Always fun when two passions collide. In this case cinema and the Amsterdamse School (Amsterdam School).
One of the main figures of this design/architectural movement was Piet Kramer, who amongst others created an impressive amount of bridges for the city of Amsterdam. Of the more than 500 he designed, over 200 were actually built; 67 of these are located in the Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest), the gorgeous large urban forest to the south of the city.
Felice… Felice…(Peter Delpeut, 1988) is a film about a British photographer in 19th century Japan (played by Johan Leysen), who falls in love with a local girl. It’s filmed completely in a studio, with the exception of two scenes. One needed a Japanese-looking bridge, and it’s not strange Delpeut ended up filming this exterior on one of Kramer’s bridges. Architects of the Amsterdam School always drew their influences from far and wide, and a few Amsterdam Forest bridges have a distinctly oriental flavour. Add some strategically placed props and it definitely can pass for old Japan.
Finding the exact bridge was a bit of a search – after all, there are quite a few of them (116!) and the film is obscure enough to not have a lot of fans searching for locations – but in the end I did find it. It’s without a doubt bridge 559 (they are all numbered) in the south of the park, which – for a film crew – has the added benefit of being located near a parking lot.
See for more on these bridges, and all the fascinating and beautiful designs of the Amsterdam School, the website Wendingen.