Antiquity in Cinema: The First Twenty Years (1897-1916)

•June 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment
Nero Styka

Nero at Baiae (Jan Styka c. 1900)

Antiquity in Cinema: The First Twenty Years (1897-1916). Screenings & Workshop, 30th June and 1st July 2016. Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna 2016.

The Cinema Ritrovato festival continues its exploration of the irresistible fascination of Antiquity. This time not through the grand Italian features Quo Vadis? (1913) and Cabiria (1914), but through the beautiful French experiments that led to them and the ambitious and celebrated American ‘colossal’ Intolerance (1916) that drew from them. We will screen myth and history, Babylon, Greece and Rome, eroticism and death, and a cinematic world full of music, dance and art. Our workshop will ask why is the first ever antiquity film from 1897 about Nero, and why did the wicked emperor appear so often in early cinema? Why does antiquity become so spectacular and how does Intolerance mark a watershed in representations of the past? Do different nations produce different antiquities and how does cinema make antiquity modern? We would be delighted if you would join us in our discussions. NB certain films were purposefully restored for this workshop, such as the oldest film adaptation of Sienkiewicz’ novel Quo Vadis?

Ivo Blom (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Raffaele de Berti (Università degli Studi di Milano); David Mayer (University of Manchester); Pantelis Michelakis (University of Bristol); Jon Solomon (University of Illinois); Maria Wyke (University College London).

Thursday 30th June
Screening 1, 17 00 – 20 00 Sala Mastroianni
INTOLERANCE, USA (1916) dir. D. W. Griffith

Friday 1st July
Screening 2, 9 00 – 10 00 Sala Mastroianni
L’ESCLAVE DE PHIDIAS, F (1916) dir. Leonce Perret
IDYLLE CORINTHIENNE, F (1909)  dir. Louis Feuillade

Workshop 1, 10 15 – 11 45 Sala Cervi
with additional film clips & piano accompaniment

Screening 3, 12 00 – 13 00 Sala Mastroianni
QUO VADIS?, F (1901)
NERONE O L’INCENDIO DI ROMA, I (1909) dir. Luigi Maggi
And other early historical films from the Vermorel Lumière collection

Discussion 2, 14 30 -16 00 Sala Cervi
with additional film clips & piano accompaniment

You are all welcome! You can register in advance or ad hoc:
Hotel reservations with special prices at

Cinema Ritrovato 2016 and Alma-Tadema coming up

•April 21, 2016 • Leave a Comment


Néron essayant des poisons sur des esclaves

Neron essayant des poisons sur les esclaves                   (Georges Hathot, Lumière 1897)


The new Cinema Ritrovato festival is coming up. Jacques Becker, the last phase of the Cinema of the Thaw, Japan in Colour, Mario Soldati, The Films of 1916, Buster Keaton, 1896 Lumière , Marie Epstein etc. Too much themes to mention. After a gap in last year I will collaborate once more to a workshop with Maria Wyke and Pantelis Michelakis (and probably Jon Solomon and David Mayer) on Antiquity and Cinema, most probably on Thursday 30 June and Friday 1 July. We’ll have Griffith’s Intolerance of course, but also pre-1900 films on Antiquity, early films on Nero including a newly restored version of the 1901 Quo vadis? by Pathé, and Feuillade’s films La fille de Phidias and Le pretresse de Carthage – to which I am looking forward as I am a fan of Feuillade’s Antiquity films Héliogabale/ L’orgie romaine and Le fils de Locuste, which will probably play a role in the upcoming exhibition Lawrence Alma Tadema. Classic Charm for which I am co-curator for the film section.



Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Entrance to a Theatre (1866), recently bought by Fries Museum, Leeuwarden.


The Tadema exhibition will open at the Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands, on or around 1 October this year. It will then move on to the Belvedere museum in Vienna in early Spring 2017, and finally be visible at Leighton House, London, in Summer 2017. Prestel will publish what promises to be a very outstanding and fascinating accompanying publication, including one article by me on Alma-Tadema and film, and curated by my fellow co-curators Peter Trippi and Elizabeth Prettejohn. I am much obliged to have been able to recently talk to Arthur Max and Janty Yates, production designer and costume designer of Sir Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000). Both were very helpful in realizing in which ways Alma-Tadema has been important for the envisioning of Gladiator and partly Scott’s Exodus as well. In accordance with Fries Museum I also compiled an appetiting film programme, ranging from early cinema to recent films like Gladiator, while I will give a lecture on Alma-Tadema and cinema at Fries Museum on Saturday 26 November. On 18 December I will give an introduction at EYE, Amsterdam, to the showing of the 1913 Quo vadis? by Guazzoni at EYE, which will be a specal Sunday Concert screening with live music conducted by Martin de Ruiter, possibly with the music by Jean Nouguès for his homonymous opera.



Gladiator (Ridley Scott 2000)

Italian Muscle in Germany (in Retrospect)

•October 10, 2015 • 4 Comments
Carlo Aldini as Achilles in Helena

Courtesy Filmmuseum München.

Today I returned from a week of silent films, alternated with many talks with old and new friends and colleagues, initially in a cold and wet and gradually a sunnier Pordenone. The 34th edition of Le Giornate del Cinema Muto was a special edition to me, as I curated the special programme Italian Muscle in Germany, on the German films with the Italian acrobatic and muscular adventure film heroes Luciano Albertini and Carlo Aldini. Unintended, several relations sprang up with other films and programmes, as attending critics also remarked. The opening night film Maciste alpino (Luigi Romano Borgnetto 1916) became a frame of reference to situate and compare Aldini and Albertini, who are often themselves not the go-between between lovers as Maciste mostly is, but are the romantic lovers (sometimes husbands) themselves. The rather course behaviour of Maciste in Maciste alpino, not only explainable because of the context of war propaganda, but also linked to the typology of Maciste (see Jacqueline Reich’s new and intriguing study on Maciste, which was presented by the author in Pordenone). In addition, the many Douglas Fairbanks films in programme in Pordenone, with their focus on superhuman jumps, noble hearts and fast pace rhythm, were not too far off from a late Albertini film like Der Unüberwindliche, indicating that this genre of acrobatic heroes was truly international and had only modifications per type or nation. Instead the shift between silent and sound film was for both Fairbanks in the US and Aldini and Albertini Europe devastating, killing off their types and so their careers. On top, while Aldini was in his thirties when acting in Germany, Albertini was already in his forties. In his last silent films he was already 50. Tragic was the downfall of Albertini when sound set in – alcohol wrecked his body and mind, as is well visible in his first and only sound film Im Kampf mit der Unterwelt. Instead Ernst Verebes, the man who had been his – incredibly funny- sidekick in his last silent film Der Jagd nach der Million – became the protagonist in Im Kampf mit der Unterwelt (of which only two French spoken, unrestored nitrate prints exist, alas). We do hope to show Jagd nach der Million next year in Pordenone, though.


Der Unüberwindliche. Courtesy Bundesarchiv, Berlin.

Italian Muscle in Germany started out Saturday with Nunzio Malasomma’s Mister Radio, for which a newly restored print from the Austrian Filmmuseum was used, which had been preserved by Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna (the shots in tinting & toning were nicely saved). While the plot is quite unimportant, apart form the radio craze of the 1920s, and the acting is not always well, the stunts kept the Pordenone in awe: how can you save your mother dangling on a cliff when you are yourself tied to a tree? A huge applause was the hero’s reward for his last minute rescue by use of the tree and even his own teeth. Also previous stunts flabbergasted the spectators. Mauro Colombis’s piano accompaniment greatly helped in the audience’s emotional identification with the film. On Sunday afternoon, it was the turn for the escapologist Silvio Spaventa (Albertini) and the b&w print of Der Unüberwindliche (It. title Il globo infuocato, Max Obal 1928). It was the treat of the day, not only because of the film but also because of the live music by the Pordenone Zerorchestra, conducted by Günter Buchwald, who had also arranged the music. While a two hour film, thanks to the upbeat music and well-chosen themes, you absolutely forgot time with this swift circus film, with its sensational act, in which the fierce audience reactions on the screen seemed to invite likewise reactions from the Verdi attendants. The avant-garde-like use of text and stroboscopic effects at the start of the film (this must have been the supposed contribution by Oskar Fischinger), but also the funny constant use of the legs of the circus girls made this a clear example of a combination of genre cinema (comedy, crime, adventure) with artistic cinematography (extreme camera angles, uses of close ups, importance of editing for creating meaning). In addition to plain intertitles, the film uses a kind of TV texts during the circus act, explaining the act, and taglines on an outdoors public message board, informing the masses about Spaventa’s arrest. Repeating a strategy from his earlier film Julot der Apache (Joseph Delmont 1921), the massive publicity for Albertini’s character also seems to confirm his own star status. Personally, I thought Rinaldo Rinaldini (Obal 1927), shown on Friday afternoon, was the weakest of the three Albertini films because of its overabundance of intertitles, which especially in the first part of the film tends to irritate. One can see that some scenes are clearly missing while one shot was reduced to a freeze frame. The second half of the film gets better with Albertini’s various stunts inside and outside a huge theatre in Genoa, where several outdoor shots were taken – including a few from the harbour. While in other films Albertini is never shown seminude, here he strips to show his bare chest while performing in the theatre, but stays so in the most part of his flight from the theatre, on to the roof, bending a flag pole, and jumping into a kind of fashion studio. Dutch pianist Daan van den Hurk worked very hard to turn even the most wordy parts of the film in a dashing, dazzling sensation – and well succeeded!

In addition to Albertini, on Thursday morning there was the two-part film Helena (Der Raub der Helena/ Der Fall Trojas, Manfred Noa 1924), masterfully accompanied by Günter Buchwald and Frank Bockius. To several avid Giornate-goers this was a challenge, as they just had seen four parts of Henri Fescourt’s Les Misérables the day before, starting from late afternoon till well after midnight. The pristine digitally restored print of Helena, the wonderful special effects, the chariot races and the sea battle in the first part (shot one to two years before Fred Niblo’s Ben Hur!) and the mass choreography and real-sized sets of Troy and the Greek camp in the second part were outstanding. Albert Steinrück’s shift of tragic and superstitious king Priamus becoming a plotting and cruel tyrant matched the character shifts of Vladimir Gaidarow’s Paris from weak to strong to weak to strong etc. And what to think about Carlo Aldini’s bodybuilder Achilles whose violent and almost hysterical pride gets him into trouble, while his bisexuality is expressed in his inability to choose either Helena or Patroclus. Repeatedly stroking Achilles’ arms and legs, Carl/Karel Lamac’s Patroclus must have created quite a stir in those times, especially to those who didn’t know the Illiad. While I had loved to include one or two adventure films with Aldini too (hopefully next year), Helena meant Aldini’s German and internationally breakthrough, and one understands why, especially when watching the second part of the film. Even if he may have been dressed in suits and tails in later films, spectators would always project his physique as Achilles underneath.

Mister Radio 7

Mister Radio. Courtesy Österreichisches Filmmuseum.

The programme went quite well in written reactions too, as can be read in blogposts by Quinlan (Daria Pomponio), SilentLondon (Pamela Hutchinson), and El Testamento del Doctor Caligari (on Der Unüberwindliche, also a second post on Helena), as well as a large article in the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto. Finally I was interviewed by TV Sloveno for a cultural programme.

Italian Muscle Abroad in Pordenone

•September 30, 2015 • Leave a Comment
Der unuberwindliche NL affiche De Boeienkoning

Der Unüberwindliche (1928). Dutch poster by Dolly Rudeman. Courtesy Haags Gemeentarchief.

While previous studies have focused on the Italian strong men and their careers in Italy itself, such as Monica Dall’Asta’s Un cinéma musclé (1992), Gli uomini forti (1983) by Alberto Farassino and Tati Sanguineti and the booklet Maciste & Co. by Vittorio Martinelli (1981), little is known about the careers abroad of these strong men after their films made in Italy. In her recent (2014) publication on ‘Maciste abroad’, Dall’Asta mainly focuses on international reception. While fleetingly mentioning the German productions by Maciste-actor Bartolomeo Pagano and also briefly mentioning the German careers of Luciano Albertini and Carlo Aldini, Dall’Asta calls Albertini and Aldini epigones of Maciste, which to my opinion doesn’t do justice to the quite different characterization of Aldini and Albertini. Neither does it recognize their enormous success in Germany and elsewhere, in contrast to the less successful German productions with Pagano as Maciste.The most extensive study hitherto was Vittorio Martinelli’s older article ‘I Gastarbeiter fra le due guerre’ (1978), though this comprised not only the strong men but also actors and actresses working in the dramatic and comic genres and mostly consisted of long filmographies.

For one decade the Italian action heroes Luciano Albertini and Carlo Aldini made dozens of German films, which catapulted them into international stars and made them household names all over Europe and beyond.  This can be traced not only in the context of trade press and historical programming databases, but also in existing film prints in European archives: more films remain than you expect, though still many need to be restored, confirming the same domination of auteur cinema over genre cinema today. The best films of Albertini c.s. had exactly the right combinations. Commenting on Der Unüberwindliche, German press praised its script without improbabilities, the tempo of the action, the surpassing of obstacles, and this all done with smiles and grace: “Few German comedies have the technical perfection, and the filmic art, of this sensation film. Which possesses one ‘fugato’, one continuous flow of moving pictures.”


Poster for Rinaldo Rinaldini (1927). Courtesy Plakatkontor, Berlin.

This gap has made me design the film programme Italian Muscle Abroad for the 2015 edition of the renowned silent film festival Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone. In particular at the Bundesarchiv in Berlin and the Brussels Cinematek preserved prints are available, while rare and unique prints of other films are e.g. in Amsterdam, Munich and Vienna. Because of restrictions only four feature films will be shown this time, of which one film is a two-part film, the lavish German epic Helena (Manfred Noa, 1924), shot at the Emelka studios in Munch at the time, parallel to Lang’s Nibelungen in Berlin (shown in Pordenone last year), and with impressive cast, set design and special effects. Carlo Aldini, who already had done a quite unimpressive German film, Die narrische Wette des Lord Aldini (1923) – even if with an introduction equaling the Eugen Sandow early displays of muscle – would have his German and international breakthrough with this film as the tormented muscleman Achilles, who is madly in love with Helena, with an affair on the side with his buddy Patroclus, played by a young Carl/Karel Lamac, the future film director and husband of Anny Ondra. Filmmuseum Munich did a terrific job in digitally restoring this film, while Günther Buchwald and Frank Bockius will provide the live music to it. I would have loved to add one or two adventure films with Aldini too, to get an idea of his typology in the adventure genre, but alas we didn’t have room for it. A small comfort is a rare, unique trailer for Aldini’s fast-paced adventure film Der Kampf gegen Berlin (Max Reichmann, 1925). Perhaps in the future we can show the full film in Pordenone too, as it exists and has been preserved. If so, then it would also be nice to show other Aldini adventure films like the Agatha Christie adaptation Die Abenteurer GmbH (Fred Sauer, 1928), in which Carlo is a honest, optimist, poor and strong sailor, mixed up in a sordid spy affair, together with a clever, bright young woman, played by Eve Gray.

Aldini RossCarlo Aldini0001

Instead, this year’s Pordenone will show three brand new restorations of films with Aldini’s countryman Luciano Albertini. He already had had a long career in circus, vaudeville and Italian silent film before moving over to Berlin in 1921 and getting an even bigger career there. Unfortunately Albertini’s earliest German films lack in Pordenone, such as the preserved films Julot der Apache (Joseph Delmont, 1921) with a fascinating plot element of the apache’s stardom represented by merchandise and a film career, and Die Schlucht des Todes (Albertini, 1923), with Lya de Putti as co-star and involving literal cliffhangers in Germany (supposedly Argentine) but also location shooting in Italy. Instead, three new restorations of films with Albertini are presented:  the new colour restoration of Mister Radio (1924) by the Austrian Filmmuseum, the new colour restoration of Rinaldo Rinaldini (Max Obal, 1926/1927) by the EYE Filmmuseum, and the new restoration of Der Unüberwindliche (Max Obal, 1928) by the Bundesarchiv Berlin. All three films with breath-taking stunts and intriguing location shooting in the city centre of Genoa, Berlin, or the Southern-German Alps, but also shot on massive sets such as the circus in Der Unüberwindliche. The latter is a worthy successor to Albertini’s earlier circus film I’d have loved to include, Der Mann auf den Kometen (Alfred Halm, 1925). In return both refer to Albertini’s earlier Italian films Sansone, acrobata del kolossal and the yet unrestored La spirale della morte, but also Albertini’s original career as acrobat and circus artist in circuses like Busch in Germany.

In his 2010 dissertation Der Zirkusfilm Matthias Christen has wonderfully described the representation of the circus in film as microcosm on one hand, but also transgressive alternative to the world outside. Incidentally, the films with Albertini and others are highly self-reflexive and self-promoting, constantly referring not only to former films, but also preceding careers of circus, ‘poses plastiques’, artist models, gymnasts and athletes. In their pedigree, physique and performance, and thus their creation of star personae, they are different from the more robust strong men coming from the worlds of wrestling (Raicevich) or the docks (Pagano/Maciste), as they are romantic heroes, gifted with speed, wit, charm and understatement, not only pecs and biceps. They don’t have to be only go-betweens between lovers, they are lovers themselves. The films in the programme offers additional treats such as some animation shots by Oskar Fischinger, Hans Albers as bad guy, comical sidekicks like ‘factotum’ Herman Picha, the overdressed ‘bad woman’ (delicious Vivian Gibson), and the powerful legs of circus girls.


Luciano Albertini’s visit to Amsterdam 91927)

Koos Bosma

•September 10, 2015 • 4 Comments

Today I heard the very sad news that my VU University colleague Koos Bosma, Professor in Architecture and Heritage Studies, died last night because of complications after a heart attack last Friday. It is so very sudden it is hard to imagine, also because Koos was mailing from his hospital bed and it all seemed that very soon he would be back in shape again. As homage a series of photos of Koos and the various courses we did together.

Koos Latina detail

Latina 2010

First our Romanità master course Koos and I did with then staff member Hans de Valk of the Royal Dutch Institute in Rome in 2010. I have good memories of the mutually complementary skills we offered: media studies, architecture, and history. We combined 1930s architecture at e.g. EUR, the Olympic Stadium and Latina with ancient Rome (the real one at the Forum and the fake one at the Museo della Civiltà Romana) and the then brand new MAXI modern art museum. Koos enjoyed the trip and the field work very much.

2010 Romanità course MAXI

MAXI, Rome 2010

2010 Romanità course, Museo della Civiltà Romana

Museo della Civiltà Romana, EUR, Rome 2010

2010 Romanità EUR Palazzo della Civiltà

Palazzo della Civiltà, EUR Rome 2010

This courses and other courses I did in Rome in 2007-2012 spurred the joint venture of my master course Cinematic City, which I taught with Koos and our endowed professor Bert Hogenkamp. First, in 2012, on the new EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam, Amsterdam cinemas and European film museums, thus visiting the Filmmuseum Dusseldorf and of course the new EYE. From 2013, we focused on the representation of Amsterdam in film (fiction/nonfiction), both in the inner city (e.g. Oudezijdskolk, Dam, Groenburgwal, Reguliersbreestraat, Magere Brug) and the outer ring (e.g. Zuid-Oost/ Bijlmer, RAI and Olympic Stadium). Again we had complementary skills to offer: Koos as expert on Amsterdam (which he always expanded with Schiphol, his own research project and ‘love baby’), Bert as our documentary expert and me as the fiction film man. We had a good team and enjoyed the interdisciplinary approach. In 2013 we already experimented with tablets, but as stand alone version. In 2014, thanks to Sylvia Moes (UBVU), KPN and Surfnet, we had a 4G experiment with tablets on loan, which was fascinating, and in 2015 it was again a more modest version, still with iPads on loan. Koos often helped us getting inside various fascinating buildings. such as the Harbour Building, and the Citroën garage next to the Olympic Stadium (which enabled us to look inside the stadium when the management there refused us, despite the VU having an office there). Every year we had good, enthusiast input by Koos during discussions, presentations, and the lecturer’s assessment sessions, the latter often with beer and ‘bitterballen’, as Koos liked to mix work and refreshments. Koos was hesitant about our use of new media in education. Sometimes he was right: experiments in innovation of education sometimes fail, when e.g. sunlight blinds the image of your iPad or when cameras registering students discussions fail to work. Still, he was curious to see how these new things worked. Koos was never afraid of strong opinions, but he also was very open to what students said and took them serious, especially if they proved to be eager to debate with him, or would read texts sharply. Good students gave him a kick. Koos was also a networker, who seemed to know everybody, and gave me valuable advice on research proposals. Lastly, he was a very generous man, who treated colleagues and students out of his own pocket and was always ready to help in whatever way.

2012 Cinematic City city walk Beurs van Berlage

Cinematic City, city walk, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam 2012

2013 Cinematic City, RAI Europahal

Cinematic City, RAI Europahal, Amsterdam 2013

2014 Cinematic City, Cineac Reguliersbreestraat

Cinematic City, Cineac Reguliersbreestraat, Amsterdam 2014

2014 Cinematic City, Havengebouw-001

Cinematic City, Havengebouw, Amsterdam 2014

2015 Cinematic City, Amstel

Cinematic City, Amstel, Amsterdam, 2015

Cinema Ritrovato 2015

•June 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Sotto il sole di Rome. Left Liliana Mancini (Iris).

Coming up is the 2015 Cinema Ritrovato festival in Bologna. For years it is no news that the programme gets fuller and fuller, just like the Sala Mastroianni. Also the dilemmas get bigger and bigger: what to drop? is there a second screening? when to sleep or eat? This year several retrospectives in which I am interested. Of Renato Castellani I only saw Due soldi di speranza and Un colpo di pistola, but not a film like Sotto il sole di Roma (1948) with e.g. a young Alberto Sordi and the girl Iris (Liliana Mancini). She would return in a small part in Visconti’s Bellissima, basically playing herself: a pretty face, but no steady career, so ending up in the editing room in Cinecittà. Cinema Ritrovato also contains a retrospective on Ingrid Bergman‘s early Swedish films which I never saw. Her daughter Isabella Rossellini will introduce the films. I met her other daughter Ingrid at a Fellini conference some years ago in Jerusalem. There are the Leo McCarey films of which I also missed many. There is a lot of buzz around the recently found second reel of his film The Battle of the Century (1927), the famous pie fight comedy with Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy. Will we see it in Bologna? Special screenings in the night time such as the restored version of Rocco and His Brothers (1960) by Visconti, with some reinserted censored scenes (recently premiered in Cannes).

Sotto il sole di Roma. Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano.

Of course I am looking forward at the 1915 programme, including Assunta Spina (which will also be released on DVD!), Rapsodia satanica (at the Teatro Comunale, with Mascagni’s music played by the orchestra of Timothy Brock) and Il fuoco. So the Italian divas Francesca Bertini, Lyda Borelli and Pina Menichelli all in one festival. EYE will be present with various attractive titbits, including a film with Maria Jacobini, and a fragment of one of the few lost Lyda Borelli films, Dramma di una notte/Una notte a Calcutta (Mario Caserini 1918). I saw the nitrate which even if damaged and short looks very nice. Attached a postcard for the film. The story deals with Guido, a navy officer (Alberto Capozzi), who, returned to Italy to assist to his brother Riccardo’s (Livio Pavanelli) wedding, recognizes Nelly, the future spouse (Borelli), as a former adventuress he has met before in a den of iniquity in Calcutta.  Nelly, though, had worked in the brothel just to gain money for her mother and little sister and had stopped her job after her mother died. Returned to Italy she met and fell in love with Riccardo. Guido feels obliged to warn his brother. Nelly implores him not to do this, even tries to kill him, then surrenders and leaves on condition he won’t tell his brother.  But once alone, she scratches herself with her nails dripped in a deadly Indian poison she always carried around.

Lyda Borelli in Il dramma di una notte. Spanish postcard.

Crossmedial Exhibitions and Cinematic City

•March 5, 2015 • Leave a Comment

In a little over three weeks we’ll start again with our course The Cinematic City, on the representation of the city of Amsterdam in fiction and non-fiction cinema. Last year we did a fascinating pilot with KPN and Surfnet with use of 4G and IPads, which results where recognized by Surfet as Best Practices. See for this the Dutch spoken film on YouTube. We hope to repeat the experiment this year.

This year we will also work with so-called knowledge clips, in which my colleague prof. Bert Hogenkamp and I explain two basic texts, which students need to read before the course starts. Thus our course starts already on a higher level. For the knowledge clips, made by the Audiovisual Service of VU University, I was filmed before a greenscreen and also had my first experience of autocue.

At this moment we are in the fifth week of our yearly master course Crossmedial Exhibitions, this year dedicated to two exhibitions the EYE Filmmuseum in Amsterdam: Anthony McCall Solid Light Films and Other Works, and Jean Desmet’s Dream Factory.  For the Crossmedial Exhibitions course we had interesting meetings with various collaborators of EYE, involved in the two exhibitions mentioned: Mark-Paul Meyer, Claartje Opdam, Sanne Baar and Marnix van Wijk. We were toured around the two exhibitions in the Fall and last month. We also visited the interior of Desmet’s last cinema Parisien, now at the Filmhallen cinema in Amsterdam-West, and viewed Peter Delpeut’s delightful, operatic compilation film Lyrical Nitrate (1990). I indirectly collaborated to the Desmet exhibition by writing an article on the film posters in the Desmet collection and also gave a lecture on this. Lately, I was interviewed by Dutch television (NPO2) for the popular history program Andere Tijden [Other Times], which organised a special issue on Desmet. In addition to Desmet’s relatives and collaborators of EYE, I was interviewed as the ‘film historian’. Which I am. Apart from other jobs, that is. Such as the coordinator of the MA Comparative Arts and Media Studies. If you understand Dutch, here is a link to the program:

afscheid Wilbert, McCall met studenten CAMS 016EYE en Haghefilm 004 (2)Paul Utrecht en visite EYE bibliotheek 013EYE en Filmhallen CrossEx 001EYE en Filmhallen CrossEx 007EYE en Filmhallen CrossEx 019