Named the Best Dutch Film of the Century by the Netherlands Film Festival, Verhoeven’s hugely successful, Academy Award–nominated sophomore feature opens with a giallo-style jolt, develops into a kinky, blackly comic sexploitation romp, and finally blossoms into an alternately sweet and perverse romance. In the first of his many collaborations with Verhoeven, Rutger Hauer stars as a temperamental sculptor who hitches a ride with a free-spirited young woman (Monique van de Ven). In short order they hook up on the side of the road, get married, and settle into a life of round-the-clock lovemaking in his art-strewn studio—but, alas, nothing lasts forever. Read More »
Tag Archives: Rutger Hauer
Los Angeles, year 2019. Cynical ex-cop Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a retired assassin of rogue androids (called “replicants”). His former boss, Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh), presses him into service: he is to kill a group of physically superior replicants that are on the loose after escaping from an “off-world” colony. Deckard visits the Tyrell Corporation, where he encounters mogul Eldon Tyrell (Joseph Turkel) and his assistant, Rachael (Sean Young). Tyrell informs Deckard that Rachael is a new breed of replicant–implanted with memories, she believes herself to be human. Bent on speaking to Tyrell in order to find out what their “termination dates” are, two of the replicants–Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) and Pris (Daryl Hannah)–insinuate themselves into the home of geneticist J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson), who created the replicant design for Tyrell. In the meantime, two more of the replicants have been disposed of and Deckard has become romantically obsessed with Rachael. Read More »
1938. A small group of Dutch students stop their tennis game momentarily to hear of England’s entry into World War II. Erik and his friends don’t show much concern at first. But when Queen Wilhelmina flees Holland for London and the Germans move in, it becomes necessary to choose sides.
Soldier of Orange, directed by Paul Verhoeven (Turkish Delights) is based on the true life adventures of Erik Hazelhoff who received numerous decorations including Holland’s highest honor — the Militaire Willems-orde. It is interesting to see how Erik’s friends take different courses: a Jew inevitably dies once the German’s arrive; another associate joins the Nazi army; a third becomes active in the Dutch resistance movement; and a fourth betrays everyone in order to save his Jewish girlfriend. Read More »
Heavily based on the novel by Richard Rashke, Escape From Sobibor tells the
inspirational true story of the only successful mass-escape from a Nazi concentration.
In 1942 Operation Reinhard, the final solution to the Jewish question was put into operation. Three death camps were built in Eastern Poland, near the Russian border, at Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor. Sobibor opened in March 1942. Initially, three gas chambers housed in a brick building used carbon monoxide to kill Jewish prisoners, with three more gas chambers added later. Read More »
Plot / Synopsis
Ingrid Jonker lived an impossible contradiction, writing heart-rending poetry about being a woman of privilege living under apartheid rule, all the while dealing with pressure from the head of the censorship board, a man who also happened to be her father. “Black Butterflies” is the story of how Jonker, a woman with unending sexual cravings and a noted mental imbalance, managed to cope with this dichotomy. In the opening, the least poetic of a number of unconvincing metaphors writ large, Jonker is saved from drowning by handsome publisher Jack Cope, an older gentleman who immediately falls for the leggy writer. What he doesn’t know is that her self-abuse, due to living under the rule of her oppressive, emotionally-abusive father, has fractured her personality. She is not the creator she becomes when she puts pen to paper, but rather a little girl seeking stimulation (which she chases in a number of unavailable men) and hoping for the approval of her father (an impossibility).
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Here is a film before which words fall silent. “The Mill & the Cross” contains little dialogue, and that simple enough. It enters into the world of a painting, and the man who painted it. If you see no more than the opening shots, you will never forget them. It opens on a famous painting, and within the painting, a few figures move and walk. We will meet some of those people in more detail.
The painting is “The Way to Calvary” (1564), by the Flemish master Pieter Bruegel the Elder. We might easily miss the figure of Christ among the 500 in the vast landscape. Others are going about their everyday lives. That’s a reminder of Bruegel’s famous painting “Landscape With the Fall of Icarus,” about which Auden wrote of a passing ship “that must have seen something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.” Extraordinary events take place surrounded by ordinary ones. Read More »