Wednesday saw the opening of the annual Nederlands Film Festival at the Stadsschouwburg. I’ve taken photos of the Gouden Kalf (Golden Calf) in the past, but never gone to one of the big events, despite the proximity. This year, I figured I’d go check out the red-carpet opening. With camera in hand — and supposedly freshly charged batteries — we wandered over to see what was going on.
I wasn’t sure how crowded it would be. Would there be throngs of screaming fans? Would there be a constant blinding flash of paparazzi flash bulbs? Would there be fancy cars and fancy gowns?
Well, no. Not really. There was one fancy gown, worn by the star of the film that was premiering, though. Sylvia Hoeks showed up in a pretty dusty-pink, tiered-ruffled, full-length gown with a bit of a swooshy tail. She also has the perkiest of pretty noses. If it’s real, she’s incredibly lucky. If it’s a nose-job, she should thank her surgeon daily.
As you can see, I got pretty close. In fact, I got up right behind the row of press interviewers and photographers. As for the screaming fans, well, there were fans, but they weren’t screaming. In fact, they were quite calm and friendly and very polite and sweet. I wasn’t really there as a fan, since there was only one person there I recognized, but they didn’t know that. Sometimes one of the fans would see me or another fan trying to get a shot and they’d say sorry and move out of the way to help you get a better shot. It was really quite a nice experience!
As I said, there was only one person whom I actually recognized. Carice van Houten was the one Dutch actress that I knew of, and I thought she might be there that evening, but I wasn’t sure. As I was turned around to talk to G — explaining that I was kind of hoping Carice would show up — I turned back to the red carpet and suddenly there she was, right in front of me. I’m pretty sure I said something like, “Oh! That’s her!” loudly enough for one of the girls in front of me to turn around and give me a smile.
Besides being the opening of the film festival, which goes through September 30, the event was also the opening of the film De Bende van Oss (The Gang from Oss). The film is about a woman (played by Sylvia Hoeks), who wants to get out of the life of crime she’s living in the 1930s. In looking up the film, I realized that a woman I know of — a fellow Southern expat who now lives in Rotterdam and plays a mean ukulele — was involved with the film, gathering up extras. I remember seeing her post about it a while back, so it’s fun to see it all come full circle in a way.
There were other stars of the film at the premier, of course. I eventually managed to figure out who most of them are.
Benja Bruijning (in profile)
Frank Lammers and Matthias Schoenaerts
There were other actors there who weren’t necessarily in the film, but who have films premiering at the festival, so they came along to the opening. Along with Carice, there was Anna Drijver, who is in the film Loft, which looks like a sexy murder thriller.
There was also Halina Reijn, who is in the upcoming film Isabelle, about a woman kidnapped and held hostage, perhaps with hints of Stephen King’s Misery.
We had a fun time watching the arrivals, even if we didn’t recognize that many people. You could still tell who the “important” ones were by the sudden rush for photos, not to mention the longer interviews. And now I know the names of some more Dutch actors! I even managed to get a lot of photos, despite the fact that my rechargeable batteries weren’t holding the charge. The camera kept shutting down on me after every couple of photos. Frustrating! I know I could have gotten better photos if I’d not had to take them so fast. Maybe I’ll go to the closing event. I keep hoping to see Michiel Huisman (Treme) or Rutger Hauer. A girl can dream!
Here’s the trailer for De Bende van Oss. FYI, there might be one scene that isn’t the best thing to be caught watching at work.