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Fietsen naar de maan

Jef van der Heijden / NL, 1962

Premiere of a Dutch feature film recently restored by Eye. Fietsen naar de maan – with a cast including Jeroen Krabbé and Ton Lensink – is a film with nouvelle vague overtones that superbly captures Amsterdam as it was on the eve of the Provo counterculture movement. The film has not been screened since its original release in 1963.

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In his encyclopedia Hollands Hollywood, Dutch journalist Henk van Gelder described director Jef van der Heijden”s feature film debut as a “gentle comedy about three brothers, each of whom inherited something of their deceased father”s personality. Their paths keep crossing in curious ways”. The brothers – a copper, a scrap dealer and a painter – are played by Bernhard Droog, Johan Walhain and Ton Lensink; Jeroen Krabbé debuted in his role as apprentice decorator.

Fietsen naar de maan was largely shot on location and captures the folksy atmosphere of Amsterdam in the early 1960s. At the same time, the filmmakers obviously drew inspiration from the Nouvelle Vague”s unconventional film style. This tale tinged with irony soon disappeared from the cinemas, but is nowadays regarded as a superb contemporary document of Amsterdam on the eve of the Provo movement. The film contains unique footage of places like the old Waterlooplein, an area of town that was almost completely demolished not long after.

The film was withdrawn from circulation after the producer and the director – now both dead – fell out with each other.

For the restoration of the film, Eye made use of its own – shortened – copy and the camera negative, which was recovered intact in Amsterdam”s city archive last year.



Jef van der Heijden

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Original title

Fietsen naar de maan



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