Celluloid Diaries

Monday, May 22, 2017

Supernatural bad boys we can't help but love

supernatural bad boys

This is a guest post by Amanda Jones.

I don’t know about you, but there’s something I can’t help but love about the supernatural bad boys of the celluloid world. I’m not quite sure what it is – the cockiness, the alpha possessiveness, or the complete disregard of what anyone thinks of them. They all seem to share a similar air of “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” Call me crazy, but in a world where we’re bombarded with images of what we “should” be, I find it alluring. Whether it’s True Blood’s Eric Northman, Buffy’s Spike, or Klaus from The Vampire Diaries – there’s something appealing about their belief in their own infallibility (justified or not!). I guess that would be a side effect of being immortal…who really cares what anybody thinks – trends, people, and behaviors will change and die over time, and you’re going to see a lot of it if you’ll be living forever!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Ocean's Twelve filming locations in Amsterdam

oceans twelve amsterdam filming locations

Where did they film Ocean's Twelve in Amsterdam?

In Ocean's Twelve, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) locates all eleven members of Danny Ocean's gang, demanding they return the $150 million they stole from his casinos plus interest. To win back the money, Danny Ocean (George Clooney), Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) and Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) go to Amsterdam to steal an important certificate.

Ocean's Twelve is full of stunning shots of Amsterdam. All the places you see are located in the proximity of each other, which means you can easily trace the steps of your favorite characters.

I made an itinerary for you that will help you see the filming locations of Ocean's Twelve, which are all famous places in Amsterdam.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Movie night recipe - Gourmet popcorn

gourmet popcorn

This is a guest post from Katie Cross from The Health and Happiness Cookbook: Fun and Flirty Recipes Inspired by the Health and Happiness Society Series.

The Health and Happiness Cookbook was an idea that I came up with because, um, I love food! Okay, I'm obsessed. I love to skim through cookbooks and pretend like I can make everything inside. One day, I was staring at my book Bon Bons to Yoga Pants and thinking about how Lexie, the main character, loves food as much as I do. (For Lexie, it's a bit too much.) I thought . . . why not make something special?

Although I can write awesome, girl power chick lit novels, I don't have kitchen skills. So I hooked up with talented Canadian food blogger Kimberley from Prairie Winds Life. She brainstormed some recipes, and we took the project from there.

Together, we've made the Health and Happiness Cookbook. You can snag a copy on any ebook platform or in paperback across the world.

Enjoy your yummy popcorn! It's the perfect movie time snack.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

BIFFF 2017 in pictures

BIFFF 2017 pictures

My first BIFFF was in 1994 when I was studying at the university in Brussels and I started hosting panel discussions for them a few years later. I can't believe it's been that long already. This year, I saw 23 films to celebrate my 23 years at BIFFF.

Here are some pictures of the festival.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Eight twisted movie recommendations

twisted movie recommendations

I almost missed out on Norbert Keil's twisted movie Replace. I'd been seeing several films in a row already that day at BIFFF, and though Replace was on my list of movies to watch, I wasn't in the mood to jump into another screening without a break. I decided to give the film a try a second before it started, and it turned out to be one of my favorites of the 35th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival.

Several days later, Norbert and I met over a game of Story Cubes, and I asked him if he wanted to share movie recommendations on Celluloid Diaries. This week, he emailed me with eight recommendations for a twisted night at the movies, some of which were undoubtedly influences for his own twisted little film (there's definitely a David Cronenberg/Herbert West vibe to it).

Replace tells the story of Kira, whose skin shrivels up due to extreme ageing. When she discovers she can replace her skin with somebody else's, the question arises whether she'll kill to remain her youthful look or if she'll let her body wither away.

The film was co-written with Richard Stanley and stars Rebecca Forsythe, Lucy Aron and Barbara Crampton.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

10 BIFFF Movies You'll Want to Watch Right Now

The 35th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF) took place between April 4th and April 16th. The program was an interesting mix of South African ghost stories, Albanian folklore, Turkish cat movies, Russian adventure films, French crime, Korean thrillers, and much more. Want to know which ones were the best? Here's my top 10 of BIFFF movies you'll want to watch right now.

Safe Neighborhood


It's Christmas and the kids are home alone with their babysitter when “burglars” try and enter the house. However, it won't be a normal home invasion. Entertaining and with a twist no one saw coming, Safe Neighborhood was my favorite BIFFF movie and also won the Golden Raven for best picture.

Safe Neighborhood

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

4 movies that inspired 1000 Cuts

1000 Cuts
To celebrate the French and Belgian release of 1000 Cuts (original French title: Le Serpent Aux Mille Coupures), I invited French director Eric Valette to talk about the movies that inspired his film.

Based on the DOA novel Le Serpent Aux Mille Coupures and starring Tomer Sisley, Terence Yin, Erica Sainte, Pascal Greggory, Carlos Cabra, and St├ęphane Debac, 1000 Cuts starts when a wounded fugitive takes a young family hostage in order to hide out in their isolated farmhouse. Meanwhile, both the criminal underworld and the police are hellbent on finding and neutralizing him. The mysterious, nameless fugitive creates a wave of violence that will leave no one unscathed.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Interview with Park Chan-wook

park chan-wook

Ever since Park Chan-wook won the Grand Prix at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival for Oldboy, he put South Korea on the cinematographic map for many movie lovers. Loyal fans from all over the world praised his films for their unique aesthetic and visual poetry, excessive violence, and power to evoke strong emotions. Several of his films became international sensations, including Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Lady Vengeance (2005), I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK (2006), Thirst (2009), and Stoker (2013). His latest, the period thriller The Handmaiden (2016), is the best-selling Korean film of all time and was sold to over 100 countries before even hitting the Cannes Film Festival.

I spoke with Park Chan-wook during his stay in Brussels where he was the guest of honor of the 35th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival (BIFFF).

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Fault in Our Stars filming locations in Amsterdam

amsterdam filming locations the fault in our stars

Based on the novel by John Green, The Fault in our Stars was a huge hit when it came out in 2014. One of the romantic highlights in the film is when the main characters visit Amsterdam in search of their favorite author, but it's also the place where they fall in love. You can visit the all the famous Amsterdam filming locations of The Fault in our Stars and trace the steps of Hazel and Augustus yourself.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Offscreen Film Festival 2017

offscreen film festival 2017

In March, I spent three weeks at the Offscreen Film Festival in Brussels, which is known for its screenings of both old and new cutting edge movies. This year, they put the focus on Czech fairy tales, Indonesian action cinema, and the films of Stephen Sayadian (Rinse Dream) and Walerian Borowczyk.

The opening night of the Offscreen film festival saw the premiere of the teenage cannibal movie Grave which I thought was too soft and on-the-nose but almost everyone else loved because of its gruesomeness and unpredictability.