DE VIERDE MAN
(tr. THE FOURTH MAN)
Dir. Paul Verhoeven. 1983. 102 min.Dutch, with English subtitles.
Script: Gerard Soeteman, from the novel The Fourth Man, by George Reve.
Starring: Jeroen Krabbé, Renée Soutendijk, Thom Hoffman, Dolf de Vries.
Suspense film about the limits of creativity and madness.
Gerard Reve lives in a twilight world where strange fantasies mix up with
reality. Those who know him think he is mad, those who read him think he is
brilliant and unusually lucid. When Gerard begins to suspect that his female
lover is planning to kill him, is he imagining it all, or is he about to become
her fourth victim? A dazzling,
unfairly forgotten film which refuses to make things easy for the viewer, this
is an original story with some memorable images (including a homoerotic fantasy
involving a crucified Jesus). Director Paul Verhoeven is a great stylist and
story-teller. He is best known for his futuristic thrillers “Robocop”, “Total Recall”, and “Starship Troopers”. Among queer audiences, he is famous for
directing the controversial Basic Instinct, which in 1992 catapulted Sharon Stone onto the
limelight, and which angered enough gay and bisexual people that the first
massive anti-homophobic film boycott was soon underway. Well, here is another
bisexual psycho for you —but this time, thirty years on (after the explosion of
“queer cinema”, which refused to portray us as “nice” people), we may just be
prepared to ignore the inessentials and appreciate an interesting, challenging,
and beautifully shot film.
© Dublin Film Qlub 2011
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