24LiesASecond will merge with The House Next Door

June 27, 2008

I have good news and bad news, everybody…

First the bad:
In the next few months, the 24LiesASecond website as you’ve come to know it will ceize to exist.

Now the good:
24LiesASecond will merge with The House Next Door.

Yes, you’ve read that right.
So what’s going on? Let me explain…

When Jim Moran and me launched 24LiesASecond in 2004, we had no idea what a flight the blogosphere would take. We wanted to provide a platform for the kind of provocative underdog film criticism we couldn’t find anywhere else and made a vow to aim high and shoot low. Hence, our specialty became the carefully edited long-form essay.

Fast-forward to four years later… Thanks to wonderful contributions by Mike Crowley, Giuseppe Puccio, Dennis Cozzalio, David Greven, Bob Cumbow and Will Lasky, the quality of the 24Lies articles has endured, but the quantity of our output leaves a lot to be desired. Despite a modest cult following (that would be you, loyal reader) and a handful of eminent supporters (Jim Emerson, Anne Thompson, Matt Zoller Seitz and – dare I say it? – Brian De Palma), our website has remained something of a hidden gem.

Most of you will know that 24Lies member Keith Uhlich has recently took over the editorial reigns at The House Next Door–a very popular film blog founded by the great critic/filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz. After drawing 30 episodes of Directorama under Keith’s editorial guidance, the idea arised for 24Lies and The House to team up. In many ways, The House Next Door has succeeded where 24Lies has failed: By offering new content to their visitors each and every day, Keith and editor emeritus Seitz have built up an impressive, readership. Simply put: If quality online film criticism is your thing, Next Door is where it’s at.

What will this merge amount to?

The 24Lies archive will find a new home at The House Next Door, where it will be introduced to a much wider audience. All the articles will be republished according to a weekly schedule, one by one, labeled under their own 24LiesASecond Essays tag. Future articles by the 24Lies authors will also be published on The House Next Door.

I’m sad to say that this means the 24Lies forum will be discontinued. This, of course, was an especially tough decision to make. We’ve had many memorable discussions on our message board over the past few years and I’ve always enjoyed reading every member’s thoughts and opinions tremendously. For this reason, I’ve contacted Geoff Beran of De Palma à la Mod and he’s looking into the possibilities to attach comment sections to his posts, so that we can keep in touch with eachother and De Palma’s work. Let’s hope Geoff can technically figure out a way to do this, because it would be the ideal solution to keep our little community together.

24LiesASecond’s transition to The House Next Door will happen gradually. You guys will be able to post on the 24Lies forum for another two weeks or so. After that, a locked version will stay online until the end of the year to ensure all of you have enough time to copy and save your favorite threads. The 24Lies essays will be republished on The House later this Summer. Until then, you can still find them here.

That’s all folks. I hope you understand. Drop a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for all your support and see you all at The House Next Door!

All the best,
Peet Gelderblom
Founding editor

Editor-in-chief Jim Moran (right) with yours truly

And the Socutera-Prize goes to…

January 14, 2008


One of my films has won the Socutera Prize 2007. I’m talking about a public announcement that some of you may remember from an old Screening Room entry. The jury praised the film’s subtlety, the music, the acting and its clever construction. Needless to say, I feel pretty honored.


Interestingly enough, we’ve won the prize for the rarely seen extended version. The film was originally conceived as a 25-second commercial, but when the opportunity arised for the Dutch Brain Foundation to fill a dedicated timeslot on national television, their agency asked my production company if we could take a look at the rushes and figure out a way to stretch the film to a whopping 95 seconds! With the help of a few carefully chosen titles, loooong fades to black and music by John Williams, we pulled it off.

The extended film can be viewed right here on the Socutera website. For behind-the-scenes information and the 25-second version, check this post.

Obscure Terrence Malick music promo!

September 21, 2007

Thank God for YouTube! I had no idea, but according to the IMDb, Terrence Malick directed this short in between Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978).

I love it how you can already sense his fascination for English colonist John Smith and Native American culture.

Check it out:

Peet’s Friday Screentest

June 29, 2007

Every Friday, a cold shiver ripples through the blogosphere: Whose turn is it to be screen tested? I’m talking about DVD Panache, of course, the award-winning blog where Adam Ross hosts an on-going series under the name Friday Screen Test. Each week, someone from the film blogging community is asked to answer ten questions. The resulting posts are always rewarding, either as a way get to know your favorite bloggers better or to discover online personalities you’ve never heard of before.

And yes, I’m afraid it’s my turn today.

Adam, being the sneaky bastard that he is, knows that it’s the most simple questions that are the hardest to answer. When I received his list of ten by email, I almost burned a hole in my computer screen mulling them over–instant writer’s block! Fortunately, it was just a phase…

So let’s get down to business: If you’re wondering how Peet outside his comfort zone sounds like, and if you’re not easily put-off by a few personal confessions, check out today’s Friday Screen Test.

The Kuleshov effect according to Steven Seagal

May 26, 2007

After discovering Dennis Cozzalio’s blog entry on the hilarious Chuck Norris Facts website, I was reminded of the chart below that I had filed under “Nonsense” on my laptop.

Mr. Norris may come with a mean pack of one-liners (There is no chin under Chuck Norris’ Beard. There is only another fist), but mr. Seagal is armed with lethal acting skills. Lev Kuleshov would have a field day experimenting with this master of action cinema.



To boldly go where no film blogger has gone before (Feedback wanted!)

April 4, 2007

Listen up, Negative Space travelers: I need to hear what you think. This week I’m posting three (!) new cartoons (Sparky Goes To Hollywood being the first), and I’ve got a few more in the sketching stage. If you like the sound of that, then this post is for you…

When I posted my first film-related cartoon on the 1st of January this year, I had no idea I’d still be drawing them four months later. These little doodles have turned out to be a very satisfying form of criticism for me. The response so far has been more than positive (both online and in private) and after encouraging words by the likes of Jim Emerson, Matt Seitz, Dennis Cozzalio, Andy Horbal, The Shamus alias That Little Round-Headed Boy and Girish Shambu, I’m seriously getting into the swing of it.

A while ago, 24Lies contributor Bob Cumbow half-jokingly remarked, “Once you have done enough of them, I expect you to publish these cartoons in a book, which I will happily buy for myself and several of my friends.” For someone with a background in graphics, this seemed a tantalizing prospect, albeit a little far-fetched. You just don’t publish and distribute a book that easily. Or do you?

Apparantly, one does. Not long after Bob’s email, I discovered the Print On Demand service Lulu.com, and it dawned on me: I could actually do this. The digital age has finally made it possible. With a little effort, I can self-publish a book – paperback, hardcover, glued or binded – sell it online and have it shipped automatically to anywhere in the world. I wouldn’t have to sell my soul for it, and I’d still own the copyrights. Better yet: publishing won’t cost me a penny–not even if nobody would buy it.

Can you tell I’m excited? 🙂

So there it is: my statement of purpose for 2007. I’m going to continue posting one cartoon a week in the image resolution you’ve grown accustomed to. By the end of the year I’ll have 52 of them. The cartoons will then be collected in bookform (Negative Space Year One?) and printed in their original high-res, full-color glory. I may even decide to include my celluloid fantasia Nighthawks, a 24LiesASecond essay not unlike a cartoon stretched to short story length. As an online publication, Nighthawks suffered from being too long and dense to read on a computer screen, but it might blossom as part of a book.

My questions for you are: Would you be interested in buying this book? If so, would you go for the hardcover coffeetable-version or the cheap pulpy pocket version? Would you want it to come out in time for Christmas? And now we’re at it: Is any of you interested in other publications of this kind? (An anthology of 24LiesASecond essays, for example.)

Perhaps it’s time for us bloggers to reach out beyond cyberspace. What do you think: Is print the final frontier, or an evolutionary step back? See you in the comment section (or drop me an email, if you’re shy)!

A quick message from Denmark

December 23, 2006

Greetings, regular Negative Space readers!

It was my intention to post a little more before going off to Denmark for Christmas – in case you’re wandering: my wife’s Danish, so that’s why – but my glorious Powerbook suddenly refused to work properly. (If you’re reading this, Jim Emerson: apparently, it’s a global thing.) So now all I can do is write you this little message on my father-in-law’s cranky old beige PC (the horror!). Make no mistake: cutting edge technology here on the countryside of Brandstrup, Lolland…

Be sure, though, to check back here on the first of January. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be publishing my first (and perhaps only–we’ll see where my muse takes me) Lost in Negative Space film-related cartoon. No, I’m not kidding. And for January, I’ve been cooking up a new series of YouTube posts dedicated to my commercials, TV and motion design work, offering a few glimpses behind the scenes.

In the meantime: Have a merry, merry Christmas!

We are betrayed by brains that are too small

October 21, 2006

Illustration by Anthony Hare

After reading this interview at Times Online in which Christiane Kubrick, widow of Stanley, sets the record straight once and for all, it’s easy to see why her marriage with Stanley lasted 42 years. What a wise and fascinating woman.

If there is a theme that runs throughout Stanley’s films it involves people making enormous mistakes even though we’re aware that the choices they make are probably wrong. We are betrayed by brains that are too small. Our frustration and wickedness possibly derives from that fact.

Source: The ScreenGrab.

The screen speaks

October 7, 2006



No shake of hands
No kiss goodbye

There is no door to my side of the world
Only windows to see through
Cold glass to lay an ear against

Draw the curtain
Watch me dance
I long to show you
You need to see me

The closer you look, the nearer I come
So feast your eyes:
Let my glorious reflection
Paint the blush on your grey face

I am immortal
I am ideal
I am illusion
Too good to be

Look at me!


The above monologue was taken from a screenplay I wrote for an as yet unrealized short film, titled Remote Control.

Rendezvous in Amsterdam

July 12, 2006

Imagine starting up a website with a like-minded stranger from the other end of the globe. That’s what Jim Moran and me decided to do three years ago. Jim lives in LA, I’m from Holland, but after we got to know each other at an online discussion forum, we came to realize that we shared certain ideas about the sort of film criticism we wanted to see more of: The provocative, evocative kind that values a keen eye and an open mind over relentless evaluation. We began corresponding on a daily basis, and the two of us developed a very special friendship in the process of getting 24LiesASecond off the ground.

Last Summer, at the Amstelveld square in Amsterdam, Jim and me met each other in person for the very first time. It was a surreal experience to arrive there with my youngest son Luka, knowing this guy’s mind so well and yet be unfamiliar with the body attached to it. We hugged and it was no longer an issue. Jim stayed at my house for the weekend, where he became a member of the family for a while. We talked about movies and shared anecdotes the whole night through until the birds started chirping. Saying goodbye at the airport was pretty hard…

Jim (right) with yours truly

We began calling each other frequently, and much to my surprise, Jim planned another trip to Europe. Earlier this month we had our second rendezvous in Amsterdam. I brought Tina and the boys along for lunch and we threw frisbee in the Westerpark together. Then, Tina took the kids back home and I showed Jim modern architecture at the KNSM-island, Old South and the Cult Video rental store where Tarantino used to go to. The rest of the day we spent wandering along the canals, sitting at cafes and catching up.

It sure was good to see you again, my friend! Somehow I have the feeling you’re not as far away now as you seemed when you left the first time…

A Journey Into Negative Space

July 1, 2006

A beginning is a very delicate time…

As I was catching my breath from a pretty exhaustive 24LiesASecond article published a while ago, the desire cropped up to take a break from long form for a while. My celluloid fantasia had taken me in all kinds of crazy directions – sometimes relevant, sometimes less so – and many scattered thoughts and subjects were still whirling around in my head, ready to be explored. There was no way I was going to make sense of these any time soon, and to be honest, I didn’t want to. I rather enjoyed the storm of free association waging behind my eyes.

Faced with this strangely pleasant lack of coherence, an old idea reared its ugly head… You guessed it: Why not start a blog?

I’ve been thinking about starting one ever since I found out the form existed, but one small matter had always managed to discourage me: A fear of not being able to deliver the proper amount of content. Unlike my friend Dennis Cozzalio – fellow 24Lies contributor and the Takashi Miike of bloggers (for proof, just visit Dennis’s excellent Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule), I’m a deliberate slow writer. And not just because English isn’t my native language. The incurably prolific Stephen King once said about himself that he writes “like a fat lady diets.” Well… I’m more like an anorexia patient trying to gain weight.

Of course, such an excuse isn’t good enough. Who was I kidding? There are no deadlines in the blogosphere. And the cool thing about blog posts is that they don’t have to be fully developed. They can be afterthoughts, sideline scribbles, sketches… indeed, negative space. If my 24Lies articles are to the point, a blog could be beside it.

So here we are: Lost in Negative Space. Between the lines, beyond the screen, beside the point.

It’s good to have you here, my guest. Sit down, have a drink, click around. If you like what you see, drop a note in the comment section. I’ll appreciate it. Now let’s get started!