KERBOSCH WORKS COME TO THE FOX
The Fox International will open a monthlong run on April 25 of “Private Resistance,” a World War II drama starring Renee Soutendijk and produced by Roeland Kerbosch. To introduce audiences to the work of the Dutch producer (and former documentary film maker), the Fox will first present “The Dream” (Friday through next Monday) and “Dreamland” (April 22-24).
“The Dream” will be accompanied by “Diary From South Africa,” also known as “Voices From Purgatory,” a harrowing 1978 documentary Kerbosch made in secrecy and revealing the terrible injustices of apartheid. “Dreamland” will be accompanied by another early Kerbosch documentary, “More Than a Concert,” which unfortunately doesn’t live up to its title and proves to be a rather dull account of the activities of the celebrated Netherlands Wind Ensemble. Not surprisingly, Kerbosch, with his extensive background in documentaries, is clearly a producer concerned with social and political issues--for years he specialized in African subjects.
Directed by Pieter Verhoeff, “The Dream,” which was The Netherlands’ official entry in the recent Oscar sweepstakes, is a beautiful, somber re-creation of an actual incident that occurred in 1895 in Friesland, a province of the Northern Netherlands on the North Sea. At that time the peasantry was so oppressed by the landowners that the Socialist movement, with its slogan “Hunger knows no laws, take and eat,” was sweeping the countryside. On Dec. 5, 1895, three masked men raided a rich farmer’s house and attempted to murder him. Strapping, outspoken peasant leader Wiebren Hogerhuis (Peter Tuinman) is obviously innocent, but his headstrong ways all but beg for his martyrdom. The Hogerhuis Affair is to The Netherlands what the Dreyfus Affair is to France.
Monique Van de Ven, the beautiful and talented blond actress of Paul Verhoeven’s “Turkish Delight” and “Keetje Tippel,” stars in “Dreamland” as a young working-class wife whose postpartum depression leads her to an addiction to tranquilizers. Writer-director Mady Saks conveys perfectly the comfortable sterility of Van de Ven’s increasingly unstable life in a raw, new suburban housing project. Information: (213) 396-4215.
Unfortunately, an extremely rare Hitchcock, “Waltzes From Vienna” (1933), a romantic comedy starring Jessie Matthews, and “Elstree Calling” (1930), an all-star revue for which Hitchcock was one of six directors, were not available for preview for the UCLA Film Archives’s “The Music Hall Tradition: British Musicals and Comedies” series. They screen Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in UCLA Melnitz.
However, Sunday’s 7:30 offering, “Champagne Charlie” (1944) and “Keep Your Seats Please” (1935), were available--and what fun they are! The first is a hearty period piece of Ophulsian splendor centering on a rivalry between two music hall stars (Tommy Trinder, Stanley Holloway), and the second, which was based on the same Russian source as Mel Brooks’ “12 Chairs,” is a comic gem about an impoverished fellow (George Formby) trying to get his hands on his late rich aunt’s dining room chairs, one of which has treasure intended for him hidden in its seat. Also continuing at UCLA Melnitz, on Thursdays through May 8: “Frank Borzage: American Romantic.” This week’s offerings are “After Tomorrow” (1932), “Lazybones” (1925) and “Secrets” (1925). Information: (213) 825-9261, 825-2581.
“Japanese Best Directors Festival,” a series of 15 films, commences Friday at the Kokusai Theater with two rarely seen Keisuke Kinoshita classics, “The River Fuefuki” (1961) and “The Ballad of Narayama” (1958), recently remade by Shohei Imamura. These two screen through Sunday. For a full festival schedule call (213) 734-1148.