A slaughterhouse worker appears to be romantically involved with his boss's wife. They plan to leave the country together, but at the airport she waits for him in vain. Slowly but surely ... See full summary »
Mike van Diem
Maeve van der Steen,
Coen van Vrijberghe de Coningh
In January 1945, during the 2nd world-war, the Dutch resistance kills a collaborator in the street where the 12 year old Anton Steenwijk lives. The man was shot in front of his neighbors ... See full summary »
Derek de Lint,
Marc van Uchelen,
Monique van de Ven
When medical student Irena discovers that she can see through people, her live takes a surprising turn after she finds out that she is able to see bone structures, organs bloodstreams and ... See full summary »
Mike van Diem
Eline Van der Velden,
Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »
Javi and his friend Carlos snoop around an old house on the way home from school. According to his brother Juan this is a haunted house and one can hear the voices of the dead. Later he is ... See full summary »
Enterprising liberal Jew Simon Cohen is the lawless lord of an Amsterdam neighborhood, running a 'coffee' shop' (legal soft drugs sale). As soon as they bump into each-other, Simon ... See full summary »
An eccentric multimillionaire signs an agreement to have his life ended. While selecting his coffin he meets a young woman who has signed up for the same arrangement. Trouble ensues when ... See full summary »
Mike van Diem
Jeroen van Koningsbrugge,
J.W. Katadreuffe is the son of Joba Katadreuffe and A.B. Drevenhaven. Though fully neglected by Joba, Dreverhaven ensures the succesfull career of his son. Mostly unseen, though he sues his son a few times. The son Katadreuffe succeeds, but at great costs. Written by
Klaas van Gend <Klaas@vangend.demon.nl>
This is a movie that grips right away. While it has a dark setting, sparse but classic, the characters are rich. The love and care that Mike van Diem and the actors put in this film is visible. Thanks to significant contributions from both Dutch and Belgian TV stations, this movie is a rare treat, which is for once not spoiled by overly commercial requirements from demanding advertisers... As i understand, the film company First Floor Features had this film for decade(s?) in the planning, and it is a happy coincidence that it was realized the way you can enjoy it now. It has thus become a monument honoring the fabulous writer F. Bordewijk, the Dutch life and mind of the beginning 1900's, the craftsmanship of a dedicated cast, and a generous producer.
Jan Declair as the stony-hearted usher Dreverhaven is a character you won't forget for a long time. His softer side is time and again rejected by taciturn Joba, his former housekeeper who became pregnant in one lonely weak moment of them both. For several years, he offers her to marry her, or at least to contribute for the upbringing of his illegitimate son Kattedreuffe. She as many times rejects: 'We do not need anything.' On a precarious occasion, Dreverhaven denounces Jacob Kattadreuffe nevertheless, and from that moment on, father and son have a harsh relation as well. -
Masterfully, fate intertwines their lives, as the story unfolds. Real gems are present everywhere, the scenery is breathtakingly picturesque, partly filmed in Rotterdam harbor, and in other places like Poland. The movie constantly plays with time, but in a plausible way. As an example, when Kattedreuffe has an appointment at a bailiff's office after being framed into bankruptcy, the name plate blinks at once with his own name on it. And indeed, he starts a career in this very office that same day.
For a while, the lives of father and son seem only occasionally to coincide, but it is a silence before the storm. Every picture draws to the dramatic end which was glimpsed as the opening scene: Did Kattadreuffe murder Dreverhaven? Many instances shown would allow this conclusion, as the two fatally attract each other to fulfill their inner tragedy. Dreverhaven as this hard and desperate 'keeper of the law' who can not express love, and Kattadreuffe as the one who had to fight his whole life to arrive in a higher position, and then stands empty-handed, his love unreturned through his own stupidity (even his mother sees that Lorna Te George / Tamar van den Dop was an exquisite relation missed).
To kill (!) each other would suddenly seem like the best possibility and a liberation in such a dark hour, but the end has a surprise. The last minute smooths all the giant waves, and allows for a satisfying and ingenuous end scene. - Maybe you have to see this movie more than once to uncover the many hidden treasures, i strongly recommend to get it for yourself on DVD. The music of 'Paleis van Boem' enhances perfectly the impressive scenery. It is an artwork that has more than earned the Oscar it has got as best foreign film in 1998, along with several other awards.
And i am proud to have been asked to participate with calligraphy and handwritten material, although it is only clearly visible in the last half minute when (my) hand writes the last words of the testament, undersigning with - (see for yourself!).
10 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?