De noorderlingen (1992) Poster

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Bizarre but wonderfully black comedy
qtaran11125 May 2004
This is a great little film, by turns funny, surreal, with a couple of scary moments (especially with the vulture on the bed, the crazy bird from the shoulder of the monk statue, and after the hunter is blinded, searching the forest).

Parts are reminiscent of Delicatessen (rebellious postman, mad butcher) and others are straight out of a grimm fairy tale (the scenes in the woods), however it is always engaging and well-acted. Although I think Dutch people will get more from the socio-historic context of the story, I think everyone can identify with the mixed-up lives of "ordinary people" in small, soulless towns. Weird!
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Fun surrealistic comedy.
Boba_Fett113824 April 2008
When you're watching an Alex van Warmerdam movie you know you're to get something interesting and unusual. He always fills his films with a large amount of surrealism but at the same time knows to keep his films accessible and watchable for the main stream public. It might very well be true that this movie is his best known and most appreciated movie.

It's not the type of movie with a clear point or purpose but this doesn't prevent this movie from being simply an enjoyable one to watch. This movie is mostly so fun to watch due to its many eccentric characters and unusual settings.

The entire movie is set in an housing development, that consists out of one long street, without pavement on the road, with a school and butcher shop. At the end of the road there is a bus-stop and an artificial planted small forest. This is their entire world. It's set in the '60's, which of course also gives the movie a certain atmosphere but really this movie could had also easily been set in modern time and it just wouldn't make that much different to the story or any of its characters.

The movie is filled with lots of eccentric characters. Every characters has somethings strange or unusual around him or her, some more extreme than others. It are mostly this quirky little aspects about each and every character that makes this movie such a fine comedy, since its not a movie with an awful lot amount of dialog and its also a rather slow moving movie, with long stretched shots.

The movie features some fine Dutch actors, though it seems sort of weird that the best and best known actors play insignificant supporting roles in the movie, such as Loes Luca and Jacques Commandeur. Jack Wouterse is a well known actor now but back in 1992 no one had ever heard of him and this also was one of his first ever roles. The most fun role is being played by Theo van Gogh, as Fat Willy, who constantly rides on his moped and terrorizes the street with it. I've always liked him better as an actor than as a director, or anything else. Like always, also Alex van Warmerdam plays a role in the movie and so does his wife, actress Annet Malherbe.

It's true that the movie sort of looses it as it heads more and more towards its end but overall this movie remains perfectly watchable throughout- and above all also really fun to watch.

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Magic where you least expect it
steven-322 January 2000
Alex van Warmerdam is one of the very few Dutch directors whose films I can bear to watch. He has created a number of very good absurdistic movies (Abel, de Noorderlingen, de Jurk, kleine Teun), of which I liked de Noorderlingen best; its weird scenes are evidence of a wonderfully imaginative and free mind. Van Warmerdam has something of a voyeur, a trait which influences all his movies; what better setting could he choose than a hideously Dutch, `modern' village where all the people are continually spying on each other through their large front windows. Yet if you expect that all magic would have disappeared from such surroundings, think again.... there are fairies in the woods nearby and one inhabitant turns out to be holy.

I can tell you from personal experience that there exist Dutch people with a sense of humour, but if you don't believe me be sure to go and watch this movie.
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You haven't seen anything like it
Ikarus655 November 2002
I had a great time watching this black comedy which ranks high up there with the finest of the genre. It's not like any other movie I have seen before, but I think that if you like a movie like Delicatessen, you will also enjoy this one. I only wish it were available on DVD!
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dutch humour
rjdeklein21 July 2002
don't try to understand this movie if you haven't lived in holland for a considerable time, this movie portrays in a very ironical way, the narrowminded attitude of the dutch people in the 60's. it is sharp and down to earth at the same time. i don't think non-dutchman will appreciate this movie, but you can always try! i am from holland and i thought it was a brillant satire, with good perfomances of a few well known dutch actors (including the director who also plays the role of the postman).i give it an 8 out of 10.
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Didier (Didier-Becu)22 August 2003
Go back to Holland in the suxties at where we are in a small part of some village and where we follow the lives of some inhabitants. They are all normal people with very strange behaviours...a postman who opens and reads the letters he has to deliver, a butcher who is longing for sex that can't be given by his overcatholic wife (and their son who is only interested in the politics from Belgian Congo), a woodwatcher who thinks he can make the world a better place to watch the woods in a machoway but fails to please his woman in bed, a schoolteacher who seems to be bored by everything he does...and little by little we see that all these lives are related whether they want it or not, they all wanna go their own way but are stopped by the ruling hiphophrisy from the streets they're living in. "De Noorderlingen" is a quite interesting movie that has great moments but sometimes looses itself into surrealism in a Bunuelway that spoils a bit the movie (the son who thinks he's a prime minister from Congo for instance) but all by all I liked this black comedy. Belgian viewers will be longing to see a very beautiful (and young) Veerle Dobbelaere starring here!
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Enjoyable and Clever, but doesn't say much for Dutch society
joe-k-324 August 2009
Great film, yes, humorous and clever. I spent a few months in Holland and saw the great contrasts between liberal Amsterdam and the almost Aamish conservatism of the countryside and its small villages. This film is an indictment of the religious puritanism and hypocrisy of the ' blind' , represented by the manic huntsman. It's rare to wish to see another human being blinded but here it feels like a much-awaited catharsis and it says something great about a Director who can make such extreme violence part of what the viewer himself feels is justified. Unlike Von Trier, who's violence disgusts and seems arbitrary and just stemming from his own mental illness, this Director here is fully in control of himself and his vision ( basically humane). For me the most irritating person is not the butcher, because while he is meant to seem animalist and piggish, his 'frustration' can be understood and is human. I don't really understand what his wife is meant to represent, and the prayer scenes outside their house, except to show religious extremism as hypocritical, inhuman and destructive of healthy love. It seems that only the boy, the dead girl, the black boy and the postmen are the only human beings worthy of that name in the village.

Bleak, funny yes, but very dark. Ultimately , DEPRESSING. Doesn't make me want to live in Holland. In fact, this seems like a film made by a Director very unhappy with the State of his own country, and very alienated. It is the humour of desperation and the end of the film is messy and offers no hope. The postman returns, meets the boy , and so what? What then? Back to a "happy life" in that village from Hell?

In the Dutch Dogville?

I don't think so.
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Typical Dutch
Robert Koote27 November 2007
The dutch national character is not easy to understand, but this movie gives some notion about dutch humor. Most people I'm working with, which are not dutch, think we dutch are hard-working, serious minding and chagrined people. But we also have a great taste of humor and a big portion of self-derision. Foreigner who are interested in the dutch character I recommend amongst others this absurd movie. Keep in mind that the characters in the movie are not so strange and can be found in the common dutch families. Alex Warmerdam makes it absurd by placing all, a little bit weird, characters in a very small location, the so called 'nieuwbouw-wijk' of the late 50's and early 60's. If you like this, you should also try Abeltje, Jezus is een Palestijn and the sketches from comedians like Theo Maassen, Hans Teeuwen etc.
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dead-valley2 December 2006
De Noorderlingen was a pretty good Dutch film that was a bit like Bunuel, set in an interesting landscape, which follows the inhabitants of the rural mini-town in which they reside. The iron-fisted hunter, the kid who paints his face to be like an African revolutionary, his father the butcher who seemingly gets more sinister as his wife gets more saintly, the quirky postman, a mysterious forest nymph, etc... what transpires is a humorous black comedy that works, pointless in a non-bad way, but ultimately isn't amazing like Bunuel's "The Discreet Charm..." or anything. Still it's a good flick.

6.5 out of 10
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