Pop Secret

In 1961, Dutch artist Woody van Amen leaves Rotterdam by cargo ship and starts living in New York. Here he meets artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and jazz poet Ted Joans. His in New York filmed 8mm archive, is the starting point of this short doc and directly shows the culture shock that turnes his life upside down. Two years later and full of inspiration, he returnes to The Netherlands where he introduces the Pop Art movement with an endless stream of work.
Decades later he faces another big step into a new reality, with the unexpected loss of his great love. Though, resilient and with continuous inspiration he finds the energy to keep creating, even at 82 years of age. Present, past, art and love alternate in an energetic and intimate portrait of an artist who continuously searches for the ultimate piece of art.

  • Pascale Korteweg
  • Marlyn van Erp
  • Jaap van den Beukel
  • René van Zundert
  • Jeroen Leemans
  • Gerben Kokmeijer
  • Fokke van Saane
  • Chris Everts
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Pop Secret
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    18,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • IFFR
    January 24, 2020
Director Biography - Pascale Korteweg

Pascale Korteweg (1968) has been working as a creative in media and advertising since she graduated in 1993. In recent years she coached and teached students within the field of creative technologie and was a course leader for HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.
Since 2014 her longing for autonomous projects developed into documentary direction and interactive storytelling. Since than she completed and worked on diverse creative documentary’s as a director.

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Director Statement

Autonomy is an overarching theme in my films. I search for stories from people who strive for freedom. In their work, their art, their love, their age and their loss.
In Pop Secret, I show that the culture shock artist Woody van Amen experienced when he arrived in New York in 1961, was also the starting point for his quest for artistic liberation and as such for this documentary as well.
His personally filmed 8mm archive, shows how a new world turned his life upside down. Decades later he faces another big step into a new reality with the unexpected loss of his great love.
However resilience and inspiration provide the energy to keep creating, even at the age of 82.
This twist of circumstances gave me the opportunity to create a cinematic portrait of how intense experiences and emotion can lead to great freedom.

Note: This film premiered during IFFR 2020 in combination with my visual poem 'Culture Kick Vol' (a short doc based on 8mm found footage), with live played music soundtrack . The event with Q&A was well received, resulting in a spin-off at The Netherlands' biggest evening talkshow 'De Wereld Draait Door' (DWDD), where a short adaptation of the visual poem was presented with live music.