Between Theatre and Cinema. The Films of Alex van Warmerdam
(Gerdin Linthorst) The Low Countries - 1994, № 2, pp. 33-36
Coming from the world of the theatre, the young Alex van Warmerdam occupies a special place in the still not fully developed field of the Dutch feature film. To date he has made only two features, Abel (1986) and The Northerners (De Noorderlingen, 1992). A small output, as yet; and it is for its quality rather than its quantity that it is being considered here. This question of its quality led to fierce debate in the Dutch film world: ‘was it filmed theatre or pure cinema? But how much does that really matter? He steers his own idiosyncratic and highly inventive course between theatre and cinema, with the dialogue, the anecdote, the always slightly theatrical design and the often archetypal characters combining to create a completely unique picture of a world which appears very Dutch. When that world contains so much that is recognisable and enjoyable, the whole debate as to whether or not it is film pales into insignificance.
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