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The BBC's bank in Manchester (photo by author)

After the #Zomergasten with Bibi Dumon Tak, the main question remains: how to proceed with books on TV?

Adriaan van Dis with an intensely coquettish Renate Dorrestein, who (rightly) got him on the ropes with a few well-aimed pussy remarks. This excerpt from 1991 opened Zomergasten 2023 #4, and it chopped. Nostalgia all around, and during those first minutes of Theo Maassen with animal and children's book author Bibi Dumon Tak, the bar was set high. Would Theo Maassen with this... 

Fisherman's friend

'Darkness with something of hope' - Second #Zomergasten under Theo Maassen delivers impressive Fishermansfriend moment

At a little before half past eleven, Sunday evening 30 July, cabaret performer and gifted interviewer Theo Maassen asked world-famous cameraman Hoyte van Hoytema: "What's the question you don't get answered?" Hoyte: "Shit, are you going to close with that?!" It was in the telling finale of an extraordinarily impressive second episode of Zomergasten 2023. An episode, too, in which we talked a lot about cinematography... 

Muziekgebouw aan t IJ Grote Zaal cr Postman81 (Postman81, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

Music building big loser at glorious start of #Zomergasten 2023 under Theo Maassen.

The motorhome sank. The theatre group Vis à Vis-inspired studio set of the legendary summer series Zomergasten had had its day. Was probably also because of the new presenter. Theo Maassen is very tall and lanky, and likes to flap his legs, so he would never have lasted without a wet suit to spend six summer Sunday evenings on the... 

On citation law, De Wereld Draait Door and John de Mol's claim robot (Angry Spirits Podcast with Ewout Jansen)

In 2014, The Cutter published a review of De Wereld Draait Door. What not many people will know is that prior to that moment, there was a weeks-long battle behind the scenes over this publication. De Wereld Draait Door tried with all its might to stop the episode by not giving permission to quote the footage. Initially,... 

Writers writing. That's what Moped at Sea is about, and that's ok. 

Many avid readers will dream of their favourite author sitting at their table one day, talking about her work. Perhaps just as many avid readers will take their dream author on a stroll, want to drink lamb on a café terrace or take them to a darkroom. Or to a classical concert at the Concertgebouw. All can be done. Some will even just... 

illustration accompanying article Animation31 interview with Stephane Kaas

Animation & Stephane Kaas: 'I like to give animators a certain freedom.'

We asked him a few questions about his experiences and influences. What is your experience with animation so far? Stephane Kaas, self-portrait 'As a child, I liked drawing comics. With a friend, I made the comic Kaas-Trek, a kind of persiflage on Star-Trek, and we would sell it to classmates and buy candy from them. Who framed Roger Rabbit remember... 

Nadia's revenge. VPRO's #onstage is the best answer to the cynics at the top of the NPO

Maybe it's the snow, and my little dog that made me so happy. Maybe it's the sledding children in 'The Pit' of Lunetten, and maybe it's the lameness that creeps up on me after so many valiant attempts to keep up the fun of art in times of Corona. But I sat through the first minutes of VPRO's Onstage... 

Renzo Martens on White Cube: 'From now on, the Stedelijk should devote its entire acquisitions budget to art by plantation workers.'

A sleek, snow-white art temple in the middle of the Congolese interior. What does that mean? Renzo Martens talks about his new documentary White Cube, and the art project that allows plantation workers to buy back their land. Premiering at IDFA and in Lusanga, Congo.

Bending, concrete and brown sugar: why Paulien Cornelisse can't get bored of Japan

Long before flower arranging, forest bathing and tidying up in Japanese became hype, Paulien Cornelisse was already a big fan of the country. Her new book Japan in a hundred little pieces is like a manual Japan for beginners. Her love for Japan once began with Bobby & Kate's colourful, mole-sweet-smelling eraser - similar to Hello Kitty - that... 


It is with great regret that the Holland Festival is forced to cancel the 73rd edition, which was to take place from 4 to 28 June 2020. The corona pandemic's persistent, domestic and foreign restrictions and uncertainties make it impossible for the international performing arts festival to take place. The ongoing, restrictive measures that the central government had to announce 21 April last,... 

Matthijs goes to Saturday night. That, of course, is the end of VPRO's Mondo (update: or not?).

Fascinating front-page news and headliners for all talk shows: Matthijs van Nieuwkerk quits DWDD after 15 years. Obviously a disaster of national proportions. The book industry proclaims the end of the world, bands can no longer break through, and the successor to De Correspondent can never again meet its crowdfunding target in six minutes. An institution disappears, and everyone panics. Who... 

Why a sooty coat should always be explained. (Without tour guides, ushers and interpreters, art loses any raison d'être.)

Art has always needed explanation. Even 'easy' art, even 'art that sells itself'. Art has needed that explanation ever since the first caveman found out that her sooty smudges on the cave wall looked very much like a bison. Actually, this is why it is wrong to speak of 'explanation' and 'need'. Art and story are one, since the... 

Ivo van Hove directed a top-notch broadcast of Zomergasten, with a wonderful lead role for Janine Abbring.

Janine Abbring has managed to pull the somewhat ramshackle institution Zomergasten out of the doldrums. She has fun, is excellently prepared, is genuinely interested in her guests and has managed to push the eternal battle element into the background without making the broadcasts less exciting. That battle element was always: does the interviewer succeed in 'breaking' the guest? Because. 

New Lights at Filmclub Hyena - how young makers are breathing life into documentary

Good news for anyone who has so far missed If you grow up later, Max Baggerman's double award-winning graduation film. This documentary look at working people, as poetic as it is socially critical, can be seen again on 1 August as part of New Lights. This evening is the second instalment of a new bi-monthly event that introduces us to... 

Angélica Liddell's screams are particularly interesting in The Scarlet Letter

The much nudity and sex in Angelica Liddel's adaptation of Hawthorne's famous novel are a bit old-fashioned. The Spanish language is the real attraction. In his review of Angélica Liddell's play 'The Scarlet Letter' on this website, Wijbrand Schaap calls the scene with a naked black man "a painful low point". According to Schaap, the man is treated by Lidell as... 

Petra Gerritsen goes to a concert almost every night off. 'You're with your own group. But how bad is that?'

'I work five nights a week and so I have to find out specifically when I can go to a concert. Sometimes I take time off for it. And then they do say, "hey, are you going to a concert again already?", and I say, "of course I'm going to a concert again". But I don't think it's extreme either.' Petra Gerritsen is process expert 

Why The Look of Koolhoven deserves a lot of emulation.

In the last century, we had Teleac. Teleac taught me to play chess. Quite extraordinary for television. Perhaps because I have associated television with 'learning' in that way from a young age, I am thrilled with the series made by VPRO with Martin Koolhoven. It is, for the first time in ages, television that stimulates the mind, that makes you think ... 

'Film works wonderfully motivating for children.' Booster for film education - on its way to a permanent place in the classroom

Until now, film education has mostly been a grab bag of initiatives. But now that the minister mentions it in her policy plan and extra money has been allocated, new steps can be taken. Towards a permanent place in the classroom? We ask Florine Wiebenga, head of education Eye, and Jeroen Stultiens, Film Teacher of the Year.

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