The New Rijksmuseum


Graded @Filmmore Amsterdam, Martin Klein

Producer: Column Film
Director: Oeke Hoogendijk
DoP: Sander Snoep

Metal claws crush walls that until recently displayed important Dutch art treasures. All the drilling and dismantling should eventually give rise to something beautiful, but demolition turns out to be easier than building. From the outset, the restoration job has been plagued by various commissions, the Dutch Bicycle Association, building regulations and city councillors, so the opening has had to be postponed repeatedly. The years wear on, and the frustrations mount.

Oeke Hoogendijk introduces a varied group of characters in The New Rijksmuseum: a flamboyant museum director; a concierge whose love for the building betrays some grim traits; a Spanish team of architects who are sad to see the umpteenth design being relegated to the wastebasket. The immaculate photography and lucid editing keep this opera buffa coherent. And the ingenious use of style elements that traditionally belong to the feature film genre also provides structure: a staff member of the museum neatly pins up a steady flow of newspaper articles on a notice board, which is the recurrent introduction to a new scene.

The New Rijksmuseum was awarded with the prestigious Nipkow Award in 2013.

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