MEET THE FOKKENS
- New Showtimes
$7 Member $12.50 Regular
DIRECTED BY ROB SCHRÖDER & GABRIËLLE PROVAA
Louise and Martine Fokkens are 69-year-old identical twins, working residents of Amsterdam’s notorious red light district for the past 50 years. Today Louise is retired (citing arthritis: “I couldn’t get one leg over the other”), but Martine still works in the window. Dressed in the world’s most endearing dominatrix outfit, she solicits men, young and old, and seems to have no dearth of customers. Brash, funny, racy stories punctuate their conversations: one laughs at the naivety of young prostitutes who are ignorant of the secrets of the trade; the other recalls a client who was a chaplain: “Don’t you remember, we even had a little confessional!” The sisters also have scary stories to tell, but in the main they recall their clients with compassion and affection. The Fokkens are a wonderfully amusing cultural mix: one part beloved grandma, one part Xaviera Hollander, times two.
THE NETHERLANDS • 2011 • 75 MINS.
IN DUTCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
An animated short film by Ruth Lingford which collages male and female musings on the experience of orgasm.
DIRECTED BY RUTH LINGFORD
USA • 2010 • 11 MINS.
“Should you ever wonder what the word spitfire means, look no further than Martine and Louise Fokkens. The sisters wear their accumulated experiences remarkably well. (The filmmakers) normalize lives that could easily have been exploited for self-righteous judgment or mockery.”
– Eric Hynes, Time Out New York
“A double Dutch treat. One newspaper wit wrote that they ‘put the sex in sexagenarian’… MEET THE FOKKENS holds your interest, mostly because the sisters (who turned 70 in May) are good company, no matter who they are.”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“Reveals a touching commitment to mutual survival. The explicitness and Martine’s jokey work ethic mesh perfectly with an eccentric filmmaking style… that overflows with vivaciousness.”
– Jeannette Catsoulis, NPR online
“The sisters have a lot to say… and (the filmmakers) frame their conversation well, making good use of the color, the reflective surfaces, and the surfeit of exposed younger flesh in the District. A lively, often comic tone… reveling in the absurdity of these two gray-haired, portly old biddies buying condoms by the box and shopping for new sex toys. (Screening with) Ruth Lingford’s lovely 11-minute animated short, LITTLE DEATHS.”
- Noel Murray, The Onion
“Lighthearted and garrulous, the Rubensesque sisters exchange frank notes on clients, shop for vibrators and laugh easily, but darker tones emerge… Still, the film refuses to see the Fokkenses as victims, emphasizing their spunk, solidarity and humor”
– Ela Bitttencourt, The L Magazine
“Mostly they joke and laugh together, conveying the idea that a hard road is best traveled with your closest friend.”
– Chris Packham, Village Voice
“An unbeatably bizarre subject. They’re almost always wearing matching outfits, giving the impression, in turns, of both a creepy Diane Arbus portrait and a whimsical Doublemint Gum commercial.”
– Tynan Kogane, Cinespect
“Racy, thoroughly enjoyable. Bounces along with defiant joie de vivre. Raunchy, hilariously uninhibited.”
– Ronnie Scheib, Variety
“Thoroughly entertaining and charming! The fact that their surname means the film has a title of sheer perfection is one thing, but these engaging, warm-hearted and eternally optimistic women make for great company as they tell their life story. The film is gentle and oddly respectful – though there are a few scenes of Martine doing what she does with some clients – and the Fokken sisters are strong-minded and genial company… whose verve and personality have got them through tough years in the world’s oldest profession.”
– Mark Adams, Screen Daily