Since I spend part of my year in Amsterdam I’m always on the lookout for interesting Dutch folks to write about. Kinetic artist Christiaan Zwanikken fit the bill and then some. Zwanikken lives most months at his family’s retreat in Portugal, which was once a monastery but now serves as the laboratory for his Frankenstein creations, robots crafted from servomotors and the remains of wildlife he finds on the ancient grounds. American filmmaker Jarred Alterman is also fascinated by Zwanikken’s work – so much so that he crafted “Convento,” an “art/doc” that follows not just the Dutch artist and his creatures but the Zwanikken clan, including mom Geraldine, a former prima ballerina. I spoke with the passionate director prior to the film’s NYC opening — appropriately enough, at the American Museum of Natural History on November 11. Zwanikken’s sculpture show at the museum opens a day earlier.
To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.