EYE Film Institute Special Program



EYE FILM INSTITUTE NETHERLANDS, the Dutch centre for film culture and heritage, is dedicated to developing a vigorous film culture in the Netherlands. Through its activities and services, EYE aims to foster a viable film industry in the Netherlands and to promote Dutch film at home and abroad.


The Institute has the following goals: advancing knowledge about film and related audiovisual media, providing film and media education for children and young adults, increasing film attendance, supporting the film sector in making a greater contribution to public debate, promoting and highlighting the medium within the arts.


EYE unites the Dutch film sector: EYE FILM INSTITUTE NETHERLANDS was founded on 1 January 2010 by merging four important film organisations: Holland Film, the Nederlands Instituut voor Filmeducatie, the Filmbank (the main collector, exhibitor and distributor of contemporary Dutch experimental film, founded in 2001 by key Dutch experimental filmmakers and curators like Anna Abrahams, Peter Van Hoof, Cyrus Frisch and others) and the Filmmuseum. With this fusion, the Dutch film world acquired an umbrella organisation that unites the film sector.


The aim of the department of EYE EXPERIMENTAL is to find an audience for independent, experimental Dutch films. 'Experimental' in the widest sense of the word, encapsulating work that is inspired by the classic avant-garde or work that explores the relationship between film and other art forms. Any form that are suitable for projection are eligible. Format and length are unimportant. Quality is. EYE EXPERIMENTAL will showcase films that are unique in their unconventional subject matter, working method and form. Films that are so confusing, beautiful, harsh or absurd that they are difficult to forget.


INTERIORS: EYE Film Institute Netherlands Special Program / Curator: ANNA ABRAHAMS


“Welcome! Step inside! I invite you on a tour inside the world of new Dutch experimental and artist's cinema from the festival selection of EYE.


EYE is the film museum of the Netherlands. It conserves, restores, explains and presents the biggest collection of films in the Netherlands. Its collection is varied: you will find early cinema, animation, documentary, fiction and experimental films. This last category is where I come in. As project leader experimental film, I organize weekly screenings of avant-guard and artist's films in our cinema. And with a small curatorial staff we select the best new Dutch experimental films which we distribute in the international festival circuit. It is from this selection that I have picked six surprising shorts for you.



In experimental cinema there are no rules - we don't care about continuity of space, eye-line mismatches, or main characters that change roles half way the film. Everything is permitted. This immediately brings in the problem of how to define what is a 'good' or a 'bad' experimental film. Who could possibly make this judgment? I think modesty is in its place and that it's more worthwhile to research for yourself what works for you, and why.


Experimental films are not always easy to enter. On first sight their exterior might look strange. You sometimes need a certain sensitivity or perseverance to find the entrance door. And not every films opens itself for everybody. It's just like: not every lid fits on every pot. Don't feel bad about it, just go on to the next film and try again. I promise you that in the end your effort will pay up. Knowledge of film helps, as many of these films are about film: they ask themselves what film is and what it can be.


With INTERIORS I want to share films with you that touch me because they are searching for some internal truth, and ask questions about values in life, instead of trying to give me answers. They don't need many words to pose their question, but rather use more cinematic means. The films move me. They activate me, rather than soothe me into oblivion, or knock me out. They make me think about how we lead our lives, in our house, with our routines, our friends and family, or daily desires and fears.


This is the line up for the program: DAUGHTERS shows us the love and care between grandmother, mother and daughter. The action is recognizable, and seems to speak for itself. At the same time it surpasses the moment and looks towards the future. Can this chain, this family treasure be kept intact to be inherited from generation to generation? / The next film shows us the beauty of symmetry and harmony of movement in a choreography with a very simple and daily object - cello tape. A very precise and meticulously made stop motion animation: TAPE GENERATIONS. / From order we step to chaos, with MOTOR, where a housing block that looks like it was designed and built for rational living, is set ablaze from within. / Then there is LIGHTHOUSE, where we find a young and an old man together in a house that seems to be floating in a space and time of it's own. Or - are there really two men? / LIVING ROOM is a performative film, where a tree is moved from the backyard to the front yard in the shortest possible way. / We say goodbye with TAMPOPO HEAD AND THE NAME OF THE DOG, a film about friendship, tolerance and the beauty to be found in strange habits.


I hope you will enjoy the screening.” (ANNA ABRAHAMS)



ANNA ABRAHAMS (1963, Oslo) is presently Project Leader Programming at the EYE FILM INSTITUTE NETHERLANDS. Prior to this she was the Director of Filmbank, the main collector, exhibitor and distributor of contemporary Dutch experimental film, founded in 2001 by key Dutch experimental filmmakers and curators like Anna Abrahams, Peter Van Hoof, Cyrus Frisch and others. She studied film studies and art history at the University of Amsterdam. She also works as a director and editor of films concerning cultural and social subjects for the independent production foundation Rongwrong, which she founded with her partner filmmaker Jan Frederik Groot in 1989.


Her films have been screened and awarded in prestigious film festivals all over the world like Rotterdam, Montreal, Marseille, Indielisboa, Jihlava, Huesca etc. Abrahams has lectured at art academies in The Hague, Rotterdam, Tilburg, Maastricht, Utrecht and Amsterdam, and was author and editor for several magazines on film, television and architecture and also (co)author of a number of books on avant-garde film. Presently she also teaches film at the Royal Art Academy in The Hague. Filmography: 7 Peaks (2012) / Desert 79°: 3 Journeys Beyond the Known World (2010) / DIY (2009) / 5 Walks. Hercynia Silva (2008) / Cadavre Exquis (2004) / Rowing (2003) / Zero Degrees (2003) / Episode 51 56' (2002) / Machine Eye (2000) / Resort (2000) / Notes From The Underground (1998) / Tropengraf. Een West-indische overlevering (1998) / Sotsgorod - Steden voor de heilstaat (1995) / Building The Van Nelle Factories 1917-1933 (1991).



DAUGHTERS (23', The Netherlands, 2011) Read more


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Screened in Rotterdam and Cinema du Reel 2012, DAUGHTERS is an intimate documentary reflection on loneliness and loss. After ten years living abroad, Marta returns to Poland to help her mother clear out her recently deceased grandmother’s apartment. The geographical separation which so defines this mother-daughter relationship is represented by blending 8mm family archive film with Skype conversations. Going through the old objects in the grandmother’s apartment brings up the issue of care taking and how its responsibility is shifting to the next generation.

LIGHTHOUSE (19', The Netherlands, 2012) Read more


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World premiered in Rotterdam IFF 2012, LIGHTHOUSE is an ambiguous 19-minute short movie filmed in a one shot scene that plays on the opposition between light and darkness. The camera follows the restless protagonist as he goes from one room of the house to the next. In sharp contrast to him, the father sits as stiff as a statue in his chair, gazing out the window. Structured around dichotomies (light/dark, young/old, motion/stillness), LIGHTHOUSE is remarkable in its several smooth passages from day to night in the same 19-minutes uncut shot.

MOTOR (9', The Netherlands, 2012) Read more


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Beginning with a shot reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, MOTOR is a short film/music piece that follows the secretive behavior of a group of seven people living in the same building. An atmosphere charged with tension, enhanced by a haunting sountrack, in which paranoia and rumour spread like a virus. Inside sadness seeps through the walls, while outside fear escalates like burning flames. MOTOR premiered at Rotterdam in 2012 and won the Netherlands Film Fund prize in 2009.

TAMPOPO HEAD AND THE NAME OF THE DOG (18', The Netherlands, 2011) Read more


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Human relationships are the central subject of this experimental narrative film and it originated in the director’s personal interest in the personal life of her former neighbour, Hilko, who named one of his dogs “Toshie”, after her. In Hilko’s home there is no logical border between a man and an animal. The fairytale-like narrative and romantic images of TAMPOPO HEAD AND THE NAME OF THE DOG are inspired by daily experiences and conversations. Combined with fictive elements and her own ideas about the relationship between humans and dogs, Takeuchi dives into her neighbor’s universe and consequently embarks on a journey of self-reflection.

TAPE GENERATIONS (3', The Netherlands, 2011) Read more


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A time lapse animation, TAPE GENERATIONS is an abstract choreography of shapes, reminding of Bugsy Berkley’s kaleidoscopic on-screen performances. It is a non-narrative short that focuses on visual and temporal rhythm as it plays with the audiences’ perception. Hundreds of transparent tape rolls stuck in a symmetric structure take a life of their own, as they start peeling off in unpredictable compositions and at their own pace.

THE LIVING ROOM (9', The Netherlands, 2011) Read more


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World premiered in Rotterdam IFF 2012, THE LIVING ROOM is a video installation existing both as a three-channel and a single channel version, screened both in film festivals and the museum/gallery circuit. It is a non-narrative piece that shows in an absurd fashion and a deliberate slow pace how our representation of reality is actually a construction. No longer protected from the outside by the thin sheets of glass, the vacuum of the room is broken by the destructive invasion of an oak tree. Being both realistic and absurd, the confrontation between the two raises questions about the meaning and symbolism of the tree and of the private domain within the Western culture.