Film Fetish Friday: Shadow Dancer, Laurence Anyways, Simon

Film Fetish Friday: Shadow Dancer, Laurence Anyways, Simon

Sep 21, 2012 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
As a freelance journalist, Anouk (26) usually writes about what other people do or like. In her precious spare time she watches arthouse films. Not a few. A lot, thanks to her trusted Cineville pass. Here she can finally share her film-fetish with the world.

To watch or not to watch? I will tour around Amsterdam’s cinemas and answer this crucial question every Friday. Without mercy, of course. Sucky films will be slaughtered, cinematographic pearls will be appreciated as such. Or the other way around. After all, good taste is in the eye of the beholder.

Shadow Dancer

If you like Clive Owen as a the mysterieus secret agent, Shadow Dancer is a film you should see. Although, the film has more to offer than Owen and his sexy tormented look. Shadow Dancer is about Belfast in 1993. Colette (Andrea Riseborough) and her family are all active within the IRA. When she tries to let a bomb explode in the London metro, MI5 gets hold of her. Agent Mac (Owen) gives her a choice: go to jail for more than 25 years -and never see her young son again- or become an informant for the British secret service. Mac promises Colette “Nobody dies, nobody gets hurts”, so she chooses the last option. From that moment on she has to spy on her own brothers and their friends. She knows very well that they would kill her if they find out who she’s working for. And it’s obvious that Mac can’t keep his side of the promise.

Director James Marsh (Man on Wire) knows how to build up tension without overdoing it. This makes Shadow Dancer an interesting film, more interesting than the average spy story. The end gives the film an extra layer, but I won’t spoil that.

Watch this film in Cineville’s The Movies. Also in Pathe (City and Tuschinski).

Laurence Anyways

Xavier Dolan is a modern day wonder. The guy is only 23 and he has already written and directed his third film. After J’ai Tué Ma Mère and Les Amours Imaginaire, Dolan tells us the story of Laurence. We’re in Quebec and it’s the beginning of the ninetees. Hope glores at the horizons, the Berlin wall fell and the Sovjet Union is about to collapse. Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) decides this is the perfect time to be honest to his wife (Suzanne Clément): from now on he wants to be a woman. The audience follows his journey to femininity. And boy, it is a long, long, long journey. Two hours and 40 minutes long to be precise. Dolan made sure no detail is left behind. He proves himself as the king of sidetracking, but we forgive him. Laurence Anyways is an epic love story and epic love stories need their time. And if you use Moderat’s ‘A New Error’ as your soundtrack, you’re cool anyways.

Watch this film in Cineville’s Kriterion, The Movies and Rialto.


Dutch film lovers will think of a whole different film with the name Simon, but the Swedish film maker Lisa Ohlin tells us the story of a very different Simon. This young guy (Stefan Gödlicke) tries to grow up in a small town near Göteborg, which we follow from 1939 ’till 1955. Not the easiest period in Europe. Yet, the drama in this film has little to do with the Second World War, but all with family. Simon feels more at home at the house of his jewish friend Isaak. Isaak feels more at home with Simon’s dad. Then Isaak’s father falls in love with Simon’s mother, as if it all wasn’t complicated enough. There’s just too much going on in this film. Director Ohlin can’t keep up and has to hurry at the end of the story. Other than that, Simon offers a nice picture of Sweden in the 1940’s and ’50’s.

Watch this film in Cineville’s Uitkijk. Also in Pathe (de Munt).

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