Although only announced on 24 July, Dutch film and television actor and Hollywood regular Rutger Hauer passed away on Friday, July 19th at the age of 75. He is probably best known for his role as renegade replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic sci-fi film Blade Runner where he delivers the famous monologue that ends with “All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.” Hauer added ‘like tears in the rain’ himself because he thought it was poetic. In the 1980s, he also played Captain Etienne Navarre in Ladyhawke by Richard Donner; and John Ryder in The Hitcher by Robert Harmon, as well as many other roles in an acting career that would have spanned 50 years this October.
Hauer was one of the best and most prolific Dutch actors who, together with fellow Dutchman director Paul Verhoeven, made it to Hollywood. After many historical roles in Dutch, German and English, his leading role in the 1973 Dutch film Turkish Delight directed by Verhoeven still remains the top grossing Dutch film of all time. Hauer’s first appearance in a Hollywood film was alongside Sylvester Stallone in Nighthawks by Bruce Malmuth in 1981, and won a Golden Globe in 1988 for best supporting actor as Lieutenant Alexander Pechersky for Escape from Sobibor, the only Dutch actor ever to win a Golden Globe to this day. Verhoeven, who worked with Hauer on five occasions, told the Dutch press today that “he had lost his alter ego”.
This post was read on the Midnight’s Edge After Dark podcast on YouTube (1:20, see time stamp)
The Netherlands’ longest running musical, Soldaat van Oranje, known as Soldier of Orange in English, a Dutch musical based on the true story of resistance hero Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, is going to make it to the London stage in 2020.
A few days ago after the announcement, producer Fred Boot said it’s a dream come true. The production has been adapted ever so slightly, but the goal is to have the London crowd love it the same way the Dutch do. The story is not too Dutch, which is code for an international audience can enjoy it without knowing too much about the Netherlands – it is a universal story. As of 25 February, some 2,8 million people in this country have seen the musical.
In the 1970s, Hazelhoff Roelfzema wrote about his experiences in World War II in a book and Dutch director of Hollywood fame Paul Verhoeven made it into a feature film, starring actor Rutger Hauer.
“That’s how they speak”, actor and comedian Michiel Romeyn opens a ‘canon of godverdommes’. “Let him go, let him go, idiot, godverdomme!”
The video, not safe for work for more than just a barrage of swearing, shows a litany of classic Dutch films in which actors pepper their speech with the word ‘godverdomme’, literally ‘God, damn me’ but the equivalent of ‘godammit’, and generally considered the big general purpose swear word in the Dutch language.
Eric Vonk, played by Rutger Hauer, uses the word while masturbating to a photo of his dead wife Olga in the classic Dutch film ‘Turks Fruit’. Comedian Wim de Bie plays a small time conman who finds out that his partner is letting him do the heavy lifting (“godver-de-godver”) and Monique van de Ven and Danny de Munk discover that acting is perhaps best left to the professionals, as using big words doesn’t make you a star if you do it tepidly.
The cutesy editing to the tune of Doe Maar’s ‘Heroïne, godverdomme’ is not too distracting.
It will surprise no-one that Paul Verhoeven is represented with three movies – besides the aforementioned Turks Fruit his ‘Spetters’ (also pre-Hollywood) makes an appearance, but perhaps the clip of his recent Dutch film ‘Zwartboek’ is the funniest. A man tries to kill Carice van Houten’s character while releasing a stream of verbal abuse, including the g-word (gvd if you want to keep it clean in Dutch), and gets promptly shot dead by his Christian helper: “You’re cursing, blasphemer!”
‘Godverdomme’, a word that can be made to sound like thunder on the horizon, also makes an appearance in the following memorable dialogues: “Godverdomme what a ride and I have cancer” and “Godverdomme, what is it between you and that woman? I saw her in a dream!”.
Dutch coffee makers Douwe Egberts have been reducing the amount of coffee in the pods for its Senseo system for years, Volkskrant reports.
The newspaper quotes CEO Michiel Herkemij, who blames former parent company Sara Lee. The amount of coffee in the pods was reduced from 7.5 grams to 7 grams to cut costs. Now that Douwe Egberts is its own company again (called “D. E. Master Blenders”), the missing half gram has been returned to the pods.
It appears the coffee maker wants to go back to competing on quality rather than price. Earlier this year Herkemij told NRC: “If you lower the quality you open the door for white labels. Their pods are 20% cheaper and yet have the same quality as ours. When I worked for Heineken I learned that the only way to distinguish yourself is with better products.”
Herkemij also wants to ditch the recent style of advertising which involved celebrities like Doutzen Kroes and Rutger Hauer and return to the cosy mood of yesteryear’s ads that used the slogan “het aroma komt je tegemoet” (‘the smell of coffee greets you’).
After hearing from two curators of Amsterdam’s Eye Film Institute (white building on the left, the other is the delightfully retro former Shell building) that Queen Beatrix really liked Sokurov’s The Russian Ark, which is known for having been filmed in one go with no editing, I also find out more about Hollywood heavyweight Paul Verhoeven.
To the Dutch, Paul Verhoeven is a major director who launched the career of fellow Dutchman Rutger Hauer, starring in films such as the 1973 Dutch classic Turkish Delight, while to Hollywood he’s the guy that came up with blockbusters such as Robocop, Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers. Another face you may recognise in his films is Hollywood actor Jeroen Krabbé who played General Koskov in the Bond film The Living Daylights.
After 20 years of tinseltown Verhoeven came back to continue working on films in the Netherlands. In May he was present at the premiere screening of his restored 1980 film ‘Spetters’ (‘Hunks’ (male and female), but also meaning ‘spatter’ and even ‘ejaculation’). Lucky for some, it’s playing a few times with English subtitles in Amsterdam this month.
Spetters is being presented in its ‘uncut’ version, which means explicit sex scenes were put back in the way the film originally intended, including a blow job scene in the Rotterdam subway. Critics were very harsh on the film at the time, saying that it portrayed youth as amoral anti-gay bashers (one of the main character’s is gay) and the feminists had a field day with the blatant sexism and misogyny that actually makes the film amusing today and makes me wonder why the many women in Verhoeven films didn’t make it to Hollywood.
Here’s the Hollywood voice over trailer, with a wee bit of functional nudity:
And here’s the restored version of the trailer in Dutch. This one has explicit sex it in, which doesn’t need translation: