Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rotterdam, Rain, Movies

Any married Spinster worth her salt knows better than to let her husband gallivant around Europe unchaperoned, which is how I come to find myself in Rotterdam. While Rob makes with the art talk over the next four days, I plan to amuse myself with a haunted house, a maritime museum, walks in the rain, and, of course, movies. The most delightful so far is Send Me To The 'Lectric Chair, Guy Maddin and Isabella Rosselini's tribute to Thomas Edison, electricity, the movie camera and all their attendant thrills.

Update: I saw an old Chantal Ackerman film, Saute Ma Ville (more on that later), and part of a Russian teen-angst movie called Everybody Dies But Me, which was average. I walked to the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in the driving wind and rain, only to realize I'd left my student card in my hotel room -- and I'll be dammed if I'm paying 12 Euros -- so I trudged over to the Maritime Museum where I shivered in my soaking socks and learned a lot about the Dutch East and West Indian Companies (fact check: the museum claims the Dutch West Indian Company ran the colony of New Amsterdam for a time ... and they're right! Bonus points awarded to any reader who can tell me the name of the company man they put in charge of the operation). Why am I obsessed with maritme museums? I can't tell you that. But it's the same part of me that simply *had* to wander along the canals in the January drizzle and look at the boats. That folly was richly rewarded, though, since I wandered my way to the cube houses, which are strange and delightful enough to merit the hike.

Finally, I visited one of the Festival's more whimsical installations, the Haunted House featuring rooms by Wisit Sasanatieng (“Tears of the Black Tiger”, “The Unseeable”), Amir Muhammad (“Susuk”), Lav Diaz (“Death in the Land of the Encantos”) , Nguyen Vihn Son (“The Moon at the Bottom of the Well”), Garin Nugroho (“Opera Jawa”) and Riri Riza (“Eliana, Eliana”). Wisit's room, "Close Encounter With The Ghost" made me jump, Lav Diaz's "Manila's Dark Room" made me really not want to be alone with my thoughts, and Garin Nugroho's "Transformation: Ghosts in Garin's House" was strangely inviting. My apologies to Riri Riza for stepping on the flowers in his "Purificaion Pod."

Between the raininess, the wateriness, the ghostiness and the viewing of some vintage Ackerman, I'd have to say it's been a pretty dreamy day so far ...


P.L. Kerpius said...

WOW! And cubic houses! More, Spinster, more!

Anonymous said...

Henry Hudson! Henry Hudson!