Wild Young Minds: 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Somehow, this time of the year is always a very personal time. It's a time when we look back on the things we've achieved the previous year, a time when we are critical about things that didn't go so well and a time to look forward to the next year, which is about to begin (more about this last point in my next post!). Anyway, year after year I feel I'm very positive about the previous year, as if I'm saying: 'Wauw, look what I achieved!' And: 'Yeah, this was such a good year!' Most of the time, I'm not lying. A year is a long period and you are able to achieve many positive things. For instance my second year of interrailing. Though it was only a month, I experienced so many great things, met so many new people and learned so much about myself. The second year of living on my own has taught me a great deal about myself, my friends and family as well.

But never only look at the bright side (I'm not being a pessimist here, just realistic as I always explain it!) and also be critical. This part I'd like to discuss in my next post, since that will consist of new year's resolutions. In a way resolutions are a perfect way to express criticism about yourself, be it subtle. To come back to this post, it will be a bit more positive (yes, it's never too late) and look back to a year of travels, concerts and drinks. And lots of writing, working and loving (yes, really) of course. So let's imagine we already have our glasses of champagne in our hands and propose a toast (yes, on myself, something everybody should do! On themselves I mean, though on myself is fine as well; the more toasts, the better!)
Here's to 2013:

- the year in which I finally got my tattoo. My 'freedom' tattoo, of which I sometimes forget it exists but still, the word runs through my life like a wire (I know, this expression probably doesn't exist, but I like it anyway) and is also closely related to my new motto: 'Only regret the things you don't do'.

- the year in which I travelled through Eastern-Europe (Berlin, Prague, Krakow, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade, Zagreb, Bled, Ljubljana and Munich) with my backpack and my best buddy Aaf.

- the year in which I made lots and lots of short trips, to Barcelona, to Koln, to Barcelona again and to Berlin.

- the year in which I started working in the most famous and most crowded lunch place in Amsterdam: Singel 404.

- the year in which I gave colour to my love for men with beards ;)

- the year in which I went to see my greatest hero Bob Dylan (though my love for Tom Waits has risen sharply as well), Kanye West, Valerie June, Edward Sharpe, De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, Santana, Prince, Lianne Lahavas, AlunaGeorge, James Blake and many, many more.

- the year in which I also wrote about them for one of my courses: writing critics. Besides this course I also had great fun in a debating course, speech writing course and world literature course.

- the year in which I had many fabulous parties and festivals with my roomies, among others, in Amsterdam.

- the year in which I kept on doing modeling work, though not as often as the years before. I still love doing it, but it's harder to make time for it and I feel I have to make choices, which means filtering the good shoots and shows.

- the year I had the most glamorous, glittering and magnificent NYE of all. At least that's what I hope! I'm actually staying at home, in this student house, but on a different floor. I think it's going to be amazing, there's champagne (which my bosses gave me as a Christmas present at work), there's music and there's freedom. That's what counts. Enjoy yours!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Money is a mighty addiction

What we own determines our worth
Gives meaning to one's luxurious life
And sets our position on this earth
A common goal for which we strive

The more we have, the more we need
Money is a mighty addiction for everyone
It may provide power to those who lead
Yet chains are created and freedom is gone

For what you own will end up owning you
Materials turn out to be ties around your neck
But you have to realize this in order to cut through
The more you desire, the easier your insight will lack

So never place too much importance on objects
Vulnerable and dependent is what you will become
Happiness is not a guaranty that money projects
Greed is a filthy feeling you need to run away from

Travel light and you will find out that what I say is true
Only bring necessities for you will probably lose a lot
And that will only make you feel miserable and blue
Though worth is not determined by what we got

I don’t intend to say that love is the most important thing
Since that word is now empty and the power will go away
But freedom is a word I will always be able to sing
And it will be achieved by these simple words I needed to say

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays!

I hope your Christmas isn't filled with obligations, but with doing the things you love to do. For me, that's listening to music, reading, watching old movies, drinking wine and eating cake. 
I'll enjoy, hope you'll enjoy your days too! Love!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lou sait quoi

Ines de la Fressange devoted an entire book to it: the Parisian chic look. Honestly, I think that 'je ne sais quoi' look is something you're born with. You can't create it very easily, at least not everyone. The French model Lou Doillon definitely has it, and she's the perfect example of being born with it, since her mother is the famous singer Jane Birkin, queen of the effortless French look. Though I love Jane Birkin's look, I like her daughter's better, because her look is wilder, darker and more mysterious. Yes, Lou Doillon is une grande inspiration in the fashion world but she's more than fashion; she also acts and sings and does all this in her own way: very alternative and atypical.

Lou Doillon was born in 1982 as the daughter of beforementioned Jane Birkin and director Jacques Doillon. After her long relationship with Serge Gainsbourg (which lasted from 1968 until 1980), she met Doillon and 2 years later she gave birth to Lou. Jane and Jacques divorced again in 1990. Lou started acting when she was 8, and she played her first role as her mother's daughter in the film 'Kung-Fu Master'. Her father helped her as well, by casting her in one of his movies. Since then Lou has played in many European films, most of which French.

Lou started making music in 2006; she sings, she writes the lyrics and she plays guitar. Quite a multifunctional talent! Unexpectedly, she sings in English. I haven't heard all of her songs yet, but the first EP is pretty promising. She has one son and lives in New York now.

To me, Lou is one of those girls you see very often on blogs and in magazines, but of whom you have no idea what she does. Well, now I know and I'm definitely gonna check her films out. Her style is magnificent: big hats, long skirts, many rings. All elements that make up a wonderful look, if you ask me! Add a continuous cigarette to that and a glass of red wine (see photo) and you've got yourself a tough yet chic lady. Moreover, I adore her tattoos. At least two of them: the name of her son, Marlowe, on her right arm and a salamander on her lower back. The last one is the word 'Sam's' on her wrist, which is the name of her ex-boyfriend. Not a very clever decision, but on the other hand, we only live once and shouldn't regret too many of the things we do in our youth. What a deep thought for a tuesday morning. Anyway, I'm sure we're gonna hear more of Lou and definitely are gonna see more of her. Starting now.

Monday, December 23, 2013


After a busy period at university, I finally had time again for some modeling. This is the result of the first shoot, which was for the new label DEUGTNIET (specialized in beanies and caps), which two girls started a couple of months ago. They're doing a great business and things are really starting to go into the right direction. The shoot was great fun, I had to show my crazy side and let myself go. It's a fine line between silly and just weird, so I didn't know what to expect, but it actually went very fluently. I had a great time and we had the shots within 2 hours. The name of the brand is a Dutch expression, which you can loosely translate as: is no good. So it's a pretty cheeky name, but I think it fits the beanies perfectly! If you'd like to order one, you can do it here.

Long Way Home

I absolutely love this song by Tom Waits. His 2006 album 'Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards' is extremely good and this is one of my favourites. It's one of his typical on the road songs and I can't stop listening to it when I'm in the train or in the streets. Tom Waits, you're simply wonderful.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

''I'm not sure what I'll do, but - well, I want to go places and see people...

... I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale''. F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Yes, the deadlines are off the table, the papers are finished, the work is done. And why not celebrate it with the thing I love most (besides wine): travelling!

And so I'm going to Berlin tomorrow to visit some people. Have been there twice already, once with my parents and once last summer, and especially the last time was a-ma-zing. I love the vibe, the history (definitely my number one when it comes to the background of a city) and the entire feeling the city has. I think I've picked the perfect date, since it's almost Christmas and the city must be full of lights, love and happiness now. Though the last two are generally not on top of my list of good things (you'll understand if you know me!) but due to the stress of the last weeks, I'm really looking forward to some positive energy and creative inspiration (as always!)

But of course I could already see myself ending up in a black hole after the holidays, cause, believe me, january in Holland is no one's favourite time of the year. It's cold, depressing and extremely boring. That's why Yeji and I decided to follow our tradition and go some place south to break the winter. Last year it was Barcelona, now we're going to another world continent: Africa! We're actually staying quite north anyway, cause it's Morocco we're going to. Marrakesh to be specific. We've just booked a flight and a hostel for a week in the end of January, and it didn't even cost us a 100 euros. So, before you all start thinking I'm acting all decadent and rich (which I can agree with to some degree of course!), it's actually quite cheap and why not spend your money on such things rather than beer or shoes? Whether you agree or not, I'm flying to Morocco in a month and gonna have a splendid time there. But first things first... Berlin! Talk to you at Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Searching for Sugar Man

Met a false friend
On a lonely, dusty road
Lost my heart
When I found it
It had turned to dead, black coal''
Tom Waits once said he liked 'beautiful melodies telling him terrible things'. It would've been a perfect description of the songs sang by Sixto Rodriguez, wouldn't it be that he was lost for several decades. Lost in what way, you might think. Well, people actually thought that the American folk musician Sixto Rodriguez was dead, and even died on stage. A pretty striking death, you might think again. Yes, something that would definitely be all over the news in sensation-loving America. Anyway, no proof was given for his death and that's why two of his South-African fans went looking for him.

This quest led to a documentary, which was released at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and was called 'Searching for Sugar Man'. Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul followed the two fans' search, which came to a quite surprising end. It turned out Rodriguez was still alive and totally unaware of his fame in South-Africa. He had some success in his own country America in the seventies. He released two little-sold albums back then and did some tours in Australia. As his career didn't come off the ground, he decided to stay in Detroit, where he came from, to work in demolition. He lived a very poor life and never knew of his position in South-Africa.

Cause in South-Africa, he was extremely famous. His albums were sold like warm sandwiches (a Dutch expression I like to repeat in English) and he was compared to legendary artists as Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens. And indeed, his lyrics instantly reminded me of Dylan's. His music as well, of course, typically folk and also a bit politically and socially engaged. But his lyrics are a-ma-zing, they's almost poetry and they're so utterly dark yet not in a depressing way, since there's still a lovely melody on the background. Anyways, as I said, it turned out Rodriguez was very big in South-Africa. Even Steve Biko was fan and his songs were used as anti-Apartheid songs.

The title track of his album, which was released again after the documentary, is about Rodriguez' drugs dealer, who had the nickname 'Sugar Man' (might have found the link yourself here). The entire song is about his desire for a fix and the music on the background is quite mystical as well, it perfectly fits the atmosphere. Despite his lack of fame in America, this song was covered a few times and was also featured in the film 'Candy' with Heath Ledger.

After the documentary, Rodriguez' star rose again, he became wildly famous and now gives concerts all over the world. In the documentary, the issue of his money is also covered. He might have been cheated out of royalties by his former agency. The matter is still being investigated, yet Rodriguez claims he's doesn't care that much. It's not money, what it's about. A fine thought. And nowadays, he's probably making lots and lots of money anyway, cause his 'Searching for Sugar Man' record sells extremely good and he gives concerts everywhere. The 71-year old man presumably doesn't sound the way he once sounded and definitely doesn't look that way. His skin is completely ruined after all the drugs and 'sugar' he has used in his life.

'Searching for Sugar Man' is a marvelous documentary, one of the best I've seen this year. The leading role is for Rodriguez' music of course, which is played throughout the documentary. As I already said, his lyrics are amazing and his melodies are very good as well, so I have become quite addicted to listening to his songs.
But the documentary itself is of high quality as well. It doesn't become boring, not for a single moment and the shots are outstandingly beautiful. We get to see Michigan, we get to see New York, South Africa, that is, all the important places in the life of Rodriguez. Every time I saw another place, and listened to his folk music at the same time, God, every one of those times I wished I was there. Or in a train, on the road, anywhere from home, and that's one of the best achievements for an artist: bringing me wherever I want to be most ;) And the documentary played a great part in this, so my compliments for that.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

No more excuses

Though I sincerely hate posts consisting of 'I'm sorry for the lack of posts, I was so busy recently!', that's exactly what this one is. I thought I owed you an explanation, since it's been almost 3 weeks since I last posted something and that's definitely not a good thing. My main occupation recently is my study, unfortunately, since I started doing an 'honours programme', which is quite awesome actually, I'm doing the course 'World Literature' now and we're reading all these amazing books. But I also have my own study to follow, in which I have to write a lot, which I love but which takes a lot of time. In the meantime I also work 2 or 3 days a week and sporting and having to take care of myself (cooking, washing, you know, all those downsides of being a student), so blogging was not on my priority list. Shame on me, yes, but let's stop with all the complaining. I know I have a tough life, and I expect you all to feel really sorry for me ;) No, that's nonsense, I shouldn't stress so much. My eyelids have been shaking for the past few months due to a lack of sleep, but hey, I'm taking yoga courses now, so I should be totally zen in a few weeks! Anyway, next week probably won't be filled with posts either, since I have to finish a few courses and I'm going to Berlin in 8 days. And then it's Christmas, which is only filled with eating and bad movies this year, so lots of time for blogging!
I feel like I've written the word 'I' more than I have last 10 posts, so it's time for some inspiration. Cause remember, inspiration is what leads the way and what keeps the train rolling. Hang in there, I promise to be back soon!

Saturday, November 23, 2013


'Rear Window': superficious suspense

An invalid man with nothing to do for six weeks, except for looking out of his window day in, day out. Occassionaly being visit by his caretaker, a hard-working, sarcastic lady, and his 'to be or not to be' lover, a beautify 'high society' (literally) lady. Sounds like quite a boring setting for a thriller. Yet, when one adds two of the most famous actors of the fifties, James Stewart and Grace Kelly, the film becomes more interesting. A little later, one adds the possibility of 'murder' and the story becomes intriguous. And when we finally mention the name 'Hitchcock', a classic is completed.

'Rear Window' (1954) is a story of a photographer, Jeff, (Stewart) who has broken his leg and who is convicted to six weeks of sitting before his window, doing nothing. However, through his window he has a wide view, and is able to look inside the houses of several of his neighbors. We deal with a typical Greenwich Village apartment block here. Jeff can literally look inside the lives of his neighbors: the pretty dancer 'Miss Torso', the lonely woman 'Miss Lonelyheart', a pianist, a sculptor and, last but not least, Mr. Thorwald, a chubby salesman, and his wife.

One night, Jeff hears a loud 'Don't!' and the breaking of glass. Suddenly the lights in the apartment opposite his house go out and he sees Mr. Thorwald leaving his house in a rush. Immediately intrigued by this weird happening, Jeff pays extra attention to this particular apartment the following days. He discusses his observations with Lisa (Grace Kelly), his girlfriend, and nurse Stella. Lisa is a rich socialite and extremely in love with Jeff. Jeff, on the contrary, is afraid to settle (cliché, cliché) and thinks Lisa is too superficial and too much bound to New York, whereas he travels the world to photograph. Lisa firstly thinks Jeff is exaggerating when he explains his suspicions but soon many strange events follow.

Mr. Thorwald's wife has suddenly disappeared and is never seen again, Mr. Thorwald is seen with strange objects, such as a knife and a heavy suitcase. Whatsmore, a neighbor's dog is found dead and the only one in the apartment block who doesn't come to the window is Mr. Thorwald. Lisa joins Jeff in his obsession and spends many nights at the window as well. The only one who still isn't convinced, is Tom Doyle, a detective and friend of Jeff. Jeff can't keep his mind of Mrs. Thorwald's vanishment and has Lisa sneak into the apartment to settle the matter. Of course, Mr. Thorwald comes home too early and things start to get out of hand really badly.

'Rear Window' is one of Hitchcock's best-rated films, yet I think the story is outrageously shallow.  We all know that Jeff will eventually be right about the murder (sorry for the spoiler, but come on, what would have been the use of the film otherwise), we all know that Jeff and Lisa will both survive and yes, we all know Jeff and Lisa will end up together, despite Jeff's difficulties with commiting. Grace Kelly and James Stewart form a magnificent couple together though, typically American, but lovely to look at. Grace Kelly definitely reminded me of our Dutch proud Doutzen Kroes (should be the other way around actually) and she's perfect as the girl-next-door for this film.

Several analyses have been made about the meaning of this film, suggesting it is a reflection of society, of audience and screen and of people's desperate need of looking into the lives of others'. I think the last one is the most logical one, cause I think Hitchcock didn't have a particular deep intention with the film, he probably just wanted a film that sold good and that had some suspense in it. Well, those things definitely worked out well. Though 'Rear Window' is quite predictable, we were definitely on the ball from time to time, especially when someone was approaching Jeff's apartment (who would that be??) and he could impossibly move, because he's wheelchair-bound.

So, final conclusion: 'Rear Window' is not one of Hitchcock's strongest films, due to too much predictability and too little surprise effects. The actors, though being beautiful together, weren't that convincable either but perfect in the way Hitchcock intended them to be: an all-American man as James Steward and an icy blonde as Grace Kelly. Fortunately, 'Rear Window' has some tensious scenes and therefore deserves to be a classic anyway.