All posts by cathycentral

Amsterdam Film Show | December 2017

A poker queen fights the FBI, Jedi knights, a young deaf actor, not one but two  Franco brothers, a migrant bear and migrant queers. Our Amsterdam Film Show tips for December are here. 


  • our review of Molly’s Game (from 26 Dec in NL) from Megan Buxton & Cathy Leung.
  • Added commentary from guest critic David Swatling
  • our highlights (low brow and high brow) from the new cinema releases hitting Amsterdam this month
  • special screenings and film festivals
  • YouTube & TV versions, or see text script below …
  • links via Pinterest



Molly’s Game | DRAMA | Dir. Aaron Sorkin | w. Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba | 26 Dec in NL

After running high stakes poke games for celebrities and the totally minted in LA and New York, Molly Bloom is facing prison unless she gives the Feds intel. Will she squeal? 


@cathycentral:  “A 6/10 for a good story but it seems to stay close to her book, her voice and not very objective.  I think the director held back too much – there’s so many powerful people, some of which are his friends, and I think he chickened out. I, Tonya is coming out soon and that looks much more entertaining.” 

Megan: “A quick-paced script and characters speak to one-another in quick succession. This technique is also used in The Big Short and Wolf of Wall Street, and I think is intended to mind-boggle the audience, keeping them slightly alienated from the details of triple A mortgages/ shares/ poker. This made the film appear well-researched and intelligent.  One of the few films with a (formerly) successful and ambitious woman who is still portrayed as likeable, friendly and clever. had no choice but to include it.”



“Here’s the Amsterdam Film Show’s highlights from the film releases in the Netherlands, this month.”


Paddington 2 (OV) | Director: Paul King | w. Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, + regulars | Screening @

“Paddington Bear has settled into London life with his new family but when it’s time to buy a family birthday present he gets caught up in a criminal underworld.” (OK that sounds dark. It’s not obvs.)

then, from 7 Dec …

Wonderstruck | FANTASY DRAMA | Director: Todd Haynes

Writers: Brian Selznick (based on the book by) | inc Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams | Screening @  

50 years seperate a Mid western boy and a girl from New York from days gone by. But something connects them …

“Just looks magical!”


Star Wars: The Last Jedi | Dir. Rian Johnson | Writers: Rian Johnson, George Lucas (based on characters created by) | w. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher | (Episode 8 in the series, the 2nd in the new trilogy.)

Having found Luke Skywalker, young apprentice Rey joins Leia, Finn and Poe in another epic battle, unlocking secrets of the Force.

@cathycentral: “I have a bad feeling about this” (that Luke will turn out to be a baddie). But it’s the one i’m most likely to go see at the cinema if I’m honest.


The Disaster Artist | Dir: James Franco| w. Dave Franco, James Franco 

“In 2003 Tommy Wiseau, an independent filmmaker and larger than life character wrote, directed and produced his vanity project and romantic drama, The Room, spending $6m in the process.  It’s now a cult classic. Here’s the story behind the best-worst film ever.”

  • Stars James Franco as Tommy Wiseau and his brother Dave Franco as Greg Sestero.”
  • So far highly rated by critics and audiences alike, hailing it as both funny and touching.” Eg “In a kooky yet vulnerable and heartfelt performance, Franco gets right at the heart of what makes Wiseau a true hero – his sheer willingness to try” Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service


Molly’s Game (discussed earlier, see review)


“Film festivals and our picks of the special screenings this month”

6-10 Dec

International Queer & Migrant Film Festival @ De Bale


Sun 10 DecOn Body and Soul + EN subs | Hungarian Golden Bear Winner | CINE EXPAT series @ CINECENTER | Drinks with the host before the film

A worker in a slaugherhousekeeps herself to herself but then she discovers her dreams and her bosses dreams are strangely similar. What can this mean?




18 DECEMBER | 22:00 | The Untouchables (1987) + whisky tasting @ Kriterion

21 Dec – 1 Jan| Christmas movies screening at a pop-up cinema at De Amsterdamse Winterparade @ RAI


What’s on? Amsterdam

“Here are some ideas, now over to you. Enjoy. x”
  • links via Pinterest
  • video reel
  • text listings
  • Heads up 2018, a gig list mainly


What’s on? Amsterdam | Dec 2017

til 4 Feb

ICE Amsterdam @ Museumplein

For the 5th time, local residents & visitors can go ice skating underneath a replica of ‘De Magere Brug’ at Museumplein. (It’s meant to be nostalgic). It will also be the largest mobile ice rink in Amsterdam. Festive food and drink, ice-skating lessions and the Christmas market, Ice*Village, will run from 20-30 Dec. Tickets on sale now.

until 21 January

Amsterdam Light Festival @ various locations

The light art installations of Amsterdam Light Festival are exclusively made for the festival, created with a specific location in mind, like the masts of the VOC ship ‘de Amsterdam’. In total, 35 artworks will be on show, including ‘thinline’ by Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei. You can experience the water exhibition via a ‘Water Colors’ cruise (running from now until 21 January) or visit the land exhibition at the new location at the Marineterrein Amsterdam (from 14 December until 7 January). The land exhibition at the Marineterrein is freely accessible from 17:00-22:00, closing early on New Year’s Eve.

Thu 7 Dec | 20:30

Zitakula @ in Paradiso Noord – Tolhuistuin

Our favourite afro-beats band. They sold out the Kleine Zaal (small hall) of the Paradiso last April for the release of their debut album ‘Oasis’. So if you missed them then, here’s another chance.

Thu 7 Dec | 20:30

Nutty Anita’s Comedy Night @ De Nieuwe Anita

Farbod Frappant headlines and Ken Parsons plays host.

Sat 9 Dec | 12:00 – 14:30

BAEs That Lunch (The Holiday Edition)

This local Christmas brunch is organised by the Creative Women’s Collective together with Girls That Grub. Their last networking collaboration was at The Kanarie Club and they even made a video about it. Buy a ticket to attend. “The CWC aims to give creative women the knowledge, tools, and network, to help them maximize their creative strengths. Online as well as offline.”

Sun 10 Dec

Vintage Santa Tram by Amsterdam Mamas @ Elektrische Tram Museum (see our video for a taste of what to expect)

Sun 10 Dec  

VERSO / Uprising @ Mezrab

A monthly literary journal in Amsterdam featuring local and visiting editors, writers, artists, and thinkers, in live-form poems, stories, essays, interviews, reviews, and more. Courtesy of Versal and the Mezrab.

Sun 17 Dec

Breakfast with Santa @ The Hard Rock Cafe

All children receive a complimentary small gift from Santa, who will be there with Mrs Santa Claus. It’s a buffet breakfast, including bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, poffertjes, fruit and more. Children under 2 eat for free. Reserve online.

Sun 17 Dec from 11:00-16:00

Kerst in de duinen @ De Kennemerduinen, near Bloemendaal

The shepherd will be at the Visitor Centre with his sheep, for the children to pet. Listen to Christmas songs from the choir and shop for sustainable Christmas presents. For a small fee, there are winter crafts to make, like a bird feeder or a sheep’s wool Christmas bauble. The Dune Café will be open and serving hot chocolate, mulled wine and other winter snacks. Admission is free, dogs are not allowed.

Sunday 10 & 17 December

Puremarkt @ Amstelpark then Park Frankendael

A special winter market from 11:00-17:00.

Thu 21 Dec  

Winter Solstice Celebration | @ Mixtree 7, stadspas, students 5

To celebrate the shortest day of the year and the re-opening of the much-loved Mixtree Project, Ken Parsons has arranged this special event. There will be food, music, storytelling, poetry, comedy and a proper Ceilidh, traditional Scottish dancing. The live music includes: Celtic folk, anarcho blue-trash and some soulful Amercian and Country. For food & drink: there will be pumpkin soup, Scottish stovies and “many a wee dram”.  Food from 18:00 Festivities from 19:30.

21 Dec-1 Jan

De Amsterdamse Winterparade @ RAI

Boasting a skate rink, a beer village with live music, ‘winterplein’ with Christmas market, food stalls, a pop-up cinema showing Christmassy movies and get this – chalet hire (for a bit of an apres-ski feeling). Reserve your tickets online.

26 Dec, 16:00- 18:30

Paradiso’s Kerstmatinee

Featuring the Paradiso Orchestra and guests. With glühwein.

“Absolutely charming festive family concert” says @CathyCentral

31 Dec | 21:00–4:00

Great Gatsby Club NYE Party @ De Nieuwe KHL, Eastern Docklands

“A Vintage-, Retro-, & (Electro) Swing party for Hepcats and Kittens.” (Ed – not ‘swinging’ party which has a very different meaning. No this is all about the dancing.) With live ‘dixie’ music, DJs, and burlesque, cocktails and finger food. “Think Boardwalk Empire, Charlie Chaplin, Betty Boop, The Godfather” and you’re encouraged to dress the part.


‘A Dreary Night in November’

We filmed a pop-up play; an original, local drama,  ‘A Dreary Night in November’, a ghost story set in Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam. A first for us!


In 1816, Lord Byron and his friends had a ghost story competition, which is when Mary Shelley dreamed up her classic gothic novel, Frankenstein.

200 years later, one dreary November night in Amsterdam, some gallery visitors stumble across Lord Byron, Mary Shelley & friends, and get a ghost story of their own.

Performed by Mulholland Academy and Dept of Acting (

dreary night november event

Logistics of a pop-up play: “We’d settled on the Library room at Foam as the perfect location, but shortly before our event the space was filled with an installation: a giant wooden structure filled with products from China. This left us with a dark corner under the stairs. The challenge I think paid off for the dramatic effects, but it did limit the size of the audience to max 15 people at a time; meaning that the actors had to perform the piece several times during the evening. It was a bit of a logistical nightmare for the whole event, limiting the number of guests. It would be nice in this case, with your film, to be able to share the little play with a wider audience. Karen Haggarty

Why? The pop-up performance of ‘A Dreary Night in November’ on 19 November 2016 was organised by Karen Haggarty and Claudio Tapia and raised €400 for the refugee charity, Stichting Vluchteling.

(‘A Dreary Night in November’ will also broadcast on Amsterdam’s Salto 1 TV channel on 16, 17, 23 & 24 November 2017 – see





Snow-set thrillers | Ams Film Show | Nov 2017


  • review of Wind River (from Megan Buxton) and The Snowman (from David Swatling)
  • our highlights (low brow and high brow) from the new cinema releases hitting Amsterdam this month
  • special screenings: the latest Cine Expat edition
  • YouTube & TV versions, or see text script below …


Wind River v The Snowman (“two snow-set serial killer-thrillers”)

Wind River | Dir. Taylor Sheridan | CRIME THRILLER | stars: Elizabeth Olsen, Jeremy Renner

“Following the murder of a local girl on a remote Native American Reservation, a rookie FBI agent investigates with help from a local game tracker with a haunted past.”

@cathycentral: “Writer-Director, Taylor Sheridan, also wrote Hell or High Water and Sicario and those were both excellent films. So count me in.”

Screening @ Pathe city @ Filmhallen, EYE filmmuseum, Kriterion, Lab 111, The Movies

The Snowman | Director: Tomas Alfredson, based on book by Jo Nesbø | Stars: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg

“Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.”

screening @ Filmhallen & the Pathe chain from 2 Nov


“Here’s the Amsterdam Film Show’s highlights from the film releases in the Netherlands, this month.”



What Happened to Monday dystopian thriller staring Noomi Rapace.  

Your Name | FANTASY ANIMATION | Dir-Scr: Makoto Shinkai |

“A random body switch between two teenage strangers lead to a magical connection and though the two long to meet, it’s far from simple.”

screening @ Filmhallen, EYE filmmuseum, Lab 111, Pathe de Munt , The Movies (but expect NL subs)


Murder on the Orient Express | CLASSIC MYSTERY | Dir: Kenneth Branagh | based on Agatha Christie’s classic | Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, & a zillion other A-listers

“Thirteen stranded strangers on a long train ride & Poirot the Belgian detective weeds out the murderer, yet again.”


@cathycentral “mostly a vehicle for Kenneth Branagh? ‘Scuse the pun)”

Screening @ De Uitkijk, Pathe chain at least

also from 9 Nov …

The Square | SATIRE | Director: Ruben Östlund, Writer: Ruben Östlund, Stars: Claes Bang, Elisabeth Moss, Dominic West

“From the dir of The The Square is a poignant satirical drama reflecting our times – about the sense of community, moral courage and the affluent person’s need for egocentricity in an increasingly uncertain world.”

@cathycentral says “From the make of the well-received Turist, NB it’s quite long at 2h 22min”

Screening @ EYE filmmuseum, Pathé City, Rialto, Filmhallen, Cinecenter (expect NL subs but some English spoken)


We can’t honestly single out a pick from this week’s new releases. But what do you think …?

Justice League | latest offering from the stable

Ghost Story | critics love it , audiences may struggle to embrace it, slow moving film- poetic meditiation on what we leave behind when we die, staring Rooney Mara.

Suburbicon | Coen brothers (scriptwriters) staring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac directed by George Clooney.

(Also three foreign-language movies, Hanneke’s latest, Happy End, Danish drama, Heartstone and C’est la Vie, a French comedy.)


Battle of the Sexes | COMEDY DRAMA | Directors: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris,  Writer: Simon Beaufoy| Stars: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough

“The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.”


The Killing of a Sacred Deer | Dir-Scr: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) | Stars: Nicole Kidman, Alicia Silverstone, Colin Farrell

“Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.”



IDFA | the documentary film festvial| 15-26 Nov | all over town

Many screenings get sold out. it’s also very popular with the general public as well as the many many film industry and press people who are visiting for the festival.


Sunday 12 Nov | The Square + EN subs

c/o CINE EXPAT series @ CINECENTER  | Drinks with the host before the film


New radio station – we need you!


Broadcast Amsterdam is launching an internet radio station soon!

HELP! If you have a minute, please help us plan the best radio station ever by completing this ultra short survey.

We plan to bring you …

  • latest  music
  • local, independent news and events in English
  • local interviews
  • pop-up shows
  • podcasts
  • opportunities to pitch for a radio show/spot

Sign up to our email list to stay updated and hear about opportunities to get involved or share events.



Too dirty for TV?

We have a weekly 19:00 spot on Amsterdam TV but we thought even Amsterdammers might not appreciate Aidan’s naughty humour so early in the evening. So we kept it exclusively for YouTube. And Aidan doesn’t just tell dirty jokes, he can be offensive about a whole range of things …

NB We are very sorry that it’s taken so long for us to edit this series.

NB We also know the sound isn’t great in this video. Just grin and bear it.

BTW If you can’t possible spare over half an hour, here’s a short 7m edit:

For the next  edition of Nutty Anita’s see:

We’re ‘Loving Vincent’ | Ams Film Show | Oct 2017 #2


  • review of Loving Vincent  from David Swatling
  • our highlights (low brow and high brow) from the new cinema releases hitting Amsterdam this month (19-26 Oct releases)
  • special screenings: the latest Cine Expat edition
  • YouTube, Soundcloud & TV versions, or see text script below …
  • for links see our Pinterest board below.



“Here’s the Amsterdam Film Show’s highlights from the film releases in the Netherlands, this month.”


Daphne | COMEDY DRAMA | Dir. Peter Mackie Burns | Emily Beecham | Screening @ Cinecenter at least

A hard-living junior chef in London, Daphne scuffs her way around the city resisting any meaningful connections for all she’s worth. But can she keep on living that way?

@cathycentral: “Think Frances Ha set in Lambeth. As a Londoner, the film looks much like my old life and friends. I do miss home, and my friends, but I won’t be going back to that, maybe I will just watch this instead.”

Here’s a little taster … 

also from 19 Oct

The Glass Castle | DRAMA| Dir-screenwriter: Destin Daniel Cretton | Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts etc | A girl grows out of her poor, nomad upbringing.


Loving Vincent | Director-Screenwriters: Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman | Screening @ Rialto, EYE filmmuseum, Pathé chain,

The story of Vincent van Gogh but this time told in ‘oil paint’ animation, bringing his famous art to life.

Here’s a little taster …

+  David Swatling tells AFS what he though of it (see video/audio)

also from 26 Oct

The Mountain Between Us | ROMANCE-THRILLER| Kate Winslet and Idris Elba star as two strangers stuck on a remote mountain range and somehow it all turns romantic …

@cathycentral says “good for a laugh?

Thor: Ragnarok | Dir. Taika Waititi | the usual cast plus … Benedict Cumberbatch.

@cathycentral says “Thor has never yet disappointed me for a bit of fun entertainiment. But there’s a first time for everything.”



“Film festivals and our picks of the special screenings this month”


Thurs 26 Oct 21:00| Le Fidèle + EN subs

AKA Racer and the Jailbird. Matthias Schoenaerts plays a Brussels gangster Gigi who falls in love with rich racing driver, ‘Bibi’ but his next robbery just might ruin everything. Just maybe. Directed by Oscar-nominated Michael R. Roskam.

+ Drinks with the host before the film



We plan to produce the AFS in audio format as well from now on, as well the YouTube and local TV (Salto) versions. Eventually we’ll also share it on local radio too.  We are also seeing how it feels in a monthly format. Let us know what you think, and if you want to contribute, please also get in touch.