“I only came about my cough...”
[Sunday, Bloody Sunday; 1971]
Don’t forget to select your favorite films!
Having seen many of the single-finger-to-authority films of pre-Soviet invasion Czechoslovakian cinema, it’s interesting to sample something from the following years when criticism was necessarily more circumspect - a quicker, breezier display of two-fingers if you will.
Not that critique or satire is forefront here: this is a gloriously daft amalgam of sci-fi and complex farcing with just a vein of anti-regimery running through it (although nothing so on point as lampooning Húsak or even Stalin - it’s Hitler that…
A spade is a spade, which in Verhoeven vernacular doubles for honest toil and shit shovelling, such is his near-Rabelaisian relish for bodily function and fruity incidence, here framed with typically Dutch bluntness.
As noted elsewhere, if Verhoeven’s later films were what Americans deserved, then perhaps these earlier Dutch works are what the local market expected. Judging by the commercial successes enjoyed by Turkish Delight through to Spetters - in an otherwise barren local landscape - the ‘feitelijkheid’ on display…
“We spent more time on the hair” - Altman
A diffuse fresco: fairly ambivalent to its locale, vaguely ‘state of the nation’ in the manner of obfuscated satire; dawdling tangental pen-portraits of instinctual humanity. Where does it start? Moreover, how do you hop off? Car crash or gun shot?
Don’t expect answers from this sleeping lion of controlled happenstance. Just Keep a goin’.
A regular rewatch: I discover something new each time. Yet this viewing didn’t reveal aesthetic concerns. No. It highlighted mass hysteria - hysterical hypnosis if you will. Something that in previous viewings had seemed unlikely; outlandish, so long ago - this side of the impossible. Thank goodness that couldn’t happen again. We know better nowadays...
How could the citizens of Loudon be so fooled, so cowed - so distracted? For not only were they duped by the authorities into believing,…