Ben Kline is a successful television actor looking for a meaningful role to make him a movie star. When he sets out to play a hero who died in the Holocaust, he is forced to face the ...
See full summary »
A woman tormented by ghostly apparitions and a professor of psychic phenomena investigate other-worldly disturbances and unlock the secret of a malevolent force reaching out for vengeance from beyond the grave.
Samuel's life is a mess. His girlfriend just left him and he is out of a job. Having hit rock bottom, he decides suicide will be the only way out. While attempting to kill himself, he ... See full summary »
Hilde Van Mieghem
The US needs to convince the visiting emir Khala'ad of Othar to allow an American military base in his strategic realm. Clueless nightclub waitress Sunny Ann Davis accidentally spots and ... See full summary »
The host of an investigative news show is convinced by the CIA that the friends he has invited to a weekend in the country are engaged in a conspiracy that threatens national security in ... See full summary »
A Dutch film, post-Saturday Night Fever, which follows the lives of three young men who are amateur dirt-bike motorcycle racers. They each fall in love with a young woman who, with her ... See full summary »
Hans van Tongeren,
Ben Kline is a successful television actor looking for a meaningful role to make him a movie star. When he sets out to play a hero who died in the Holocaust, he is forced to face the reality of those victimized by the war. In assuming the role of Miklos Radnoti, who left a notebook of harrowing poems from his ordeal, Kline finds himself acting not as a hero, but rather a victim who speaks to us from the grave. As Ben gets ever deeper into his role, he begins to merge with his character, blurring the boundaries of truth and illusion. The realization for Ben, and for us all, is that the best homage we can pay to those who died is to understand them... to know that they had little choice in their fate. Everyone could not be a hero, but rather simply tried to survive as best they could, and that is the legacy of the six million. Written by
Dick Atkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Chris Sarandon is inexplicably cast as a "star" here, an American actor cast in the lead role of a film against the director's wishes, for box office appeal. Sarandon is an actor one could never accuse of being a star; he's competent but often too earnest and a little dull. Playing the Hungarian poet Miklos Radnoti, who we are told from the outset was killed during WW2, Sarandon's actor, Benjamin Kline, goes all method. He talks to himself in character, argues with the director about realism, demanding that he be actually tortured in one scene, sleeps on the set of a labor camp, and even gets a People magazine cover story "The Method of his Madness".
The gimmick in the treatment is that we have a film within a film ie we see the film that is being made, edited and complete with music and voice-overs, and we also have the actors behind the scenes in modern dress. Sometimes the transitions are clever, though when Kline breaks out of character and we are jarred into another reality, the result is mostly camp. At other times, we have to check the costumes and hairstyles for the time frame, and there are vast canvasses and aerial views with no hint of the fictional director's camera. However it helps that the director, Walter Hardy (John Seitz) seems even more of a egomaniac than Kline, at one point berating actors playing men about to be shot, for not being able to smell their fear. The funniest moment is when Hardy holds a gun to Kline's head (admittedly a prop gun) to get what he wants, but ultimately what undermines these scenes is our realisation that such behavior is nonsensical eg when the director is ranting, we think, where is the producer to remind him of the time being wasted?!
The narrative includes oddities such as the door of a train's cattle truck being left open when Jews are being shipped to the labor camp, a cut from a singer's yell to a train whistle, and bare breasted female dancers in contemporary Hungary for the entertainment of German tourists. The latter is interesting given that we are told that Hungary was a German ally, and that the guards of the Boor labor camp in Yugoslavia are Hungarians. The camps are also described as being like military service for Jews, which reads as rather patronising given that men are arbitrarily tortured and killed, just as in the concentration camps. We get the standard question of why didn't the Jews resist their fate, with the answer given that passivity has more dignity, and is luckier. Kline also has a personal history, where his Hungarian father only reveals the fate of his mother during the filming of his movie, though ultimately, this plot point is a red herring.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?