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Humour and Irony in Dutch Post-war Fiction Film

Humour and Irony in Dutch Post-war Fiction Film OPEN ACCESS

PETER VERSTRATEN
Series: Framing Film
Copyright Date: 2016
Pages: 480
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1d8hb79
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  • Book Info
    Humour and Irony in Dutch Post-war Fiction Film
    Book Description:

    Borderland Cities in New India explores contemporary urban life in two cities in India's Northeast borderland at a time of dramatic change.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-2837-0
    Subjects: Art & Art History, Film Studies
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Table of Contents

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  1. Introduction (pp. 13-43)

    Apart from the art-house cinema Het Ketelhuis, the self-declared ‘canteen of Dutch film’ founded in 1999, Dutch film is only consistently celebrated during the ten days of the annual Netherlands Film Festival (NFF), which started as the Netherlands Film Days in 1981. In the 2007 festival, a jury chaired by Jeltje van Nieuwenhoven presented the Canon of Dutch Cinema (Canon van de Nederlandse Film) in order to stimulate an interest in national productions. The jury decided to restrict the list to only 16 titles, covering a huge diversity of types and genres: shorts, documentaries, black & white, silent films, boxoffice hits,...

  2. In the Dutch language, the wordboodschappencan mean both ‘messages’ and ‘groceries.’ When film director Dick Maas was criticized that his film Flodder (1986) was sheer amusement and consecutively void of (social/political) messages, he retorted: ‘Boodschappen doe je maar in de Albert Heijn.’ A literal translation of this sentence might run: ‘Get your groceries at Albert Heijn [the largest Dutch supermarket chain],’ which, of course, slips into the pun: ‘Get your messages at the supermarket.’ This pun is a variation upon the quote, attributed to, among others, American film directors Frank Capra and John Ford that ‘if you want...

  3. For Bakhtin, carnival laughter which marks the anti-establishment or folk humour that has been the subject of the first chapter, is ambivalent: it is not only reactionary and toothless, but its mock and derision also have some subversive impact, no matter how minimal. For one, the comedies contradict the utopian assumption that class distinctions are hardly relevant in the Netherlands. Moreover, the laughter could be aimed at some social mischief or situation, as was the case with Schatjes!, Flodder or New Kids Turbo. By contrast, the deliberate banality of Filmpje! and Vet hard seemed to be shown for the sake...

  4. In a classic essay from 1948, the influential French film theorist André Bazin claims that a theatre visitor comes away with a ‘better conscience’ than the film spectator. A theatrical play has a ‘more uplifting, a nobler ... effect than the satisfaction which follows a good film’ (‘Theater,’ 98). Whereas theatre calls for an ‘active individual consciousness,’ the film ‘requires only a passive adhesion’ (99). According to Bazin, a member of a film audience becomes part of a collective. The way the viewer is encouraged to identify with the hero has the effect of rendering ‘emotion uniform,… the result of...

  5. Each and every episode of the television series Kreatief met Kurk [Creative with Cork], directed by Pieter Kramer and broadcast on Dutch public television in the years 1993 and 1994, contained a remake of some fragment from a well-known film. The two performers Arjan Ederveen and Tosca Niterink imitated segments from a huge variety of titles: the silent film The Sheik with Rudolph Valentino; the Julie Andrews vehicle Mary Poppins; Höstsonaten [Autumn Sonata] by Ingmar Bergman; Blue Velvet by David Lynch. Though the majority of remakes was no more than mere mimicry of a fragment (albeit displaying a keen eye...

  6. In her studyScreening Sex, which traces the historical development from the very first film kiss in The Kiss (Thomas Edison, 1896) to the online possibilities offered by cam.whore experiences and Virtual Sex Simulators, Linda Williams introduces the concept of ‘on/scenity.’ According to her, the obscenity of the public display loses its scandalous impact the more that display becomes familiar (Screening, 260). At the time, The Kiss caused quite a stir when the short film, initially made for the small format of the Kinetoscope with its peephole device, was projected on the much bigger film screen. Williams suggests that it...

  7. In a memorable scene from The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971), set in a small Texan town in the early 1950s, the teenager, Duane Jackson, is about to have sex for the very first time with his girlfriend, Jacy Farrow, in a shady local motel. She encourages him to undress quickly, because she is excited about losing her virginity. Lying naked on the bed, she closes her eyes while he mounts her. The camera shows his face in close-up, but his look is puzzled. ‘I don’t know what’s wrong,’ he mutters. ‘How can anything be wrong? Just go on...

  8. In his groundbreaking studyHomo Ludens(1938), the famous Dutch historian Johan Huizinga gives a ‘notoriously elusive’ (Rodriguez) reflection on the play element of culture. On the one hand, he asserts that in play, we move below the level of the serious. There are (primitive) forms of play, like children pretending to be someone else, a game of cards or a sporting contest, which are ‘largely devoid of purpose’ (49). Despite the fact that children or grown-ups can play ‘in the most perfect seriousness’ (18), such (primitive) play, ‘senseless and irrational’ (17) as it is, has ‘that irreducible quality of...

  9. The so-called ‘1,2,3 Group’ was a ludic group, if there ever was one in Dutch cinema. The group united five young filmmakers, described on René Daalder’s webpage as ‘future architect Rem Koolhaas, director Jan de Bont, TV personality Frans Bromet, software tycoon Samuel Meyering and multimedia pioneer Rene Daalder.’¹ In 1965, they made the 15-minute-long short De 1,2,3 rhapsodie [1, 2, 3 Rhapsody], consisting of five brief segments, which have a totally unpretentious appeal. In the segment ‘Hoe stoer Jan kan zijn’ [How Tough Jan Can Be], De Bont poses in front of the camera as an aviator and a...

  10. In an interview, he gave at the beginning of his career, Quentin Tarantino said that the only people in America who tend not to take violence seriously and laugh at it are ‘black people. They don’t let violence affect them at all’ (qtd. in Willis, 212). What Tarantino had in mind was to make movies in which violence is represented as ridiculous as the violence in his beloved Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, but aimed at a white (middle-class) public. And indeed, his films, which feature not only extreme violence, but also cheap jokes about shit and drugs and have a...

  11. Conclusion (pp. 327-332)

    In Dutch there is the saying ‘wie zijn hoofd boven het maaiveld uitsteekt, die wordt zijn kop afgehakt.’ This saying is equivalent to what the Anglo-Saxon world knows as the ‘tall poppy syndrome,’ which is defined as the ‘tendency to disparage any person who has achieved great prominence or wealth.’ Humour is often used as an instrument to belittle people, or to say it in slightly more friendly terms, to save the other from unseemly feelings of superiority.¹ It is often considered very effective to confront the other with physical aberrations, like a plump body – Ma Flodder, Bennie in...

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This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International.
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