For God’s sake, stay tuned what happens! Rolf Orthel in the making is the most beautiful

Made is the bestIt is another Rolf Ortel movie, an ode to producers and creators. Why is the creative process so intriguing? What is creativity or art? We meet at the bodega Keijzer in Amsterdam, where the bartender knows his coffee preference. We talk about movies, parents, old age, elementary school, woods, walks to see new things. If we stray too far, Orthel calls me back to class.

His film meanders like ours, but he remains dominant in both. Sometimes he speaks with a sudden sharp focus, at other times we feel weeping. Made is the best It allows the viewer to approach the process of making, vulnerability, hard work, and beauty. During the film’s journey, Orthel also shows fragments of a previous work, in order to investigate and interpret his own creative process. This sometimes results in stunning scenes. His father, a composer, piano teacher at the Hague Institute and a workaholic, sent Bert Hanstra a letter in which he wrote that young Rolf could do little. Orhtel still has no idea why that is. He knows Hanstra did not agree with his father.

How do you start making a movie about what you love most?
Was there some kind of flashlight moment where the idea came to you?

No, I don’t remember the beginning, but in subsequent years I started to walk around with the camera more and more. For example, I made a movie about my Parisian friend, who taught at a free school. After his death she made a movie for his family. If you shoot random things, you can put that together and get a nice variety of what the person was or like. I also made a movie for a theater show in which I spoke to a number of people. It was about teaching and how you can improve a number of things in it. You discover all kinds of things, it’s not about making money, it’s about research.


The best example happened ten minutes ago. I’m starting a new movie next week, I don’t know what it’s about yet, but it’s about the people I love. Then what happens? I walk non-stop back and forth between the house, the coffee shop, and Stedelijk. A new woodwind shop has opened. I like it very much, there is a small table in front of the window and there is a nice woman who is fixing things. I left the house very early in the day and knocked on her door because I really want to picture how those machines are made there. This is how the movie begins.

Another example is the Vince School, where students are encouraged to be creative. For example, you can make a movie for your final exam, and then it is not at all about who is the best, the world dies because of individuality and someone has to be the best, leaving only the losers. It’s just about the bank account, what a stupid response. That’s different at Vince’s school.

new plans

One of the two films I want to make now is about the people I love and I want to say goodbye to before we die. The other movie is about the school. Half the energy must go into learning to write, to speak, to know where Timbuktu is, to know that 1600 was the Battle of Newport, the French Revolution, you just have to have the knowledge. The other half of the energy can benefit from this knowledge, but it has to be frank about letting kids discover who they are, with whom they can do well or not, and get started in the direction they want to go. This is my new movie. I’ll start that in November, when I get back from Vienna for my other movie.

I will see a boy I met when I was studying there. He was a very nice student, probably the best I’ve ever had there. And now he makes a short film every year, and he manages to do just that. He is now in the process of securing funding for his first feature film. That’s what I fall into, for such a brain. So it’s not about old people telling you how things used to be.

How do you get your people to your movies?

The movie we’re talking about is about chance encounters. Carolien Bijvoet, an illustrator since the beginning of the film, I found out through a photo she was with a friend of mine, with her work.
I have been friends for a long time with Evelyn Van Cleef, who is the mother of Bill van Hericuyzen. Bell wanted to get on stage, did his directing course in Maastricht and then did the Iliad with friends in Amsterdam. I knew she wanted to make another play about Bulgakov, so I got into it.

I knew I definitely wanted something with piano lessons. I also wanted to do it at the conservatory where my father taught in The Hague. A boy commented, Abel. (laughs) Yeah, and then I can’t help but be so nice to this guy when you start shooting. He really did get laser cut in the movie, but then he graduated with a grade of 9.

movie as a trip

I can only say that by definition I am interested in how things appear in our brain. What the hell happened that something caught your eye? What do you do with that? Then it turns out that thoughts appear only at the most unexpected moments. He definitely can’t sit back and think about a movie, that’s just not how it works. Especially in the field of documentaries, if you want to figure things out, all you can do is grab your camera and go after it.

I wanted to explore what makes making it that much fun and exciting. That was my premise, my direction, and then it could go in any direction. I think you get the best movies when the movie is the journey, and the journey is the movie that produces the most vibrant material.

In the movie, eight girls have to draw a tree. Eight girls and eight different trees. And the most beautiful thing is that there is a swing in four of those graphics. How is that? The lady’s girl asked if she could also draw a hammock. Of course you can! It was taken over by three other children.

That’s great, because you then see how it goes, how we make it, how we inspire.

You borrow endlessly from neighbors, from previous generations, and from what you read in the newspaper.

Didn’t Jim Jarmusch say anything about clever theft? To steal what inspires you?

You feel attached to it, so you can also use it as your own. In this sense do not eat. Something or someone comes to you somewhere and you translate it into your own mechanism.

When I could no longer decipher my questions, Rolf showed me his notebook. Sleek line, with production at the back, and designations at the front. With Kees Hin, for example, with whom they often collaborate. There are many deceased friends in his book. He has 90 brochures.
I show my notebook, with my notes in the dark. And decrypt my question again. Besides all the joy and beauty of craftsmanship, there are also passages on the weight and conscience of the Creator and the weight of knowledge.

Can you tell us more about that? What makes knowledge difficult for them?

When you make something, you can’t help but look for it. This can be done in a very small area, or in a very large or very large area. But you will investigate. You undoubtedly discover things you didn’t know that well, or completely new things, and you have to do something about it. You will relate to that. You come across less beautiful things, things you don’t want to know and things you really want to know. Thus, you get to know yourself better. I

I’ve tested it a lot, and that’s why I know it so well, because between 1965 and 1975 I made the movie for which Burt Hanstra gave me ten rolls of film. For three years I met SS men, I met Primo Levi, I read a book about the four worst and most criminal SS men. I didn’t want to do anything with these people. I wanted to have regular men from the SS. I wanted a man who lived in Poland in 1939 and was a prisoner of war. He was given the choice: do you want to join the SS on our side, or do you want to join the prisoners of war in Poland? He chose the SS and shortly thereafter was a ranger at Auschwitz and is the man who may have first used Zyklon-B.

Allowing something to sink in and realizing what really happened is very difficult. This is the weight.

What did you learn, what new did you learn on your expedition?

Drawing or making music can also be a haven, because the outside world is indigestible. Realizing it was more than that, I increasingly felt the need to weave in memories of the movie and of things that could happen today, or happened in my life. So my first wife is dying, I saw misery in 2003 in Kosovo, that’s what happens in our world. You have to contact that. I’m more aware that for some things that happen in the world, you try not to take your eyes off it. But you can’t allow all that to happen in life either.

You are 86 years old and still have a lot of plans. how do you do that?

What prevents you from getting old? I want to meet these people. Unexpected things are bound to happen. For God’s sake, watch what’s going on. Don’t think you have it again. stay tuned

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