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Antje de Boeck
Ed Wood is for US, what Hugo Claus tries to be for Belgium.
De leeuw van Vlaanderen is a medieval movie about the Flemish resistance against the French invading armies in 1302. The Flemish peasants won the battle because of their courage and the helping hand of God, manifesting itself as a golden knight on the battlefield. A sort of Braveheart (1995), but without the skirts.
It could have been a good movie. But the director, actually a novelist who thinks he can direct, screwed it up BIG TIME, again. Everything is leading up to the battle, but the battle itself is poorly filmed. If you can't afford to put in hundreds of extras on the grass, you shouldn't use too much long shots. But concentrate on the dynamics of the battle. There were too many empty spaces, which made the whole thing look ridiculous. Even Monty Python in The Holy Grail (1975) was more convincing!
The rest of the movie is static and theatrical. The occasional bad acting sequences are followed by sequences of low dramatic value and pointless discussions, where you feel as a spectator the need to push the fast-forward button. Yes, thank God I didn't see this one in the theatre.
note: I am sorry if I kind of hinted that Hugo Claus is trying to be Ed Wood. Ed Wood is maybe the worst director, but has still something Hugo Claus will never have: PASSION.
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