Latest Blog Posts

by Suzanne Enzerink

21 Apr 2011

With his piercing blue eyes, blond hair, and chilling performances, Rutger Hauer is not an actor you will quickly forget. At 67, he is more prolific than ever, with around seven films (depending on which country you live in) in cinemas this year. With international successes such as Blade Runner and The Hitcher, Hauer is one of the very few Dutch actors who have forged a successful career in Hollywood, and in the process singlehandedly gave Dutch cinema a face. Hauer’s entire career is characterized by elusiveness; it is impossible to pinpoint him on genre, type of character, or the scale or format of the productions he stars in, and this is what makes his oeuvre so exciting. This Wednesday—on the first day of the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival—he was honored with a Career Achievement Award. With all these accolades coming his way and a whole host of new films coming our way, it is the perfect time for a guidebook to Rutger Hauer’s 2011.

The Netherlands and the United States are the two defining countries of his career. Ever since he catapulted into the limelight with the risqué Dutch Turkish Delight, Hauer has found himself going back and forth between the two. With a major starring role in Dario Argento’s Dracula 3D coming up and his recent appearance in the coldly received exorcism-thriller The Rite, Dutch journalists again confronted Hauer with the by-now completely superfluous question: what about The Netherlands? Hauer grasped the award ceremony as an opportunity to remind all those present that he hasn’t forgotten his “Dutch soul.” The grass, the water, the humor, and even the reserved attitude of the people, Hauer loves it all. He currently resides in the province of Friesland, a province all the way up north characterized by an abundance of lakes and natural beauty and the relative absence of people.

by Bill Gibron

3 Mar 2011

On 6 May, the adventures of that fallen Valhalla hero Thor will officially kick off the 2011 Summer movie season. Yeah, that soon. Indeed, it does seem right around the corner, and so far, with January and February failing to ignite much motion picture passion, the popcorn overkill of the annual heatwave hype can’t come soon enough…or can it. Actually, in the next few weeks, Hollywood appears to be hedging a few of their box office bets, bringing out niche films that, while perhaps not up to par with the patented mainstream moneymakers, have the possibility of being those most valued of unexpected surprises - the sleeper. It happened with 300. It happened with Alice in Wonderland. With Rango and The Adjustment Bureau this weekend (4 March), the studios are starting to get serious, entertainment wise, with the viewing public.

At SE&L, there are ten films unfurling in the next two months that totally have our attention. Of course, we also thought that Sanctum would soar (it didn’t), that The Green Hornet would beat the current comic book trend (it did so, barely) and that The Mechanic and Drive Angry would mark the return of the Hollywood bad-ass (well…). Indeed, the Spring thaw means very little to Tinseltown. Instead, it’s all about write-offs and tax dodges, deliberate scheduling moves mandated by star contracts, business models, and the post-Oscar, pre-sunstroke malaise. Of course, every year something sneaks out and stuns viewers with its unexpected levels of fun. Perhaps one of the ten films featured here will be that artistic anomaly.

by Ben Travers

8 Feb 2011

By now I’m sure everyone has analyzed and re-analyzed every Super Bowl commercial a few dozen times with friends, family, and that crazy internet blogger who somehow didn’t like the Darth Vader Volkswagon ad. Soon, the ads that aren’t re-aired a hundred thousand times during normal programming will drift out of your memory and into YouTube infamy. Some ads, though, need to be remembered. Some marketers count on it, and may not know if their $3 million clip was worth it til May, June, or July.

Movie previews are those of a different breed. They pop up on Super Bowl Sunday to alert you of their existence and provide enough brief, flashy images to stick in your brain for months and months. Some do it better than others. Some don’t have to try. Some are a giant waste of cash. Most are for people who won’t think too hard about them, but you are clearly not one of those people. Neither am I, so let’s dig in and debate which spots proved worthy of their hefty price tags and which won’t ever see that money again.

1 – This movie will gross less than it cost to air the ad, and it’s because of this horrid spot.
5 – Meh. It won’t help, but it probably didn’t hurt it either.
10 – I didn’t want to see it before, but I darn sure do now! Wow!

by Ben Travers

19 Jan 2011

Simon Pegg. Nick Frost. Together, they’re pretty much unstoppable. Between the cult TV fave Spaced, the multi-national cult smash Shaun of the Dead, and the cult American action movie parody Hot Fuzz, the two Brit buddies can do no wrong.

Let’s hope so. After watching the trailer for duo’s latest effort, the sci-fi comedy Paul, it’s taking all of the actors’ combined street cred to keep me interested in what looks like something out of the 80s (but not in the spoofy, aughts-ironic sort of way).  Seth Rogen tags along (sort of) as the voice of the titular character, and hopefully helps director Greg Mottola steer the film towards the comedian’s last piece - Pineapple Express.

by Bill Gibron

11 Aug 2009

Here you go, lovers of all things vampire and romance—15 seconds of footage from Twilight: Full Moon. Not sure what it means—guess you’ll have to wait until 20 November to find out.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

READ the article