Festivals · Movies · Music


edfilmfest Waterboys


On Monday 26 June I saw the second and final screening of Robert Jan Westdijk’s Waterboys as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

It is a triumph, a gently humorous tale of philandering, bibulous but successful Dutch crime writer who comes to Edinburgh with his grown-up son for the launch of the translation of his latest novel.  His wife has left him and the son has just been thrown out by his girlfriend.  The son is afraid of flying, so they travel from Holland on a car ferry – water boys.  Driving to Edinburgh, it is announced on the radio that The Waterboys are due to play a concert in the city during his stay – this means a lot, as he claims to be a big fan and even that his son was conceived during a festival performance by the band.

To say more about the plot would be to give too much away.  Suffice it to say, the few minutes of live footage of The Waterboys (supposedly in Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre, but actually filmed in Holland) is truly great, as are all the uses of the band’s music throughout the film, which is in many ways a love letter to Mike Scott and his band – tracks from all parts of his career have important dramatic parts to play.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this will get a general release, as about half of the dialogue is in sub-titled Dutch.  I believe most Dutch people are bi-lingual in Dutch and English, but we Brits are a bit behind, which in discussing this film is a shame – I got the feeling from the sound of the Dutch dialogue the delivery and comedy timing were spot on and to have understood that without reading sub-titles would have been good.  Our bad…

Scott and The Waterboys were clearly enthusiastically involved with the project – I think the photograph below, which has been used  to advertise a recent tour is taken from the live performance section of the film- and he appears as a voiceover of the radio announcer who first mentions the upcoming concert, albeit with his comedy Scottish accent…

Mike Scott Waterboys Edinburgh Film Festival

Here is a picture of the director and some of the cast from the showing I was at…at the left is the EIFF representative, then there is director Westdijk, Tim Linde, Helen Belbin and Leopold Witte.

Robert Jan Westdijk's Waterboys Tim Linde, Helen Belbin and Leopold Witte

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