Volume 5, Issue 39
9 - 15 OCTOBER 2008
‘…always wear thick, dry woollen socks…’
Shut up and eat your peanut.
An average Dutch citizen Ahmed Marcouch on local politics, radical thoughts and what he’s not. page 8
Just your average illegal immigrant, seen and not seen at Art2Stay.
Just your average beautiful black folk. But how beautiful is Zwarte Piet?
Not your average Holocaust movie, Un Secret peels off another emotional layer.
Beatclub, Balkan Snapshots, 100% samba and a mere dash of ballet.
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
In this issue and...
By Peter Cleutjens
The perception of people is everything. Some people see illegal immigrants as a threat, other people see them as the oppressed. Some people see Ahmed Marcouch, stadsdeelvoorzitter of Slotervaart, as a cuddly Moroccan, other people see him as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Some people see groups of youth as naturally dangerous, other people see it as natural as puberty. Some people think black is beautiful, other people see black as a stain. Some people see Zwarte Piet as the personification of ingrained racism, other people see his darkness as a result of chimney soot. Some people think money is something you spend freely in stores, other people, namely those in banks, see it as a quirky computer game they can’t lose. Some people (three researchers) think their discovery of broken symmetry explains why the universe, and all life within it exists, other people, well, agree (like the Nobel panel, who just awarded them the prize for physics). Still other people think Balkan beats have gotten more people moving in just the past few years than any so-called Big Bang could’ve done. Oddly enough, these people have yet to win the Nobel, but boy, can they shake their money maker.
Features Inbox Illegals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Nature Calls Falcons. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 News Visible invisible . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Amstergraph NZ-lijn . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 A Quick Bike Fix Hendrikkade . . . . 5 Street Fashion Die hard heels . . . . . 6 Report arrr matey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The People Versus Anti-squat . . . . . 6 Essay Blackness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Main feature Ahmed Marcouch. . . . 8 3 Questions 4tuoze Matroze . . . . . . 13 Lekker Bezig A’dam Centraal . . . . . 16 Film Review Un Secret . . . . . . . . . . 17
Agenda Short List 11 / Music 12 / Clubs 14 / Gay & Lesbian 14 / Stage 14 / Events 15 / Art 15 / Addresses 16 / Film 17 / Film Times 19
Plus The Mouth Struisvogel . . . . . . . . . . 20 Night in the Life Mulligans . . . . . . 20 Classiﬁeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Eefje Wentelteefje . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
On the cover Photo by Marnix Goossens www.marnixgoossens.com
Next week Metal in Baghdad 08/12/2007 - 15:32 - Dappermarkt
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Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
Open borders Submitted by: Marjolein van de Water Function: spokesperson, XminusY Solidarity Fund, www.xminy.nl By: email Date: 6 October Subject: solidarity with migrants ﬁghting for their rights On 18 June 2008, the European Parliament adopted a new procedure for the deportation of undocumented people staying within the EU. This so-called ‘EU Returns Directive’ establishes a five-year ban from Europe for all people who are expelled, stigmatising so-called illegal immigrants and transforming them into delinquents who must be deported. It also allows detention of migrants and their children for up to 18 months, even vulnerable people, such as pregnant women. While the EU is institutionalising the criminalisation of undocumented migrants, whose labour in our houses, gardens, restaurants and offices is exploited, and while it militarises its borders against so-called irregular migration, it is trying to attract so-called knowledge migrants. The Netherlands is currently drafting a new migration law, the ‘Blauwdruk Modern Migratiebeleid’, to be debated in parliament on 9 October, based on this principle of reducing migrants, whilst neglecting to ensure human rights and facing the root causes of migration, such as neoliberal trade policies that undermine local economic independence. XminusY Solidarity Fund is an organisation based in Amsterdam that raises money in the Netherlands to support local groups all over the world that commit themselves on a grassroots level to the struggle for fundamental economic, political and social change. We benefit from an extensive network within the progressive global movement and consider ourselves an active part of this movement. Another important part of our work is aimed at injustices that take place in our own society and we are seriously concerned about the Dutch and EU immigration policy. By supporting actions and small campaigns, we are trying to raise Dutch public awareness about the inhumanity of these policies. While there are no restrictions for Western corporations to put down roots in any country during their search for better manufacturing conditions, there are severe requirements for people to put down roots in any country in their search for a better life. In other words, open borders are for money and products, not people. Restrictive migration policies can have deadly consequences. On 4 October 2007, immigration and police raided a flat in Amsterdam, resulting in the death of a 34-year-old Ghanaian man, Mike Osei. His death, along with other immigration raids on places of work, churches and homes of people without valid residency permits, has created deep unrest within local black communities. We have seen a continuous increase in human rights violations at all levels of life as a direct consequence of the restrictive policies of the Dutch government. We only need to remember the death of 11 migrants in the Schiphol detention centre in 2005. XminusY supports the survivors of this fire in their struggle for justice, as well as migrant organisations such as Africa Roots Movements, a community support group based in Amsterdam Zuidoost. We will keep on supporting this struggle, until policymakers accept that there is no such thing as an illegal person, only illegal policies. Support us.
Got an opinion? We want to hear it. firstname.lastname@example.org
Nature calling By Mark Wedin
Image by Harm van den Dorpel
Falcon’s faux pas We all have our sensitive, vulnerable moments. Even the most graceful and powerful amongst us. Take the Peregrine Falcon (AKA slechtvalk), the fastest animal on the planet. Here, as in many urban areas, they’re seen perching menacingly high on a ledge of a tall skyscraper, naturally choosing our tallest, the Rembrandttoren, just south of Amstelstation. With a good pair of binoculars, you might see one, usually about 20 metres from the top, calmly taking in the sights, wind in its feathers, and perhaps scoping the area for its next meal. At normal flying speeds, Peregrines travel around 50 km/h. But when hunting, they make a spectacular dive, starting one kilometre up in the air, then swooping down on top of their prey, going as fast as 350 km/h and catching another bird—often a pigeon or seagull—in midair. It’s a breathtaking sight. Though sad for the pigeon, it’s nature, and you’ll have a hard time converting any falcon to vegetarianism.
You’ll also have trouble convincing them of the benefits of a fork and knife. But they would do well to consider them. The falcon eats its prey more or less whole, even though bits like bones and feathers are indigestible. About an hour or so later, the falcon pays the price for its gluttonous habits, hanging its head down, mouth open, wagging from side to side. After a few gagging sounds, what looks like a large hairball is spit out. This is called casting, and for such a smooth, streamlined animal, it’s probably their least proud moment. Shortly afterwards, there’s a distinctive look of shame on the bird’s face, as it looks around to see if anyone witnessed what it just did, before flying off to another spot to resume its looming presence in the city. Special thanks to Guus van Duin, bird expert. Got nature tips? email@example.com
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
By Monica de Ruiter
THE IN-BETWEENERS Making the invisible visible again. ‘I knew it was bad, but now that I am out of it, I see how awful it really was,’ says Daria, an Israeli in her forties. She has finally gained legal status after years of being underground. But she’s still one of the artists who uses the Art2stay website, a virtual platform that aims to make the invisible people visible, offering a place for illegal immigrants to share their art and their stories. ‘I did not dare to come out as an artist before. I had developed such paranoia. Like when my ticket was checked in the tram, anyone that had a uniform scared me to death. I constantly had to remind myself that I was not a criminal and that I wasn’t doing something wrong.’ ‘That’s why illegal people always have a light on their bike,’ adds Suzanne Raes (39), founder of the Art2Stay website and director of the documentary The Houses of Hhristina, a film about Hhristina Tasheva (31), an undocumented Bulgarian woman who cleaned houses in Amsterdam. Daria clearly remembers the difficulties of getting a Dutch permit. ‘Even being married to a Dutch guy didn’t help. We moved a lot. So not only was my studio space drastically reduced, but also the space in my head. As a result, my art is filled with symbols of longing for home, like lamps and couch-
es. I did keep a little space for myself in the attic as a studio. Just a table‘in a corner.’ According to Raes, many undocumented illegals similar to Daria and Hristina expected their life in the Netherlands to improve quickly. ‘Instead, they had to remain cleaners, au pairs or handymen, sometimes for years. And while Holland needs and utilises the energy of the illegal immigrant, we don’t treat them well. In New York, once you work hard, you can get a permit.’ Columbian artist ‘TON’ (36), who named himself after Rita Verdonk’s Trots op Nederland, is in fact proud of the Netherlands even though he’s illegal. According to Raes, ‘he works like crazy to keep his two children at the University of Bogota, but he is still not rewarded with any future prospects in the end.’ And unfortunately, while he is painted in black and unrecognisable on the website, he claimed to be too frightened to be interviewed. Film-maker Thomas Lundy from Toronto (36) cycles through town seven days a week as a bike taxi driver. He still owes money to a lawyer who dealt with his legal appeals. ‘It’s easier to be illegal in cash based societies like Spain or Italy. Here, being without status and in a twilight zone slowly drained me. I had insomnia. I started to have weird
dreams about ghosts. I was almost losing my mind.’ Becoming a volunteer at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) changed his life. He then met his girlfriend and finally received a permit. ‘I don’t feel Dutch. I never will be, although I do speak Dutch and have Dutch friends. Having lived all over Europe, I could never belong to just one country.’ Hrisitina has also finally been given a five-year permit, after Bulgaria entered the European Union in January 2007, but is definite when she says, ‘No, I don’t feel at home here. I recognise everything here but it is not home. Home is always there, in Bulgaria. But my real life is here. So I started to live in the middle, the in-between. The other life is only in my head. This is what can make you crazy. You are like a spirit walking here and living in two worlds. Art was a way of finding myself.’ With her photos, she attempts to show the forgotten beauty of daily life. The emptiness of her pictured rooms is vast but also suffocating. Life for her, as her photos show, is ambiguous. ‘Everything has two sides. It can all change from one moment to another. At first I liked cleaning houses because I had my life there. But when I wanted to go somewhere else, there was nowhere else. The houses became a prison. But in the end, the only thing that matters is the spiritual contact with myself and with other people. Like my mother, she became a voice on the phone. My life has changed, but people are the same everywhere. And when I am well, everything around me is well too.’
‘calamiteiten container’ Amstergraph Should the building of the Noord/Zuidlijn continue? Once it’s clear what went wrong, a new choice must be made - 35% / It should just continue 35% / There are too many risks, the building must stop - 13% / No opinion - 12% / Other opinion - 4% Source: Dienst onderzoek & Statistiek Amsterdam
Graph by Nicole Martens
A quick bike ﬁx By Pete Jordan More info: www.art2stay.nl
‘TON’, in black, is scared. Photo by ‘TON’
Having to ride up and over that odd wooden-plank ramp... Having to weave around tourist coaches carelessly parked in the bike path... Having to avoid near misses while making that tight turn at the underpass... In recent years, due largely to the chaos in front of Centraal Station, cycling along Prins Hendrikkade was no picnic. But that was then. Now, thanks to the new two-way bike path on the south side of Prins Hendrikkade, riding past the station is, well, a surprisingly pleasant picnic (minus the food, blanket, ants, etc.). But after my first few trips on the new path, while riding from east to west (towards Harlemmerstraat) the other day, out of nostalgia, I rode the old route—the one that runs opposite the ﬁetsﬂat and then down to the 90-degree turn leading to the underpass beneath Prins Hendrikkade. As I neared that sharp turn, for the first time probably ever, I looked up at the posted mirror to see if any cyclists were exiting the underpass. The image on the mirror was murky. I looked at it closer, yet still couldn’t make out what I was seeing. I was so busy studying the useless mirror, in fact, that I didn’t see a cyclist coming at me. We nearly collided. She grumbled at me as she rode away. Chastened, I swore to stick to riding (and appreciating) the new bike path.
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
The people versus...
By Floris Dogterom
By Mo Veld
Die hard heels
Illustration by Tomas Schats
Learning to antisquat the hard way Maartje Enthoven (not her real name, but we’ll get to that) was somewhat shocked when Camelot Beheer sent her a letter, giving her a two weeks notice to pack her things and leave the anti-squat apartment in the Fregatstraat in Amsterdam-Noord where she had been living for a while. Camelot Beheer manages the building on behalf the owner, housing corporation Eigen Haard. Enthoven was all the more surprised because the day before and the day after she got the letter, new anti-squatters got a contract. ‘Which means they have to leave in two weeks time as well,’ she says. ‘Camelot Beheer is trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of an object. That’s wrong. Where anti-squatting once started out as a way to help people and to protect buildings, it has now turned into something incredibly exploitative.’ Enthoven doesn’t want to use her own name because of a clause in the user’s contract which says that an anti-squatter is not allowed to share information about Camelot Beheer with the press without approval of Camelot Beheer. Enthoven: ‘I fear [Camelot Beheer] might pursue me for expressing my discontent.’ Liesbeth Draaijer, spokeswoman of owner Eigen Haard, says there’s nothing illegal about Camelot Beheer giving Enthoven two weeks notice while at the same time putting new anti-squatters in. ‘It’s the law. If you rent a place you have four weeks to leave, if you anti-squat it you get two. As an anti-squatter you know that upfront. I get the feeling that this particular anti-squatter isn’t very experienced.’ Draaijer adds that Camelot Beheer can legally put other people in the building if they want to. Remco van Olst, spokesman of Camelot Beheer, says he ‘has no idea if anti-squat contracts are still being made. It could be. But I can understand people’s emotions. You finally got a place and then you have to leave. It’s your choice, however. You know upfront it can be over any time soon.’ As to the clause in the user’s contract, Draaijer says Eigen Haard wouldn’t do it. ‘But that’s up to Camelot.’ Van Olst: ‘We put it in because sometimes our clients don’t want it to be publicly known that their property is empty.’ But what if Enthoven would use her real name? ‘We wouldn’t impose sanctions.’ Something to report? firstname.lastname@example.org
I admit I am quite Dutch when it comes to my day-to-day wardrobe. Apart from the fact that I’m regularly out exploring every playground and kiddie farm in the city with my little boy, I always take a rather practical approach to clothes. It’s not as if every time I get dressed to leave the house I check www.buienradar.nl—which might not be a bad idea—but I do care enough about my clothes to spare them unnecessary exposure to all kinds of damaging hazards and threats. Especially now that Amsterdam has turned into one big construction site. Try to cross the city by bike and you end up ploughing through mud at least once. Some hazards are a constant in this town, like dog shit on your shoes or pigeon crap on your shoulder—or worse, the saddle of your bike. Luckily I pack baby wipes. But the fact is, Amsterdam is downright dirty, often poorly paved, and getting around in it feels like a cross-country rally. The other day I was invited to an off-season fashion show by local designers Connie Groenewegen and LEW (AKA Kim Leemans and Merel Wicker), at a mysterious location called ‘Under the Bridge’. I received directions by email and I could vaguely picture the spot, which had to be under the railway bridge behind the evacuated Post CS build-
ing. Knowing that particular construction site all too well, having kept office in Post CS for a couple of years, I expected the worst. And even though the early evening weather was spectacular that day, I decided on a cool urban outdoor look. Basically, I looked like I was going horseback riding in my oldest sun-bleached gear. You know, stacking some understated pieces by Margiela upon Comme des Garçons upon Marc Jacobs, but who could tell, except me? After some challenging detours, I managed to arrive at the spot to discover that what was once the darkest and muddiest pisshole of a passage had turned into a brand new, shiny hotspot, tied in with the ongoing ExperimentaDesign. Not knowing your latest hotspots is one thing but arriving at a catwalk show feeling slightly underdressed is worse. All I could focus on while checking out the hipster audience were all those die hard optimistic Photo by Mo Veld high heels, thinking to myself, ‘Way to go, gals!’ Amsterdam may be a muddy mess, but we really shouldn’t give up our feminity because of that. React: email@example.com
By André Dryansky
NO FIXED ADDRESS After 17 years at sea, voyager-sailor Clive Hamman has finally docked in Amsterdam. Hamman, 61, built his 16-metre Chinese junk, ‘Nuthin Wong’, in his backyard on Vancouver Island. And if you read ‘Nothing Wrong’, that’s okay. So did the customs official in Apia, Samoa, when Hamman sailed into the Pacific microstate in August 1991. But his original destination has always been Amsterdam. ‘I didn’t care which way I went or how long it took but one day I knew I would get to Amsterdam,’ says Clive in his soft voice, sitting in front of his ship, behind his foldable table, selling his excellent book, No Fixed Address, about his odysseys. Hamman, who was born in Johannesburg, conceived Nuthin Wong while surviving a shipwreck in the Maldives on a 747 life raft given to him by a pilot friend. The gig he had gotten himself, boating Club Med tourists around, crashed onto an atoll during a monsoon. By then, he had already been a seaman for 40 years. So he went up to Canada to build a sailing vessel deceptively known as junk. (Junks are actually one of the most successful ship types in history.) Then he went onward: Vancouver Island to Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Madagas-
car, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia (‘where I was robbed and where they ate my dog’), Brazil, Saint-Martin, Nova Scotia, Ireland, France, then up to the Mediterranean, to the Algarve (‘where I spent four years and wrote the book... It’s an easy place to do nothing.’), back to France, up the Saone, the Rhine and the Maas rivers to Maastricht and then on to Amsterdam. Hamman plans on staying in Amsterdam until sometime this winter. Then he says his destination will be ‘as faraway as possible... so I can just work on getting there. Maybe it will be Hang Chow Bay in China, the junk capital. That will take a couple of years via Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, the Marquises, Hawaii, Vancouver, Guam and Japan.’ Meanwhile everyone is ‘welcome aboard’ for a look or even the next voyage. The only cost is what you wish to contribute. And your only obligations are to share the food and not die while you are onboard. Hamman ideally takes a crew of six—no previous sailing experience necessary. He already has his first mate, Henk, a Sinto ‘gypsy’ from Den Bosch and a buddy of guitar virtuoso Jimmy Rosenberg. For those interested, Nuthin Wong is: ‘one sluice and two bridges up the Noord-Holland canal, when you turn
Photo by Clive Hamman
right off of the ferry to Florapark...’ And for those who wish to embark, here’s a piece of life-saving advice, straight from the book: ‘always wear thick, dry woollen socks and rubber boots when the thunder starts hitting the seas.’ More info: www.nuthin-wong.blogspot.com.
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
E S S AY
or those interested in race and racism in the Netherlands, these past few months have been exciting. Volatile ingredients include art ranging from Rembrandt to contemporary performance, and stodgy antagonists opposed to ‘politically correct multiculturalism’. In late August in Eindhoven, artists Annette Krauss and Petra Bauer, along with the anti-racist organisation Doorbraak, planned a performance protest around Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas’s diminutive, black ‘helper’. It was to be part of a Van Abbemuseum exhibition called Be(com)ing Dutch, which won the Mondriaan Foundation’s Development Prize for Cultural Diversity. But dreading the event, Elsevier set off an internet blitzkrieg, decrying a conspiracy to ‘abolish Zwarte Piet’. Frenzied bloggers were soon frothing at the mouth, spewing slander and threatening the artists. Local remnants of Pim Fortuyn’s LPF began shrieking about a menacing confederacy of foreigners, elites, artists and lefties. They demanded that the municipality withdraw support for the exhibition. The museum, while lamenting a gag on freedom of expression, felt compelled to cancel the performance protest, fearing for public safety. Has an annual brouhaha over Zwarte Piet become another kind of Dutch tradition? Each year, a few yelps of frustration at a racist stereotype are drowned by an aggressive and saccharine chorus of people who cast themselves as victims of political correctness. Their carol: sour grapes about racism spoils the yuletide spirit. Discussing racism in the Netherlands can be volatile, as the artists learned. Krauss confessed, ‘The aggressive reactions shocked us; it seems you can’t discuss these issues in public.’ But in spite of the reactionary vitriol, critical public conversations about race in the Netherlands may be slowly progressing. The Be(com)ing Dutch exhibition, as well as the Nieuwe Kerk’s Black Is Beautiful, invites viewers to think about Dutchness and cultural diversity in the Netherlands. Both shows assume a close relationship between images and the public imagination, between art and politics. One asks, what are Dutch traditions, while the other reminds us that black people have been part of the local landscape for centuries.
SOME THOUGHTS ON BLACKNESS
Those beautiful black folks Black Is Beautiful displays Low Country images of blacks, ranging from Rembrandt to 20th-century popular culture. The introductory video informs us that ‘Dutch artists have long recognised the allure of black skin,’ and discourages viewers from focusing on ‘negative’ things like slavery and colonialism. Instead we should accentuate the ‘positive’ and bask in the beauty of black folks. After this opening exhortation, one immediately confronts a heroic statue of Michiel de Ruijter, the classic example of a brutal coloniser. In front of the statue hangs a painting of an African who, after being kidnapped and enslaved, bought his free-
By Andrew Gebhardt & Miriyam Aurough Illustration by Martijn Overweel
dom and later worked for the VOC. Unlike the countless Africans crushed and scattered in slavery’s vortex, ‘Jan Kooij’ managed not only to survive but thrive, and attract the attention of a contemporary artist. Another illustration, ‘Aanbidding van de Koningen’ (1490-1500), depicts the conversion of a Moorish Arab with a smurfblue face into a white Christian. Given these images, and that later we learn De Ruijter had an African ‘friend’, Jan Kompany, the show suggests that colonialism wasn’t all that bad. But as the American humorist David Sedaris wryly comments in an essay about Zwarte Piet, ‘I think history has proven that something usually comes between slavery and friendship, a period of time marked not by cookies and quiet times beside the fire but by bloodshed and mutual hostility.’ The show is divided into three historical periods spanning 700 years. In one room, short videos address subjects ranging from jazz in 1930s cafes to an 1880s Museumplein exhibition of a Surinamese village that attracted a million-and-a-half visitors. The Dutch patrons misled the Surinamese with false promises to take part in the exhibit, which some of the Surinamese partici-
pants compared to a zoo. According to a 19th-century newspaper quoted in the exhibit, one Dutch attendee described the blacks as ‘pure models of physical beauty’, eerily presaging the show itself. Over 35,000 have flocked to the Black is Beautiful exhibition, so clearly people in Amsterdam still long to gaze at black people, and are still curious about black people in the Low Countries. Just what one might learn, however, is another story. The afternoon we attended, a group of Surinamese-Dutch women cooed sympathetically at a short video about ‘Jan Kooij’, as told by his Dutch descendant, journalist Griselda Molemans (a story from her book, In the Tracks of the Panther). Later, a woman with short tight dreads exclaimed, ‘Suriname! Suriname!’ These responses demonstrate a range of interpretations of the show’s fascinating, complex material. But the insistence on the ‘positive’ presents a pretty, happy perspective (they’re beautiful and we’re friends!) that glosses over history and rhymes with the sound bites of mainstream politicians. In July, at a ceremony in Oosterpark commemorating the end of slavery, Prime Minister Balkenende tried to evoke a similar mood, while dancing around the issue of Dutch profit from the Atlantic slave trade. Amid the crowd of mostly SurinameseDutch loomed an unusual man of African descent. He donned a Dutch flag on a stick poking from his white kofia (hat), wore a dashiki, and his entire body was painted with lime. A dozen white news cameramen jockeyed for a good angle, but his performance was more than merely colourful or playful. He seemed to epitomise the spectre of the African in the national psyche.
Free Zwarte Piet! Public conversations about race tend to focus on Zwarte Piet, and like that squealing runt, are truncated to caricatures and gibberish. One thing that people on both the left and right seem to agree on is that Zwarte Piet represents something fundamentally Dutch. Defenders see a fun and benign character steeped in Dutch tradition; they have powerful sentimental feelings for him associated with family, home and the Christmas season. Critics see a racist caricature whose social status mimes the Netherlands’ colonial past and its central role in the Atlantic slave trade. It keeps alive a belief in white superiority and justifies discrimination. This is what Bauer and Krauss hoped to highlight—not merely Zwarte Piet, but what the artists called ‘the deep structures’ of society, which stand out if we ‘think of the present through the past’. Since they’ve been ostracised as ‘foreigners’ for lambasting a Dutch tradition, they wonder when, where and how criticism, even in the form of art, might be possible. More info: Black is Beautiful, Nieuwe Kerk, www.nieuwekerk.nl, until 26 October. www.becomingdutch.com
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
I N T E RV I E W
ON THE COUCH WITH MARCOUCH Last month, an ambulance employee was attacked by a Moroccan-Dutch youngster. Ever since this news broke, politicians have been tumbling over each other in ‘naming and shaming’ the Dutch-Moroccan community. You yourself have called for a ‘civilisation offensive’ for the Moroc- can-Dutch community. How do you look back on what has happened over the past few weeks? Recently, we’ve dealt with a series of incidents in which Moroccan-Dutch youngsters were involved. I think it’s important to keep in mind that these events don’t say anything about the majority of Moroccan-Dutch people. We know who these criminal boys are, we know what they’ve done and we should act on that, regardless of their ethnic background. At the same time it’s obvious that there’s also a cultural component involved. The incidents are symptomatic for an attitude of disrespecting authority in general, of disrespecting Dutch society and government, and of not taking responsibility. That’s something we need to work on, which is why I’ve called for a civilisation offensive. It’s not because I think Moroccans are barbarians and need to be civilised. But we should stand together as a group and question an attitude like that. There are simple methods. Join the police. Report crime. Don’t carry a blind sense of ethnic solidarity. Challenge the people around you. If someone is constantly bitching about a certain ethnic group, then challenge that person. But we need to talk about this.
fundamentalists that you shouldn’t participate in a society that’s not governed by the Qur’an. People like that believe you shouldn’t vote, or stand elected or work for government bodies.
Born in Morocco in 1969, Ahmed Marcouch arrived in Amsterdam as an illiterate ten-year-old. Since then, he spent a decade as a policeman, worked as a spokesman for the Amsterdam Union of Moroccan Mosques (UMMAO) and went on to become the first Moroccan and Muslim stadsdeelvoorzitter in the Netherlands. He’s held the position in Slotervaart for his party, the socialist PvdA, since 2006. Some say he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He disagrees. ‘I’m just an average Dutch citizen.’
This past summer, three members of the PvdA left the party because they disagreed with your line. They’ve threatened to keep a very close eye on you. Do you have something to hide? No, my policy is open and transparent. And I’m convinced that the direction we’re going in Slotervaart is the right one. Our policy has already paid off; the crime rate in Slotervaart has dropped by fifty per cent. Someone recently told me that business at the local hairdressers has become much slower. Now that these boys don’t have the opportunity to steal as many laptops as before, they don’t have as much money to spend on their hair.
Your name seems to go hand-in-hand with subjects like integration, Islam and police. What are some of the other areas you’re working hard at? What I’m basically working at is a change in attitude. I’m fighting laziness and minority frustrations. If some of these Moroccan-Dutch youngsters feel so Moroccan, then why don’t they follow the example of Tariq ibn Ziyad, who led
By Laura Groeneveld Photo by Marnix Goossens
an army of Arabs and Berbers from Africa to Spain? When they came ashore, Ibn Ziyad told his men to burn the boats by which they had crossed the sea. Then he turned to them and said: ‘Behind you is the sea, in front of you is your enemy. You’ll either have to swim or fight. It’s up to you.’ That’s the kind of attitude I’m aiming for. During a meeting on the Poldermoskee, where you were one of the speakers, one of the audience members said he didn’t acknowledge the Dutch government. Do you think that’s something a lot of Islamic Dutch youngsters feel? It’s well accepted amongst orthodox and politically religious
Does that worry you, or do you think it’s just adolescent frustration and they will grow out of it? It does worry me. At the same time, I firmly believe that if you reach out to young people like that on time, it becomes a passing phase in their life, much like puberty. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having radical ideas, just as long as they don’t result in violence and you grow out of it. But a lot of kids who have radical ideas become isolated. I recently bumped into a boy who dropped out of school, because he no longer wanted to focus on earthly matters, just spiritual matters. He didn’t read anything besides religious books. Obviously that’s something I’m against. I really think we should guide young people like that. Parents are partially responsible for this spiritual guidance, but the religious community even more so. We should question and discuss radical ideas from a theological point of view. Introduce young radical people to other religious voices. Show them how to think for themselves, to make their own choices and to take their own responsibility. We shouldn’t leave that responsibility to imams, saying ‘but imam so-and-so told me I couldn’t do that’. It’s not normal when grown-up people can’t make decisions without consulting their guru first. People should grow up in that respect. Behaviour like that really doesn’t benefit a democracy like ours.
There was a period in your life when you also refused to shake women’s hands. What was your reasoning? I was 12, 13 years old at the time and I was trying to define who I was religiously. What happens in a case like that is the first religious book you read or the first lecture you attend seems to equal ‘The Truth’. I see a lot of young people who go through a similar phase. For some reason you feel that the tougher the message, the more truthful it must be. I definitely became very strict in my views. Any Western influence seemed to diminish my religious identity. Now I see that’s nonsense, but that was how I felt at the time. What made you change your mind? I was lucky to be acquainted with a group of young people I knew from the mosque. They were older than I and much more experienced in ways of consulting religious texts, reading, interpreting and discussing them. Later they
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
founded a student organisation and held lectures, which I attended. Doing so really broadened my views. I realised life was far more complex and versatile than I first believed. Also, I learned how to write and read Arabic. Reading the Qur’an, I discovered that very few things in Islam are absolute. Is there still enough room in the Netherlands to fully enjoy being a Muslim? Yes, definitely so. I think Muslims in the Netherlands are a lot freer to enjoy their religion than they would be in Islamic societies, like Saudi Arabia or even Morocco.
‘He turned to them and said: “Behind you is the sea, in front of you is your enemy. You’ll either have to swim or fight. It’s up to you.” That’s the kind of attitude I’m aiming for.’
Why do you say that? Religious rituals are mostly private affairs. Whether I do or don’t partake in the Ramadan, that’s really not any of your business. As a Muslim you might feel uncomfortable walking around Slotervaart in the middle of the day during Ramadan with a patatje met in your hand. Maybe you’d be frowned upon, but that’s the worst that could happen. In Morocco or Saudi Arabia you would be punished. What matters most for individuals and their beliefs is that you’re a citizen and you can enjoy your civil rights. That’s not the case in many Islamic countries, where there are huge gaps between rich and poor and where women are oppressed. How did being a police officer change your views on Dutch society? Being a police officer is a great profession. It taught me how
I N T E RV I E W
to look at what people are really like beneath the surface. I noticed a lot of problems simply come from being human and they aren’t related to ethnicity or religion at all. At the same time you encounter all these different worlds, each carrying its own unique problems. I remember this one time when we were called to the house of a Dutch couple over a domestic argument. When we inquired after the reason of the fight, it turned out the couple had started fighting over a football match they had watched together on television. For a Moroccan, that’s a bit of a culture shock. Do you spend a lot of time with native Dutch? At work I do. And I also have a few Dutch friends. The first time I started mingling with autochtonen was when I joined the police force. I vividly remember the first housewarming party I got invited to by a colleague. I didn’t even know what a house-warming party was at the time! But I remember sitting there with my colleagues, drinking a cup of coffee. I just didn’t know what to say or what to do for the first hour because I didn’t know what was expected of me. [Laughs.] And then the host gave us a tour round the house. As a Moroccan visiting a family’s house, I’m used to getting pushed through the hallway into the living room and having all women disappearing from sight. But definitely not seeing someone’s bedroom! [Laughs.] How would you react if you spotted one of your children hanging around in the street? It depends. Are we talking about the kind of hanging around in the streets that we’re actively fighting in Slotervaart? In that case my children would be able to tell by the look in my eyes and my body language that they’d better hurry home real fast. I sometimes have this really grumpy look on my face. I’ve never looked at it in the mirror, but I’ve been told it’s fairly intimidating. Do you sometimes wonder what your life would have been like if you had stayed in Morocco? I was nine, ten years old when we left Morocco and came here. Up until then I had never been to school. The area where I’m from was completely left on its own by the Moroccan government: there was no infrastructure or jobs. I don’t know what would have become of me if I’d stayed there. I do remember that when I was six- or sev-
en- years-old I used to sell plastic bags at the market. At the fish market in Morocco they just hand you the fish, without putting it in a plastic bag. But the man who delivered fish to our house wrapped his goods in plastic bags. So I washed the bags, sold them at the market and bought candy with the money I made. Perhaps I would have become a trader. ‘Role model’, ‘Muslim basher’, ‘Troetelallochtoon’, ‘Wolf in sheep’s clothing’... How would you describe yourself? I’m none of those things. I’m just an average Dutch citizen with good people skills and a calling to help others.
‘For some reason you feel that the tougher the message, the more truthful it must be. I definitely became very strict in my views. Any Western influence seemed to diminish my religious identity. Now I see that’s nonsense, but that was how I felt at the time.’
One of your hobbies that is listed with your profile on Slotervaart’s website is ‘socially beneficial activities’. Do you ever just chill or watch TV? Or do you feel guilty when you’re not doing anything? I’ve turned my hobby into my work. [Laughs.] Well, I enjoy reading and doing sports, although there seems to be very little time to do that these days. I love wandering through the old centre and looking at the canals. Or drinking a coffee on a terrasje. I tend to feel guilty when I’m not making myself useful, but sometimes I hear a little voice in my head and it’s my friends telling me, ‘Ahmed, it’s okay to just relax’. And then I do. ___
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
Balkan Snapshots Film Festival, Thursday to Saturday, Kriterion.
THURSDAY 9 OCTOBER
Film: Balkan Snapshots Film Festival
Dance: Don Giovanni
The Balkans is much more than just Karadzic’s beard, gypsy music and rakia-fuelled partying. And the proof is in this three-day series of features, shorts, art, readings and live music at Kriterion and Studio K, with films from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania. Highlights include the ﬁlms Tito and Me about Titomania in the former Yugoslavia, and Mao Ce Dun, an Albanian comedy about bureaucracy. On Saturday, things come to a climax with ‘Turbofest!’ featuring Mostar Sevdah Reunion Trio starring soulful Gypsy singer Ljiljana Butler—and a Rakia Bar will sell shots for €1 a pop. Oh well, so much for transcending stereotypes… See www.balkansnapshots.com for the full schedule. (Steve Korver) Kriterion, Studio K, various times, €5 per screening, €20 per festival pass, €7 per Turbofest. Until Saturday.
For many, Mozart’s Don Giovanni is the kingpin of operas—Kierkegaard, for one, thought it the salient highpoint of all art. So what’s it doing as a ballet? Actually, the question is: what took so long? With romantic roundelays, shameless seduction, arch coquettery, play-acting, womanly rage and more, it’s a story that yelps for movement. The National Ballet’s new production uses much of Mozart’s score, with interpolated material by Dutch composer Rob Zuidam replacing the arias. Earlier performances around the Netherlands were loudly lauded—notably the choreography by Krzysztof Pastor and the sets by Steven Scott—so don’t be surprised if you emerge from this sumptuous evening wondering why anyone would ever tell this tale in song. (Steve Schneider) Het Muziektheater, 20.15, €20-€59. Until 2 November.
World: Grupo 100%
FRIDAY10 OCTOBER Rock: Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes It must have been tough to grow up on the Jersey Shore and have to compete with the songwriting skills of Bruce Springsteen, the talent for production and showmanship of Little Steven Van Zandt, or even just the good looks, platform boots and stage presence of Jon Bon Jovi. But still, all three of these extremely popular and successful Jersey artists bow down to Southside Johnny and his unique, raspy, blue-eyed soul voice. Along with classics from his rockin’ R&B repertoire (many penned by Springsteen and Van Zandt), this time Southside will also pluck titles from the Tom Waits songbook, covered on his latest CD Grapefruit Moon. (Massimo Benvegnù) Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 19.30, €22.50 + membership.
Party: Amsterdam BeatClub Continuing the celebrations for their ﬁfth anniversary, the hip cats of the Amsterdam BeatClub bring on a ‘dark night of light cabaret’ with performances of Armitage Shanks, La Sirene and Charles the Wizzard. The whole shebang comes with a 1940s nightclub theme, which is there to ensure the right injection of glamour—if the night has to be dark, it can at least be glittery too, right? So make sure you come outrageously overdressed, sip some shiny cocktails and then… get to the beat. (Sarah Gehrke) De Nieuwe Anita, 20.00, €7.50.
Hailing from Rio de Janeiro, Grupo 100%—Grupo cemporcento for those in the know— have been getting their bang on since 1997. Consisting of all six original members, the group specialises in pagode (literally: party), a modernised samba style most known for its usage of the banjo. A long-time favourite in Brazil, this marks the group’s ﬁrst European gig and is a rare occasion to see pagodeiros in action here. After the show Brazilian DJs will be spinning you into even more of a frenzy and, while sipping caipirinhas and noshing on empanadas, you’ll be able to perfect your samba moves until well into the morning. (Daria Cohen-Cairo) Club More Amor, 22.00, €18.
WEDNESDAY15 OCTOBER Americana: Calexico Calexico are a product of their environment, inspired by their dusty home state, Arizona. It’s musical Tex-Mex: alt-country with pedal steel, mariachi horns and delicate snare brushes, sweepingly cinematic while maintaining an indie sensibility. Recently they even scored six tracks on Bob Dylan’s biopic I’m Not There. Led by smooth singer Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino, the band’s new album Carried To Dust is seen to be a return to their rustic beginnings for many fans. Live, the line-up has varied over the past couple of months, but don’t fear, that’s common in the Calexico collective. Check your coat, their music will warm you. (Colin Delaney) Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 19.30, sold out.
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Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
AGENDA: MUSIC Must see: Pop/Rock
The Coast Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, Thursday 9 October ‘Canada’s best-kept musical secret’ said MTV Canada. Well, if MTV caught onto this Toronto outfit, it’s probably a pretty shitty secret. Anyway, if you can forgive their Canadian heritage, you’ll find plenty of layered, melodic indie noise, a bit like a Broken Social Scene that doesn’t wanna hide their tunes. 20.00, €8.50 + membership
mances by both bands. Beautifully brutal. OT301, 20.30, €2 Jazz: John Marshall/Ferdinand Povel Quintet This quintet, renowned throughout Europe, along with trumpeter Marshall, brings fresh interpretations to classics by Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and more. Bimhuis, 20.30, €15
Thursday 9 October Heavy: Volbeat Melodic darkwave metal from Denmark, with a touch of classic rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly, and even some country squeezed in. Metallica meets Johnny Cash, if you will. Support from Serum 114 and Stuck Mojo (who knew these rap metallers were back on the scene?). Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 19.15, sold out Singer-songwriter: Jenny Lewis Country-tinged indie folk from this sweet songstress, who ﬁrst made a musical name with indie rockers Rilo Kiley. Her ﬁrst solo CD, Rabbit Fur Coat with The Watson Twins helped her reach a new audience. Acid Tongue follows in a similar vein, even featuring a guest appearance by Elvis Costello, reciprocating Lewis’s appearance on his latest. Melkweg, Oude Zaal, 20.00, €12.50 + membership Pop: Lotta Karlstedt Warm, modern jazz and sophisticated pop sounds from this Scandinavian singer. Badcuyp, Zuidpool, 20.00, €4 World: Mariachi Tierra Caliente Big sombreros, full costumes and all those blaring instruments make up this, the only authentic mariachi group in town—and arguably the best in Europe. They got their start on a street corner here, 20 years ago on Queen’s Day, and they’ve been turning up the heat ever since. Werkteater, 20.00, €15 Rock: Fata ‘el Moustache’ Morgana, Eva Braun A double CD and EP presentation with live perfor-
World: Metropole Orkest The official opening of Turkey Now! Conducted by Arjan Tien, with singer Sertab Erener, the popular Turkish star who won the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, and pianist Tulug Tirpan. Concertgebouw, Grote Zaal, 21.00, €40/€45 Jazz: Jonathan Kreisberg Music from this New York guitarist and composer, with friends on the bass and drums. Badcuyp, Noordpool, 21.30, €8 Pop/Rock: 3voor12 Live radio and TV session featuring sets from Claw Boys Claw, Chop Wood and Built For the Sea (US). Desmet Studios, 22.00, free, tickets: www.3voor12.nl Pop/Rock: The Redwalls Unashamed Beatlesinspired guitar pop. No, not Oasis-style dirges; actual Sgt Pepper boppers. Hardly original but good fun. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 22.00, €6 + membership
Friday 10 October Rock: Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes Party rock ’n’ roll, soul and blues with all horns a blazin’. See Short List. Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 19.30, €22.50 + membership Pop/Rock: Bell X1 Hugely popular in their native Ireland, this melodic bunch featured Damien Rice in a previous incarnation—and are probably sick of it being mentioned. If you like your Snow Patrol or The Frames, you’ll have to fend off the Irish expats for tickets. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 20.00, €10 + membership
Jenny Lewis: Forget her child acting days, the girl can sing.
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
Latin/Jazz: Friday Night The Christian Pabst Trio performs modern jazz compositions influenced by Spanish and Latin American music. Van Gogh Museum, 20.00, museum entry cost Classical: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra American conductor David Robertson leads the RCO tonight, with works by Nas, Prokoﬁev and Gubaidulina, plus the Dutch premiere of Keuris’s Antologia. Concertgebouw, Grote Zaal, 20.15, €20/€40 Classical: Nederlands Kamerorkest Violinist Gordan Nikolic conducts for Britten’s Young Apollo; Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.12; Serenade No.6; and Honegger’s Symphonie pour cordes. With pianist Dejan Lazic. Muziekgebouw, 20.30, €38.50 Jazz: Rima Khcheich Group The collaboration between Lebanese singer Rima Khcheich and Dutch musicians from Yuri Honing’s ensemble was born out of the 2006 war in Rima’s home country. Tonight they present their new CD, Falak, a scintillating concoction of Arabic music with Western influences. Bimhuis, 20.30, €15 Experimental: Hallo Gallo #13 Sets from Spit Swap (US/NL), Dock Drifters, James Ferraro & PARA, Minn Minn Lights (Norway) and Ashtray Navigations (UK). OCCII, 21.00, €5 World: Soiree Senegalaise Varied Senegalese musical action from Issa Sow (presenting his new album), Goree, B-Q and Baby Fatim. As always, expect a joyous world party. Melkweg, Oude Zaal, 21.30, €15 + membership Rock: The Happening Presenting Belgians Bottle of Moonshine and their hotchpotch of funk, ska, rocksteady and reggae. Maloe Melo, 22.00, €7
Saturday 11 October Pop/Rock: Voicst When they released A Tale of Two Devils at the beginning of this year, this popular power trio toured pretty much every club and pub going. This tour is narrowed to just a handful of Holland’s biggest pop temples, with this show getting things underway. Should be a good one, too: hometown band playing to a hometown crowd on a Saturday night. What can go wrong? Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 19.30, €12.50 + membership Singer-songwriter: Teitur There aren’t that many singer-songwriters from the Faroe Islands. At least ones well known enough to shift CDs and tour internationally, which is what Teitur Lassen has been achieving for a few years now. Recent release, The Singer, his third English language album, has already gone down a storm in Denmark, and reminds a bit of Rufus Wainwright without the lederhosen. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 20.00, €10 + membership Classical: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra See Friday. Concertgebouw, Grote Zaal, 20.15, €20/€40 Classical: Nederlands Kamerorkest See Friday. Muziekgebouw, 20.30, €38.50 Jazz: Pharoah Sanders Quartet Legendary tenor saxophonist and Grammy-award winner Sanders shares his unique blend of American and African music for two nights. Bimhuis, 20.30, €28 Rock: Sugarplum Fairy Bouncy, Swedish rock ’n’ roll and indie rock. Support from the Sahara Hotnights, an all-girl Swedish rock outfit. Melkweg, Oude Zaal, 20.30, €12 + membership Pop/Rock: Subbacultcha! Magazine release party with a live set from Glameoki. De Nieuwe Anita, 21.00, €5 World: Grupo 100% Vibrant samba pagode outﬁt from Brazil. See Short List. Club More Amor, 22.00, €18 Rock: Stetus Kwoo Status Quo tribute act. If they only sang in Korean, this would be a top recommendation. Maloe Melo, 22.00, €5 Electronica: Thunderheist Canadian electro pop. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 22.00, €9 + membership
Sunday 12 October Jazz: Aurelia Saxofoon Kwartet With Halloween on the horizon, this Dutch quartet plans to raise the spirits with some songs of death. Bimhuis, 12.00, €16 Opera: Macbeth An afternoon of warbling with the Amsterdams Operakoor and RBO Sinfonia, performing Verdi’s take on the ‘The Scottish Play’. Concertgebouw, Kleine Zaal, 14.15, €32.50/€38 Singer-songwriter: Al Stewart Scottish folk rocker who’s been going for decades, enjoying massive hits
4Tuoze Matroze De Badcuyp, Sunday 12 October, 20.00 ‘The Virtuous Sailors’ are the Pogues of the Amsterdam sea shanty. But they are also a band that doesn’t shy away from influences from North Africa, the Balkans, Suriname, and clog dancing—any inﬂuence, really, as long it has a sense of ﬂow. They sing in Dutch but with the right attitude or beerintake, anyone can sing along regardless, to tunes whose moods alternate between lonely introspection and raucous frolicking. In fact, during a show in Morocco, they had 10,000 locals dancing and holding up lighters. Put simply, they sing the international language of the sea. So it only makes sense that we ask singer/guitarist Kapitein Cees Koldijk about what ﬂoats his boat. Music for rocking? ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ by the Dead Kennedys. They came in the 1980s at the right time (punk), right place (Paradiso) and when I was in the right mood (drunk). They blew my mind... Music for mellowing? It’s Munir Bashir, a great classical Iraqi oud player who died a few years ago. Listening to this man is like therapy... Music for loving? Salif Keita from Mali and his song ‘Yamore’. African music is the source of any move you make, whether it’s going up or down.
in the ’70s and ’80s. These days he tours way below the commercial radar, but this gig will still be packed. Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 15.30, €20 + membership Rock: Disco Ensemble Loud Finnish rockers who don’t do disco. Not even with irony. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 18.00, €8 + membership World: 4Tuoze Matroze Traditional Dutch music with inﬂuences from Ireland, the Balkans and Suriname. See 3 Questions, above. Badcuyp, Zuidpool, 20.00, €4 Pop: Emiliana Torrini Icelandic adult pop that’s as pretty as her accent. Yes, she recorded ‘Gollum’s Song’, which played during the end credits of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, but don’t let that discourage you. Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 20.15, €12.50 + membership Big band: Glenn Miller Orchestra Swing and big band maestro Glenn Miller would have turned 100 years old in 2004. Still, his legacy lives on around the world, with the European Glenn Miller Orchestra touring his classic titles, such as ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’ and ‘In The Mood’, alongside new programme The Very Best of Swing. The band is led by Dutchman Wil Salden. Concertgebouw, Grote Zaal, 20.15, €40-€45 Classical: Nederlands Blazers Ensemble Rossini’s Il turco in Italia. Muziekgebouw, 20.30, €33.50 Jazz: Pharoah Sanders Quartet See Saturday. Bimhuis, 20.30, €28 Jazz: Victor Bailey Group Full-on jazz fusion from the acclaimed bassist, who’s played with the likes of Sonny Rollins, Mary J Blige and Madonna, to name just a few. Melkweg, Oude Zaal, 21.00, €20 + membership Lounge/Jazz/Pop: Muistot Orchestra A mix of pop and modern jazz intermingling with Scandanavian, Turkish and Dutch sounds. Badcuyp, Noordpool, 21.30, €5
esting records and beer. OCCII, 20.00 Jazz: Carmen Souza This Portuguese singer’s sensuous voice brings Theo Pas’cal’s acoustic mix of jazz, blues and bossa to life. Bimhuis, 20.30, €16 Soul/R&B: James Hunter The days of Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke may be long gone, but the music lives on. Great voices haven’t died off either, and this white British performer with a towering black soul voice arrives in town with a set of original, yet believable, retro style R&B numbers. Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 20.30, €17 + membership Latin: Laura López Castro y Don Philippe Slow, jazzy bossa grooves. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 20.30, €12.50 + membership Classical: Nederlands Blazers Ensemble See Sunday. Muziekgebouw, 20.30, €33.50 Experimental: DNK-Amsterdam A concert series for new live electronic and acoustic music, featuring Koen Nutters’ ‘Quartet #1’ performed with four players, four minidiscs, four microphones, four mixers, four speakers and paper. SMART Project Space, 21.00, €5 Roots: Mama Rosin Cajun folk from Switzerland. Yes, really. You needn’t know the band. You needn’t know the music. But if you’re seeking entertainment, this bunch are fairly high energy. Maloe Melo, 22.00, €5 Blues: The Pack A.D. Canadian blues rock. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 22.30, €7.50 + membership
Tuesday 14 October
ing on his laurels in recent years. In fact, he’s spent the majority of his time crossing the US. But recent CD Knowle West Boy is his highest profile release since 2001’s Blowback. Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 20.30, €26 + membership World: Yasmin Levy Israeli singer with a polished pop sound, mixing traditional balladry with Middle Eastern influences. Melkweg, The Max, 21.00, €22.50 + membership Hiphop: Bishop Lamont, Black Milk, Guilty Simpson Following the news last weekend, Guilty Simpson is probably the most relevant artist on tonight’s bill, but if you fancy experiencing the future of US hiphop, you can’t go too wrong with this three-part package calling itself the Caltroit Tour. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 22.30, €16 + membership
Wednesday 15 October Americana: Calexico Joey Burns and John Convertino, back to what they do best. See Short List. Paradiso, Grote Zaal, 19.30, sold out Pop/Rock: Bodies of Water Part melodic, part psychedelic and part guitar folk. Californians currently out on tour with Calexico. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 20.00, €7.50 + membership Classical: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Nielsen’s Sinfonia Espansiva and Mendelssohn’s Scottish symphony. Conducted by Herbert Blomstedt, with soprano Marieke Steenhoek and baritone Mattijs van de Woerd. Concertgebouw, Grote Zaal, 20.15, €20/€50
Singer-songwriter: White Hinterland Ethereal piano folk and jazz from Portland, Oregon. Behind the name is Casey Daniel, a dynamic player whose voice sometimes reminds of CocoRosie. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 20.00, €7.50 + membership
Reggae: Easy Star All Stars This New York crew are a curious bunch. They found worldwide attention a few years back with their reggae take on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, re-dubbed Dub Side of the Moon. Not content with targeting one prog rock icon, they then did the same to Radiohead, reworking OK Computer in their Radiodread album. Tonight you can hear the best of both worlds, and maybe even an original or two, if they’re in the mood. Melkweg, Oude Zaal, 21.00, €15 + membership
Monday 13 October
Jazz: The Karnatic Lab Featuring the latest developments in contemporary and jazz music, with plenty of improvisation. Badcuyp, Noordpool, 20.30, Free
Funk: Hipdrop Live session featuring members of Cmon & Kypski, Zuco 103 and Lefties Soul Connection. Bitterzoet, 22.00, €5
Experimental: John Peel Day 2008 Another celebration of the late British DJ icon, which will undoubtedly feature some cool guitar bands, inter-
Hiphop/Electronica: Tricky Portishead and Massive Attack already hit town this year. Now fellow triphop maestro Tricky is back too. Not that he’s been rest-
Folk: Port O’Brien Californian indie folkies, who’re enjoying a pretty successful year to date. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 22.00, €8 + membership
Pop/Rock: Blitzen Trapper Fuzzy experimental folk rockers from Portland, Oregon. Their most recent album Furr was released by Sub Pop, which, even with the label’s current state of diversity, gives a pretty fair indicator of what to expect tonight. Thumbs up from us anyway. Paradiso, Kleine Zaal, 22.30, €8 + membership
Heavy: Bring Me the Horizon Hardcore noise thrash from the UK. Support from The Red Shore, Deez Nuts and Ignominious Incarnation. Melkweg, Oude Zaal, 20.00, €14 + membership
Hot Swede action: Sugarplum Fairy for the girls, Sahara Hotnights for the boys.
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
A G E N D A : C L U B S / G AY & L E S B I A N / S T A G E
Thursday 9 October Vreemd Today it’s deep house in the land of the strange, with DJs Berend Kirch and Jeroen Kok, and also a mysterious and possibly strange international guest. Sugar Factory, 23.00-05.00, €8 Blue Note Trip Weekly jazz and dance fusion featuring DJ Maestro. Special guest this time around is The Herbaliser. Melkweg, Oude Zaal, 23.30-late, €8
Friday 10 October Elastiek Genre-bending, limb-stretching, time-extending dancefloor-filler with DJs Kosmo, Lupe and Per. Club 8, 22.00-04.00, €10 Wax and the City Clubbing by candlelight? With Kid Sublime, Alex Mir and SP. Studio K, 22.00-04.00, €8 Radical Dubstep doom party. OT301, 22.00-late, €7 Best of Habbekrats There’s DJs Globa Misha, Jim Aasgier and Missing Links, but opening the party are The Please, presenting their new CD. Bitterzoet, 23.00-04.00, €7.50 Snelle Jelle Release party for this fast guy’s first record 1e Versnelling. Expect many exquisite guests from the Amsterdam underworld of jester hiphop. Sugar Factory, 23.00-05.00, €10 Squz Agency House, house and nothing but house in all its varieties, and with live stuff. Dop, Wesdex and Pete Bandit are in the one, Jorn Liefdeshuis, Tom Ruijg and Dollkraut in the other room. Flex Bar, 23.00-05.00, €10 klinch: Rauw Another crunching dance adventure featuring Erol Alkan (Bugged Out, London), The Shoes and Joost van Bellen. Melkweg, The Max, 23.00-late, €17 + membership
Liga Ostadetheater, Friday 10 October One-off performance by Kassys, which tells the story of a group of actors in ﬂashbacks, starting out with them congratulating each other after the show. In English. 20.30, €10
Boss/Junior Boys DJ set Bossing it up in the main room: DJs Manga, Lil Vic & SP. MC Fit, VJ Nintando. Upstairs: Disco 3000 with DJs Antal & San Proper and special guest TRUS’Me (Fat City Manchester). The little Junior Boys are hidden in the basement. Paradiso, 24.00-05.00, €12.50
Saturday 11 October
Edited by Willem de Blaauw.
Betty & Billie’s Beat Boutique in the Jungle So what does it mean if Betty and Billie, the Beat babes, venture into the jungle? Breakbeats? Banana skirts? We are not the ones to know. But we are sure it will be brilliant. Club 8, 22.00-04.00, €6 Struttin’ Raw funk, soul and hiphop. Bitterzoet, 23.0004.00, €7.50 Wadada Soundsystem Roots, dub and reggae with the Covenant Soundsystem. OCCII, 23.00-04.00, €6 365Mag Live DJs Eloy and Mehdi Deyes enter a land previously unknown, somewhere between UK house and minimal. Sugar Factory, 23.00-05.00, €12
Thursday 9 October
Party: Mr B Heaven Fetish night (spanking, bondage, SM) at this cool cruise club, in collaboration with fetish/sex shop Mr B. Fetish outﬁt encouraged; men-only. Admission includes a free drink. Church, 20.00-00.00, €10
Dance: Brotherhood, Sisterhood, La Flétrissure For these performances, experienced dancers Kevin Polak and Miquel de Jong of the 2move Dance Company have selected young, talented choreographers. Part of Dansweek. Theater Bellevue, (Thur 20.00), €13.50
Club: Potato Soup French chef by day, DJ Benjamin cooks a fresh fusion of pop, world music, modern chill out and groovy house music for the Amsterdam ‘priks’. Tonight’s focus is on Bollywood-tunes, with DJ Madu and special Bollywood visuals. PRIK, 21.00, free
Ultraviolet/Hommeles Wear your glad rags for this electrofest: everyone else will, too. The Longmen and Homework will provide the appropriate tunes. And there will be something going on with a red kiss being distributed and passed on—ooh la la. Flex Bar, 23.00-05.00, €8.50
Friday 10 October
Welcome to the Future Those who so boldly proclaim themselves to represent the sound of the times to come are the people of Perspectiv, and it’s their label night tonight, so they can label the night however they want to. Studio 80, 23.00-05.00, €12
Women’s night Feel good and feel gorgeous with the help of groovy tunes by DJ Gorgeous. Cafe Sappho, 22.00-04.00, free
Matjesdisco ’80s, ’90s, crap, trash and bad taste. Woo hoo! OT301, 23.00-late, €3/€5 Club Pera Electronica, house and oriental sounds with a bunch of lady DJs hailing from Istanbul, Berlin and Amsterdam, plus a special dance performance. Paradiso, 23.30-05.00, €10
Sunday 12 October Sffeervol From Motown to killer hiphop. Bitterzoet, 22.00-03.00, €7.50 Wicked Jazz Sounds Jazz, hiphop, broken beats, nujazz, funk and Afro sounds, as classic vinyl collides with live musicians. Sugar Factory, 23.00-05.00, €9.50
DJ night: Friday Weekend Madness Start the weekend with a bang at this happy homo hang-out. Audio host DJ Danny spins electric beats from today and yesteryear. Getto, 17.00, free
Saturday 11 October Party: (Z)onderbroek Drop your pants and dance in your most sexy briefs/Y-fronts/boxers or jockstrap at this men-only afternoon fun party. With DJs Bloom and Taco. Church, 16.00-20.00, €8 Party: Danserette Kitsch and camp disco ditties galore at this fun dance night that starts quite early. From Kylie to Dolly Dots, from Mika to Madonna. Akhnaton, 21.00-03.00, €8.50 Party: Pink Heaven Flirting, dating and dancing. New gay party for all you pinkies out there. No dress code, but dressing in pink will get you kudos. DJ Benjamin, DJ Solo and DJ Antoine de la Cruz spin the decks, plus performance by Marco Toro. Be on time: doors close at midnight. Catacomb Studio, 22.00-04.00, €15
Crap, trash and bad taste is where we’re at. See ya at Matjesdisco on Saturday.
Music/Dance: Del Corazón Flamenco performance by true aﬁcionados Flamenco con gusto—live music, castanets and all. De Engelenbak, (Thur 20.30), €12 Theatre: Lex, een pathologische comedy The goodbye show of d’Electrique offers you the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Lex: Darwinist, Nietzschean and possibly Taoist-to-be. Lex has three plans: saw his hand off, meet a woman, become happy. Lex, thus, isn’t really what you’d call normal. But that would be boring anyway, wouldn’t it? Frascati, (Thur-Sat, Tues, Wed 20.30), €16 Theatre: Iﬁgeneia in Aulis Timelessness—nobody does it as well as the Ancient Greeks. Set on the brink of the Trojan War, Euripides’ tragedy centres around a war that is justiﬁed with dubious arguments. Toneelgroup Amsterdam’s new production, directed by Robert Woodruff. Stadsschouwburg, (Thur-Sat, Tues, Wed 20.30, Sun 16.00), €10-€27.50 Performance: Palazzo Part theatrical evening, part luxurious dinner event. All a bit expensive, but will probably prove popular. See www.palazzo.nl. Westergasfabriek, (Daily), various prices Theatre: Girls Night Out Rozentheater presents a bunch of young and promising (and female) theatre makers. The Girls bring on ﬁve different performances in one weekend. Rozentheater, (Fri, Sat various times), various prices Dance: Don Giovanni Turbulent seduction scenes, exuberant feasts, ingenious disguises, passion, disappointment, rage and deadly revenge: the story of Don Juan is the perfect vehicle for a grandly con-
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
ceived full-length ballet. This also holds true of the sublime music Mozart wrote for the serial philanderer. See Short List. Het Muziektheater, (Sat, Tues, Wed 20.15, Sun 14.00), €20-€59
A G E N D A : S TA G E / E V E N T S / A RT Art: Opening
Museums Kees van Bohemen Overview exhibition showing paintings and gouaches by the artist (1950-1985). Jan van der Togt Museum (Wed-Sun 13.00-17.00), Amstelveen, closing Friday
Theatre/Dance: Zoom Theater Adhoc stick to their formula that combines science, humour, anecdotes, music and dance in this performance about light. Theater Bellevue, (Sun, Mon 20.30, Tues 15.00), €16
‘Druksel prints’ by Werkman A presentation by the Stedelijk Museum dedicated to the ‘druksel prints’ of Hendrik Werkman, who, in the ’20s, developed the technique of printing parts of a print one at a time to compile the total image on a page. Van Gogh Museum (Mon-Thur, Sat, Sun 10.00-18.00, Fri 10.00-22.00), closing Sunday
Theatre: De Kopvoeter Het Syndicaat with a reprise of Esther Gerritsen’s award-winning play about a disabled artist who paints with her mouth. As her popularity begins to surge and her works become known, she feels it crucial to keep her handicap a secret. In Dutch. Frascati, (Tues, Wed 21.00), €14.00
Malick Sidibé Malian photographer (b. 1935, Soloba) who, from the early ’60s on, snapped portraits and various engagements of local society, from football matches to weddings and Christmas Eve celebrations, which now offer insight into the people’s lives shortly after winning their independence. Sidibé was one of the ﬁrst African photographers to gain recognition in the West. Foam (Sat-Wed 10.00-18.00, Thur, Fri 10.0021.00), closing Wednesday
Dance: About Falling A co-production with APAP and Tanzfabrik Berlin, with a concept by Diego Gil and Igor Dobricic, About Falling is about, yup, falling, and about our bodies in relation to a fall, and about recovering from all that falling. Today’s the try-out, tomorrow’s the premiere. Hetveem Theater, (Wed 20.30), €3.50 Theatre/Dance: Hidden Trees Betsy Torenbosch’s performance/dance/theatre/multimedia show is a collection of life stories of elderly people who live in Amsterdam but were born in other European countries. De Brakke Grond, (Wed 20.30), €16
Black is Beautiful A journey of discovery though the history of art, which for the ﬁrst time aims to highlight the attractiveness of the black person in the art of the Lowlands. It turns out, many great masters have portrayed black people. Their fascination will be illustrated in 135 paintings, drawings and manuscripts from collections here and abroad, including artists like Rembrandt, Breitner, Sluijters, Appel and Dumas. Nieuwe Kerk (Fri-Wed 10.00-18.00, Thur 10.00-22.00), until 26 October
Music/Theatre: An Ocean of Rain A collaboration between Ensemble MAE and the Scottish troupe Theatre Cryptic for Kyriakides’ An Ocean of Rain. With libretto by Daniel Danis and directed by Cathie Boyd. Muziekgebouw, (Wed 20.30), €28
Ongoing Theatre: Sexappeal A little lunch theatre is the perfect addition to your diet. This one, a co-production of Bellevue and Mugmetdegoudentand, is about three ageing actors auditioning for the role of their lifetime. Hopes are high, and so are the stakes. In Dutch. Theater Bellevue, (Thur, Fri, Sun, Tues, Wed 12.30), €14 Theatre: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is Raoul Bakker was in several heavy metal cover bands and then worked in advertising. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more evil, he started doing an autobiographical theatre programme; self-critical and funny and serious at the same time. Many people seem to like it, though, so maybe one should give him a chance. In Dutch. Theater Bellevue, (Thur-Sat 20.30), €13 Theatre: Pax Islamica III: Zekket A humorous and philosophical monologue inspired by the Five Pillars of Islam. This one, about the duty to give alms, is the third of five episodes in the Pax Islamica series. In Dutch. Frascati, (Thur-Sat 21.00), €12 Comedy: easyLaughs Comedy improv in English. Two different shows every Friday night. CREA Muziekzaal, (Fri 20.30, 22.30), €8, €5 (late night)
EVENTS Workshop: Katie’s Cosy Craft Corner Back by popular demand, the monthly event that is just what the title suggests—with the added bonus of catching up on all the best gossip while ‘tossing tasty cocktails down yer neck,’ as Katie likes to say. Bring any crafty bits you want, and all crafters are welcome, including knitters, stitchers, jewellers and weavers of bellybutton ﬂuff. De Nieuwe Anita, (Thur 20.00-23.00), free Discussion: Obama or McCain: The Voter Decides Heads of both Democrats and Republicans Abroad explain the choices. (Oh, if only Bernie Sanders were running...) ABC Treehouse, (Thur 20.00), free Party: A Dark Night of Light Cabaret Amsterdam Beatclub continue to celebrate ﬁve years of ‘beatclubbing’. See Short List. De Nieuwe Anita, (Fri 20.00), €7.50 Poetry/Music: Toon Tellegen leest Raafvogels Poet Tellegen reads from his collection of poetry about an imaginary father. With piano accompaniment by Albert van Veenendaal. In Dutch. Perdu, 20.30, €6 Market: Sale#4 A pop-up market and guerrilla store, where small-scale and individual designers can show and sell their work to the public. The theme for this edition is ‘slow’. See www.mindwhatyouwear.com for a preview. Oude Kerk, (Sat 11.00-18.00, Sun 13.0018.00), €4/€5, free with ﬂyer
Photo by Martijn Fernández Córdoba
10 Jaar Retort Retort, opens Saturday 11 October This studio complex in Oud-Zuid is celebrating a decade of art in style. As well as the ongoing photo exhibition, this weekend there’s a rich collection of singer-songwriters, poets, actors, storytellers and bands laying on entertainment. Sat, Sun 12.00-18.00
Workshop: CycleRecycleCycle With help from expert bike fixer-uppers, pimp your old clunky bike into a spankin’ new ride. Every Saturday until 2 November. Pietheinkade/Blauwhoedenveem, (Sat 14.00-16.00), €10 Event: i am not a tourist Since our humble beginnings, Amsterdam Weekly has persistently denied being an expat paper. It’s not what we are. We’ve nothing to do with them. Expat Schmexpat. Sure, amidst the 90 booths at this expat fair, you’ll ﬁnd a Weekly one, and yes, you can drill us on our sad hypocritical ways, but we’ll ignore you. Cause you’re probably an expat. And we’ve nothing to do with your kind. Beurs van Berlage, (Sun 10.00 -17.00), €10, free if pre-ordered online Film: Sprocket Sounds Theme evening featuring an impressive selection of forgotten 8 and 16mm celluloid short ﬁlms. OT301, (Sun 20.30), €4 Art/Music/Performance: Themaweek Standpunten Various activities related to the Utrecht museum’s exhibition, Standpunten, including slam poetry, street painting, a guided tour and readings by poet Ingmar Heytze. See www.centraalmuseum.nl for full programme. Centraal Museum, Utrecht (Sun-Wed various times), various prices. Until 21 October. Talk: Israeli-Palestinian Art Dialogue Palestinian artist Sliman Mansour and Israeli artist Larry Abramson discuss their work together, and the common collaborations between artists of both nations hoping for a future where both cultures can co-exist for the benefit of each other. Their latest project, ‘Desert Generation’, features 400 artists calling for an end to the occupation. In English. Joods Historisch Museum, 14.30, free with museum entry Debate: Verkoopt God nog? Ongoing debates organised by the NRC Handelsblad, this time about God and spirituality in modern times. Who in their right mind still admits in public that they believe in God? And how does this affect church leaders? In Dutch. De Rode Hoed, (Wed 20.15), €9 Discussion: Broedplaatsen Last of a three-part series where owners and artists talk about the phenomenon of ‘breeding grounds’ in Amsterdam. In Dutch. Pakhuis de Zwijger, (Wed 17.00-19.00), free
Nuts about knitting? Katie’s Cosy Craft Corner is back for autumn.
Opening Black Cube 10 An evening of film, video, performance and sound art. Arti et Amicitiae (Fri 20.30), opens Friday Régine de Festes: Creation & Mythology Paintings and sculptures by the French artist. Paule Carre (Mon 13.00-18.00; Tue, Wed, Fri 10.00-18.00; Thur 10.00-20.00; Sat 10.00-17.00), opens Friday, until 20 November A Perfect Book The art of the photo book. Curated by Wil van Iersel. Amsterdams Centrum voor Fotografie (Thur-Sat 13.00-17.00), opens Saturday, until 8 November Geert Bartelink: Het rijk der fabelen Colourful and artistic tales of the rich. AYAC’S (Fri, Sat 13.00-17.30), opens Saturday, until 15 November Henk Visch: Stiks and stons wil brik yur bons Sculptures. Galerie Ferdinand van Dieten-d’Eendt (Thur-Sat 11.00 -18.00), opens Saturday, until 2 November Iris Roskam: Iris in Slumberland Glass artist. Witzenhausen Gallery (Thur-Sat 12.00-18.00), opens Saturday, until 8 November
David Verbeek Photos of Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei by the film director. Filmmuseum (Mon-Fri 09.00 -22.15, Sat, Sun one hour prior to show-22.15), until 29 October Inside Out Personal portraits in word and image show how youths deal with religion and the part it plays in their daily lives. Bijbels Museum (Mon-Sat 10.00-17.00, Sun 11.00-17.00), until 2 November Sonic Voices, Rocking Hard Audio artist Nathalie Bruys co-curates this exhibition, showing a personal selection from very diverse approaches, each making use of sound and music. The works have been created by young artists with highly varied backgrounds, all with a sincere love of music, audio and art in common. Montevideo/Time Based Arts (Tues-Sat 13.00-18.00), until 2 November Pieter Hugo: The Hyena & Other Me Photos by 2008 KLM Paul Huf Award winner Pieter Hugo, made while travelling in Nigeria with a group of animal charmers and their hyenas, monkeys and snakes in tow. Foam (Sat-Wed 10.00-18.00, Thur, Fri 10.00-21.00), until 2 November ExperimentaDesign Three ongoing exhibitions that make up the programme for the design biennale. Sunday Adventure Club takes place at Groenburgwal 44 (Staalstraat 7a/b); Droog Event 2: Urban Play takes place at Onder de Brug (De Ruyterkade 153-157) and the IJ waterfront; and Come to My Place can be found in the Westerhuis Gallery (Westerstraat 187). See www.experimentadesign.nl. Various locations (WedSun 11.00-18.00), until 2 November Censuur! Exhibition offering an overview of groups, institutions and individuals who’ve had dealings with censorship and the various forms of resistance against it, dating from the 17th century to the present. Persmuseum (Tues-Fri 10.00-17.00, Sun 12.00-17.00), until 9 November If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to be Part of Your Revolution III The third edition of this travelling platform for performance-related art embraces the theme of ‘masquerade’, with an exhibition and, of course, an ongoing performance series (see www.deappel.nl for schedule). Curated by Frederique Bergholtz and Annie Fletcher. De Appel (Tues-Sun 11.00-18.00), until 9 November
Michiel van der Zanden Young painter from Brabant taking inspiration from digital ideas. Galerie Smits (Wed-Sat 13.30-17.30), opens Saturday, until 12 November
Miyako Ishiuchi: Photographs 1975-2005 The ﬁrst European retrospective of Japanese photographer Miyako Ishiuchi. While the artist brought attention to herself at Biennial 2005 in Venice with her collection Mother’s, the remainder of her work had not yet been presented collectively in Europe. Exhibited in Foam are ninety photographs from the series Yokosuka Story, Apartment, Endless Night, 188.8.131.52, 1906 to the Skin and Mother’s. Foam (Sat-Wed 10.00-18.00, Thur, Fri 10.00-21.00), until 16 November
Miguel Ybáñez: The Anonymous Glance Contemporary cave paintings by this Spanish artist that aren’t in caves. Technically just contemporary paintings, really. Grimm Fine Art (Wed-Sat 12.00 18.00), opens Saturday, until 15 November
Atlas Maior. De wereld van Blaeu Exquisite examples of Joan Blaeu’s maps, made in Amsterdam’s Golden Era, when the industry of cartography was in full bloom. UvA: Special Collections Library (Mon-Fri 10.00-17.00, Sat, Sun 13.00-17.00), until 23 November
Jan Roeland New paintings. Slewe Gallery (Tues-Sat 14.00-17.00), opens Saturday, until 8 November
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
By Jaro Renout
Cy Twombly: Photographs 1951-2007 Photos by the renowned American artist, in celebration of his 80th birthday, As a photographer, Twombly still has the eye of a painter, who explores rather than captures his subjects—still lifes, ﬂowers, interiors, seascapes. His ‘dry prints’, a specialised version of colour prints from a copy machine, are being shown for the ﬁrst time in the Netherlands. Huis Marseille (Tues-Sun 11.0018.00), until 23 November Hendrik Werkman: The Blue Barge Exhibition containing Werkman’s preparatory studies for the suites of prints he made as an act of resistance for The Blue Barge during WWII. The most famous of these is Chassidische Legenden. Joods Historisch Museum (Daily 11.00-17.00), until 30 November New Leipzig School A younger generation of painters at Leipzig has created their own artistic vocabulary with tremendous craftsmanship which at the moment is driving the world crazy—in a good way. This is the ﬁrst Dutch exhibition of the new movement, with particular focus on major trend-setters Neo Rauch and Matthias Weischer. CoBrA Museum (Tues-Sun 11.0017.00), until 11 January 2009 125 Favourites The Rembrandt Association celebrates its 125th anniversary with a ﬁve-part exhibition: key purchases from its history; returned Dutch artworks; old (non-Dutch) masters; comparatively modern works (Chagall, Matisse and De Kooning); and acquisitions from the last ten years. Van Gogh Museum (Mon-Thur, Sat, Sun 10.00-18.00, Fri 10.0022.00), until 18 January 2009 Stedelijk in de Stad—The Construction Cabin on Tour The Stedelijk’s artistic version of a construction cabin is touring the city from the Oosterdokseiland to the Museumplein, passing via Noord, Centrum, IJburg, Slotervaart, Zuid-Oost, Oost, Westerpark and De Baarsjes. See www.stedelijkindestad.nl. Various locations (various times), until 1 December 2009
Galleries Umbrella Art Forty different umbrellas made or designed by 40 different artists from around the world. The idea was started last year when artist IVES found an umbrella on a local tram here and began drawing on it. This is part of their European road show, which will continue rain or shine. Chiellerie (Daily 14.00-18.00) Homer This three screen slide installation by veteran artist Pablo Pijnappel follows a narrative about his friend’s move to a small Alaskan ﬁshing village called Homer. Like much of his oeuvre, this piece employs methods of cinematic deconstruction and collage to tell a more or less linear story. Galerie Juliette Jongma (Wed-Sat 13.00-18.00), closing Saturday Better Spectacles Recent works on paper by Nik Christensen, who reinvents everyday objects, setting them in the foreground of figurative landscapes. Galerie Gabriel Rolt (Wed-Sat 12.00 18.00), closing Saturday Terug van Weggeweest Landscapes painted by Maarten Welbergen during his European travels. Punt WG (Daily 10.00-22.00), closing Sunday Spade-Scrape Artist James Beckett pays hommage to Wilhelm Riphahn, city architect in pre-war Cologne. Van Zijll Langhout (Mon-Fri 11.00-17.00), closing Wednesday Foreign Ground Works by young internationals: Erik de Bree, Danielle Itzhaqi, Yehudit Mizrahi and Masha Osipova. Ververs Gallery (Thur-Sat 12.00 17.30), until 17 October Activist Videoclips A PLANETART presentation of several rebellion videoclips, shocking ﬁlm material and confrontational works of art. Volkskrantgebouw (MonFri 12.00-17.00, Sat 14.00-17.00), until 18 October The Artists at Work Ronald Nijhof and Su Tomesen. Presenting the 3-D installations ‘Das Zwischen’ and ‘Red Space’. Petersburg Project Space (Thur-Sat 13.00-18.00), until 18 October Ingrid Baars Powerful images of the female form built up with various photographic layers and elements. Blow Up Gallery (Thur, Fri 14.00-18.00, Sat 13.0018.00), until 25 October Irene Kopelman—Scale: 1:2.5 An ongoing series of artistic presentations. Kopelman is invited by guest curator Eva Fotiadi. OUTLINE (Thur-Sat 13.00-17.00), until 25 October Erik Olofsen: State of Delusion Part two of Between Dark and White, with Olofsen exploring complex combinations of wood, cardboard, photographs and projections, and the impact of
Amsterdam Centraal ‘We are a collective weblog about Amsterdam made by correspondents from all parts of town, each of whom contributes with pieces on recent developments and situations in the city, politically, socially or otherwise. We’re currently hosting between ten and ﬁfteen reporters. ‘We started out in 2003. It was an initiative of alderman Lodewijk Asscher, in the days when he was still a city councillor. It was set up to bridge the gap between politicians and citizens. The question remains if that succeeded all that well, but we do have a fairly large group of loyal readers. Asscher isn’t involved in Amsterdam Centraal anymore, since he became the party chairman. We are independent and our contributors are of different political backgrounds. ‘We have a link with local TV station AT5, but only on a technical level. It mainly involves web hosting and publication of our RSS-feed on their Gespot page. ‘Amsterdam Centraal hasn’t gone unnoticed. Newspapers regularly know where to ﬁnd us. Last week, Het Parool republished a piece by Nel de Jager. In March, we won a Dutch Bloggie award for best news website—but actually we consider ourselves more of an opinion site. Some of us, like Merel Roze, Thomas Schlijper and Arnoud de Jong [pictured], also won Dutch Bloggies as individuals. ‘Our reporter Marco Arbouw stirred up quite a commotion when he wrote a piece about the high costs of garbage removal in Zuidoost. Lodewijk Asscher followed through on it and made a statement. Marco made the news again when he wrote about broken elevators and moving staircases that were anything but moving in Amsterdam subway stations. ‘Recently we ended up in a row with housing mediator Nuadam.nl, who we criticised based on one of our reporter’s personal experience. The ball really started rolling after that... And they’re deﬁnitely not happy. But neither was our reporter— and that’s he why he wrote the piece in the ﬁrst place...’
(increasing) mechanical reality translated into a cold environment where the human experience seems to have disappeared. P/////AKT (Thur-Sun 14.00-18.00), until 26 October Maartje Jaquet/Marcel Prins Photography & video and sculptures & constructions by the two artists, all with an animal theme. Royal Gallery (Wed-Sun 12.0018.00), until 26 October Inferno Dark paintings by Italian duo Two Things. De Duivel (Daily), until 31 October Recollect Diverse works by American artist Chris Ballantyne, German artist Katrin Hoffert and Belgian artist Hans Vandekerckhove. Galerie Hof & Huyser (Wed-Sat 13.00-18.00), until 31 October Titus Dekker: (Sub)urban Views Drawn paintings of Amsterdam. Galerie de Rietlanden Exposities (WedSun 13.00-17.00), until 2 November Free Spaces Zuidas: Artists in Residence Group exhibition displaying their conceptual vision of what should and shouldn’t be done with the Zuidas. Platform 21 (Thur-Sun 12.00-18.00), until 2 November [onderzoek] Sculptures by Erik Buijs which look like confused, hairless little people but is in fact an ironic commentary on humanity and its surroundings. Galerie Bart (Thur, Fri 11.00-18.00, Sat 12.00-17.00), until 8 November LAND Photos by André Mérian showing the landscape of humanity, with overﬂowing cities, shopping centres and the like. Maison Descartes (Mon-Thur 10.0018.00, Fri 10.00-17.00), until 8 November Sanne Sannes Rare vintage works by Dutch photographer Sanne Sannes, who perished in a car accident in 1967. Renowned in the early ’60s for using photography as a means to create autonomous art, he was known as the ‘photographer of tomorrow’. Hup Gallery (Tues, Thur, Fri 10.00-17.00), until 21 November Structures Group exhibition that examines the structure of the art world from the perspective of the artist. Souterrain (Thur-Sun 12.00-17.00), until 7 December This Side of the Globe Travel photography from the Middle East and Asia by Kurt van Aert. Mezrab (Thur-Sun 15.00-20.30, Fri, Sat 15.00-22.30), until 31 December
There really are many more art listings online at www.amsterdamweekly.nl/art.
Photo by Joost Benthem
ADDRESSES ABC Treehouse Voetboogstraat 11, 423 0967 Akhnaton Nieuwezijds Kolk 25, 624 3396 Amsterdams Centrum voor Fotograﬁe Bethaniënstraat 9, 622 4899 ANNO Westerstraat 35/49 De Appel Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10, 625 5651 Arti et Amicitiae Rokin 112, 624 5134 AYAC'S Keizersgracht 166, 638 5240 Badcuyp 1e Sweelinckstraat 10, 675 9669 Beurs van Berlage Damrak 277, 530 4141 Bitterzoet Spuistraat 2, 521 3001 Blow Up Gallery Hazenstraat 67, 665 3435 De Brakke Grond Nes 45, 626 6866 Cafe Pakhuis Wilhelmina Veemkade 576, 419 3368 Cafe Sappho Vijzelstraat 103, 423 1509 Chiellerie Raamgracht 58, 320 9448 Church Kerkstraat 50-52 Club 8 Admiraal de Ruyterweg 56B, 685 1703 Club More Amor Rozengracht 133, 344 6402 Club Stereo Jonge Roelensteeg 4 CoBrA Museum Sandbergplein 1-3, Amstelveen, 547 5050 Concertgebouw Concertgebouwplein 2-6, 671 8345 Consortium Veemkade 570, 06 2611 8950 CREA Muziekzaal Turfdraagsterpad 17, 525 1400 De Duivel Reguliersdwarstr 87, 626 6184 De Engelenbak Nes 71, 626 3644 Flex Bar Pazzanistraat 1, 486 2123 Foam Keizersgracht 609, 551 6546 Frascati Nes 63, 626 6866 Galerie Bart Bloemgracht 2, 320 6208 Galerie de Rietlanden Exposities Rietlandpark 193, 419 4705 Ferdinand van Dieten-d'Eendt Spuistraat 270, 626 5777 Galerie Gabriel Rolt Elandsgracht 34, 785 5146 Galerie Hof & Huyser Bloemgracht 135, 420 1995 Galerie Juliette Jongma Gerard Douplein 23, 463 6904 Galerie Smits Fokke Simonszstraat 29, 06 43001833 Galerie Wies Willemsen Ruysdaelkade 25, 470 1073 Getto Warmoesstraat 51 Grimm Fine Art Hazenstraat 24, 422 7227 Hetveem Theater Van Diemenstraat, 626 9291 Huis Marseille Keizersgracht 401, 531 8989 Hup Gallery Tesselschadestraat 15, 515 8589 Jan van der Togt Museum Dorpsstraat 50, 641 5754 Jimmy Woo Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 18, 626 3150
Joods Historisch Museum Jonas Daniel Meijerplein 2-4, 531 0310 Maison Descartes Vijzelgracht 2A, 531 9500 Maloe Melo Lijnbaansgracht 163, 420 4592 Melkweg Lijnbaansgracht 234A, 531 8181 Mezrab 2de Laurierdwarsstraat 50 Montevideo/Time Based Arts Keizersgracht 264, 623 7101 Muziekgebouw Piet Heinkade 1, 788 2010 Het Muziektheater Amstel 3, 625 5455 De Nieuwe Anita Frederik Hendrikstraat 111, 06 4150 3512 Nieuwe Kerk entrance on the Dam, 638 6909 OCCII Amstelveenseweg 134, 671 7778 Ostadetheater Van Ostadestraat 233 D, 679 5096 OT301 Overtoom 301, 779 4913 Oude Kerk Oudekerksplein 23, 625 8284 OUTLINE Oetewalerstraat 73, 693 1389 P/////AKT Zeeburgerpad 53, 06 5427 0879 Pakhuis de Zwijger Piet Heinkade 179-181, 788 4444 Paradiso Weteringschans 6-8, 626 4521 Paule Carre Cornelis Schuytstraat 44, 675 6800 Perdu Kloveniersburgwal 86, 627 6295 Persmuseum Zeeburgerkade 10, 692 8810 Petersburg Project Space Frans de Wollantstraat 84 Platform 21 Prinses Irenestraat 19, 344 9449 PRIK Spuistraat 109, 06 4544 2321 Punt WG Marius van Bouwdijk Bastiaansestraat 15, 618 7848 Radar Gallery Eerste Rozendwarsstraat 17-H, 06 2416 3300 Retort Aalsmeerweg 103, 669 4669 De Rode Hoed Keizersgracht 102, 638 5606 Rozentheater Rozengracht 117, 620 7953 De Service Garage Stephensonstraat 16 Slewe Gallery Kerkstraat 105A, 625 7214 Souterrain Messinastraat 38 Stadsschouwburg Leidseplein 26, 624 2311 Studio 80 Rembrandtplein 17, 521 8333 Studio K Timorplein 62, 692 0422 Sugar Factory Lijnbaansgracht 238, 627 0008 The Eagle Warmoesstraat 90, 627 8634 Theater Bellevue Leidsekade 90, 530 5301 Tropenmuseum Linnaeusstraat 2, 568 8200 UvA: Special Collections Library Oude Turfmarkt 129, 525 2141 Van Zijll Langhout Brouwersgracht 161, 06 2825 9620 Ververs Gallery Hazenstraat 54 Werkteater Oostenburgergracht 75, 330 8832 Wetering Galerie Lijnbaansgracht 288, 623 6189 Witzenhausen Gallery Hazenstraat 60, 644 9898
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
By Marie-Claire Melzer
Un secret Opens Thursday at Pathé Tuschinski.
SOME SECRETS ARE BEST LEFT UNTOLD Yes, it’s another film about the Holocaust, but it does manage to shed some new light. It’s not only happy families that are torn apart in times of war, but also the unhappy ones. Or shall we say, the notso-perfect ones? And perhaps then, the wounds run even deeper. Many stories
FILM Amsterdam Weekly recommends.
Festival Balkan Snapshots Film Festival Ten new ﬁlms coming from ten different regions, an art exhibition and the inevitable closing party with live music to celebrate Balkan culture. See Short List. Kriterion, Studio K
New this week Cafe De Los Maestros For all you tango lovers out there comes this documentary about a group of legendary Argentinian tango musicians from the ’40s and ’50s, who gather for a concert in Buenos Aires. True, the premises are the same as Buena Vista Social Club, minus Ry Cooder and Wim Wenders calling the shots, but director Miguel Kohan keeps the music ﬂowing like ﬁne wine, and you'll have a hard time sitting still in the theatre chair. Produced, among others, by Gustavo Santaolalla, the Argentinian Oscar-winning composer of Brokeback Mountain and Amores Perros. In Spanish with Dutch subtitles. 90 min. Kriterion Eagle Eye Working in the ﬁnest tradition of brain-dead blockbusters, director DJ Caruso (Disturbia) and producer Steven Spielberg take a script riddled with absurdities and throw millions and millions of dollars at it. Two Chicagoans who don’t know each other (Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan) are coerced into carrying out a terrorist plot by a mysterious and omnipotent organisation that communicates with them by cell phones, manipulates their movements with split-second timing, and controls almost every electrical device in their path. Caruso and Spielberg probably wanted to revive the paranoid style of ’70s political thrillers, but their story is so implausible it barely provokes a tremor. (JJ) 118 min. Pathé ArenA, Pathé De Munt, Pathé Tuschinski
Hunger The directorial feature debut from artist Steve McQueen tells the story of IRA member Bobby Sands
have been told about the Holocaust and it’s survivors, yet Un secret manages to add a new layer by bringing in complex family relations. Based on the autobiographical novel
(Michael Fassbender) who led the 1981 Irish hunger strike in the Maze prison. But the history lesson is all in the opening titles. What follows next is an incredible ﬁlmic tour de force, both for the ﬁlm-makers and the audience, as we’re taken into the hell of Sands and his inmates. Imagery and events portrayed here are deﬁnitely not for the squeamish. As far as we know this is ﬁction, while, by contrast, the Abu Ghraib images were not, yet we can’t help being profoundly disturbed by McQueen’s work. 96 min. Cinecenter, The Movies Last Days of Shishmaref In Alaska, there are things that are even worse than Sarah Palin. Take for example what’s happening to the Inupiaq Eskimo community of Shishmaref, in the north-west corner of the state. Their native land is threatened by the sea as a result of global warming, and the 600 inhabitants of Shishmaref will soon be forced to move to the mainland and become the ﬁrst community of ‘climate refugees’. This documentary by Jan Louter is part of a larger project that draws attention to the situation in this part of the world, which also includes a website, a photography book, an exhibition and an educational course. (MB) Het Ketelhuis, De Uitkijk My Best Friend’s Girl Dustin (Jason Biggs) asks his roommate and pal Tank (Dane Cook) for his services, which consist of giving women the worst date of their life, so that they reconsider and take their former lovers back. But, of course, things go differently with Dustin’s ex-girlfriend, Alexis (Kate Hudson). Formulaic Hollywood romantic comedy from Howard Deutch, who directed one of the seminal ﬁlms of the ’80s, Pretty in Pink. Boy, that was a long time ago. 103 min. Pathé ArenA, Pathé De Munt Pure Coolness Asema (Asem Toktobekova) goes back to her small village in Kyrgyzstan to visit her friends and relatives, along with boyfriend Murat (Siezdbek Iskenaliev). Once there, she ﬁnds out about the plan of kidnapping orphan Anara (Zarema Asanalieva) as a spouse for a local shepherd. Asema’s modern views on the Kyrgyz custom of bride kidnapping will eventually backﬁre on her. The second feature from director Ernest Abdyshaparov was a Hubert Bals Fund recipient in 2007. In Kyrgyz, Russian, with Dutch subtitles. 95 min. Rialto Un Secret Based on a true story, as told in Philippe Grimbert’s novel, the new ﬁlm by Claude Miller is yet another haunting WWII tale. See review above. In French with Dutch subtitles. 105 min. Pathé Tuschinski
by Philippe Grimbert, it’s the tragic story of Holocaust-survivor Maxime Grinberg (Patrick Bruel), as seen through the eyes of his son François (Mathieu Amalric). Maxime and his wife Tania (Cécile de France) seem a perfectly happy couple on the surface. As a child, François adores his beautiful, athletic parents and paints an idyllic picture of them. But at 15 he discovers a family secret and learns that, in fact, his parents were brought together by tragic circumstances. Without giving away the whole secret, it can be said that François discovers his father had been married previously to Hannah (Ludivine Sagnier). But it was a troubled marriage, as Maxime fell in love with someone else. Shortly after she found out about this, Hannah died in a concentration camp. After the war, Maxime marries Tania, his sister-in-law who also lost her husband in a concentration camp, and together they have a son, François. But although he loves Tania, feelings of guilt overshadow the relationship with her and their son. The secret from the title also refers to Francois’ hidden Jewish identity: after the war, Maxime changed the family name (Grinberg) into the French-sounding Grimbert. And he has François baptised in the Catholic Church. With this act Maxime hoped to protect his son, but at the same time he robbed him of his identiy. To retrieve it, Francois has to reconstruct his father’s story.
Still playing Aanrijding in Moscou A recent hit from Belgium at the last Cannes Film Festival, this Flemish romantic comedy (sounds strange, eh?) is set in the proletarian suburb of Ghent called Moscou (Moscow). Matty (Barbara Saraﬁan) is somewhat unhappily married to Werner (Johan Heldenbergh), and they have three children. One day she bumps, literally, into truck driver Johnny (Jurgen Delnaet), and she has to start making choices which might affect the other members of her family. A funny, poignant debut by director Christophe van Rompaey, based on a script by Pat van Beirs and Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem. 102 min. Het Ketelhuis, Rialto
Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis A smash box ofﬁce hit
in France, this effervescent comedy is about prejudices and the differences between the north and south of France. To help his depressed wife, post ofﬁce manager Philippe Abrams (Kad Merad) tries to cheat his way into a transfer to the Côte d’Azur, but when he’s discovered, he’s relegated to the dreaded Nord-Pas-de-Calais region with its freezing cold weather and inhabitants who speak the ‘Ch’timi’ dialect. But lo and behold, Abrams actually likes the North, and befriends locals, especially postman Antoine (Dany Boon, who also cowrote and directed the ﬁlm). Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis loses parts of its fun for non-francophone audiences, but there’s still enough left to enjoy this gentle and hilarious story. In French and Ch’timi with Dutch subtitles. (GR) 106 min. Pathé De Munt, Studio K
Bottle Shock Loosely based on true events, this
light-bodied comedy is set in scenic 1976 Napa Valley,
The 1929 Stock Market Crash news footage www.youtube.com/watch? v=JrDhzdCLl3Y&eurl
We’ve been hungry for Amsterdam-based artist Steve McQueen’s new movie for a while. It lives up to the hype.
To underscore the importance of the past in François’ life, director Claude Miller chose to shoot the flashbacks in colour, while the scenes of the ‘present’ (the 1980s) are done in black and white, but the result feels artificial. Also, François is mainly treated as a case study of second-generation trauma, which makes him a quite uninteresting character in cinematic terms. But in the end, of course, this is a film about the Holocaust and the devastating effect it had on survivors. And Un secret does manage to find a new way of sharing this story, through Maxime. Miller did an excellent job by painting a deeply human portrait of Maxime as a man, just like you and me, with dreams and desires and mistakes, whose life has been torn apart by the war. Precisely because he was not the perfect husband he probably intended to be, the loss of his wife is all the more sad. Together with him you can’t help thinking: how would things have gone if not for this war? The story of Maxime escapes easy moralism and, in doing so, offers a way for audiences to identify with the horrors of war that are otherwise too hard to comprehend. And Patrick Bruel deserves praise for his performance; seemingly without effort he manages to convey all the melancholy of his character. The film also has relevance in these times of integratiedebatten by pointing out how high the cost is of giving up one’s cultural and religious identity: too high. ___
where Jim Barrett (Bill Pullman), founder of the Chateau Montelena winery, has staked his business on developing the perfect chardonnay. Across the Atlantic, British oenophile Steven Spurrier (Alan Rickman), his Parisian wine shop failing, dreams up the ‘Judgment of Paris’, a blind tasting competition to pit traditional French labels against the upstart Californians. Rickman adds a welcome astringency to a story padded with such ﬁctional characters as a free-loving intern (Rachael Taylor) and a freeloading bon vivant (Dennis Farina). (AG) 108 min. Pathé Tuschinski De brief voor de koning A dull ﬁlm of a beloved Dutch children’s book. Directed by Pieter Verhoeff (Nynke), who has no experience with fantasy ﬁlms, this unconvincing coming-of-age story suffers from slavish faithfulness to the source. With Monic Hendrickx, Derek de Lint and Daan Schuurmans. In Dutch. (MP) 110 min. Het Ketelhuis, Pathé ArenA, Pathé De Munt Calimucho Director Eugenie Jansen’s new ﬁlm follows the travails of a small family circus in the Netherlands that has difﬁculties breaking even. Here Jansen utilises performers from an actual circus, with its melting pot of characters coming from Germany, Romania, Morocco and the Netherlands. And to add one more ethnic twist, the circus director’s daughter has an affair with a young hired-hand from Morocco. With Dicky Kilian, Ellie Teeuw and Tarek Hannoudi, written by Natasha Gerson. Het Ketelhuis, Rialto Het Echte Leven Martin (Ramsey Nasr) is a young ﬁlm-maker, ready to start shooting his new ﬁlm, starring his girlfriend Simone (Sallie Harmsen). But when
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
Händler der vier Jahreszeiten Rainer Werner Fassbinder has a genius for detailing the pain of suppressed emotional states, and even at its most achingly deliberate, his style in dealing with the petit bourgeois mentality is a source of endless fascination. This 1971 feature, originally shot for German television, chronicles the struggles of a fruit peddler to build a semblance of a life for himself and his wife—with whom he maintains only the barest contact—in postwar Germany. With Hans Hirschmuller, Irm Hermann, and Hanna Schygulla. In German with English subtitles. (DD) 89 min. De Nieuwe Anita
Special screenings La Belle Captive In this 1983 erotic mystery directed by Alain Robbe-Grillet, a man (Daniel Mesguich) becomes entranced by a young woman (Gabrielle Lazure) dancing in a nightclub, but later that night he ﬁnds her crumpled body on the road, and she becomes his obsession. Meanwhile, his boss (who happens to be a stunning leather-clad motorbike girl) gives him a mysterious assignment... as with everything Robbe-Grillet, don’t expect plot lines to be straight. In French with English subtitles. 90 min. OT301
Black Cat, White Cat There’s something almost
wearying as well as exhilarating about the perpetual brilliance of Bosnian-born ﬁlm-maker Emir Kusturica (Time of the Gypsies, Underground). As with some of Fellini’s late works, the energy and inventiveness, not to mention the juicy vulgarity, are so consistent that you feel you can slice into the material at almost any point. In this slam-bang 1999 farce about Roma living on the Danube and lorded over by two rival patriarchs, there’s plenty to cherish and enjoy (at least if you can put up with all the cynicism), but I was especially impressed by Bajram Severdzan, hilarious as a nouveau riche gangster. In Romany/German/SerboCroatian with Dutch subtitles. (JR) 127 min. Kriterion
Bleach By gaining divine powers, Ichigo is forced to take on duties to defend people from evil spirits and guide departed souls to the afterlife. The original comic serial published in Weekly Shonen Jump, the best-seller manga journal, generated the swift launch of a media franchise, which includes TV anime, movies, video games and numerous forms of merchandise. The serial was also published in the US version of Shonen Jump and ranked among the top ten anime in the States. In Japanese with Dutch subtitles. (SI) 100 min. Melkweg Cinema Death Note High school boy Light Yagami obtains a mysterious black notebook. It is a Death Note: anyone whose name is written in this notebook will die. In order to create an ideal, peaceful world, Light starts ﬁlling the Death Note with criminals’ names. But serial deaths of
the male protagonist bails out of the project, Martin is forced to cast crew member Dirk (Loek Peters), who has no previous acting experience, as Simone’s love interest. Het Echte Leven, the opening picture at the Nederlands Film Festival, is the fourth feature ﬁlm by Robert Jan Westdijk (Zusje, Phileine zegt sorry). Het Ketelhuis, Kriterion, Pathé Tuschinski Elegy Adapted from Philip Roth’s novella The Dying Animal, this ﬁlm charts the older man/younger woman dynamic. After work, sixtyish, self-centred and hedonistic professor of literature David Kepesh (Ben Kingsley) has three things on his mind: sex, sex and more sex. When he meets dazzling young student Consuela (Penélope Cruz) he starts rhapsodising about her breasts, but Consuela wants a true relationship. Kepesh, mesmerised by her and acutely aware of his age, veers between possessiveness and his desire not to get emotionally involved. Elegy has classy performances and is nicely shot, but is also quite gloomy and prone to philosophical platitudes. Roth’s humour is sorely missed. Written by Roth and Nicholas Meyer and directed by Isabel Coixet, with Patricia Clarkson, Dennis Hopper and Deborah Harry. 107min. (GR) 107 min. Pathé Tuschinski, Studio K
the Wild Moving, if somewhat overlong, account of the life of Christopher McCandless, with a bravura performance from Emile Hirsch. At the age of 22, McCandless left his wealthy, dysfunctional family, gave his college cash to Oxfam and took off into the breathtaking beauty of the American wilderness. What starts as a run-of-the-mill road movie twists into an American Odyssey as, after two years away from it all, McCandless meets an untimely death in the wilds of Alaska. The usual Characters Met Along the Way include Catherine Keener, Vince Vaughn and Hal Holbrook. McCandless won’t stick with any of them, and gradually begins to unravel in his determined solitude. The ﬁlm becomes a meditation on the human need for
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Melkweg Cinema, Monday
famous criminals attract public attention and people start identifying this mysterious ‘killer’ as ‘Kira’, and detective L starts to investigate to stop the serial murders. Also screening is the sequel Death Note 2, both based on the original manga serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump, which made for an historical sales record of the magazine. In Japanese with Dutch subtitles. (SI) 126 min. Melkweg Cinema Escaﬂowne, The Movie Teenager Hitomi is depressed by her repetitive, purposeless school life. As she wishes to vanish from this world, she is dragged from Earth to Planet Gaea, where she ﬁnds herself in the middle of a war. For Van, the young king of fallen kingdom Fanelia and his knights, Hitomi’s fortune-telling power becomes the key to stopping the Zaibach Empire and taking over the whole planet.
human company, framed against some of the most glorious scenery the world has to offer. A triumph for Sean Penn as a director, backed by a custom soundtrack from Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. (AD) 140 min. Kriterion, The Movies, Pathé Tuschinski Mongol At last, here’s proof that a bold, big-budget epic from the Eastern steppes can compete with the classics from Hollywood and New Zealand. This German/Russian/Kazakh coproduction is the first of a planned series of biopics on the life of the legendary Genghis Khan, and the bloody battles, excellent cinematography and sprawling locations are very impressive. However, the ﬁrst act of the ﬁlm suffers from repetition and Asano Tadanobu’s practically saintly Genghis is a little hard to take. The utter anticlimax of an ending also makes Mongol hard to recommend. In Mongolian with Dutch subtitles. (LvH) 120 min. Kriterion Shanghai Trance The feature debut of Dutch ﬁlmmaker David Verbeek is made up of three separate love stories edited together, all taking place in contemporary Shanghai. Poor boy Xu Yu watches his love interest leave when her suddenly rich family moves to a chic new district. Popular nightclub DJ Calvin and his girlfriend realise that their party lifestyle must come to an end. And Dutch architect Jochem (Tygo Gernandt) relocates to Shanghai and falls for the beautiful Zhang Yi. In Chinese with Dutch subtitles. 100 min. Filmmuseum Tropic Thunder This movieland farce gets off to a rousing start with fake coming attractions for a horrid fat-suit-and-ﬂatulence comedy, a mawkish Oscar-bait drama about a mentally disabled man, and a Brokeback Mountain knockoff set in a medieval monastery. The rest of the movie, in which a small crew of spoiled actors and inept ﬁlmmakers struggle to shoot a Vietnam epic in the jungle, never lives up to the hilarity of
Three Shanghai surprises in David Verbeek’s Shanghai Trance.
Escaﬂowne presents the highest standard of anime with its rich and complex narrative, gorgeous artwork and magniﬁcent soundtrack. (SI) 98 min. Melkweg Cinema The Girl Who Leapt Through Time After an accident, Makoto, a downtown high school girl, finds herself gaining super natural powers to leap through time. Though puzzled with her new capability, Makoto starts to enjoy exploring it, leaping back to the past to correct mistakes and failed events. This 2006 anime, based on Yasutaka Tsutsui’s best–selling novel from the ’60s, which had been serialised several times already, became an unexpected boxofﬁce hit and won many awards at international ﬁlm festivals. In Japanese with Dutch subtitles. (SI) 98 min. Melkweg Cinema
the opening, partly because the large-scale production smothers the gags but mostly because those gags are so easy to smother. With Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr, Steve Coogan, and Nick Nolte, all of them upstaged by Tom Cruise in a spellbindingly grotesque cameo as a bald, pudgy studio executive. (JJ) 107 min. Pathé ArenA, Pathé De Munt Wall-E It goes without saying that the new offering by the animating geniuses at Pixar is a marvel to behold and an example of old school Hollywood storytelling at its ﬁnest. But while the Pixars succeed in infusing the two most inanimate characters in cartoon history with compelling personalities—which was Pixar’s stated goal—you can’t help but wonder if you’re in the middle of an animating pissing contest. They’ve more than proven themselves as animators; now they need to focus on great stories. That said, the robots are awfully cute. (LvH) 98 min. Studio K Wanted The first foray into Hollywood by Kazakh director Timur Bekmambetov feels very much like a bullet ploughing its way through a brainpan, but in a good way. This hyperkinetic action flick defies conventional morality and the rules of nature to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable rollercoaster ride with a surprising sadomasochistic subtext. James McAvoy is excellent as the pencil pusher turned psycho-killer, Morgan Freeman once again easily oozes gravitas, but Angelina Jolie steals the show as the deadly assassin who is appropriately named Fox. Sufﬁce to say, she belongs to the stone cold variety. (LvH) 110 min. Pathé ArenA, Pathé De Munt Het Wapen van Geldrop Three people (Katja Schuurman, Thijs Römer and Tara Elders) travel by car to the small town of Geldrop, in Northern Holland, after a gruesome event changed their lives and joined their destinies together. Het Wapen van Geldrop is an atypical Dutch ‘road movie’, produced by Gijs van de
The Mourning Forest This 2007 Japanese ﬁlm directed by Naomi Kawase won the Grand Prix of Jury at the Cannes Film Festival last year. A nurse (Machiko Ono), grieving for the death of her young son, grows close to an elderly man (Shigeki Uda), one of her patients who suffers from dementia, and who takes her on a mystical quest into the forest in the mountainous region west of Nara. This advanced screening at the Filmmuseum, prior to the ﬁlm’s general release in October, includes a conversation between Peter Bueren and director Naomi Kawase. In Japanese with Dutch subtitles. 97 min. Filmmuseum Nana The story revolves around two heroines both called Nana. Nana Osaki is a punk singer who dreams of success with her band Black Stones. Nana Komatsu follows her boyfriend Ren to Tokyo to pursue a music carrier with his band Trapnest. They meet on a train to Tokyo and end up sharing an apartment together. Even with rather different personalities, both Nanas make good friends and group with all the other band members. Following the big success of the comic serial, drawn by Ai Yazawa, a very popular manga artist for girls, both the TV serialisation and theatrical versions of Nana became a social phenomenon in Japan. In Japanese with Dutch subtitles. (SI) 100 min. Melkweg Cinema Railroad Shorts A programme of short ﬁlms with the common theme of trains, including Train by Julika Rudelius, Trans by Claudia Ruiz and Gijs Verkoulen, People by the Railway by Arnold Kojnok and Trafﬁc by Jose Vonk. Part of the Spoor retrospective at De Balie. De Balie
5 word movie review
Angelina’s A Stone Cold Fox Wanted, Pathé ArenA. Pathé de Munt
Westelaken, written and directed by Thijs Römer. 88 min. The Movies Wild Child A spoiled Southern Californian (Emma Roberts) is sent off to a strict English boarding school, where she ﬁnds herself in the middle of yet another banal across-the-pond romantic comedy. 100 min. Pathé ArenA, Pathé De Munt
Edited by Massimo Benvegnù. This week’s films reviewed by Lisa Alspector (LA), Massimo Benvegnù (MB), Shyama Daryanani (SD), Angela Dress (AD), Don Druker (DD), Kate Eaton (KE), Sarah Gehrke (SG), Andrea Gronvall (AG), Jack Helbig (JH), Luuk van Huët (LvH), JR Jones (JJ), Dave Kehr (DK), Iris Maher (IM), Peter Margasak (PM), Mike Peek (MP), Julie Phillips (JP), Gusta Reijnders (GR), Kim Renfrew (KR), Jonathan Rosenbaum (JR), Martin Rubin (MR) and Bregtje Schudel (BS). All films are screened in English with Dutch subtitles unless otherwise noted.
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
FILM TIMES Thursday 9 October until Wednesday 15 October. Times are provided by cinemas and are subject to last-minute changes. De Balie Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 553 5151 Jerusalem... The East Side Story Wed 20.00 Railroad Shorts Fri, Sat 20.30. Cavia Van Hallstraat 52-I, 681 1419 Wild at Heart Thur, Fri 20.30. Cinecenter Lijnbaansgracht 236, 623 6615 Brideshead Revisited daily 15.45, 18.45, 21.45, Sun also 11.15 Estômago daily 21.45, Sun also 11.00, 13.45 Hunger daily 19.30, 21.45, Sun 11.00, 13.45 Il y a longtemps que je t'aime daily 16.15, 19.00 Lake Tahoe daily 16.00, 17.45, 19.45, 22.00, Sun also 11.15, 14.00 Sagan daily 16.00. Cinema Amstelveen Plein 1960 2, Amstelveen, 547 5175 Anubis en het pad der 7 zonden Sat, Sun, Wed 15.45 The Dark Knight Thur, Fri, Sat 20.30 Le Fils de l'épicier Tues, Wed 20.30 Sinterklaas en het Geheim van het Grote Boek Sun 11:30. Filmhuis Grifﬁoen Uilenstede 106, Amstelveen, 444 5100 Sneak Preview Tues 19.30 Zeemansvrouwen Fri 19.30. Filmmuseum Vondelpark 3, 589 1400 Un chapeau de paille d'Italie Sun 16.15 Fietsmug & Dansmug Sun, Wed 13.45 Geboorte en dood Wed 19.30 De Grote vriendelijke Reus Sun, Wed 14.00 Hotaru Sun 16.30 Keane Thur-Sat, Mon, Wed 17.10, Thur also 21.45 Mijn grootmoeder Sun 19.30 Millennium Mambo Sun, Mon 21.45 The Mourning Forest Thur, Fri 19.30 Secret Sunshine Thur-Sun, Tues, Wed 21.30 Shanghai Trance Thur-Sun, Wed 19.00, Fri, Sat also 21.45, Mon 17.30, Tues 19.30 Shara Tues 19.30 Suzaku (Moe no suzaku) Sat 19.30 Vader Mon 19.30 Vive L'Amour Tues, Wed 21.30 Le Voyage du ballon rouge Thur-Sat, Wed 17.00. Het Ketelhuis Haarlemmerweg 8-10, 684 0090 Aanrijding in Moscou daily 19.00. 21.30 De brief voor de koning Sat 13.45, Sun 14.45 Calimucho Thur-Mon, Wed 16.45 Het Echte Leven Thur-Tues 21.15 Fietsmug & Dansmug Sat, Sun 13.00 Il y a longtemps que je t'aime daily 21.45 Het kleine spookje Laban Sat 12.15, Sun 13.15 Kung Fu Panda (NL) Sat, Sun 12.45, 15.00 Last Days of Shishmaref daily 19.30, Thur-Mon, Wed also 17.15 Het Zusje van Katia daily 17.00, Thur-Tues also 19.15 Zwarte Ogen Sat, Sun 14.30. KIT Tropentheater, Kleine Zaal Linnaeusstraat 2, 568 8500 Boats out of Watermelon Rinds Tues 20.30 Três Irmãos de Sangue Fri 20.00 Yumurta Wed 20.30. Kriterion Roetersstraat 170, 623 1708 3:10 to Yuma Sat-Wed 17.15, Sat, Sun also 22.00 Balkan Snapshots Film Festival Thur, Fri Black Cat, White Cat Sun 14.45, Mon 22.00 Cidade dos homens daily 17.45, Sat, Sun 20.00 The Darjeeling Limited Sat-Wed 19.30 Het Echte Leven Thur-Tues 19.45 Factory Girl Fri, Sat 0.15 Into the Wild Thur-Sun, Tues, Wed 21.30, Sat, Sun, Tues, Wed also 17.00 Het kleine spookje Laban Sat, Sun 15.00, Sun also 13.15 Mongol Sat, Wed 14.45, Sat also 23.30, Mon, Wed 21.45 Sneak Preview Tues 22.15 Tango Night Sat 20.00 Wall-E (NL) Sat, Sun, Wed 15.15, Sun also 13.30 Het Zusje van Katia Sat, Sun 21.45, Mon-Wed 20.00. Melkweg Cinema Lijnbaansgracht 234A, 624 1777 Anime Surprise Feature Wed 19.00 Bleach Sun 15.30 Death Note Fri 19.00 Death Note 2 Sat 19.00 Escaﬂowne, The Movie Thur 19.00 Full Metal Alchemist Sun 19.00 The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Mon 19.00 Holic Tsubasa Chronicles, The Movie Tues 19.00 Nana Sun 13.30. The Movies Haarlemmerdijk 159-165, 638 6016 Anubis en het pad der 7 zonden See www.themovies.nl Brideshead Revisited See www.themovies.nl Il Dolce e l'Amaro See www.themovies.nl Hunger See www.themovies.nl Into the Wild See www.themovies.nl Nim's Eiland See www.themovies.nl Wall-E (NL) See www.themovies.nl Het Wapen van Geldrop .See www.themovies.nl De Nieuwe Anita Frederik Hendrikstraat 111, 06 4150 3512, Händler der vier Jahreszeiten Mon 20.30. OT301 Overtoom 301, 779 4913 La Belle Captive Tues 20.30 L'Année dernière à Marienbad Tues 20.30. Pathé ArenA ArenA Boulevard 600, 0900 1458 The Accidental Husband daily 22.10, Fri-Tues also 14.10, Sat also 0.15, Wed also 17.20 Anubis en het pad der 7 zonden daily 11.45, 12.30, 13.45, 14.45, 15.45, 17.00, 19.10, Sat, Sun also 10.15
AGENDA: FILM Babylon AD daily 18.30, 20.50, Thur also 13.50, 16.10, Sat also 23.15 Bangkok Dangerous daily 20.55, Sat also 23.30 The Bank Job daily 18.05, 20.30, Sat also 23.00 Bride Flight Wed 21.00 De brief voor de koning daily 12.20, Sat, Sun also 10.00 The Dark Knight Fri-Mon 20.00, Thur also 17.20, 20.30 Death Race daily 12.10, 14.30, 16.50, 19.15, 21.40, Sat also 0.00 Drona daily 18.10, 21.10, Thur also 12.10, 15.10 Eagle Eye daily 12.10, 14.50, 21.45, Fri-Tues also 17.30, Sat also 23.10, Wed also 17.40 Eagle Eye (Imax) daily 12.45, 15.30, 18.15, 21.00, Sat also 10.00, 23.45 Kung Fu Panda (NL) Fri-Wed 11.35, 13.40 Mirrors daily 19.20, 21.50, Sat also 0.15 My Best Friend's Girl daily 12.00, 14.20, 16.40, 19.00, 21.20, Sat also 23.40 No Reservations Tues 13.30 Radeloos daily 12.40, 15.20, 18.20, Sat, Sun also 10.10 Sex Drive Sat 22.45 Sinterklaas en het Geheim van het Grote Boek daily 11.50, FriWed also 14.00, 16.10, Sat, Sun also 9.50 Sneak Preview Tues 21.00 Space Chimps (NL) daily 13.10, 15.10, 17.10, Sat, Sun also 11.10 Star Wars: The Clone Wars (NL) Thur-Tues 11.55, Sat, Sun also 9.50 Super Agent K9 daily 15.00, 17.20, 19.45, 22.00, Sat also 0.10 Superhero Movie daily 17.40, Thur, Fri, Sun-Wed also 22.25 Tropic Thunder daily 18.50, 21.30, Sat also 23.50 Wall-E (NL) daily 12.05, 14.15, 16.30, Sat, Sun also 9.55 Wanted daily 20.20, Thur-Tues also 17.50, Fri-Wed also 19.30, FriTues also 16.20, Sat also 0.05 Wild Child daily 15.45, Thur also 13.30 De Zeven van Daran: De Strijd om Pareo Rots Fri-Wed 16.00, Fri-Mon, Wed also 11.45, 13.50, Sat, Sun also 9.50. Pathé De Munt Vijzelstraat 15, 0900 1458 3:10 to Yuma Sat 23.00 The Accidental Husband Thur, Mon, Tues 12.00, 14.15, 16.45, FriSun, Wed 17.50, Sat, Sun also 15.10, Sat also 22.40, Wed also 15.20 Anubis en het pad der 7 zonden daily 12.15, 14.45, 18.00, Sat also 23.45 Babylon AD daily 19.45, 22.05, Thur, Mon, Tues also 12.05, 14.35, 17.15 Bangkok Dangerous Fri-Sun, Wed 20.10, Thur, Mon, Tues also 19.15, 21.50 The Bank Job daily 18.40, 21.15, Thur, Mon, Tues also 13.30, 16.00 Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis daily 19.05, Thur, Fri, Mon, Tues also 13.45 Bride Flight Sun 10.00 De brief voor de koning Sat, Sun, Wed 13.45, Sat, Sun also 11.10 The Dark Knight Thur-Mon, Wed 20.30 Death Race daily 13.00, 15.30, 18.15, 21.00, Sat, Sun also 10.30, Sat also 23.30 Deception daily 21.35 Disaster Movie daily 16.30 Eagle Eye daily 12.45, 15.45, 18.45, Thur-Mon, Wed also 21.45, Tues also 21.30 Mamma Mia! The Movie daily 17.40, 20.15 Mirrors Thur, Fri, Sun-Wed 19.00, 21.40, Thur, Mon, Tues also 13.15, 16.15, Sat also 20.20, 23.15 My Best Friend's Girl daily 14.30, 17.00, 19.30, 22.00, Thur, Fri, Mon-Wed also 12.00, Sat, Sun also 11.30 Radeloos Thur, Fri, Mon-Wed 12.10, 15.00, 17.45, 20.45, Sat, Sun also 11.20, 14.15, 17.10, 20.00 Sex Drive Sat 22.45 Sinterklaas en het Geheim van het Grote Boek Fri-Sun, Wed 16.40, Fri, Wed also 12.10, 14.20, Sat, Sun also 11.00, 14.00 Sneak Preview Tues 21.45 Space Chimps (NL) Fri, Wed 12.20, 14.40, 17.15, Sat, Sun 11.15, 13.30, 15.40, 17.45 Tropic Thunder daily 12.30, 15.15, 18.30, 21.30, Sat, Sun also 10.00 Wall-E (NL) Fri-Sun, Wed 12.40, Fri also 15.20, Sat, Sun also 10.15 Wanted Thur, Fri, Mon-Wed 12.20, 14.50, 17.30, 20.00, Sat, Sun 10.45, 13.15, 16.00, 19.15, Sat also 22.30 Wild Child daily 12.25, 14.55 De Zeven van Daran: De Strijd om Pareo Rots Fri-Sun, Wed 14.10, 16.25, Fri, Wed also 12.00, Sat, Sun also 11.45. Pathé Tuschinski Reguliersbreestraat 34, 0900 1458 Anubis en het pad der 7 zonden daily 12.45, 16.00, Thur-Sun, Tues, Wed also 18.45 Bottle Shock daily 14.45, 21.15 Bride Flight Wed 20.45 Brideshead Revisited daily 12.00, 15.00, 18.15, Thur-Sun, Tues, Wed alo 21.15 Eagle EyeThur-Tues 22.00, Thur, Fri, Sun-Tues also 19.15, Thur, Fri, Sun, Tues, Wed 16.30, Fri also 13.30, Sat also 18.10, Mon also 15.00, Wed also 21.00 Het Echte Leven Thur, Fri 18.30, Sat-Wed 12.00 Elegy daily 15.15 Estômago Thur-Sun, Tues, Wed 20.45 Into the Wild Thur-Sun, Tues 21.00 The Kite Runner Thur, Tues 13.30 Mamma Mia! The Movie daily 12.00, 14.45, 18.00 Sagan Thur, Fri 12.00, Sat, Sun, Tues, Wed 18.30 Salome (Strauss) Sat 19.00 Un Secret daily 18.00, 20.30, Thur-Wed also 12.30 Vliegen naar de maan (3D) Sat, Sun 12.15, Wed 13.30. Rialto Ceintuurbaan 338, 676 8700 Aanrijding in Moscou daily 17.00, 19.30, 21.45, Fri-Sun, Wed also 14.45 The Age of Innocence Wed 19.00 Calimucho Sat, Sun 12.45, Sun also 11.00 Caos calmo daily 19.45, Fri-Sun, Wed also 15.00, Sat, Sun also 12.30 Cordero de Dios Thur-Tues 17.15, Fri-Sun, Wed also 15.15, Sun also 11.15 Il Dolce e l'Amaro daily 17.30, 22.00 Lake Tahoe daily 21.30, Sat, Sun also 13.15 Pure Coolness Thur 19.15.
Studio K Timorplein 62, 692 0422 Balkan Snapshots Film Festival Sat Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis Thur, Fri, Sun-Wed 17.00, 20.00, 22.15 Elegy Thur, Sun-Wed 22.00 Happy-Go-Lucky Thur, Fri, Sun-Wed 17.15 Wall-E Sun, Wed 15.15. 623 7460 Le Fils de l'épicier daily 19.15 Last Days of Shishmaref daily 21.15, Sun also 15.30 Recycle daily 17.30 Wall-E (NL) Sat, Wed 15.30, Sun 13.30.
Film times also online at www.amsterdamweekly.nl.
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
AGENDA: FOOD/DRINK The Mouth
By Nanci Tangeman
Ostrich peepers Restaurant De Struisvogel Keizersgracht 312, 423 3817 Daily 18.00-00.00 Cash, PIN, major credit cards The boys in our group are distracted. It has somehow come to their attention that the steep stairs leading down into De Struisvogel could provide a bit of a show. All it would take is one female customer descending from the street level to the cellar restaurant in a short skirt. Hoping for a Sharon Stone moment, our boys can’t seem to make it past the appetiser selections on the menu without glancing towards the brightly lit stairs outside the glass doors. Tucked underneath a corner building in the Negen Straatjes, De Struisvogel would be much easier to find if the white marquee lighting over its door wasn’t at knee level. The restaurant was transformed when smokers were booted outdoors in July. The tiny cellar used to be hazy and claustrophobic. Even now diners sit shoulder to shoulder, but at least the air is clear, except for the aroma of food. ‘Struisvogel’ is the Dutch word for ostrich, the house specialty. De Struisvogel offers a reasonably-priced (€23) three-course menu, with several choices. Eventually, we manage to get our boys to focus on those choices and we are able to order. The meats at De Struisvogel are organic or free range, but there are also vegetarian options. For starters, the beef carpaccio with parmesan cheese and herb oil (€1.75 supplement) comes from the Blonde d’Aquitaine van Palmesteyn farms. The soup of
the day is our first pumpkin soup of the season, with goat cheese blended in. The vongole (clams) are stewed in wine and served on a bed of pasta. Our boys keep an eye on the stairs as the free range ostrich steaks (€3 supplement) arrive. The meat looks a lot like a rare beef steak. The taste, though, is lighter, and the texture a little tougher. The ostrich comes with a choice of sauces, extremely fresh steamed vegetables and potatoes. The blanquette de veau is a hearty French stew of organic veal, carrots, celery and mushrooms, cooked with herbs and, according to the English menu, ‘white whine’. The ovenroasted salmon steak is moist inside, with a light dusting of basil and pecorino crust, served over vegetables. As we try to find room for the mandatory third course, a pair of bare legs walks by the window. Our boys wait expectantly, but the legs stride right past the stairs. The boys act dejected. On a full stomach, the fresh mint tea and small white chocolate ice cream truffle is about right. The chocolate parfait is actually a big slab of rich chocolate, and the Dutch yoghurt with forest fruit is a combination of creamy and tart. The crème brûlée has a delicate crust on top. All the desserts are house-made. There is also a cheese platter (€1.50 supplement) available. In the end, we’ve overindulged. As we leave the cellar, I can only hope that the other parties in the restaurant aren’t as obsessed with the stairway traffic as our boys were. Our climb up the steep flight, backsides to the diners, is about as far away from a peep show as you can get. ___
The meat looks a lot like a rare beef steak. The taste, though, is lighter, and the texture a little tougher.
A night in the life...
By Sarah Gehrke
Mulligans Mulligans Amstel 100 Open Mon-Thur 16.00-01.00, Fri 16.0003.00, Sat 14.00-03.00, Sun 14.00-01.00 Cash, PIN Summer’s over. It’s getting cold and dark and rainy. Gone are the times of cheery glasses of wine on warm patios in light summer dresses. No, no, there’s no use for that anymore. Now is the time for either staying in, or for drinking so much that you forget the cold, the dark and the rain. And who else to align yourself with for that purpose than the Irish! They won’t have any of that fluitje nonsense. It’s all pints, and many of them. And then they sing. Did you really think that was a cliché? ‘How do we get to the red light district?’ the woman asks. She’s part of a large group of middle-aged tourists that have just passed by Mulligans on this cold and rainy Friday night. But they have chosen the wrong people to ask. It’s after midnight, and the large group of Irish people standing outside the bar are very, very drunk. They have no intention of letting the tourists go anywhere. Instead, they want to make friends. Soon, we all know that the tourists are from Norway and that a couple of the Irish
Beer price: €4.40 for a pint (Jupiler). Emergency food: Walkers Salt & Vinegar crisps. Of course. Special interior feature: It’s all very brown, narrow and Irish. Of course. Predominant shoe type: I don’t remember. Typically ordered drink: Everything—as long as it’s lager or ale or stout and comes in pints. Many pints. Smoking situation: Next to the door, there’s an umbrella stand labelled ‘Umbrellas for the smokers’. Man, this is really getting worse and worse. But at least you get live music outside as well as inside. Tune of the night: Several live performances of ‘Dirty Old Town’. Of course. Mingling factor: Very, very high. Of course. State of toilets near closing time: Well... they’re toilets.
people are in the band that was singing in the bar earlier on. And a very short while after that, they prove this by singing again. And they don’t stop. The Norwegians love it. No wonder: this is like an Irish Disneyland. Meanwhile, inside, there’s room for discussions. Mulligans is a long, narrow bar, quite dark, with lots of pictures and poems and Irish memorabilia on the walls. It looks just like what you’d imagine an Irish bar to look like. On early evenings, students of English literature probably come here for a quiet after-school beer, and to enjoy the authentic live music. But as it’s getting later, there’s nothing quiet or studenty about this place anymore. ‘That’s what it’s about!’ shouts a sturdy man with a strong accent. ‘You have to raise your child with dignity!’ He’s very passionate about it. But then the band comes in again. ‘So, are you coming up to sing a song?’ one of them asks my friend, not noticing the look of fear in her eyes. But we’ve finished our beers, and we decide to leave. Outside, the party has disassembled. Only two guys are left, and they are having a serious conversation. I only catch a snippet of it. ‘...And then,’ says one of them with a really upset voice, ‘I realised he was English!’ They shake their heads in sad silence. ‘And now,’ the man continues, ‘I need another fucking pint.’ ___
Amsterdam Weekly_9-15 October 2008
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