Magnificent 7 Belgrade – Day 2/3

”I was asked to do that film”, Oeke Hoogendijk said at the Q&A session after the opening screening of ”The New Rijksmuseum – the Film” friday night January 30 at the Sava Centre in Belgrade. The hall was full, more than 1000 spectators, the reactions were positive during the film – the 130 minutes version was shown, director’s cut, she stressed in the small VIP room, where also the masterclass was held this morning with around 25 young filmmakers and students. ”At the beginning I wrote a script but I had to throw it away as we went along and things happened that could not be anticipated”. Nobody could imagine that the reconstruction of the museum could take more than a decade.

Oeke Hoogendijk ended up with 400 hours of material. She made a film out of the material already in 2008. She made a four part series for television and ”I learned a lot from making that film – go with the film, trust your intuition”.

You can ”enter” the film in many ways. There is the overall conflict between the cyclists, their union and the museum people, there is the latter’s internal affairs/meetings, there is the Spanish architects and their growing frustration with the “perversion of democracy” as one of them is calling the eternal discussions about how the entrance to the museum should be in order to satisfy the civil society, there are the art works themselves kept away in a storage and there are the characters as they come forward:

The first director and the second director, very different they are, the first aristocratic, the second one more a modern manager type finding it much easier to deal with the media. He loves the camera! The Spanish architects, very sympathetic. The cyclist lobby and the politicians falling for their arguments, not so sympathetic. The curators, first of all Menno Fitski, who comes out as the darling of the film with his shining passion for what he is doing to bring the Japanese statues alive in his Asian pavilion of the museum. The conservators struggling with Rembrandt and other masters. The caretaker and his love for his work. And so on so forth…

Hoogendijk’s film is about a lot but maybe first and foremost about Passion and Creativity. “Devotion”, the director said, who explained to the masterclass participants how she sometimes had to lie to get to the truth, creating scenes she had heard about from inside the museum, moments when she was not there and therefore constructed in the editing. Hoogendijk, originally educated in theatre, explained how the music was composed, she had the intention to create a kind of opera feeling – and she succeeded.

A grand opening of the Magnificent7 2015.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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