Cinema for me is…
The Netherlands – Sofie Cato Maas from Europa Cinemas on Vimeo.
Sofie in 23 Frames
1. Describe yourself in ten words.
An independent, engaged, greenish, leftish, critical, considerate, vegetarian feminist.
2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
I think I am very strong-willed, empathetic and eager to learn. Still, I am horribly bad at making choices most of the time.
3. Your dream job?
I would love to become a festival programmer for an (experimental) film festival or to continue what I am doing at the moment, namely organizing screenings and hosting Q&A’s.
4. What do you like most about your country?
The open, multi-cultural democratic society and the art scene in cities such as Rotterdam and Amsterdam when it comes to cinema, art and music. Although I think more money and support should go to these sectors.
5. Your favorite dish in your country?
I could eat Dutch old cheese every day (which I do).
6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
Remco Campert’s word Verrukkulluk, a phonetic version of the word ‘verrukkelijk’, which means ‘delightful’.
7. What European capital have you visited lately?
Most recently I visited friends in Stockholm, a wonderful city with beautiful museums.
8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?
I have always wanted to live in the United Kingdom where I am studying at the moment. I hope to move to either Berlin or Stockholm one day.
9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
I think Europe should stand for solidarity, equality and hospitality. With everything that is going on now, it is hard to maintain those characteristics and I think Europe could do much more to help others and to promote equality among minorities.
10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
As a child I often watched Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001, JP) a film that is still very important to me. KINO, a cinema in Rotterdam, is now organizing A Summer With Studio Ghibli, where they will be showing sixteen films by Studio Ghibli. It would be amazing to see Spirited Away on a big screen!
11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
Next to WORM, LantarenVenster and KINO in Rotterdam, I was introduced by one of my friends in Amsterdam to Filmhuis De Cavia, one of the smallest cinemas in The Netherlands, that celebrates diversity. De Cavia was founded in 1983 by the squatters movement in Amsterdam, and they still screen these amazing 16 and 35 mm films. What I like most about De Cavia, is that everyone working there is a volunteer and they do everything themselves. Currently they are screening a transgender program that I cannot wait to visit.
12. Who is your movie hero?
Probably Sailor and Lula from Wild at Heart by David Lynch.
13. Which movie director would you like to be?
I do not think I would like to be any film director, simply because the directors I admire are absolutely brilliant and I would not be able anymore to enjoy their work the way I do now. I am just massively impressed by directors such as Matsumoto Toshio, Ousmane Sembène, Jan Němec, Jeong Gayoung, Marco Ferreri and Miike Takashi. If I could have (had) an interview with any of these geniuses, I would be beyond thrilled.
14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
That would probably be one of the last scenes from The Mole Song: Hong Kong Capriccio (Takashi Miike, 2016, JP), where the protagonist – Reiji – jumps out of a tall skyscraper while simultaneously a tiger jumps forwards and closes its jaws on Reiji’s head. Together they soar through the air, spinning. This Japanese cult film is way over the top and ab-so-lu-tely brilliant.
15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
Difficult question! I really enjoyed A Brief Excursion (Igor Bezinović, 2017, HR) and Les Garçons Sauvages (Bertrand Mandico, 2017, FR).
I was also impressed by HAMSTERs (Martine Doyen, 2017, BE).
16. Which film character do you most identify with?
I loved Rose Mcgowan in The Doom Generation (Gregg Araki, 1995, US) as Amy Blue. The character and I do not have a lot in common, but she it is an amazing character in the film, played brilliantly.
17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
Miles Davis composed the legendary soundtrack for Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Louis Malle, 1958, FR) which is stunningly beautiful.
18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
Bressane’s Beduino (2016, BR), a beautiful poetic film featuring two actors in an atmosphere of dreamlike surrealism. I am a huge admirer of surrealistic poetry, and Bressane made a lot of use of surrealist poetry that had almost disappeared into oblivion, for his script.
19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
I honestly do not know, but I really like Miranda Hart, she’s a great actress and terribly funny.
20. Which talent would you most like to have?
I have never been really musical, but I would really like to be able to play the trumpet.
21. What is your most treasured possession?
I have two old analogue cameras, one my father bought the first time he went to London when he was very young. Coincidentally, the first time I used it, I was also in London. The other camera was my grandfathers.
22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having been accepted at a top university in London to study what I love most: cinema.
23. What is your motto?
I quite like the slogan “Be realistic: demand the impossible”, that was written on walls in Paris in the late sixties.