Thursday, February 07, 2008

Euro 2008 Film Festival: Group C, Holland

Film Festival Rules & Guidelines

Film selected (Year, Director): Interview (2003, Theo Van Gogh)
Rating: 7/10
Rules compliance: All Rules met

Relevance to Soccer: listening to the star

A few decades ago, people just watched the soccer game and only discussed the player's performance. No one interviewed the soccer player or cared to hear what the soccer player had to say. Then with the advent of tv and the popularity of the game, countless tv shows and publications on the game originated. In order to accommodate all the different media needs, interviews with players were needed to fill the tv spots and pages of papers. Unfortunately, most of the interviews are not very useful which give very little insight into the game or even the player's thinking. But every now and then, a good interviewer manages to corner a player and get something useful related to the game out of the player.

Just like soccer, the history of interviews with film stars has followed a similar pattern. A long time ago, in the era of silent movies, the actors performed in front of the camera and no one really cared to listen to what they had to say. But with the popularity of movies, the number of interviews with the actors increased. And in today's day and age, interviews with actors outnumber the films they act in -- actors are often carted from room to room giving the same interview over and over. As a result, a single movie spawns more than a few dozen interviews. Most of the interviews turn out recycled words but just like the soccer interviews, sometimes an interviewer actually manages to get the actors to say something interesting.

The Dutch film Interview starts off with Pierre (a political journalist) accepting to interview Katja, a popular B movie actress.

Pierre has no interest in the interview and early on launches into a personal attack. But Katja is unfazed and bites back.

What follows is an intense dialogue, with one person clearly playing the other.

One of the reasons I picked this Dutch film was to finally see something by Theo Van Gogh. I only heard of him after he was murdered. Ian Buruma's book A Murder in Amsterdam details not only his murder but also looks at how this murder made people question Holland's stance of tolerance. Also, this film was also remade into a low budget Hollywood film with Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller released in 2007.

No comments: