Jos Stelling – The Gallery (2003)
After winning top awards in Montreux, Utrecht, and St. Petersburg for THE WAITING ROOM, followed by the Grand Prix at the Mediawave festival in Györ (Hungary) for THE GAS STATION, Jos Stelling completed his Erotic Tales trilogy with THE GALLERY. Stylistically they’re all connected: each is narrated visually without dialogue, each makes merry fun of an embarrassing erotic fantasy in a public place, and each features the same likeable fall-guy – Belgian actor Gene Bervoets – as the hero always ready and willing to strut his manhood like a peacock in heat. In THE GALLERY Gene finds himself the sensual object of a beautiful woman’s desire. So when, suddenly and unexpectedly, she begins to strip for his pleasure … one good turn deserves another … (IMDb)
Jos Stelling (1945) made his debut as a director with Mariken van Nieumeghen in 1974. The film was selected for Cannes in 1975. Since then he has been writing and directing eight feature films. For his short film The Waiting Room (1996) Stelling was awarded a Golden Rose (Press Award) in Montreux, a Golden Gryphon in St. Petersburg as well as his fourth Gouden Kalf (GoldenCalf, the Dutch film award).
Attending some international film festivals can be a painless chore for Dutch director Jos Stelling. When he goes to the Riga Arsenals festival (he’s been there twice), he is greeted on the street by fans and admirers – after all, he had been honored with a retrospective tribute there as far back as 1988. The same goes for St. Petersburg: back in 1997, when his Waiting Room (1995) was awarded both the Golden Gryphon Award and the Public’s Prize, that double-decker recognition had come close on the heels of the Golden Calf at Utrecht and the Prix de Presse at Montreux. Indeed, the world-wide honors showered on The Waiting Room prompted Regina Ziegler to offer Jos Stelling carte blanche for a second Erotic Tale – with an option to go for broke and round the series out to a feature-length trilogy.
Two factors are worth considering when debating the pros and cons of a Jos Stelling Erotic Tale. Primary and foremost, he doesn’t lean on a word of specious dialogue to tell his story. That waiting room at a railway station, for instance, attracts per se a plethora of oddballs, eccentrics, bumpkins, and other bizarre types familiar to the human species, to say nothing of the games of one-upman-ship that enliven and animate this groundling arena. Add to this the presence of Belgian mime actor Eugène Bervoets, and you have the archetype of the bravura peacock macho who will scale a wall or walk off a cliff if necessary to demonstrate his manly wiles with the opposite sex. (Ziegler Film)