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Video essays

What makes a director's oeuvre special? And why did that one film become a classic? Eye programmers share their discoveries, fascinations and experiences with certain films or genres. Film clips, trailers and soundtracks included!

Leo van Hee recommends Miklós Jancsó's The Round Up

Leo van Hee is programmer of the series Restored & Unseen, Dutch classics and retrospectives of Billy Wilder and Andrej Tarkovski, among others. Always looking for films that are about to disappear under the radar of film history, Leo came across the website of the Hungarian Film Institute, where you can watch a nice selection of Hungarian film classics for free.
Among others, he discovered The Round Up (1965), by Miklós Jancsó, the figurehead of Hungarian cinema in the 1960s and 1970s. Compatriot Béla Tarr is a big fan of Jancsó and The Round Up is one of his favourite films. Discover why.

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Video-essay Miklós Jancsó

Ronald Simons talks about Italian horror cinema

Ronald Simons is programmer of the Eyeshadow series and has provided film programs Black Light and The Man Machine i.c.w. colleague programmer Anna Abrahams.
The undisputed maestro of Italian horror cinema is Mario Bava, according to Eye programmer Ronald Simons. ‘With Black Sunday (1960) and Blood and Black Lace (1964) he made groundbreaking classics and put the giallo film on the map. After Bava, Argento took up the leather gauntlet and filmed giallo classics The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), Profondo Rosso (1975) and Tenebrae (1982). '

"Giallo" refers to the extremely popular series of cheap paperback novels with yellow covers in Italy, in which a murder mystery is solved. In the video essay below, Ronald will enlighten you on the phenomenon of the gialli and the main Italian horror productions of Mario Bava and Dario Argento - old acquaintances of Cinema Egzotik.

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Video-essay giallo

Simona Monizza puts the spotlight on VJ Peter Rubin

Simona Monizza is a collection specialist in experimental film, film restoration & conservation.
Those who are familiar with club culture have danced, often without knowing it, to the images of Peter Rubin. The American artist died in 2015 and was one of the pioneers of VJ culture. His entire archive was donated to Eye Filmmuseum in 2016.

Curator Experimental film Simona Monizza has in recent years organized the legacy, which consists of hundreds of VHS tapes, films, slides and video equipment. The images collected and mixed live by Rubin could be regarded as the filmography of three decades of media and club culture (1980-2010).

"Peter's VHS tapes provide unique insight into the development of audiovisual art outside the museum circuit," says Monizza. "Peter had his roots in the experimental film of the 1960s and made his name in the 1980s as a permanent "visual artist in residence" of the illustrious Amsterdam night club Mazzo, where he experimented extensively with 16 and 8mm loops and video collages.”"Later, he was also active in the rave and techno scene in Germany and Eastern Europe," said Monizza, who describes Rubin as "a true pioneer."

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Video-essay Peter Rubin

Marike Huizinga talks about Jane Campion's The Piano

Marike Huizinga is a programmer of the youth films and the Cinemini series and has directed the film programs Le Monde d'Isabelle Huppert, Tsai Ming-Liang and Romanian Cinema. And for this year the Women Make Film program.
Later this year a special focus program Women Make Film will take place in Eye, inspired by Mark Cousins' documentary series of the same name.
Programmer Marike Huizinga looks ahead and discusses her favourite film, Jane Campion’s Palme d'Or-winning The Piano.
On the occasion of the Women Make Film program, Eye Filmmuseum will re-release The Piano in national cinemas.

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Video-essay The Piano (1993)

Martin de Ruiter examines library music

Martin de Ruiter curates the Eye on Sound series. Martin is fascinated by the versatile relationship between image and sound - from the past to the present, from silent films with live accompaniment to complex 21st century sound design.

In his video essay, Martin examines an obscure, but ubiquitous phenomenon in the world of film and sound: "library music". He also discusses the strong connection between pop music and film culture. This autumn, Eye will dedicate a special program to this inexhaustible subject, with forgotten influential music documentaries, concert films, video clips, live music and much more.

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Video-essay library music

Ronald Simons introduces gothic horror

The gothic novel as a source of inspiration for film: Ronald Simons delves into the history of a genre that now has many ramifications.
Learn all about the how & why of misty graveyards, monstrous apparitions, repressed fears and mad scientists. And why does the blood splashes so bright red from the screen?
"Gothic horror cinema stems from the popularity of early 19th-century fiction," says Ronald. "The most famous gothic novels are Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker."

In this video essay, you will learn more about the development of gothic horror films from 1925 to today, by watching clips of the British Hammer films, Dario Argento's Inferno and the evil classic Rosemary's Baby.

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Video-essay gothic horror

Anna Abrahams recommends Un Chien Andalou

Anna Abrahams is a programmer of the series Eye on Art (film and other arts) and Xtended (film and virtual reality) and makes film programs on social themes such as Fury !, Cinema Erotica and Shell Shock in collaboration with colleague programmer Ronald Simons.
Creating a new reality that functions according to its own laws? This was daily practice for the Surrealists. Eye programmer Anna Abrahams chooses her favourite film Un Chien Andalou (1928) by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí as a home viewing tip.
"It is precisely the creative, mildly anarchist mindset of these artists that can help find new ways to face the current Covid-19 crisis," says Abrahams. "And that applies in many areas: medical, political and economic; but also culturally we cannot continue as usual.”

“The structured - because very precisely edited - anarchism of Un Chien Andalou shows the power of fantasy and the new paths that the mind can take when the reservoirs of the unconscious are used.”
Watch Un Chien Andalou online via Open Culture.

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Video-essay Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Ronald Simons introduces Amsterdamned

An invisible murderer wanders around Amsterdam. This spring a chilling reality, in 1988 the subject of the fourth feature film by genre master Dick Maas.
In Amsterdamned, the canals of Amsterdam and the IJ form the hunting grounds of a wetsuit-wearing psychopath who makes victim after victim. It is up to police detective Eric Visser (Huub Stapel) to stop the wave of terror, because “we can hardly declare all canals of Amsterdam a prohibited area”.

In his video essay, Eye programmer Ronald Simons discusses the film, its production and the film poster of this exciting thriller by Dick Maas.
Ready to find out more? Film.nl helps you watch Amsterdamned at home.

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Video-essay Amsterdamned (1988)

Ronald Simons discusses The Thing

According to Eye programmer Ronald Simons, there is only one film that best reflects our current reality of isolation and paranoia, and that is John Carpenter's 1982 The Thing.

Curious to find out more? Film.nl helps you watch The Thing at home.

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Video-essay The Thing (1982)