The Mayor of a small Flemish town is determined at all costs to save a unique bird sanctuary from a ruthless businessman who advocates a housing development on the site. The main story, ...
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The Mayor of a small Flemish town is determined at all costs to save a unique bird sanctuary from a ruthless businessman who advocates a housing development on the site. The main story, though, centers on a childhood trauma that unites the two men and a dark femme fatale whom one desires and the other attempts to manipulate- she is Mayor's cousin.
Very strange movie by Harry Kumel, by far Belgiums most talented director. One wonders what the hell went through Kumels mind when he decided to mix several great, incredible, Visconti-like scenes (e.g. Van Ammelrooy and Van den Berghe by the fireplace, or the scene with Van Ammelrooy in the lake) with awful, overacted and - worst of all - unfunny comedy. In interviews Kumel called this film a satire on the bus-load of (mostly) awful rural films Flemish directors made through the years ('boerenfilms'): though this film IS clearly a satire on these bad movies, the satire part is the most uninteresting part of 'Het Verloren Paradijs' - unless you consider VERY bad film-making as good satire on bad film-making. The dialogs and acting are - just like the film itself - extremely uneven: Willeke Van Ammelrooy is delivering some really great acting here, Hugo Van den Berghe is impeccable and the little boy is OK, but Fred Van Kuyk, Bert André and most of the bit parts are really god-awful. Good camera-work by Ken Hodges.
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