Amsterdam boasts more art-house theatres than any other European city. Dutch Film Institute EYE could be called the mothership of them all.
Is it a bird, drying its feathers on the northern banks of the River IJ? A plane, perhaps – or a UFO? As it happens, it’s none of the above. It’s the new home of the Dutch Film Institute, the EYE. A year since the open-ing, EYE is brooding on a new festival in April, keep an eye on their website for details.
Many a film-lover had to wipe away a tear when it was announced that EYE – then known as the Filmmuseum – would leave the lush surroundings of the Vondelpark, which it had called home since 1975. But even the most sentimental of movie buffs would have to admit that, although ideally and idyllically situated, EYE’s former digs – with a paltry two theatres and a measly 160 seats – seriously cramped the style of what should have been a shining beacon of film culture.
And shine the new EYE certainly does. As a glimmering ivory-scaled siren it beckons us to come over to the other side, to up-and-coming Amsterdam-Noord, a mere three minutes away by (free) ferry. The architects deliberately created a construction that never looks quite the same, subtly shifting depending on the viewing angle and time of day, mimicking the illusive quality of the silver screen itself. Once inside you won’t be disappointed. EYE’s four theatres can now house over 600 visitors; its immense exhibition hall has already played host to the celebrated Stanley Kubrick exhibition. From classics to own distributions, from retrospectives to lectures, there’s something here for everyone.