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EYE at a glance

Contents Preface 4 A wink on the river IJ 6 Prelude to a miracle 14 New land, new part of town 16 Architecture that can make people happy 18 A stormy start 24 Building the imagination 26 An elusive pattern 32 Big but cosy 34 EYE in figures 47 Let’s party! 50 Classics, box office hits and cult films 56 A heart with 40,000 films 60 EYE’s collection in numbers 63 Early International and Dutch posters 64 A world-class treasure 70 At the interface between film and art 72 Instilling a passion for film 80 The past restored 84 Special restoration projects 86 EYE online 92

Carried away


Lines 22

Movie playground Children’s thoughts Among peers Spetters uncut

42 48 52 58

A hubbub of notes


Dancing disks


Behind the scenes





With the royal opening of EYE, the new film museum on the north bank of the river IJ, film in the Netherlands finally has the museum it deserves, as the youngest and simultaneously most popular of the arts. An international cultural website recently ranked EYE among the top 10 most fabulous film theatres worldwide, which once again goes to show how special EYE’s new building is. Everyone working at this museum is aware of the wonder­ful privilege of being in such a building. This is a feeling that is obviously shared by the visitors, whether from the Netherlands or abroad: since the official opening in April 2012 we have welcomed more than 340,000 paying visitors, out of a total of over 700,000 people who visited the building. They came not only to watch films and see the temporary

exhibitions, but also to visit the freely accessible permanent exhibition in the Basement, to take part in educational work­ shops, debates and festivals or to enjoy EYE’s bar-restaurant, which is often described as ‘Amsterdam’s latest hotspot’. EYE’s appeal is based on the unique combination of a masterly design and a richly varied programme. The design by the Austrian Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, with its stunning interplay of light and dark, is a tribute to the art of the cinema. The building is designed to express the power of the image. Once you have seen it, you will never forget it. In this perfect environment, EYE can at last present its remarkable collection of 40,000 films and acquaint the public with the medium of film in all its manifestations. From restored classics to contemporary experiment, from Russian

avant-garde to Hollywood mainstream and with a special focus on films made in the Netherlands. The exhibition space is where film is presented in a broader context, showing the crossovers with contempor­ ary visual art. With its appealing combina­ tion of exhibitions and film screenings in a magnificent building, open to the public from early in the morning until late at night, the Netherlands has gained a unique museum. Sandra den Hamer Director EYE April 2013


A wink on the river IJ


Some see a seagull perching on the bank of the IJ, others an eye sending us a wink from across the water. But there can be no doubt that anyone seeing the futuristic new building of EYE Filmmuseum for the first time is immediately taken by it. Amsterdam has gained another iconic building; a landmark attracting attention worldwide. In their design for the building, Vienna-based Delugan Meissl Associated Architects (DMAA) were looking for an analogy of movement and light in film. The polygonal shape of the building offers the spectator a different view from every angle and with the slightest change of light. With its wide­spread wings, the building makes the impossible real, just like a film. For a long time EYE was tucked away in a monumental but cramped building in Amster­­­dam’s Vondelpark. The Filmmuseum nevertheless

de­veloped into an institute which can easily compare to the best film institutes in the world in terms of its vast collections and its major expertise in the field of film preservation and restoration. Since April 2012, EYE finally has a building with the allure and scope to match the inter­ national standing of this museum. With an exhibition space of more than 1,200 m2, four cinemas with a total of 640 seats and a spacious barrestaurant in this captivating building, EYE has become a new attraction in town. Amster­ dam immediately embraced the building, and this is not only of importance to the museum itself. EYE bridges the divide between the northern part of Amsterdam and the historical centre of the city by beckoning both locals and tourists to cross the river. It’s a wink, after all.



Delugan Meissl Associated Architects


Cees Dam, architect



Carried away


On a summer Sunday afternoon a woman on her own, a cup of tea in her hands, is sitting in the arena enjoying the view. The bustle on the river IJ presents itself to her via the enormous window in the south front of the building. The view on the river has the effect of a film screen come alive which never ceases to fascin­ ate. Suddenly a majestic cruise ship moves into view from the left. It fills the frame and sails past with measured calm. The woman in her seat is carried away by the sight of it. ‘This is so beauti­ful’, she says to nobody in particular. Long after this castle of the sea has passed, she is still savouring the image. It’s an experience she will not easily forget.


Prelude to a miracle


EYE Filmmuseum is one of the world’s major film museums. What started in 1946 as the Nether­lands Filmmuseum is now an international hub of film culture. EYE, which was formed in 2010 after a merger of the Filmmuseum, Holland Film, Filmbank and the Dutch Insti­ tute for Film Education, offers a unique combination of collec­ tion development, restora­­tion, digitization, presenta­tion, promo­tion, research, education and knowledge transfer. Over the years, the collection has grown to more than 40,000 films, 700,000 photographs and 70,000 film posters, some of which are put on display in the new building in various ways and with great success: so far, exhibitions and film perform­ ances have attracted more than 300,000 paying visitors in one year. The enormous growth in visitor numbers has proven that a new building for EYE was

an absolute necessity. In the old Vondelpark pavilion, where the museum had been housed since 1973, there were no exhibi­ ­­tion spaces and only two small cinemas to accommod­ate the public. At the time, therefore, the Filmmuseum was like a well-kept secret, mostly known for its vast collec­tions and excellent archives in national and international professional film circles. Plans for a new building had been around for a longer period of time, but became more concrete in 2004 when the city council of Amsterdam reached an agreement with ING Real Estate and Ymere property developers about new develop­ ments on the north bank of the river IJ. At the time it was a de­cision which required a vision of the future and the belief that this part of town had the potential to grow into a new and vibrant cultural centre.

From the proposals sub­ mitted by five architectural firms, a committee headed by former government architect Mels Crouwel selected the plans of the Vienna-based company Delugan Meissl Associated Architects. ‘The designers have shown great sensibility, having successfully and subtly harmonized the demands imposed by the architec­ture, the surroundings and the building’s function­ ality’, the committee found in its report. And so half way through 2005 a process was started which seven years later ended on schedule with the opening of a building which is admired by almost all who see it. In the words of EYE director Sandra den Hamer, three months before the official opening: ‘We’re not hoping for a miracle, we’re creating one on the spot.’


New land, new part of town


About half of EYE has been built on new land that was reclaimed as part of the urban development scheme for the district of Overhoeks. Built on ground formerly owned by Shell Research, the new neigh足 bourhood is named after the striking tower which is situated on the tip of the 49 acres of land. The terrain was bought by Amsterdam city council and is now being developed by ING Real Estate and Ymere housing associa足tion into a new urban area for living, working and leisure. Overhoeks is an essential part of the redevelop足 ment of the north bank of the river IJ, with EYE as its landmark building.

Roman Delugan, DMAA


Architecture that can make people happy


The fact that Delugan Meissl Associated Architects intro­ duced so many flowing lines and dynamic movements in their design for EYE cannot have been a surprise for the city council. The bureau that was started by the Viennese architects Roman Delugan (1963) and Elke Delugan-Meissl (1959) in 1993 is known for its expressive buildings with pronounced sculptural forms. DMAA’s architectural achieve­ ments relate to their surroun­ dings in the same way that living organisms are an integral part of their eco­ system. In the words of the architects, the bureau’s designs are marked by ‘flowing, functionally defined spatial sequences’. Their buildings arise out of the interplay between ‘scale, gravity, geometry and ‘a suggestion of the inexpress­ ible’. Among the other

renowned buildings created by DMAA is the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart (2009), which is as versatile and sparkling as the car brand itself. Equally striking is the Festival Hall designed by DMAA for the Tiroler Festspiele in Erl (2012). This expressive black building with its sharp angles looks like a majestic origami work of art having just come to rest in a wide open landscape. Inside, the building has the same gratifying spatiality as EYE. Delugan and Meissl want people to come away from their buildings with a sense of exhilara­tion. A building in scenes In the building they created for EYE, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects have translated the experience of the film medium into architecture. The architects conceived EYE as a sequence

of scenes, with the building constantly offering new views from every vantage point under the influence of form light and reflection. Inside, the experience of the building changes with the steady alternation of the light, the panoramic view and the open and enclosed spaces, depending on the route taken through the building and the time of day.

Rien Hagen, CEO Filmmuseum 2001-2007


Delugan Meissl Associated Architects





On the top gallery a group of awed architecture students take in the inter­ play of lines unfolding below. Oblique lines cut through the view in all direc­ tions. The frames in the glass are the only vertical elements in this fluid build­ ing. And yet there is a pervasive sense of harmony: it all connects. ‘Have you noticed’, one of the students remarks, ‘there are hardly any angles of less than 90 degrees. It really turns this space into something organic and open’. ‘It’s also because of all this wood in combination with that stark white ceiling’, another one says. Far below there’s the buzz of the bar, unaware of the designer’s touch, but completely at ease.


A stormy start


A strong westerly gale played havoc with the party thrown to inaugurate the con­struc­­tion phase of EYE in the presence of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ronald Plasterk on 4 September 2009. The minister nevertheless managed to unveil a sand sculp­­ture on which the future new build­ing was projected by means of a video installation by Theo Watson. 345 piles In the words of a popular Dutch song: “Amsterdam, is built on piles”, and EYE rests on 345 of them. They were driven into the soil in the summer of 2009 by pile drivers with a keen interest in this particular job. Some of the piles had a greater length and a larger diameter than they had ever worked with before. Some of the piles extend to 21 metres below mean sea level (NAP).


Building the imagination


One big puzzle is how the architec­ture of EYE can be described without any exaggera­tion. The design, with its suspended elements, its polygonal shape and its huge open spaces, demanded the utmost of both design engineers and builders under the unfailing guidance of construction manager Nicolette van Gorp. All the more remark­ able, therefore, that the build­ ing was delivered on schedule and on budget – a miracle of sorts. Four years after the selection of DMAA’s design, a start was made with laying the founda­ tion for the building in the summer of 2009. A little more than two years later, in October 2011, the actual building was delivered, still bare inside. Only five months remained to complete and furnish the interior before the official open­ing of the new film

museum, by Queen Beatrix of the Nether­lands, on April 4th 2012. The construction of EYE is a masterpiece of balance and distribution of forces. The two massive cantilevers in particular presented a great challenge and required a special approach. The top of

the building extends 35 metres beyond the base on the southeastern side, and 15 metres on the other side. For the central part of the building, where the arena and the large exhibition space were planned, the architects strove to maximize

wide open space without pillars obstructing the view. The three parts of the build­ ing consist of a structure which used 1,000 tons of steel. The unusual, polygonal shape of the building meant that every pillar and every joist had to be custom made. At the height of the construction work, no fewer than 25 design engineers were busy making the complex calculations and organizing the logistics. In the end they solved the puzzle in close cooperation with the builders and all other parties involved. And not a spare piece of the puzzle was left.

Sturdy but light Various aspects of the design for EYE made a steel structure the most effective solution. In spite of the 1,000 tons of steel that were used, the structure is relatively light, with a weight of only 110 kg per square metre. The large open spaces in the building were spanned using trusses, a construction method that allows for lightweight and yet sturdy structures. The larger trusses are over 70 metres long and have a height of more than 10 metres. The cantilevers at both ends of the building were constructed simultaneously, after which the central section, which had been made to measure, was fitted in between the two. Only when the entire steel structure functioned as one unit was it possible to complete the building.



Nicolette van Gorp, Project manager EYE construction


An elusive pattern


The roof and the exterior of EYE are formed by a pattern of adjoining slanted surfaces. This placed special demands on the sheeting covering the exterior, which consists of aluminium panels. DMAA created a design in trapezium and parallelogram shapes which were applied in a varied pattern on the façade, making it as complex as the building itself. Many people from Amster­ dam were surprised to find that bits of the underlying structure were still visible in the siding of the façade while the building was under construc­tion. This had to do with the circum­ stance that all corner panels needed to be measured individually and then made to order in the factory. After all panels had been put in place, the building subsided slightly, which had been anticipated in the calculations, but was

expected to have happened sooner. Some of the panels were damaged in the process and needed to be replaced. They had to be remeasured and newly made to order. All the while, Amsterdam’s new pride displayed a seemingly inexplicable raw edge.


Big but cosy


Inside the building almost nothing is straight or at right angles. All the walls are at different angles to each other and to the floor. The plasterers who had to finish these enormous surfaces, with their slight angles and complicated points of contact, needed to be deft hands at their job. The ceilings, which also consist of an intricate pattern of surfaces placed at various angles of inclination, were an equally great challenge to them. Underneath the upper shell of white stucco lies a lower shell of warm oak covering the enormous arena; the heart of the building. The wooden floor covers the entire ground area, including the stairs and the gallery in the bar-restaurant. The centrally placed bar is made of the same material. In this vast space, the warm materials, the ample light and the acoustic ceilings all work

together to create a sense of comfort. The extraordinary Starbrick light modules by Danish artist Olafur Eliasson serve to create a pleasant atmosphere in the evening. The rest of the interior has been designed with restraint and especially with an eye to its functionality. The entrance, the shop and the corridors behind the arena have a white synthetic cast floor. The dominant colours in the cinemas are grey, black and purple. Only Cinema 4 has a wall decoration in Art Deco style inspired by Cinema Parisien, one of the first cinemas in Amsterdam, which no longer exists. The interior of this historic cinema has been preserved and is now part of EYE’s collection. The walls of Cinema 4 can be evenly illuminated by means of lights concealed behind the wall panels.

The large exhibition space has also been predominantly designed in grey and black to emphasize the visual material on display. The architect wanted to convey a sense of unity between the exhibition space and the arena and so created a continuous ceiling design for both spaces. It proved necessary, however, to place a partitioning wall between these two spaces to meet the requirements of a museum environment, such as fire safety and climatization.



Maarten Kloos, Director of ARCAM Amsterdam Centre for Architecture

Rob Post, District Mayor North Amsterdam

Carolien Gehrels, Alderman of Art and Culture, Municipality of Amsterdam





Movie playground


A young man is racing down the steps to the Basement. The budding filmmaker has already spent many hours in this part of the building, playing the film jackpots in the Panorama and watching fragments and entire films in one of the Pods. This time, though, he’s heading for the Flipbook Machine in the Playground. He pulls a few cards from his bag, positions himself in front of the camera and presses the recording button, putting up three cards one by one. The text on the cards reads: I, LOVE and YOU. He watches the result, rushes upstairs and orders a flipbook to be made of his film. He paces away happily, the surprise for his sweetheart safely in his bag.



Crystal, the interactive light installation by Daan Roosegaarde, launched the first day of the festival PICNIC at EYE


EYE in figures




Total area Gross floor area Exhibition space Cinemas (total area) Cinema 1 Cinema 2 Cinema 3 Cinema 4 Office space Basement Shop Venues for hire (total)

6,300 m2 8,700 m2

Arena (with EYE bar-restaurant)

1,050 m2

EYE Bar-Restaurant

1,200 m2 856 m2 400 m2 166 m2 180 m2 110 m2 1,200 m2 450 m2 100 m2 567 m2

800 m2

Cast concrete 6,000 m3 Steel (structure) 1,015 tons Foundation piles 345 Aluminium sheeting 15,000 Pop rivets for sheeting 120,000 Glass 11,000 m2 Cables for electric installations 850 km Construction workers

over 400


Children’s thoughts

Here I’m still sitting on the land, but over there where it’s shiny, is where the water begins.


Later if you’re going to make films, you’ll give me the lead role, okay? If I lived here, I’d make a great big swing over there in the middle.


Let’s party!


On 1 April all construction workers and everyone else in­ volved in the construction were the first to be fêted and thanked for successfully com­plet­ing this special build­ing project on time. On the second day the staff of EYE were able to show their family and friends their new work places. Relations from the Dutch film world and the cultural scene were welcome in on 3 April to celebrate this asset to the world of cinema. On Wednesday 4 April Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands offi­ cially opened the new building by pressing a button and start­ ing a laser show which eventu­ ally bathed the entire building in a purple glow. The invited guests to this glamourous event walked across a red car­ pet into the building after hav­ ing been ferried across the river IJ in a boat festively decked out for the occasion.

The real opening, however, took place on the fifth day, when the doors opened to wel­ come the public. This day also marked the opening of EYE’s first exhibition, Found Footage: Cinema Exposed. That Thursday an enthusiastic crowd took over the building, never to let go of it again, in a manner of speaking.


Among peers


Meeting royalty from the Dutch film world such as actress Monique van de Ven clearly pleased HRH Queen Beatrix. She looked com足 pletely at home at this grand gala in the new palace of the cinema. It was indeed a home足 coming of sorts, with familiar faces everywhere of actors playing their parts, either on screen or in real life.

NRC Handelsblad (Tracy Metz) d.d. 04/04/2012

Vrij Nederland (Kees Driessen) d.d. 08/01/2013


The Wall Street Journal (Joel Weickgenant) d.d. 09/01/2010

The New York Times (Gisela Williams) d.d. 02/11/2012

National Post, Canada (Karen Burshtein) d.d. 13/04/2012

Classics, box office hits and cult films


In four cinemas with a total of 640 seats, EYE offers a varied programme with an average of twenty screenings a day. Among the many films on the programme are new releases, but EYE also offers a range of films from its own vast holdings, often with additional events. On two Sundays every month there are live performances in the cinemas which provide musical accompaniment to early silent films. Sometimes there is a complete symphony orchestra, at other times the

music is performed on a cinema organ from The Hague’s Passage cinema, originally built in 1929 and specially restored for EYE. EYE regularly presents a classic film from its own collections, preceded by a talk given by a cinema expert. To introduce foreign guests to Dutch films, homegrown films with English subtitles are screened every third Wednes­ day of the month. Special subcollections and genres are featured in the monthly ‘Collection Special’ which

focuses on a specific category of films, such as silent films, commissioned films, animated films or amateur films. Altogether different experi­ ences are offered by the E*Cinema and Cinema Egzotik programmes. E*Cinema explores filmic horizons by experimenting with presenta­ tion forms, for instance by adding new or improvised music to experimental films, or by integrating dance, theatrical monologues or performances, depending on the film. Cinema Egzotik offers the


personal favourites – often slightly eccentric – of two film aficionados, director Martin Koolhoven and EYE program­ mer Ronald Simons. These two movie buffs take the public on a journey of discovery, introducing them to the finer points of some of the more exceptional spaghetti westerns, crime films, zombie films, cannibal films and police films. By scheduling exclusive performances for film clubs and many special festivals (Cinedans Dance on Screen Festival, Fantastic Kids’ Film Festival, International Docu­ ment­ary Film Festival Amster­ dam) throughout the year, EYE is constantly busy.


Spetters uncut


Everyone’s here. Paul Verhoeven, of course, and Gerard Soeteman, who wrote the script. After 32 years Spetters, a highly popular – and equally contro­ versial – Dutch film when it came out, is being re-released in the uncut and fully restored original version. To see the film again on the big screen in Cinema 1 is amazing. The images are clear and fresh. And with the passage of time you really come to appreciate what a great film it is. It is vintage Verhoeven. Renée Souten­ dijk is masterful as Fientje, the girl who works in a chip shop: ‘Life’s like a greasy snack. Once you know what’s inside, you want no more of it.’

The heart of EYE is the exten­ sive collection of films and film-related objects. The major­ ity of EYE’s activities is based on its films, photographs, posters, sound tracks and sheet music, paper archives of filmmakers and books on film. EYE’s collections span the entire history of film: from the first films by the Lumière brothers to the latest digital productions. In EYE’s depots – including fireproof bunkers in the dunes near Overveen in North Holland – about 40 million metres of film are kept, in all

about 40,000 film titles, both Dutch and foreign. The collection of Dutch films ranks as the largest in the world with 20,000 titles. The collection of silent films, some 7,000 titles produced both in the Netherlands and abroad is definitely one of the most extra­ ordinary collections because of the great number of unique copies of international titles. EYE owes this status partly to the collection brought together by film distributor Jean Desmet which was donated to the Filmmuseum in

Depot Vijfhuizen

A heart with 40,000 films

Bits &Pieces, filmmaker, date and further data unknown


1957. This collection comprises more than 900 films shown in cinemas in the 1910s. EYE also holds many documentaries, including the oeuvre of Dutch cinematographers Joris Ivens and Johan van der Keuken. In addition to films, EYE’s collections contain more than 700,000 photographs, slides, negatives, lobby cards and film still postcards. Most photo­ graphs are film stills and actor portraits, but set stills and photographs of film premieres and other events are also to be found in the collection. There is no film without a poster and EYE owns around 74,000 of them, deriving from various countries and periods, though Dutch posters are a special collecting interest. Music is inseparably linked with film, and EYE’s collections cover a wide range of film music: from sound tracks on various gramophone record

ible free of charge to the public in a separate building in East Amsterdam. In the near future, the library will move to a new building in North Amster­dam at a stone’s throw from EYE.

Bits &Pieces, filmmaker, date and further data unknown

formats to contemporary film music on CD. Special items in the collection are the 15-inch records from the early days of sound film. There is also a sizeable collection of sheet music. It is a great boon to film researchers that many Dutch filmmakers, script writers and film critics decided to donate their paper archives to EYE. The collections of Bert Haan­ stra, Fons Rademakers, Pim de la Parra, Wim Verstap­pen, Frans Weisz and Rudolf van den Berg are managed by EYE, as well as the archives of a number of film organizations and film companies. Finally, EYE has a collection of film equipment consisting of 1,500 items, primarily recording and projection equipment from various periods in film history. On top of this, EYE owns the Netherlands’ largest library devoted to film, which is access­

EYE’s collection in numbers Dutch films Foreign films Nitrate films (1895-1950) Silent films (1895-1930)

20,000 20,000 12,000 7,000

Total number of films



Film canisters Total length in metres Total length nitrate films in metres

264,000 40,000,000 6,000,000

Photographs and other images Posters Sound tracks / sound fragments Sheet music Paper archives Number of library acquisitions

700,000 74,000 4,000 5,600 190 28,000

His Vacation, USA 1912

Leonce A La Campagne, France 1913

Early Inter足 national and Dutch posters

Design Julien t’ Felt, the Netherlands 1909

1950s and 1960s. Polish designers coming to Western Europe at the time knew that the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, where the Film­ museum was then located, was eager to buy their work.

Cinema Parisien, the Netherlands c. 1910


From the very beginning, posters were an indispensable part of film publicity cam­ paigns. EYE has the largest collection of ‘early’ posters in the world, again owing to the collecting passion of Jean Desmet, film distributor and owner of a chain of cinemas. From 1907 he carefully kept every poster that was sent to his firm. In 1957, his entire collec­tion of 2,000 posters came to the former Film­ museum. EYE’s collection of posters is also special because it is rare to find an institute collecting both national and international posters. In addition to a large collection of Dutch posters, EYE holds a unique set of postwar posters from Poland, the former Czech Republic and Cuba. On top of this, the collec­ tion includes more than 1,400 Polish posters, which were in great demand in the West in the

Bulwar zachodzacego stonca, Waldemar Swierzy 1957 (Sunset Blvd., USA 1950)

Niezamezna kobieta, Mieczyslaw Wasilewski 1979 (An Unmarried Woman, USA 1977)

Little Hands, USA 1912


Jezdziec znikad, Wojciech Wenzel 1960 (Shane, USA 1952)

Deux enfants dans la forĂŞt, France 1912

Diskretny wrok burzuazji, Franciszek Starowieyski 1975 (Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie, France 1972)


Zbuntowana orkiestra, Franciszek Starowieyski 1960 (Fanfare, the Netherlands 1958)


A hubbub of notes


The music is as kaleidoscopic as the images. Swirling above the thumping rhythm is a jumble of notes, atonal sounds, fast and furious trills, slides and riffs. Sometimes the music comes to a halt and the only sound you hear is the rattling of the Pianola motor operated by Yvo Verschoor. His Pianola Museum loaned the Weber Aeolian grand pianola of 1912 to EYE. Against the backdrop of the Art Deco walls of Cinema 4, Verschoor today performs a piece of music on the pianola which would seem to be well beyond the capabilities of mere mortals. It is the film music composed by George Antheil in 1924 for the Dada film Ballet Mécanique by sculptor Fernand Léger and filmmaker Dudley Murphy. It is an overwhelming fifteen minutes, which will long resound in the audience’s heads.

A world-class treasure Film pioneer Jean Desmet (1875-1956) began his career operating barrel organs, a Wheel of Fortune and other attractions at fairs. In 1907 he opened his Imperial Bioscope, the largest and finest of travel­ ling cinemas of his time. Rightly foreseeing that cinemas were the entertain­ment of the future, he opened his first permanent cinema, Cinema Parisien, in Rotterdam in 1909. A year later he opened a second Cinema Parisien, on Amsterdam’s Nieuwendijk which was also the office of the Jean Desmet

International Film Rental and Sales Company. That Desmet was a man with a hoarding instinct is an enor­m­ ous piece of luck to film histor­ ians. When his heirs donated the entire archive and the complete stock of Desmet’s company to the former Film­ museum in 1957, it turned out to contain dozens of films that included unique copies not to be found anywhere else in the world, many presumed lost or totally unknown. Among the 933 films from the 1907-1916 period there are the


only preserved copies of master­pieces by D.W. Griffith and Louis Feuillade, as well as films starring Asta Nielsen and Lyda Borelli and productions by the Pathé, Gaumont and Edison film companies. Because of this the Desmet collection was added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2011, a register which also includes the diary of Anne Frank, the archives of the Dutch East India Company, the Magna Carta and the Gutenberg Bible. In addition to the company archive, in which even the window cleaner’s bills had been stored, the Desmet collec­ tion contains 2,000 film and cinema posters and almost 700 photographs. The bequest of Desmet’s heirs also included the complete interior of the Amsterdam Cinema Parisien, which was also transferred to the Filmmuseum. When the

museum later moved to the Vondelpark pavilion, the cinema interior was rebuilt in one of its two theatres. There were lengthy discussions about restoring Cinema Parisien’s original interior to its former glory in one of the theatres in EYE’s new building, but this proved too difficult. It was decided instead to furnish a theatre in the same Art Deco style by way of tribute to Jean Desmet, designed by Rob Looman. This theatre is equip­ped with a sophisticated form of LED lighting able to produce a range colour patterns on the decorated wall panels. The original interior of Cinema Parisien is now safely stored in one of EYE’s depots.

Found Footage: Cinema exposed


At the interface between film and art


EYE positions itself as an international museum for the art and culture of the moving image, and an internationally leading exhibition programme is part of its worldwide appeal. It is EYE’s ambition to pioneer ways of presenting film in a museum setting. Four new exhibitions every year explore the intersection between film, the visual arts and other media and highlight major filmmakers, specific themes or important trends within the art of cinema. The exhibitions primarily draw on EYE’s own holdings, but the museum also collabor­ ates closely with national and international cinematheques and museums. Film is at the centre of EYE’s exhibition policy, although the angle of each new exhibition is always fresh. No longer restricted to projecting film on a single screen in a theatre, EYE is exploring the possibil­

ities of presenting film in a range of ways. Sometimes the museum commissions new work from artists, based on the visual material in EYE’s hold­ ings. EYE is both a museum and a cinematheque and bridges the gap between cinema­theques and museums for modern and contemporary art worldwide. EYE’s building, with its four cinemas and its workshop area, is an ideal space for the extensive activity programmes that are offered in support of the exhibitions, with EYE’s vast film collection as an invaluable resource. The various pro­ grammes of special film performances, talks, debates and courses enhance the visitor’s experience of the exhibitions. Apart from changing exhibitions, EYE presents a free permanent exhibition of film fragments from its own

holdings in its Basement Panorama space. Here, visitors can watch several thematically arranged film fragments with the help of seven control panels. In specially designed cabins, also known as Pods, which are

furnished with a comfortable sofa and a Cinemascope screen, visitors can watch fragments as well as complete films. The Playground is the place where visitors can interact with interactive installations by artists that focus on the moving image.

The Guardian (Adrian Searle) d.d. 09/01/2013



Found Footage: Cinema exposed

Stanley Kubrick: The exhibition


Stanley Kubrick: The exhibition

Expanded Cinema: Isaac Julien, Fiona Tan, Yang Fudong


Oskar Fischinger (1900 – 1967)

Expanded Cinema: Isaac Julien, Fiona Tan, Yang Fudong


Aernout Mik, visual artist



Instilling a passion for film


It is one of EYE’s major goals to reach out to young and old alike to nurture a passion for film and increase awareness of this art form. To achieve this, EYE has set up a number of educational initiatives aimed at various target groups. For young children and school­ children there are workshops, special film performances and guided tours. But EYE also caters to students and adults, offering them a range of programmes, including talks and special film events. In addition, EYE takes film education projects to cinemas, film festivals, cultural institu­ tions and libraries outside its own building. Primary school children are introduced to film by EYE on various levels. They learn how films are made, what kind of films there are and for what purpose they are made. In a separate workshop space with

computers and other equip­ ment, children are encouraged to create something of their own. The ‘Filmjuwelen’ (Film jewels) programme lets children search for the origin of images in appealing films and frag­ ments from EYE’s collections. In other workshops they can make their own animation or stop motion films or write scripts. The programmes for secon­ dary schools are usually geared to specific subjects in the curriculum, such as Cultural Education, Languages, History and Social Science. In general, the workshops serve to enhance media awareness in pupils.


Dancing disks


In the workshop space two boys aged 12 and 14 are busy working with small coloured disks of transparent material. They are making a stop motion film, and with the equipment available to them it is dead simple. The boys place the disks on a light box, press the computer’s space bar and the camera above the light box immediately takes a photograph. They then slightly shift the disks and take the next photograph, each time checking how their film progresses: soon the disks are dancing across the screen. After ten minutes they have already compiled a few seconds’ worth of film. They will receive the finished result by email in a few days, with a bit of music added as a surprise.


The past restored


Until 1950 films were made on nitrate stock, a highly combust­ ible material which also gradu­ ally decomposes over time. From the 1950s, filmmakers used triacetate film, which is not flammable but which can nevertheless deteriorate through discolora­tion and acidification unless stored under proper archival con­ ditions. Film museums there­ fore constantly need to inspect and preserve their material. EYE is an international pioneer in the field of film restoration and digitization. The collection holds more than 12,000 nitrate films and nearly 30,000 triacetate films. EYE has received international praise for its outstanding and techno­ logically innovative restorat­ ions of classics, experimental films and silent films. Titles like Beyond the Rocks (1922, with Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson), J’accuse!

(Abel Gance, 1919) and Wan Pipel (1976) by Pim de la Parra have been given a new lease on life with expertly restored copies. EYE has been awarded several international prizes for its restoration work, including the Jean Mitry Award, the Film Preservation Honors and the Prix Henri Langlois.

EYE works together with a number of film archives world­ wide on joint restoration projects. Material from EYE, for instance, has been used for recent restorations of Hitchcock

films by the British Film Institute. For the international Charlie Chaplin/Keystone restoration project, a few film copies held by EYE proved to be the oldest and best pre­ served versions. EYE works together with Dutch and international laboratories to find new ways of improving the quality of restorations. In addition, EYE digitizes films for digital projections and online presentations. Between 2007 and 2012, EYE participated in a large-scale restoration and digitization project called Images for the Future (Beelden voor de Toekomst) together with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid), the National Archive (Nationaal Archief) and Knowledgeland Foundation (Stichting Neder­ land Kennisland).

Beyond the Rocks, USA 1922


Special restoration projects


Beyond the Rocks When the archivists of EYE saw the first scenes from Beyond the Rocks while they were examining a collection of 2,000 film cans, they knew they were on to something really special. With the exception of a single, one-minute fragment in the archives of EYE, this film made in 1922 and starring Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson was believed to be lost. Searching for the remaining seven cans of the film in an not yet catalogued collection took an excruciatingly long time. But in the end the film was found to be complete and sent to EYE’s restoration depart­ ment. The restored version premiered at the film festival in Cannes and received worldwide press attention. Since that time, this film, which was long thought to be lost, has been regularly screened at

festivals, in partner archives and on television. Shoes EYE owns the only surviving complete copy of Shoes (1916), a socially motivated film by Lois Weber that is an indict­ ment of underpaid labour. Weber ranks as one of the most important of female directors in the era of silent films. The film had already been preserved in 1990, but serious bacterial damage caused white blotches on the film. Following inter­ national interest on the part of women’s studies and interest from the US, EYE decided to carry out a new, digital restoration project in 2010. We Can’t Go Home Again ‘For EYE, the restoration of We Can’t Go Home Again (1973) was one of the major projects

of the past years. With the restored version, a real gem has been added to EYE’s collections.’ This is how EYE director Sandra den Hamer described the restored version of this rarely screened radical visual experiment by director Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without A Cause, 1955). Den Hamer:

‘Nicholas Ray is one of those film authors who have reinvented cinema and who have changed the art of the moving image.’ EYE restored the film together with the Nicholas Ray Foundation and

the American Academy Film Archive. The restored film had its world premiere at the Venice film festival.

screened at the Nether­­lands Film Festival in Utrecht, while Spetters was given a dazzling premiere in EYE.

Dutch films

The Spanish Dancer

A copy of The Bertha (Louis Hendricus Chrispijn sr., 1913), a very early Dutch silent film which was until recently considered to have been lost, was discovered at EYE in 2011 and subsequently restored, preserving the original colours. The 60-minute feature film starring Annie Bos in the lead role was shown to an inter­ national audience during the opening of EYE. Among the more outstanding restorations of recent Dutch films are the restored versions of Wan Pipel (Pim de la Parra, 1976), Spetters (Paul Verhoeven, 1980) and Abel (Alex van War­ mer­­dam, 1986). The re­stored Wan Pipel and Abel films were

The restoration of The Spanish Dancer (1923) by Herbert Brenon yielded an exceptional, beautifully photographed film that had engaged the best script writers and top actors at the time, including actress Pola Negri. Set in 1625, the film is a costume drama comedy about the adventures of Maritana, a Spanish gypsy singer who has fallen in love with Don César de Bazan, an impoverished noble­ man with a penchant for high living. The lovers get caught up in a court plot to estrange the Spanish king from his French wife, but Maritana’s charm and wit save the day. Film historian Kevin Brown­ low had the following to say

about the restoration: ‘The cutdown version was enjoyable and spectacular enough, but the restoration reveals an exceptional film, beautifully photographed and mounted, acted by the top professionals of their day and titled by a firstclass writer. EYE has given us yet another classic from what many regard as the richest era in the cinema’s history.’

We Can’t Go Home Again restored


Behind the scenes


The projectionist has just started a new film for the audience in Cinema 4. Standard 35 mm film. She now has 10 minutes to start the next film for the audience in Cinema 2. It is very convenient for her that all three booths of Cinemas 2, 3 and 4 are directly accessible from the operators’ office. The film in Cinema 2 is a digital film. No problem there. All booths are equipped with projectors for 16 mm, 35 mm, 70 mm, 2K and 4K films (and also 3D). It’s a great job to do.


EYE online


In a sense EYE’s collections belong to everyone. That is why EYE wishes to make its ex­ceptional film collections available to all – also via the internet. EYE has developed or contributed to various websites offering viewers the chance to see complete films or frag­ ments from EYE’s collections. The Film in the Netherlands (Film in Nederland) site offers a wealth of information, articles and videos on early films from the Netherlands, featuring descriptions of hundreds of Dutch films from the years 1890-1940. The database can be navigated in several ways and fragments of numerous films can be viewed. A second site, the Scene Machine, based on a concept by designers Dima Stefanova and film director David Lammers, is an online applica­ tion that allows people to browse EYE’s collections in

a more intuitive way. The Scene Machine is filled with hundreds of fragments from the collec­ tions which present themselves at random depending on the keywords entered. Instant Cinema is an online portal for experimental films and art films. This site offers both works from EYE’s collec­ tions and films submitted by the artists themselves. Finally there is Ximon, a site offering a wide range of Dutch films, documentaries and television dramas. The site is an initiative of EYE, the Nether­ lands Institute for Sound and Vision and Film Producers Netherlands.



Concept and texts : Bas van Lier, Amsterdam Graphic design: Joseph Plateau, Amsterdam Research: Annette Lieth Special thanks to : De Gebouwengids, Wendeline Dijkman EYE: Inge Scheijde, Marjan Vos Images: Arda Risselada (12), Bart Hoogervorst (96), Dennis Guzzo (34, 37), Erwin Zijlstra (3), Hans Boddeke (25 lb, 42b, 48, 49, 50, 51b, 52, 53, 57, 58, 59, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77 ro, 80), Hans Wilschut (77, 78), Iwan Baan (1, 4, 9 o, 22a, 22b), Merlijn Snitker (40 ro, 41 l, 90, 91), Michael Vervuurt (40), Moeskops Staalbouw (26, 28), Paul van der Klei (42 a/d, 43, 44,

45, 81, 82, 83), Peter Dejong (13), Petra Noordkamp (8 lo), Pieter Musterd (36), René den Engelsman (6, 8 r, 9 rb, 22 c/d , 23, 40 lb, 40 rb, 41 rb, 41 ro, 42 c, 51 o, 68, 69), Stadsarchief Amsterdam, Collectie Stichting IJbeeld (9 lb, 14, 16, 17, 27, 30, 32, 33), Studio Daan Roosegaarde (46), Theo Captein (25 lo, 25 r) Print: robstolk ® © 2013 EYE, Amsterdam EYE Filmmuseum IJpromenade 1 1031 KT Amsterdam 020 5891 400 ISBN: 978-90-71338-17-5

No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form of information retrieval system or otherwise made public in any manner without the written consent of EYE. All possible efforts have been made to locate the copyright holders. If you believe that you hold the copyright to an image in this publication, you can contact EYE.

Architectural Digest


The end

The building housing the EYE Filmmuseum was designed to be an experience, just like a film. With this concept in mind, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects designed EYE’s stunning new building on the north bank of the river IJ in Amsterdam. This book tells about the architecture, the activities and the collections of EYE and shows you that the architects have made a resounding success of the building.

EYE at a Glance  
EYE at a Glance  

The building housing the EYE Filmmuseum was desgined to be an experience just like film. With this concept in mind, Delugan Meissl Associate...