Film Archive

Sections (Film Archive)


Animated Film
5 minutes
_without dialogue / subtitles

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ursula van den Heuvel, Netherlands Institute for Animation Film
Sjaak Rood
Albert van Veenendaal, Esmée Olthuis, Tessa Zoutendijk
Sjaak Rood
Sjaak Rood
Sjaak Rood, Bob Kommer Studio's
A very simple thing like ordering a cup of coffee can become very complicated, when the waiter doesn't behave whe way he should. Will the client ever get his coffee or alternatively home again?
International Programme 2012
Matthew's Laws Marc Schmidt

Numbers, symbols, signs – hidden messages fastidiously recorded by the autistic Matthew. The irreconcilability of different classification systems in an intimate portrait.

Matthew's Laws

Documentary Film
72 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Simone van den Broek, Basaltfilm
Marc Schmidt
Jasper Boeke
Marc Schmidt, Aage Hollander
Katarina Turler
Rogerio Lira
Sander den Broeder
Since there is a hidden message in everything people say Matthew records all phone calls to analyse them later. That’s a lot of work. He divides his days by a 36-number system, which means every date can be expressed in three symbols. Today is BNF, yesterday was BNE. That’s a lot of work, too. Autistic people like me, he says, narrow down their perceptions to a single area which they must think through to the end and order. In Matthew’s case the area he subjects to this principle is his flat – his universe and safe room. The Dutch director Marc Schmidt achieved something very rare with “Matthew’s Law”: giving us “ordinary people” insights into an intellectual world whose logic, though it may be bizarre, is the basis and substance of that person’s identity. An identity threatened whenever that interior system comes in contact with the exterior world – embodied for example by the building management, who refuse to accept that Matthew dismantles the boiler to re-install the water pipes in his bathroom according to his own logic. On the plot level, the film follows this clash between two systems of order – to the bitter end. On a second level, the film portrays the unusual relationship between filmmaker and protagonist. This very personal portrait is based on a mutual assurance of trust and openness about the process of filming, which Matthew has to integrate into his system and everyday routines, after all. And finally, the events themselves raise the question of how to deal with difference? No answer in sight. At least none that would fit Matthew.
– Matthias Heeder