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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  BLACK BOOK (2006) « previous next »
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Author Topic: BLACK BOOK (2006)  (Read 1892 times)
ulthar
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« on: March 09, 2008, 10:42:55 PM »

Over ten years in the making, Paul Verhoeven's look into the German occupation of Holland during WWII, through the eyes of a Jewish girl in hiding/on the run, is a bit unnerving.  This one hits a little between the eyes in its subtety - I did not realize just how deeply this story got under my skin until I dreamed about it at night.  I could not shake the images, the emotion, for several days.  Interestingly, my wife said the same thing.

We follow Rachel from her hiding place in a farm house to her becoming part of the Dutch Resistance against the Nazis.  Her role is to go to work in the Nazi Headquarters.  Close your eyes and imagine being Jewish, pretending to be an ordinary Dutch citizen that hates the Germans, pretending to be a Dutch citizen who prefers the Nazi rule.  It's a little unnerving as I said.

Though some action sequences fill out the film, it is mostly a character study - one brough with strong characterizations and deftly handly by Verhoeven.  I think with this we can forgive SHOWGIRLS. 

A single viewing of this film solidified in my mind that Hollywood has lost its way; where is the deep thinking, non-cliched, non-tangential storylined exploration of history through good story telling from American studios?  Each trailer of the next potential block buster makes me say "oh, that MIGHT be interesting" or "maybe a look on DVD next year."  BLACK BOOK is a powerful, almost painful at time, look into what movies CAN be when the almighty bottom line gets out fo the way of artistic design.
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Sister Grace
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 11:16:00 PM »

If you liked this movie, you should watch Zelary...not one of my favs, but it was ok..

Small | Large
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Killer Bees
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 07:13:48 PM »

I heard about this movie.  I'll definitely be watching it when I can.

I love Verhoeven's stuff. Even Showgirls was entertaining.  I found Elizabeth Berkley's performance to be over the top but I guess that was the whole point.  Vegas is supposed to be surreal and superficial.  I've been there so I know.
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soylentgreen
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2008, 08:08:56 PM »

Ulthar, chances are you're already familiar with it, but if you liked Black Book, then you really ought to check out Verhoeven's SOLDAAT VAN ORANJE.  It's makes a perfect bookend for this.
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Neville
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2008, 05:05:22 PM »

Yes, they're very similar films. I for one didn't like "Black Book" as much as I expected. I though the runtime was excessive, that the acting was awful (except for the female lead, that is), that the action scenes were poorly choreographed and that most of the sex and violence were thrown in just for shock value.

But this said, I still remember the film after a year and a half, and that I feel like giving it another chance anytime soon. It really does offer more emotions and more interesting ideas than a dozen Hollywood blockbusters put together.

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soylentgreen
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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2008, 05:50:47 PM »

Just as a ps on the subject matter of the Verhoeven film, I've got to recommend GOD AFTON, HERR WALLENBERG or GOOD EVENING, MR WALLENBERG(1990). A frank and moving film about Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Nazi-oocupied Bucharest who puts everything on the line to help get Hungarian Jews safely to Sweden.

It has been, of course, compared to SCHINDLER'S LIST, which was released three years later.  Thanks to a much more modest approach and an incredible performance by the eternally unspellable Stellan Skarsgard, this one has a much more authentic feel.

Wallenberg disappeared into the fog of the Red Army storm as they tripped over themselves charging for Berlin.  No satisfactory details of his ultimate fate have ever emerged.

Honored as one of the "Righteous Among The Nations" in Israel, there are memorials for this guy all over the place.  This austere and subtly haunting one is in London...
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ulthar
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2008, 07:59:23 AM »


Just as a ps on the subject matter of the Verhoeven film, I've got to recommend GOD AFTON, HERR WALLENBERG or GOOD EVENING, MR WALLENBERG(1990). A frank and moving film about Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat in Nazi-oocupied Bucharest who puts everything on the line to help get Hungarian Jews safely to Sweden.



Interesting. I'll have to check that one out.  Unfortunately, the wife requested a brief hiatus from subtitled films (presuming this one is) after BLACK BOOK and PAN'S LABYRINTH, so I'll have to wait a month or two.

Quote

It has been, of course, compared to SCHINDLER'S LIST, which was released three years later.



Never seen SL, so my viewing of this one should be less influenced by the 'blockbuster effect.'  This one sounds more up my alley anyway.

Quote

  Thanks to a much more modest approach and an incredible performance by the eternally unspellable Stellan Skarsgard, this one has a much more authentic feel.



"eternally unspellable" ...   TeddyR  I like Skarsgaard, he's one of my favorite actors.

Quote

Wallenberg disappeared into the fog of the Red Army storm as they tripped over themselves charging for Berlin.  No satisfactory details of his ultimate fate have ever emerged.

Honored as one of the "Righteous Among The Nations" in Israel, there are memorials for this guy all over the place.  This austere and subtly haunting one is in London...



Fascinating.  Thanks for the heads-up on this movie and this story.  I'm gonna have to dig more into this. I'm up to my eyeballs in some American Revolution stuff right now, but I'll keep this one in mind when my 'history' plate gets cleared off a bit.
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Professor Hathaway:  I noticed you stopped stuttering.
Bodie:      I've been giving myself shock treatments.
Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

--Real Genius
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