Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Fourth Man (1983) @ De Vierde Man

Renée Soutendijk forces you to reconsider your heterosexual stance.
At a glance:
The best Paul Verhoeven film next to Total Recall (1990), surely. A bisexual drunkard of a writer (Jeroen Krabbé) meets a mysterious femme fatale (Renée Soutendijk) at his book convention. He's a bit disturbed, always strugglin to make sense of things and to respond properly to the advances of the woman while maintainin his cool. Mysterious events and surreal hallucinations start to take place and you begin to wonder what is real and what isn't.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Well, the premise can be pretty basic but this isn't a movie you'd complain about once you've bought the DVD cover.
Perennial wonderment:
Solid performances throughout, with the Hitchcock blonde Renée Soutendijk bein the true star. It's said that Sharon's Stone's leg-uncrossing siren in Basic Instinct (1992) was based on her character.
Reminds me of:
Madness. Drippin madness. And the strength to overcome.
I can't remember if I cried:
Without spoilin it for you, it involves an act so blasphemous it beggars belief. I don't think any director has ever done it. Guaranteed to shock! Then there are some surreal sequences as well and these are quite creepy. The writer would dream of somethin bad happenin and it's quite suspenseful waitin for the event to materialise and wonderin how it would happen.
Do you have any idea what is goin on here?
Watch out for:
The Rabbit wrote: "After asking Christine to disrobe, Gerard comments that she has the fine figure of a beautiful young man. She brings her breasts closer and asks him if she still looks like a young man. Gerard presses his hands against her breasts and spreads them apart, saying, “now you do”. They are both turned on, and there’s also some subtle humour when Gerard apologises for slipping out of her during sex, indicating his general preference for the rear entrance."
Most memorable line:

Thom Goffman thinks he's Jesus in a Speedo.
There is a scene in which the writer was asked by the floor how he is Catholic in this day and age of modernity. He says: "Science is the product of imagination. Religion is mainly imagination. Therefore all science is Catholic." A clever rebuttal? Of course he then goes on to shag the woman silly. Ah the fall of man! Verhoeven himself intended this as a rationalisation of Christianity and religion as a whole.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Verhoeven's least successful film commercially - he frequently claimed that he made this film - goin OTT on the religious symbolism - just to please the snobbish Dutch critics, who had dismissed his previous work as shallow sensationalism. Time for Metrowealth's David Teo to do the same eh? Three stars.
Trailer for the curious: