Which film title best describes your family

II. Well-known Dutch directors and their works

Fons Rademakers

Volkskrant editor Peter van Bueren, who also initiated the Rotterdam Film Festival, once claimed that there was only one constantly working film director in the Netherlands: Fons Rademakers (1920). His film Dorp aan de Rivier (Eng .: village on the river) was nominated for an Oscar in 1958. It was a film adaptation of a novel about the life of a country doctor. Surprisingly, this typically Dutch setting was particularly convincing abroad, including at the Berlin International Film Festival. For his film adaptation of the book De Aanslag by Harry Mulisch, Rademakers actually received the highest American film award in 1987. Nevertheless, the director Rademakers is only known to a few abroad.

Rademakers devoted himself again and again to literary film adaptations. For example, in 1963 As twee druppels water based on the world war novel, which is very well known in the Netherlands De donkere kamer van Damocles (Ger. The Darkroom of Damocles) by the Dutch author Willem Frederik Hermans. The marriage drama followed in 1966 De dans van de reiger (German title: The dance of the herons / fire on the skin) based on a play by the Flemish author Hugo Claus.

In 1976 Rademakers delivered an elaborate film version of the Multatuli classic, shot in Indonesia and the Netherlands Max Havelaaar from. The film won awards at film festivals in Tehran, Naples and Copenhagen. Cinematographer Jan de Bont later celebrated as a director (speed, Tomb Raider - Lara Croft) notable successes in Hollywood (see below).

De Aanslag (German title: Das Assentat)

In 1986 Rademakers achieved his greatest success: the film adaptation of the Harry Mulisch novel of the same name De Aanslag (German title: The assassination). The story: Towards the end of the Second World War, the Dutch National Socialist Fake Ploeg is gunned down. His body is dragged in front of the Steenwijks' house and found there, whereupon the Germans set the house on fire and execute the Steenwijk family - except for 12-year-old Anton. Anton spent the rest of his life trying to find out what exactly happened back then. Anton Steenwijk's life story also reflects the phases and facets of coming to terms with the Dutch occupation between 1945 and 1980. In 1987 the film received the Oscar for best non-English language film and the Golden Globe for best foreign film.

Paul Verhoeven

Paul Verhoeven (born 1938) is still the most famous director in the Netherlands today. His early works, the television series Floris (1968), for the first time with Rutger Hauer, The soldier of Orange (1977), The fourth man (1983) and especially his 1973 film Turkish fruits (see chapter Sex in Dutch Films) paved his entry into Hollywood. This is where box office hits like Robocop, Total recall and of course Basic instinct, but also his biggest flop Showgirls (1995), for which he wrote the Golden Raspberry as the worst director received.

Since 1970, the mathematician has also worked with the cameraman Jan de Bont, who later went his own way as a director (see below). In 1985 Verhoeven moved to Hollywood, partly out of disappointment with the poor film funding in the Dutch kingdom.
Twenty years later, Verhoeven returned to Europe to film the 17 million euro war film in the Babelsberg studios Zwartboek to turn (see chapter Resistance in the film). Despite the lavishly made film with international cast (including Sebastian Koch), the film does not match the earlier successes.
Because many of Verhoeven's films address violence and sexuality, they are the subject of controversial debates among film critics and in public. Violence is shown in Verhoeven's films in a very exaggerated (Robocop, Total recall, Starship Troopers) or in an extremely "realistic" (Flesh and Blood) Way represented. Sexuality in Verhoeven's films, on the other hand, is often referred to as pornography and profanity by critics. His films also triggered violent protests from a wide variety of social groups (women's associations, homosexuals) (Turkish fruits, Spetters, Basic instinct).

Soldaat van Oranje (1977)

Soldier van Oranje is the first Paul Verhoeven film to receive international attention. The film is based on an autobiographical story by Erik Hasenhoff Roelfzema and tells about a group of students from Leiden during the time of the World War. The young men try to adapt as well as possible to the new conditions in the occupied Netherlands. At first they don't want to accept the realities. Some join the resistance, others register for the war on the Eastern Front. Jacques alone did not get involved in the war and decided to continue his studies. At the end of the war, of the student group, only Jacques and Guus, who had emigrated to England, survived. This raises the question of what price one is willing to pay for the resistance and whether it is really worth being a hero.

Turks Fruit

Turks Fruit (German Turkish fruits) is the most successful Dutch feature film and was named the best Dutch film of the 20th century in 1999. The film is about the sexually frustrated Erik, played by Rutger Hauer, who leads a nymphomaniac life. His wife - Monique van de Ven - has left him, which Erik cannot cope with at all. In a flashback, Erik meets his wife and their parents again, who had hindered the relationship from the start.
Turks Fruit didn't always get that full attention. In 1973, director Wim Verstappen found the film to be an “absolutely two-tier film”. He was of the opinion that you always had to be careful not to miss the few nice moments. Nevertheless: Turks Fruit meant the big breakthrough for Paul Verhoeven, Monique van de Ven and Rutger Hauer. Hauer and van de Ven played a beautiful, tragic pair of lovers who went down with the cinema audience. Turks Fruit quickly became a box office hit.

Basic instinct

In Verhoeven's erotic thriller from 1992, a rock star is murdered with a bar ice pick - during sex. Investigator Curran (Michael Douglas) targets the victim's lover: Writer Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) described the murder scene in a novel. The ice-cold temptress wraps the sullen cop up by bar and thread ...
While prudish US America was still debating morally because of the obsessive sex scenes, the visitors flocked to the cinemas. He grossed more than $ 352 million worldwide. Sharon Stone achieved world fame overnight for her game as an inscrutable and irresistible femme fatale. Very impressive is the scene in which Stone allows the investigating police officers to take a look between their open thighs when they cross their legs. Since she is not wearing any underwear, you can see her partially shaved vulva.
The Lexicon of International Films describes the film as "an effectively staged thriller that merges sexual desire and violence and propagates a rather reactionary worldview". The cinema magazine Cinema sums it up succinctly: "The mother of all modern erotic thrillers!"
Even though Verhoeven films have repeatedly been nominated for various awards (Golden palm for the best film, Oscar for the best film music and the best editing), it has never been enough to receive one of these coveted trophies.

Dick Maas

Dick Maas (1951) also belongs to the first guard of Dutch directors. And like Verhoeven, the Dutchman has also made a name for himself as a screenwriter and producer. In 1977 he graduated from the Film Academy in Amsterdam with the two short films picnic and Adelbert and the grade summa cum laude.
1983 came about with the elevator drama De lift (see below) his first full-length feature film. Maas staged the video clip for the Dutch rock band Golden Earring using scenes from this film Twilight Zone. In 1984 Maas founded the production company with his business partner Laurens Geels First floor features. In 1986 came the first, which was successful worldwide FlodderFilm, better known in Germany as A family to smooch. The TV series followed Flodder (1993) and Flodder Forever (1995).
His film is spectacular in its design Amsterdamned ( German title: Damn Amsterdam) from 1987, which was filmed with great effort (see below) and (also) became a great commercial success.
As a producer, he worked with director and actor Alex Van Warmerdam in Abel (1986) and TheNooderlinger (1992) together. He also produced Long live the Queen (1995) and the Oscar-winning father-son drama in 1997 Character by Mike van Diem.
Other films penned or directed by Dick Maas: Do not disturb (2000), Claim (2001), Long distance (2003) and Moordwijven (2007).

De Lift (elevator of horror)

In de Lift, an elevator in a Dutch skyscraper seems to have a life of its own. Guests at a celebration get stuck for no apparent reason and are only rescued shortly from death by suffocation. When a security guard is beheaded shortly after while trying to escape the elevator, the maintenance company intervenes. Felix Adelaar (played by Huub Stapel) examines the elevator, but cannot find any fault in the circuitry. This puzzles him, as more cases will soon pile up.
Supported by the reporter Mieke de Beer (Willeke van Ammelrooy), who senses a story in the incidents, Adelaar continues to investigate. The research shows that the electronics company in charge is carrying out strange experiments with microchips and has built one of them into the circuit of the elevator.
The horror film, for which Dick Maas not only directed but also wrote the script and music, was the first Dutch film to be sold to Hollywood and distributed worldwide by Warner Brothers. In addition, the Dutchman was allowed to go back to work in 2001 for the American remake (Down).
De lift was shot in just 32 days and with a budget of 750,000 guilders at the time. With more than 900,000 moviegoers in the Netherlands alone, it was not only commercially viable. Dick Maas received the for his work at the Netherlands Film Festival Golden calf for the best direction.

Amsterdamned (German title: Verfluchtes Amsterdam)

In 1987 the fast-paced thriller was created Amsterdamned, again with Huub Stapel in the lead role, but this time alongside Monique van de Ven, who appeared in 1973 in Paul VerhoevensTurkish fruits had debuted.
A brutal killer is up to mischief in the canals of Amsterdam. The daring inspector Eric Visser (Huub Stapel) is tasked with the investigation and is initially groping in the dark. After more murders, he meets the attractive Laura (Monique van de Veen), whose friend and therapist is a former diver. From then on he investigates in the diving environment.
With great skill, Maas mixes style elements of the classic thriller with a pinch of horror and a good helping of action. Despite a sometimes illogical narrative style, the film has many small nasties and cleverly placed shock effects that raise it above the genre average. The highlight at the end is a breathtaking speedboat hunt, which James Bond could only have topped.
The film is considered to be one of the most commercially successful Dutch films ever. In Germany it was one of the top 100 films of the 1988 cinema year. Loud Media Control around 150,000 cinema-goers saw him at the time. Even today, the action flick is shown regularly on German television. Only the German title seems wooden.
Without a doubt, the breakneck motorboat chase through the Amsterdam canals is the highlight of the film. The US stuntman Nick Gillard managed a 67-meter jump over two bridges with a racing boat, which earned him an entry in the Guinness Book of Records.
The risky maneuver was filmed in Amsterdam as well as in neighboring Utrecht, as only here were the quays low enough to allow the two boats to "go ashore".

Jan de Bont

Jan de Bont (1943) is another well-known director from the Netherlands. At the film academy in Amsterdam he met Paul Verhoeven, for whom he worked as a cameraman, among other things, in the cinema What do I see? (1972) and Turkish fruits (1973) worked. Both went to the USA in the early 80s, where the films were made Flesh and Blood (1985) and Basic instinct (1992) arise. Jan de Bont also works as a cameraman in several major Hollywood productions: Die Hard (1988), Hunt for Red October (1990), Like a light in a dark night (1992) and Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), in which he made a brief appearance as a Dutch cameraman.
In 1994 the Dutchman directed it himself for the first time. His action thriller speed with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock became a great success. His next film, the disaster film Twister (1996), even grossed almost 500 million US dollars worldwide. Films like Speed ​​2, The ghost castle with Catherine Zeta Jones and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life with Angelina Jolie, all of whom were not very successful.
From 1973 to 1988 de Bont was in a relationship with the Dutch actress Monique van de Ven (Turkish Fruits).


With his first directorial work speed (1994) Jan de Bont immediately achieved a great audience and box office success. As fast as the pace of the film, Speed ​​turned both main actors - Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock - into superstars almost overnight.
In the film, the psychopath Payne (Dennis Hopper) installs a deadly explosive device under a bus. The associated ransom threat: the bomb is activated when the bus travels less than 50 miles per hour, if it then drives less, the explosive device blows up. The anti-terror cop Jack Traven gets into the moving bus and tries to keep the bomb in check. He is actively supported by Annie, who replaces the injured bus driver and from then on has to steer the bus through the streets of Los Angeles littered with cars and construction sites.
At the Academy Awards in 1995, Speed ​​received the coveted trophy in the categories Best Sound and Best Sound Editing. In Germany, the film was awarded the golden screen in 1995, for reaching three million viewers in just 18 months. The Lexicon of International Films rated the film extremely positively: “The dramatic events up to the outwitting of the terrorist offer extremely exciting cinema with almost no depictions of violence. A masterful montage film, a highlight of action cinema. Not just an exciting genre film, but an essay about the essence of cinema: movement. "
As is so often the case with follow-up productions, however, it flopped Speed ​​2 (1994) - this time without Keanu Reeves. This was rewarded accordingly: The film got the Golden Raspberry 1998 as the worst sequel.


In the disaster film Twister (1996) the meteorologist Bill (Bill Paxton) returns to his native Oklahoma to divorce his wife, the tornado hunter Jo (Helen Hunt). Timely tornado prevents him from signing the divorce papers. With new technology, which is to be placed in the eye of the storm, the team around Jo wants to put a stop to the tornado and Bill win his wife back.
A moderate and predictable story, even though, or perhaps because, the script was written by Michael Crichton. There is also no lack of logic errors and awkward dialogues. But that didn’t hurt the film, as it was an entertaining action blast with special effects and a sound that were even nominated for an Oscar in their respective categories. Topped with $ 242 million in grossing US dollars Twister 90th place of the most successful films. The film was also the first ever to be released on DVD.

Author: Cornelia Ganitta
October 2011