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Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: January 30th, 2021, 7:45 am
by sol
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Benelux Challenge

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Pictured: '22 Mei' and 'The Forbidden Quest'

GOAL
Watch movies from Benelux countries during February 2021. Discuss them.

ELIGIBLE COUNTRIES:
- Belgium
- Netherlands
- Luxembourg

Each of these countries have a very large number of co-productions. I would ask you to think carefully about whether you think that any co-productions really represent Benelux cinema.

RULES
- Each feature film (over 40 minutes) counts as one entry.
- 80 minutes of short films or miniseries/TV episodes counts as one entry.
- Films must be watched one at a time and at single speed (not sped up).
- Rewatches are allowed and are good for the soul.
- Please include year of release when listing your viewings.
- Please indicate each film's country when listing your viewings otherwise your score will NOT be included in the leaderboard.

I reserve the right to exclude participants who intentionally number their viewings incorrectly. If you play the game, you're expected to play properly.

DEADLINE
Final results will be posted between 2:30pm and 4:30pm GMT on March 2 - at which point it will have been March everywhere in the world for more than a whole day. While you are welcome to post updates beyond this point, any such updates will not be included in the final results. Your choice whether you miss the deadline or not; besides, if it's March on your side of the world, shouldn't you be starting on one of next month's challenges?

OFFICIAL LISTS
- Belgium Film Awards
- Dutch Film Festival Top 50 (2008)
- Nederlands Film Festival - Gouden Kalf
- Benelux Official List Films

NON-OFFICIAL LISTS
- Belgian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Dutch submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Luxembourgian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Dutch Film Festival Top 50 (1999)
- Native Films made in Luxembourg
- ICM Forum's Favourite Benelux Films
- Benelux recommendations from Onderhond

This Challenge has been run once before in an Official capacity (and two more times in conjunction with a Nordic Challenge).

2019 Benelux Challenge - hosted by sol and won by jeroeno with 65 points
2016 Benelux/Nordic Challenge - hosted by 3eyes and won by PeacefulAnarchy with 36 points
2014 Benelux/Nordic Challenge - hosted by Buksemannen and won by Buksemannen with 32 points

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Last time participants saw slightly more Belgian than Dutch films with Belgium winning by less than 5 points. I'll be keeping track so it will be interesting to see if we can reverse things this year. :shifty: I will be maintaining an evolving pie chart during the challenge like in this example.

This thread will be updated at least once every 48 hours (more often if I am around and feel like it). Please list new films seen in a new post.

Bonus Challenge 1: Watch 22 Mei from Belgium and The Forbidden Quest from the Netherlands.

Bonus Challenge 2: Get something in every column below... except the last column. The only way to do this is by watching both of sol's recommendations, as well as something from Luxembourg and remembering to list the country with every viewing.

Any points in the "undeclared" column will not count towards your final score. You must declare the country when listing your viewings.

@laki4
Participants
Rank Participant Count Saw 22M ? Saw TFQ ? Be Ne Lux Undeclared
1 beavis 51 - YES! 16.5 34.5 - -
2 sol 37 - - 11 23 3 -
3 jeroeno 29 - YES! 3.8 25.2 - -
4 Traveller 28 - - 8 20 - -
5 Mario Gaborović 22 - - 8 12 2 -
6 jdidaco 20 - - 11 9 - -
6 Lu-Chin 20 - YES! 11 9 - -
8 tazz_85 18 YES! - 15 3 - -
9 maksler 12 - - 8.1 3.9 - -
9 max-scl 12 - - 6 6 - -
11 hurluberlu 8 - - 6 2 - -
11 maxwelldeux 8 YES! YES! 4 3 1 -
13 frbrown 7 - - 2 5 - -
14 shugs 6 - - 6 - - -
15 Lakigigar 4 - - 4 - - -
16 Prat 3 - - 2 1 - -
17 Knaldskalle 1 - - - - 1 -
17 ororama 1 - - 1 - - -

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: January 30th, 2021, 4:49 pm
by Traveller
Thanks for hosting, sol. I’m in, aiming for one each day.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: January 30th, 2021, 5:47 pm
by tazz_85
Think this is one i'll participate in too, i'm Belgian, so i have a lot of Belgian movies i still have to see :)

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: January 30th, 2021, 6:10 pm
by Lonewolf2003
Don't forget our own list: https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icm+ ... ewolf2003/ and the complete list for those who want to dive deeper: https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/icm+ ... ewolf2003/

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: January 31st, 2021, 1:32 am
by sol
Thanks, Lonewolf. :thumbsup: I'll add the top 75 when I next edit the OP. I don't want to add the All Votes list because it features some highly questionable entries (Song of the Sea? Only God Forgives??) that I wouldn't want to encourage participants to watch for a Benelux Challenge.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: January 31st, 2021, 10:22 pm
by beavis
I'm in. I've got about 4 shelves of DVD's to choose from, so this challenge is another greatly needed motivator for me. Next to that I have some obscurities I have access to that I hope will surprise me. I thought I had already seen one of the most obscure Dutch movies with "myrthe and the demons" (English language friendly on youtube: ) but there is more out there! Looking forward to Bloedverwanten (Dutch vampire movie with a part for Eddie Constantine?) for instance, and more Frans van de Staak movies!

I'm curious about the Delpeut, but I won't be rewatching 22 Mei, so that means I will fail on both bonus challenges :)

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: January 31st, 2021, 11:02 pm
by Lakigigar
One recommendation you should all see is Home (2016). It's my favourite movie from the Benelux and currently my 18th all-time, and it's official. Koen Mortier and Fabrice Du Welz are great directors if you haven't seen their movies.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 1:02 am
by sol
beavis wrote: January 31st, 2021, 10:22 pm I won't be rewatching 22 Mei, so that means I will fail on both bonus challenges :)
Same... I guess. You can always try for a more ambitious side target. At the end of the challenge, I will be acknowledging who saw the most Belgian, Dutch and Lux films respectively. Lux could be an interesting target, maybe checking out all of the available Lux Oscar submissions?

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 1:05 am
by sol
It starts! First in. :D

1. The Last Days of Emma Blank (2009) Netherlands

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I found the first hour here to be a mixed bag. On one hand, everything is too bizarre to ever bore (the dog is depicted as a human being; incest is ripe) and the dying matriarch's requests soon grow extreme. On the other hand, an hour's worth is a bit much. Things get a lot more dynamic in the final half-hour though as the film reveals the reason why the servants and family members seem so eccentric, and from there the film only grows increasingly interesting.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 3:12 am
by Knaldskalle
I'm in for at least 1 from each country.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 6:45 am
by maksler
Edit: whoops edited this comment and lost my remarks... Short version:
1. On Top of the Whale (NL 1982, Raoul Ruiz). 5

Did not care for it :lol:

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 8:47 am
by beavis
before I get in, I wanted to share that section of my DVD collection that I (as a Dutch man) am blessed with. Made a selection of things I still need to see "ready to grab" for the coming month!
Spoiler
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Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 11:54 am
by sol
beavis wrote: February 1st, 2021, 8:47 am before I get in, I wanted to share that section of my DVD collection that I (as a Dutch man) am blessed with
Show off. :hmph:

In all seriousness though, that's cool to see (and we own some of the same Criterions, including the Marienbad with the ridiculous cover), however, others might appreciate it if you hide your large images under spoiler tags for ease of reading. :)

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 12:52 pm
by Prat
I'm in, too !

I don't have any specific goal for it, but I hope to gain a bronze award on one of the three official lists. :)

(and that DVD collection is impressive)

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 1:15 pm
by beavis
sol wrote: February 1st, 2021, 11:54 am
beavis wrote: February 1st, 2021, 8:47 am before I get in, I wanted to share that section of my DVD collection that I (as a Dutch man) am blessed with
Show off. :hmph:

In all seriousness though, that's cool to see (and we own some of the same Criterions, including the Marienbad with the ridiculous cover), however, others might appreciate it if you hide your large images under spoiler tags for ease of reading. :)
Sure I'm proud of my collection, but I also thought this woud be appreciated by like minded people. On MovieMeter there even is a "show your collection" thread, so I don't mean anything other by it than showing my happiness and offering some possible titles as inspiration.

Good tip about the spoiler tags though, haven't posted much pictures on this forum, so the thought didn't cross my mind that some might find it annoying to scroll through... will adjust my post above

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 1:43 pm
by sol
beavis wrote: February 1st, 2021, 1:15 pm
sol wrote: February 1st, 2021, 11:54 am
beavis wrote: February 1st, 2021, 8:47 am before I get in, I wanted to share that section of my DVD collection that I (as a Dutch man) am blessed with
Show off. :hmph:

In all seriousness though, that's cool to see (and we own some of the same Criterions, including the Marienbad with the ridiculous cover)
Sure I'm proud of my collection, but I also thought this woud be appreciated by like minded people. On MovieMeter there even is a "show your collection" thread, so I don't mean anything other by it than showing my happiness and offering some possible titles as inspiration.
But it is appreciated. My "show off" comment was in jest. I'm jealous. If I was annoyed I would have used the :finger: icon instead and not complimented the Criterions in your collection. :ermm:

Spoiler tags appreciated. :thumbsup: And too bad about Covid, otherwise I would be flying over and raiding your collection. :circle:

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 1:48 pm
by hurluberlu
Impressive beavis, thanks for sharing !

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 1:50 pm
by sol
Benelux in Flux
1. The Last Days of Emma Blank (2009) Netherlands
2. Too Fat Too Furious (2005) Netherlands

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The humour here is too childish and in poor taste to work most of the time with lots of physical humour and sexual assault gags. The protagonist's schemes and plans are wonderfully imaginative though, with the initial prison break and an airport hustle towards the end standing out in particular. The film also tries to say something about father/son bonds and blood not always being thicker, though this is undercut by the characters being poorly drawn.

Trivia note: Voted by around 15,000 Dutch people as the 39th best film ever produced by their country. :blink: That is to say, this is an Official Check. :ermm:

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 2:07 pm
by Lonewolf2003
beavis wrote: February 1st, 2021, 8:47 am before I get in, I wanted to share that section of my DVD collection that I (as a Dutch man) am blessed with. Made a selection of things I still need to see "ready to grab" for the coming month!
Spoiler
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Respect! :worship:

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 2:29 pm
by beavis
sol wrote: February 1st, 2021, 1:43 pm But it is appreciated. My "show off" comment was in jest. I'm jealous. If I was annoyed I would have used the :finger: icon instead and not complimented the Criterions in your collection. :ermm:
I understood what you meant, and I appreciate the compliments
I just felt the need to explain further for that one possible soul who might think I just like to make people jealous, that is not what I or my collection is about
Having a fun/loose conversation is always difficult for me because of forum format / using a second language / not using smileys efficiently and so on ;) no worries

also thanks for the other compliments!
...in the meanwhile I haven't seen a film yet :)

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 3:54 pm
by sol
beavis wrote: February 1st, 2021, 2:29 pm I just felt the need to explain further for that one possible soul who might think I just like to make people jealous, that is not what I or my collection is about
Having a fun/loose conversation is always difficult for me because of forum format / using a second language / not using smileys efficiently and so on ;) no worries

also thanks for the other compliments!
...in the meanwhile I haven't seen a film yet :)
Ah, no problem. And you're not alone in logging nothing yet. ;) I am rather rapidly pacing myself so far, but it is only to enjoying being at the head of the pack before Lu-Chin joins in. :lol:

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 3:59 pm
by sol
Benelux in Flux
1. The Last Days of Emma Blank (2009) Netherlands
2. Too Fat Too Furious (2005) Netherlands
3. Let the Corpses Tan (2017) Belgium

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The narrative takes a backseat to the visuals here, but we are given enough information to appreciate the set-up even if we never get to know any of the characters as individuals or how they came together. Particularly striking is how the directors incorporate everyone's dreams and fantasies into the narrative, giving the film a surreal nightmare flavour with cool rapid fire cuts, excellent angular photography, superb colour filters and amazing lighting.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 4:22 pm
by Traveller
01. The Moving True Story of a Woman Ahead of Her Time (2001) - 5/10 NL
Not entirely bad, but nothing of interest to me.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 7:33 pm
by tazz_85
01. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009) - Netherlands
Hadn't seen this one yet, because the thougth of a human centipede seemed horrific to me. And it still is after seeing it :s

02. Yummy (2019) - Belgium
Another horror movie, yet totally different. A Belgian couple goes to a Eastern-European country for a cheap plastic surgery. But the hospital does some secret experimental stuff and cause a zombie outbreak.
Not a good movie, but probably the first Belgian horror i've seen ever(?). Felt weird seeing Belgian actors posing as eastern-European natives :s

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 7:34 pm
by jeroeno
1. Diva Dolorosa (Peter Delpeut, 1999) NL
2. Lyrisch nitraat (Peter Delpeut, 1991) NL
3. The Forbidden Quest (Peter Delpeut, 1991) NL *Bonus*

I didn't think much of The Forbidden Quest. The actual scenes from the arctic were great , everything else sucked. Which is kind of a problem considering the arctic scenes were the only things Peter Delpeut didn't have a hand in. I get what he was going for but he totally failed in my opinion. Sol, since you recommended this one, do you think it qualifies for the experimental challenge? I'm not sure myself.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 7:42 pm
by hurluberlu
1. Doris (Albert Jan van Rees, 2018) [NL] 6+

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 1st, 2021, 11:39 pm
by Lakigigar
1. Calvaire (Fabrice Du Welz, 2004) [BE] - 8/10

Great atmosphere! A bit bizarre, but I liked it!

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 2:00 am
by sol
First OP updated and first pie chart update.

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Please check for mistakes/errors. And no, I don't think the pie chart is indicative of much at the moment. Too early to call it yet.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 2:04 am
by sol
jeroeno wrote: February 1st, 2021, 7:34 pm Sol, since you recommended this one, do you think it qualifies for the experimental challenge? I'm not sure myself.
Argh, that's a good question. I would like to say unquestionably yes (to encourage more folks to give the film a try) but the answer is probably no since Gloede is really pushing against narrative movies with eligibility and The Forbidden Quest is a narrative movie -- if one that adopts a pseudo-documentary approach with appropriated found footage. :shrug:

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 6:19 am
by maksler
Spoiler
1. On Top of the Whale (NL 1982, Raoul Ruiz). 5
2a. Rain (NL 1929, Joris Ivens) 15 min
2b. Philips-Radio (NL 1931, Joris Ivens) 35 min

I really liked these two shorts by Joris Ivens. Both were very poetic with lovely music in the background.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 6:54 am
by sol
maksler wrote: February 2nd, 2021, 6:19 am 2a. Rain (NL 1929, Joris Ivens) 15 min
2b. Philips-Radio (NL 1931, Joris Ivens) 35 min

I really liked these two shorts by Joris Ivens. Both were very poetic with lovely music in the background.
It's probably easier for me to keep track if you wait until you have seen a full 80 minutes worth of shorts (the requirement for 1pt) before listing them, but I suppose I can work round it. For the moment, I'll wait until you have clocked another 30 minutes of shorts before adding those to the pie chart.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 8:51 am
by Prat
And my first viewings for this challenge :

1. C'est arrivé près de chez vous (1992) - Belgium
2. À perdre la raison (2012) - Belgium
3. Abel (1986) - Netherlands

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 10:44 am
by sol
Benelux in Flux
1. The Last Days of Emma Blank (2009) Netherlands
2. Too Fat Too Furious (2005) Netherlands
3. Let the Corpses Tan (2017) Belgium
4. The Notorious Guys (2013) Luxembourg

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Barred from going on a school trip to Portugal due to their poor grades, a group of remedial education students join the class via a stolen hot air balloon in this Luxembourgish comedy that is nowhere near as fun or offbeat as it sounds. There is certainly much craziness at hand, but none of the characters are likeable at all with the film offering a rather dim view on students with special educational needs and foreign exchange students. Not recommended.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 12:57 pm
by sol
Benelux in Flux
1. The Last Days of Emma Blank (2009) Netherlands
2. Too Fat Too Furious (2005) Netherlands
3. Let the Corpses Tan (2017) Belgium
4. The Notorious Guys (2013) Luxembourg
5. Save Angel Hope (2007) Luxembourg

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Con men conspire to have a gullible politician back their fake charity as part of his election campaign in this crime comedy. It is a decent premise and the film makes some salient points about charity and how some who donate simply do so to make themselves feel good. The film never quite feels as funny as it could have been though. The funniest moments have the politician fumbling over misheard words in his earpiece rather than the fake charity etc.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 4:19 pm
by Traveller
02. The Lift (1983) - 6/10 NL
I don’t like elevators, so it was okay.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 7:37 pm
by hurluberlu
2. Adoration (Fabrice Du Welz, 2019) [BE] 7
BNL ma belle
1. Doris (Albert Jan van Rees, 2018) [NL] 6+

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 8:34 pm
by tazz_85
Benelux Challenge 2021
01. The Human Centipede (First Sequence) (2009) - Netherlands
02. Yummy (2019) - Belgium
03. 22 Mei (2010) - Belgium
04. The Human Centipede II (Full sequence) (2011) - Netherlands
03. 22 Mei (2010) - Belgium

I know the lead actor Sam Louwyck from a lot Belgian tv series, but this is probably the first movie i've seen with him in the lead role.
Liked the movie and the way of storytelling.

04. The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011) - Netherlands

What a sick movie, probably the most disturbing movie i've ever seen. Don't know about the third one.. we'll see

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 11:10 pm
by Lu-Chin
1. Hôtel Monterey (1973) 5/10 Belgium
2. News from Home (1977) 6/10 Belgium
3. D'Est (1993) (1993) 6/10 Belgium
4. De vierde man (1983) 6/10 Netherlands
5. Turks fruit (1973) 8/10 Netherlands
6. Zwartboek (2006) 8/10 Netherlands

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 2nd, 2021, 11:17 pm
by maxwelldeux
1. Minoes (2001, Netherlands) 7/10
Well, this had no business being this adorable. A cat magically turns into a woman and helps a reporter with stories, only for him to help the cats in return? That sounds atrocious to me... except for the fact that I really liked it. It was cute and sweet and fun and helped along immeasurably by the fact that Carice van Houten might actually be part cat. She NAILED that role. Laughed out loud a couple times, too. Plus, kitties!

2. Mr. Nobody (2009, Belgium) 9/10
What a start to this challenge, a new favorite to go along with the above? Hell yeah! Even coming in at 2.5 hours, this was exquisitely paced - never felt bored during the runtime and was enthralled constantly. I can't quite explain why, but it drew me in and I connected with it on a ton of levels... maybe because I think like the film? I dunno. But I loved it.

Re: Benelux Challenge (Official, February 2021)

Posted: February 3rd, 2021, 1:44 am
by sol
OP updated (check for errors). Updated pie chart with BE and LUX striking back against the initial NE domination:

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