Through the Milky Way
with Geert van Itallie
Most Interesting Person launches a brand new trail in Amsterdam in 2011 starting with Geert van Itallie.
Itallie runs one of Hollands most significant cultural spaces, the Melkweg, which has played host to the worlds finest photographers, musicians, artists, theater and cinema since founded as a co-operative in 1970.
In this film, van Itallie talks about the challenges of running the venue and wider cultural issues facing artists today and takes you on a journey into his world of books, music and his most interesting person, Neske Beks.
As we embark on the Amsterdam trail of Most Interesting person on Friday 14th October. Here are 10 little factoids about the man who will host it all, Geer van Itallie.
- Before becoming the Director of Melkweg, van Itallie was the deputy director of Paradiso. These remain the two most culturally significant spaces in Amsterdam.
- van Itallie’s predecessor at Melkweg, Cor Schlösser, was the director their for 40 years.
- Melkweg is Dutch for the Milky Way, Paradiso does not mean Paradise.
- Paradiso was originally a squat.
- Melkweg is run by the same non-profit collective that founded it in 1970.
- Melkweg had a coffee shop upstairs by the theater. This is now closed.
- Melkweg hosts a theater, two music halls, a cinema, restaurant, bar, exhibition space and theater.
- Kieth Richards said that Paradiso gigs of 1995 were the best live gigs the Rolling Stones ever played.
The Five Questions
What is your name and what would you say people best know you for?
Geert van Itallie. I am best known as the director of Melkweg (The Milky Way). Until recently, I was the deputy director of Paradiso.
Where are we and why is this place interesting for you?
The Milky Way is a unique place. Nowhere else in the Netherlands can you find so many different creative disciplines under one roof and the history of the place is special! An old factory that has become home to so much diversity and cultural activity.
If there was one book the whole world should read, which book would that be?
The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
If there was one piece of music the world should hear which piece would that be?
Ruby my dear by Thelonious Monk
Who is the Most Interesting person you know in Amsterdam and why?
Neske Beks, she is a unique woman with many talents: Filmmaker, Writer, Comedian, Coach, Teacher and music lover.