March 11th, 2002. John R. takes the head of security and 17 others hostage in Amsterdam biggest skyscraper. John R. demands to speak with the Philips head of Sound&Vision. His goal is to ...
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Willeke van Ammelrooy,
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Danny de Munk,
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Jeroen van Koningsbrugge,
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Lene Maria Christensen,
Karen Margrethe Bjerre
March 11th, 2002. John R. takes the head of security and 17 others hostage in Amsterdam biggest skyscraper. John R. demands to speak with the Philips head of Sound&Vision. His goal is to warn people about a large-scale fraud, aimed at brainwashing consumers by means of widescreen TV sets. In the film, we find out about John's preliminary frustrations, his bizarre encounter with Philips head of Sound&Vision Gerard Wesselinck, their impossible friendship, rivalry and John's armed attempt to force the executive to do penance in public. Written by
I saw this film screened at the 2006 Palm Springs International film Festival and Director Peter Kuipers was on hand to introduce the film and take Q&A after. This is an interesting film with two great acting performances by John Decleir and Jeroen Krabbé. The film begins with and is based on the true story of a 59 year old bus driver who was protesting the introduction by Phillips of widescreen TV's and resisting them as unnecessary technology being forced down the consumers throats. Armed and with a bomb in his briefcase he takes hostages in a building that Phillips had only temporarily been housed in and had moved out of six months before. The film then goes on to tell the fictional tale of the events that led the hostage taker to start a consumer guerrilla war by himself. Since the film is drawn from an actual event and then becomes fictitious you don't really know what is fiction and what is fact and what is real and what is imagined from the viewpoint of the central character and since the actual company name is used throughout the film it really throws you off. The real hostage taker who was identified by the Dutch press as only John R and in this movie as John Voerman, actually sent a communique about the reason for his actions that he was resisting "manipulation by sellers of widescreen television sets who were guilty of creative nonsense." Were he around today to see this film he might indeed find it as creative nonsense. I would rate this a 6.5 to a 7.0 on a scale of 10 and hope to view it someday on a widescreen TV.
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