peteg's blog

Turks Fruit (aka The Sensualist)

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Resuming the Paul Verhoeven retrospective with his sexploitation classic from 1973, adapted from the book by Jan Wolkers. Apparently the Dutch public deemed this to be their movie of the twentieth century.

Briefly, Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven star in a Romeo-and-Juliet love story: he's a ne'er-do-well sculptor, she's a free spirit from a petit bourgeoisie family that is entirely caricatured. In between the vintage sexploitation we get some regular exploitation, a portrait of the Netherlands of the day, the odd rumination on the futility of art and the transience of existence. Things get explicit at times but never very shocking; Verhoeven had yet to crossbreed in the violence, and mostly planed off the ragged edges he left in his later works. It's kinda sweet at times, truthy at others, though the histrionics gets a bit trying. Keetje Tippel reunites the stars two years later. It's definitely the strongest of his early stuff that I've got to so far.

James Reith.

Lord Jim

/noise/movies | Link

After liberating the Bedouin, Peter O'Toole decided to spend a few years in Cambodia attempting the same for Conrad's Malays. Eli Wallach plays The General before he was ugly. Somehow they got Sihanouk to allow them to film at Angkor. The story is something of a complement to Heart of Darkness: the installation of a not-quite-Kurtz amongst suggestible up-river natives? The ruminations on colonialism are superficial: inside every whiteman a General is trying to get out, the native women are always available and willing, everyone is compromised. Overall it's too talky and Shakespearean-pretentious. James Mason does OK as a Southern outlaw (from another movie). Curd J├╝rgens, furniture. Is Daliah Lavi in blackface?