Gerard Reve (Jeroen Krabbé), an alcoholic, bisexual novelist, leaves Amsterdam to deliver a lecture at the Vlissingen Literary Society. There, he becomes sexually involved with its attractive treasurer, Christine Halslag.
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Some of De Palma's seminal films were already made when Verhoeven directed this one and without ensure at all his influence on the Dutch filmmaker, in fact this crossing of (para)psychological thriller with an architectural organization of views and perspectives and its permanent suspension of anxiety is a common issue on both filmmakers. The preponderance of suspense via a trash/camp revision, a Dutch giallo.
This movie fucks hitchcock and christianity in the ass and it feels oh so smooth! The surrealism and heavy dose of symbolism flow very well with its contained story. There's very little I don't like about this flick!
Eros and Thanatos are always present in the oeuvre of Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven. Even if sometimes gets a little too excessive or gratuitous in his portrait of sexuality and crude imagery, he manages to sustain tension and a twisted comedic touch. I deeply enjoy being submerged in a demented artist's mind.
Wild Hitchcockian erotic psycho-thriller. It's over the top, but in a sharply calculated way that makes it a deviously clever and darkly comic melodrama. Bold in its raw depiction of sexuality, with great intense performances from Jeroen Krabbe and Renee Soutendijk as the femme fatale. Verhoeven's last Dutch film before coming to Hollywood, it anticipates many of the themes and style of his later blockbusters.
I didn't really get it the first time I watched it. The bisexuality of the main character confused me. I thought you were one thing or the other. It expanded my mind. Once I understood, then a lot of the plot made sense. Not something you would ever see in Hollywood at that time. Probably not even today.
Never one to opt for subtlety this precursor to Basic Instinct may not be as slick or deliriously entertaining but its still a sexy and gory slice of neo-noir Dutch fun. Packed with religious symbolism and black comedy, these only add to the crazy blend to create a unique film. It doesn’t quite reach the highs of other Verhoeven films but it is well worth a watch.
Rich colours, weird acting and sumptuous frames filled with plenty of gore, creepy imagery, some sex and beautiful cinematography - a great and worthwhile watch. Yes, the plot seems a little odd and I wasn't particularly satisfied with the ending, but there's enough to make you want to keep watching.