Kill Your Darlings: The New Rijksmuseum – The Film

  • Festival
  • November 21, 2014
  • By Paul van de Graaf

With a heavy heart, filmmakers delete scenes they love - because they don't fit the story or don't really add anything for instance. Here, the respective directors explain why they had to kill one of their darlings. This time, Oeke Hoogendijk of The New Rijksmuseum - The Film.

First there was the TV series about the renovation of the Rijksmuseum, which took longer than the original construction in the late 19th century. Now there's The New Rijksmuseum – The Film. The four-part series was 208 minutes long, while the film runs 130 minutes. How painful was it to cut?

"We added footage, too," director Oeke Hoogendijk explains. "The TV series had to be broadcast around the reopening of the Rijksmuseum. Because editing also took up a lot of time, we couldn't include anything about the reopening itself. Meanwhile, we continued filming, so that footage made it into the film, which ends with the festive reopening for the queen, complete with fireworks."

So it wasn't an option to add a fifth episode to the series? "The series is just a series, while a film has a more powerful dynamic," Hoogendijk explains. "Furthermore, the financing was already gone. The film is a complete re-edit of all the footage – 400 hours in total, which we made into a single story of 130 minutes. Along the way, we didn't just sacrifice a couple darlings. It was a mass slaughter."

Trashcan

It didn't take her long to come up with the scene for this column. "What do you see in it?" Hoogendijk asks the interviewer. After the latter has provided his interpretation, she answers, "You see? Everyone has his or her own take on it. That's why this scene never made it into the series or the film. We thought it was a funny sequence, a bit Jiskefet-esque [an absurdist Dutch TV series whose title roughly translates to "trashcan"], but apparently that's an inside joke."

"There's the American specialist who takes the floor after a Rijksmuseum restorer has carefully explained how she's going to restore a Vermeer. It's hysterical how the specialist so gravely and verbosely explains how you really have to be careful with a Vermeer. As if a professional restorer really needs advice like that."

The New Rijksmuseum - The Film

  • Oeke Hoogendijk
  • 2014
  • 130 min

    An exciting report from behind the closed doors of the major renovation of the famous Dutch museum, which took a total of 10 years.

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