Teacher Bonn is looking forward to return to school in September, but his young students are less enthusiastic. Therefor he decides to have each one of them write an essay on their summer holiday.

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Justus Bonn ...
Meester Bonn
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Teacher Bonn is looking forward to return to school in September, but his young students are less enthusiastic. Therefor he decides to have each one of them write an essay on their summer holiday.

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teacher | school | essay | song | children | See All (5) »

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Musical

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10 September 1966 (Netherlands)  »

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A musical essay by Harrie Geelen
23 February 2009 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

In 1966, Dutch television was still pretty basic and children's television doubly so. Only Wednesday and Saturday afternoons were reserved for the adolescents, sometimes and what there was was solely aimed at the pre-teen demographic. Swiebertje and Pipo de Clown were the icons of the day, Rikkel Nikkel and Mik-Mak had come and gone and the practice of showing one measly five minute program just before bedtime was still in it's infancy. That September, renowned director Ruud van Hemert decided he wanted to give slightly older children something they could actually relate to and as usual VPRO television was more than willing to try out something new.

Harrie Geelen, working as a writer, artist and animator at the Toonder studios was asked to come up with enough songs to fill some 25 minutes covering subjects children actually cared about during their free time. Luckily writing machine Geelen could always be counted on to use his own after hours to spill a unsurpassed amount of usable material out of his mind via his fingers. It is unclear who added the music to Harrie's lyrics for the resulting program, 'Bah, September', as there are no credits on the show, but it certainly sounds a lot like his frequent future collaborator Joop Stokkermans to me. The premise of B.S. is simple: teacher Justus Bonn of the Johan Huizingaschool, Amsterdam cheerfully arrives back from the summer holidays only to find his entire class bummed out to be back at school. Therefore he decides to have each one of them write an essay on what they did during their time off.

It must be noted here that both Bonn and his students have pretty adequate singing voices, leading one to wonder if this is just another ordinary school in A'dam or (more likely) some sort of school specialized in the performing arts. Indeed, there is very little dialog at all, giving the program kind of an Andrew Lloyd Webber nonstop singing musical kind of vibe. Director Van Hemert and cinematographer Jan de Bont (the one who became a big time Hollywood director for a while in the 90s and claims to have forgotten how to speak Dutch) also went way out with all kinds of inventive angles and camera-movements. Unfortunately the program doesn't build up to a grand finale. Instead it just sort of peters out at the end of the day with shots of empty school grounds and lights going out in pedestrian houses as the students do their homework and teacher Bon prepairs his work for the following day. Bit of a shame, that.

7 out of 10


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