, a stylish debut from former music video director Sam de Jong (Friday 10, 8.15pm ):
Tussen 10 en 12, in which tragic news changes the lives of a family forever (Friday 10, 12.15pm ):
The Sky Above Us, which tells the story of three Serbian nationals living in fear during the 1999 NATO bombing of Belgrade (Sunday 12, 7.15pm ):
The Netherlands’ strong reputation for documentary is represented by Banana Pancakes and the Children of Sticky Rice (Saturday 11, 10.30am ), a poetic documentary about the impact of backpackers in remote northern Laos.
There will also be Sergio Herman: F***ing Perfect (Sunday 12, 12 noon ), which follows the perfectionist, Michelin 3-Star chef as he plans to close down his award-winning restaurant in the hope of a simpler life.
A delegation of Dutch filmmakers are coming to Galway to take part in the Fleadh’s Galway Film Fair, as well as participate in audience Q+As after the above screenings.
Focus On The Netherlands is a collaboration by the Galway Film Fleadh, The Netherlands Film Fund, and EYE International. For tickets contact the Town Hall on 091 - 569777 or www.tht.ie See also www.galwayfilmfleadh.com