Thursday, 17 December 2009


Well, let's say one of the best, 'cause 'the best' is such a big statement, but oh my, this film has made me incredibly proud! For the first time ever I really love a film that has been written and directed by a Dutch filmmaker! Her name is Urszula Antoniak and the film I'm talking about is called Nothing Personal. It has already won some prestigious prizes at the last Locarno Film Festival as well as the Golden Calf which is the Dutch Oscar one could say. Of course when you have talent and get the opportunity to use that talent to its fullest potential you will succeed in making a good film and the country where you were born or grew up in doesn't have much to do with that. She could have been French or Portugese for that matter. In this case she just so happens to be Dutch. If Michael Haneke, for instance, was born in The Netherlands he probably would still have managed to become the great filmmaker he is today. Of course it helps when Dutch producers will help you financially and help you realize your project. So in that way, I'm really proud and happy a Dutch production company took on this project and invested their money in it to have it made. There's also some help from what I believe are Irish investors, but I guess the investment of the Dutch producer was the first step in really bringing the film to life. To cut a long story short, I'm just really proud and amazed by what Antoniak has shown me. The images are beautiful. Composition is amazing. Some of the shots could literally have been photographs. Actress Lotte Verbeek who plays the main character is ethereal. Her red hair, her face. She is beautiful but without looking perfect. She has that little extra, that bit that makes her more interesting. She's not just a pretty face. And she looks so wise. I'm not sure how old she is, but she really looks like she has lived, like she has gone through some things that have left a mark on her. Anyway, she has real star potential. She's one of those people who are able to walk in a room and just take up all the attention. This film, for who doesn't know, is for 99% in English and even features Stephen Rea who, like Verbeek, is very good. He can be very charming without having to try too much. He's funny too and sometimes it seems he isn't even aware of it himself. Overall the film is a real atmospheric piece comparable to Bright Star, although I think some people won't find this one to be boring, even though I still think there's nothing boring about Bright Star. Not one bit. Seriously I don't get that. But like Bright Star Nothing Personal contains a lot of quiet moments without any talking. It can be so soft and gentle. I love that in a big way. The editing in some scenes is perfect and surprising, cutting to bystanders or objects to make brief sequences which add to the overall mood of the film. The characters are very complex and reveal little both to the spectator as to each other. It gives the film a lot of tension and some of the scenes use this in very effective and unexpected ways. I even dare say that I would have loved to make this film, that this is the kind of film I would like to make, or at least it features aspects of it. And I felt I recognized myself in Antoniak 'cause to me it seemed she has put all her ideas into this piece. It's like she thought, if I ever make one film I will have this, this, and this in it. I'm like that as well. When sitting in the train or, well everything I see and encounter that catches my interest and inpires me and I find beautiful, I feel that one day I would like to put all that in a film. If I ever get to make one I have a list of things that definitely need to be in it. I liked that Antoniak seemed to have approached her project in the same way. I'm just so glad I went to see this film tonight, 'cause it wasn't even that high on my list of films I really want to see. I really did not expect it to be this good. I feel like telling the whole world about it. I've been so moved, so inspired, so in awe of this little film. So amazed and confused how this film happens to be so brilliant. Why isn't everyone talking about this film?! The only film that I think might surpass this one is Where The Wild Things Are 'cause I remember seeing that trailer (yes, I saw the trailer, but it was a long time ago so hopefully I kind of forgot about it already and can still walk into the cinema without hardly any knowledge of it!) and seeing the beautiful images with the most delicate lighting, so serene, those images alone could already turn it into one of the best films I'll see this year. On Monday I watched the new Haneke and it's great, it's cinema in its truest form. Haneke is serious business. It's high art and there are not many filmmakers working today that are on the same level as he is. Comparing Das Weiße Band and Nothing Personal, therefore can't be done. They're two completely different films. But to me what makes a film really good, a true favourite of mine, is one that really embodies me, one that I feel connected to so much. One that inspires me and shows me how things can be done. One that makes me go crazy and is almost unbearable to watch because I know I would have loved to make this film myself. It has me full of envy and at the same time filled with pride and feelings of happiness for the filmmaker. I loved Nothing Personal. It's so me. It brings together so many things I love about film, about images. About telling stories through images, through characters. It shows me you don't need much to make an incredible film and it has inspired me and left its mark on me for the rest of my life. I've learned from watching this and hopefully one day I can put this experience to great use.

Right now I feel the empty room of my neighbour stands for everything that I am. The door is still open, there's noone there. Instead of going to bed, I'll spend some time there. A big empty space all to myself and windows without curtains to gaze through and watch the streets from above. It's strange the many emotions you can feel on one day. When I woke up this morning I didn't feel like going out and had no idea how to spend my day. And now I feel fulfilled and alive, reawakened and ready to take on this world and make things happen :D
These are the best moments

I wanted to post this image before, but I had not gotten the chance yet to do so. I just really like it. Great styling.

The photographer is William Selden, remember that name. Good chance I'll mention it many times again in the near future.
Image via The Fashionisto, as usual

Why don't we celebrate living legends like him more?! Same for David Bowie. Dylan still gets a lot of love I feel. But come on, they really deserve much more. Do we have to wait until they pass away?

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