Netherlands – Esmée van Loon, Slieker Film (Leeuwarden)

Cinema for me is…

Netherlands – Esmée van Loon from Europa Cinemas on Vimeo.

Esmée in 23 frames

1. Describe yourself in ten words.
Creative, curious, friendly, dreamer, supportive, optimistic, ambitious, passionate, generous, loyal.

2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
Best quality: I think loyalty
Worst habit: I can be really messy.

3. Your dream job?
Being a documentary director and producer.

4. What do you like most about your country?
I really love how down to earth, open and tolerant (almost) everyone here is.

5. Your favorite dish in your country?
That has to be “andijvie stampot” (translated “endive stew”). It’s basically mashed potatoes with endive and little strips of bacon.

6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what
does it mean?
“Uitwaaien” (translated: blow out). It means going outside in the wind to clear one thoughts. I grew up on an island and always went to the coast if I needed to ‘blow out’.

7. What European capital have you visited lately?
I live nearby Amsterdam, so I often go there for work. Besides The Netherlands, Berlin has been the last place I visited. I competed with my team at the 99 Fire Film Awards.

8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?
I would love to live in France. I’ve visited Paris a couple of times, and I keep getting swept away by the magic and charm that this city contains.

9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
I love the openness of borders, which gives you the ability to travel very easily from country to country and explore. Also a richness of cultural diversity and beautiful people to learn from every day.

10.What film made you fall in love with cinema?
That’s definitely Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Steven Spielberg, 1985, US) I was really young when I saw this movie for the first time. I found the film oddly fascinating as a kid (and still up to this day).

Also when I was a kid, I watched the Dutch documentary Valentijn (Hetty Nietsch, 2007, NL) with my parents. It made me realize that documentary was a way to show real and honest stories to make impact on the way people think. That’s when I knew that I loved what film could do and that I wanted to do the same.

11.Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?

My favorite film theatre would be LantarenVenster in Rotterdam. I love the ambiance and the people working there. The rooms in there are so cozy and really lift the cinema experience for me.

Another film theatre would be the Silver Screen Cinema in Folkestone. I’ve only been there once, but it was magical. My friend and I had to wait a whole day in Folkestone and there wasn’t much (read: nothing) to do. We kept wandering and suddenly discovered this very small, old cinema. It literally consisted of one door, in what seemed to be a normal house. That week only 1 film played, which was precisely at the moment we arrived. We went in, and it was the most small and cozy cinema that I’ve ever witnessed. The old red chairs were squeaky and the wallpaper came off the walls. So many stories had played here, it was beautiful. We went to The Hundred-Foot Journey and had the best time.

12.Who is your movie hero?
It’s impossible to name just one, I have many. But for now I think Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill, Quentin Tarantino, 2003, US) was a real badass in those movies. Also Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (The Help, Tate Taylor, 2011, US)) showed some real courage.

13.Which movie director would you like to be?
Damien Chazelle or Louis Theroux.

14.Briefly describe your favorite scene.
La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016, US), final scene. Sebastian imagines the colorful life he and Mia could have had if they’d stayed together. It’s not about their romance, but about the shimmer of dreams. The dazzling ending makes you feel what it “could have been”, but what would’ve actually never been possible in order to pursuit their dreams. The way the movie sets up the musical themes, then brings them all back in this ending is incredibly moving.

15.What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
The Red Turtle (Michael Dudot de Wit, 2016), FR
De Kinderen van Juf Kiet (Peter Lataster and Petra Lataster-Cszich, 2016), NL
Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015), US.

16.Which film character do you most identify with?
Susan Vance from Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938, US). Or at least, I want to identify myself with her. She just gets it her own way. She’s so witty, silly and funny at the same time.

17.Your favorite soundtrack or song?
I’m that kind of person who has the whole playlists of film music. One I currently love to listen to is the music from La La Land, composed by Justin Hurwitz.

18.If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
I think this is a childhood dream of many and it might sound cheesy. But that definitely has to be Harry Potter. I adore the world they created in the films and would love to wander through the streets of Diagon Alley and follow all those magic classes. Who didn’t dream about getting that Hogwarts letter in the mail?

19.Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
That has to be Emma Stone. I loved her in The Help and La La Land. She’s youthful, witty, loveable and totally crazy.

20.Which talent would you most like to have?
I actually would’ve loved to be a good actress. But I’m just simply a disaster as soon as camera faces me.

21.What is your most treasured possession?
That’s a hard one. I treasure my curiosity and creativity. Next to that would be my macbook and filmcamera, because they allow me to do what I love most, which is filmmaking.

22.What do you consider your greatest achievement?
That I’m right now doing what I love most: I’m making films. The fact that I get to do this,
is one of my greatest achievements. Also, I won my first film competition and got to do the best internship with amazing people at VPRO Backlight. I’m very grateful for everything that I get to do at this point in life.

23.What is your motto?
To be really honest: I don’t actually have a motto. But there is a quote that always
stuck with me (which seems really cheesy at first sight): “Nobody’s perfect.” This was
actually the ending line to Some Like It Hot ( Billy Wilder, 1959, US), and it was brilliant. It elevated the whole scene.

Esmée is the Ambassador of Slieker Film. Find out more about the cinema here.