In its heyday, the Movie Center had eight video rental stores, but on 14 August the penultimate branch on the Overtoom closed, leaving the Ferdinand Bolstraat as its last remaining store. As co-owner of Movie Center, Jan Nooij (1961) has witnessed the rise and fall of the quality video store in Amsterdam from the inside. After 23 years in the business he feels its time to set out on a different career path. What follows is his story in his own words.
The history of Movie Center really began in 1986, with a standard video store like any other at the time. Ton, a billiard mate of mine had a video rental store in the centre of Amsterdam, in the Molsteeg between the Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal and the Spuistraat. It was called “Videohome de Nieuwe Kerk” (named after the church on the Dam, ed.). There were already some video stores in Amsterdam at the time, for instance “De Sloterplas”, but not so many. In the Van Woustraat there were two or three, it was already booming business. When I visited Ton’s shop in 1988 he was looking for a business partner, because it was getting busier. And so I joined. Back then we rented out VHS and Betamax tapes.
For those of you who really did not have enough of interview with legendary Tommy Wiseau in Offbeat September issue, here is our special treat – an interview with Tommy’s co-star in The Room Greg Sestero.
Paola Pistone: How did you meet Tommy? And how did you bump into The Room?
Greg Sestero: I met Tommy in an acting class in San Francisco, 13 years ago. I saw him performing Shakespearean sonnets and I said “Oh my God, I have to do a scene with this person” because he seems so different, so strange. I approached him to ask if he wanted to do a scene together, and he looked at me very weird, surprised. And the rest, you know, it is what it is.
PP: You were also the line producer of the film?
GS: Yes, correct. Originally I was only planning to work behind the scene, help with the casting, do production work. It wasn’t until Tommy fired the actor playing Mark that I stepped in for the role.
PP: Why did he do that?
GS: He felt that the guy wasn’t right.
Robert Kijowski is a freelance writer residing in New Jersey, U.S.A. His coarse love for all that is mordant has coursed through the voluble veins of his work, thus leaving his beloved audience with one simple word: entertainment. What follows is a review of Transformers: Dark of the Moon he wrote exclusively for Offbeat Cinema.
Syd But True a.k.a. Gears Of Snore
“Out? Fox. Out? Wit. That smarts!”
Now, as a self-professed and professional child of the 1980s, I adored the Transformers cartoon franchise. The original purified entity and its critically pufferied spin-off, Beast Wars, left those vying for its on-air space in the lunar dust (nee Eclipse’d). So where’s my proverbial beef? How do you erode the mettle of a machine that was believed to stand for all that is righteous? You sententiously piss on it by meddling with your big dick explosions. Thanks to Michael Bay’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I now realize that there is no life “up there” and if you think there is, that goes double.
On 20 and 21 August two of the more educated members of the Offbeat Cinema team will be giving film theory classes for beginners at Delicatessen Zeeburg. Registration is still open until 17 August, so sign up while you still can. More info on our Facebook page.
From Chile to Thailand via Romania, the past decade has witnessed the sprouting of new national film cultures in an increasing number of countries throughout the world – all in their own way idiosyncratic, imaginative and self-confident. So what about that culture often characterised as preferring to take shelter behind the sand dunes of the North Sea? If such a thing exists as “new Dutch film”, then director Cyrus Frisch (1969) is considered one of its leading representatives. Not always appreciated (let alone understood) in his own country, his films are gathering attention abroad. His last film Dazzle (Oogverblindend, 2009) stars Rutger Hauer, a project noteworthy for luring the Dutch national treasure and trigger-happy hobo home after a self-imposed exile from Dutch film after 28 years. With all four of Frisch’s feature-length films to be released on DVD (with English subtitles!), it’s time to get acquainted.
Amsterdam’s yearly outdoor film festival Pluk de Nacht (Seize the Night) will kick off in a week’s time but it’s still keeping us in suspense as to what it will be showing. The program still hasn’t been announced yet on the festival’s website. Nevertheless, I recognised one film from their sneak preview teaser, the Canadian film Small Town Murder Songs by Ed Gass-Donnelly, which is scheduled to run in Dutch cinemas from 22 September.
Creativity and the Capitalist City: the Struggle for Affordable Space in Amsterdam is the self-explanatory title of a new 55 minute documentary by Tino Buchholz that saw its premiere just over a fortnight ago. It will be available on DVD coming Autumn. Here is the trailer: