Let’s be honest. Dutch movies are not for everyone. Not everyone can stand it that Dutch films are once in a while very vulgar or blunt. You must, however, also realise that they can also simultaneously be very sensitive and touching. Another reason some people cannot appreciate Dutch movies is because of the somewhat harsh Dutch language. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Dutch cinema never really has done very well abroad.
Within it’s own borders, however, it is immensely popular. 2011 was one of the years in which the most Dutch people went to the cinema to see their own national films. For instance, recent success movies are ‘New Kids On the Block’ and ‘Gooische Vrouwen’. They are both typical Dutch culture movies that are probably not very interesting for foreigners as they rely heavily on a Dutch sense of humor. It is a great way to get to understand Dutch culture though.
The Dutch film industry remains pretty small with on average about 20 films per year. Outside the Dutch borders these movies have not received a lot of awards. Only three Dutch films have been awarded an Academy Award. I am of course talking about the prestigious Oscar for best foreign language film. The three films that have had the honour to receive the prize are ‘The Assault (1986), Character (1997) and Antonia (1995). I feel that there are more movies that should have received international recognition.
Internationally there are some actresses, actors and filmmakers that have gathered a significant amount of fame. Perhaps most famous is the Dutch movie director Paul Verhoeven. We have seen his filmmaking talent in Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Starship Troopers’ and the cult classic ‘Basic Instinct’. The most famous actors have got to be Jeroen Krabbe and Rutger Hauer who have both often played in big American production. A Dutch Actress to look out for is the young and talent Carice van Houten. On Dutch soil she play in pretty much every big film that is released, but also internationally she had some success. Most notably in the American film ‘Valkyrie’ with Tom Cruise about a failed assassination of Hitler. She can now also be admired in the immensely popular HBO TV series ‘Game of Thrones’. Next month the first episodes of the second season will be broadcasted. Her character plays a pretty significant role in the books on which the series is based, so we can probably expect to see a lot of her!
By Mark Kroon
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