Every year since 2010 my boyfriend and I go to this movie festival called Imagine. Imagine Film Festival takes place in the Eye Film Museum, which has become pretty famous in Amsterdam since it moved to a very remarkable location a few years back. It is a big white, very modern building at the IJ canal, across from Amsterdam Central Station. A gorgeous building, a very nice museum, cool indie movies and quite good food with a nice view; amazing.
But, I do not really like that the Imagine Film Festival changed locations too. It used to be in Kriterion, which is a bit like a cafe or pub, which fits a festival like Imagine a lot better. Imagine is also called the Fantastic Film Festival, and it is leaning more towards eerie films, crazy horror movies and thrillers than any other movies. That means weirdo’s like me like to go there, although I still think horror and comedy are not a good romance 😉
I like to go there for the psychological thrillers and the suspense movies, so yesterday my boyfriend and I went to see Midnight Special, which was his idea, but I was happy to go too of course. Midnight Special is a movie by Jeff Nichols, a guy that likes to make slow and somewhat uncomfortable movies, like Take Shelter for example. I did not specifically love that one, cause I found it a bit too slow for my taste, but he also made Mud which is supposed to be really good too (still haven’t seen it!).
Fun fact is that Nichols always works together with the actor that I specifically know as General Zod and as the sad salesman from Boardwalk Empire: Nelson van Alden, I am talking about Michael Shannon. I used to not really like him, but since Boardwalk Empire I’ve grown to be a bit more fond of him as an actor. I still feel like it is very limiting if a director works with the same people all the time, I mean, there are so many undiscovered talents in the world and I feel it is a bit short sided to always work with the same people. Yes, I am also talking to you, Mr. Whedon! 😉
Anyway, as Midnight Special was shown on the Saturday evening 20:00 slot in the first week of the Imagine Film Festival, I assumed it would the best movie of the festival. I hope it is not going to be the best, cause I did not think it was that great. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is pretty amazing, but it is not an excellent flick to me. Partly this is because this journalist did a little introduction first, which made me look at the movie a bit differently (I will not write it down here, cause I do not want to spoil the movie for you). I just expected more action and more plot twists, but those weren’t really there.
I was hoping it would take me the whole movie to figure things out, but in the first half hour I think everybody kinda puzzled together what was going to happen. And there were a few things that I did not really understand, or that weren’t answered, which is also a bit annoying to me. Again, I will not spill anything here. What I can say is that this movie is (again) a flick with Michael Shannon who is the father of Alton Meyer, a special little kid. i really do not want to tell you anything about the movie, as that might influence your opinion of it. It might make this blog less powerful, but I will take that loss happily if it can make you enjoy the movie better 😉
What I liked about the movie, or LOVED, is the vibe. It is a bit eerie, it is very pressing, and it makes you root for the good guys even more, even though you might not know entirely if that is a good thing. What is also fun, is that the movie has a lot of famous people in it: Joel Edgerton (the creep from The Gift!), Kirsten Dunst (without her awesome Fargo accent this time) and Adam Driver (who does not sound as awesome without his mask 😉 ).
The movie is very entertaining and it probably will stick with you for a while. I am happy that Jeff Nichols does not try to hard to show things, he is excellent at not showing things, which is something I really like. It is cool when directors play with that kind of thing and make you fill in the holes without always being too vague about it.
Even though the movie was a bit too slow for me and it was not as terrific as I expected at this Film Festival, I am very curious if I get to check out other flicks this week, as Imagine is in Eye Film until April 24th. I hope to go and see The Invitation, but I am afraid I might not make it as it is National Secretary Day when it is playing.. If you are a non-Dutch speaking person visiting Amsterdam during Imagine, I would highly recommend you to go see at least one movie. You get to experience the free ferry behind the station, you get to see the beautiful view from the building and you get to experience a movie with weird Dutch people! 🙂