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75 years of Eye, 75 restored classics on the Eye Player. But where is Paul Verhoeven?

OK, that online film library where you could find everything without a hitch will remain a dream wish for a while yet. As I wrote recently. The cinephile home viewer will have to go on a treasure hunt for the time being. Which, of course, can be a lot of fun to discover. But to the point. My eye was caught by the press release announcing Eye's intention to put 75 freshly restored classics on the Eye Film Player as part of its 75th anniversary this year. 40 of them are already available.

The Eye Film Player is Eye Filmmuseum's streaming platform, indeed a great resource to poke around in. For instance, among those new restorations, my attention was caught by The gangster girl (1966) by Frans Weisz, Blue Movie (1971) by Wim Verstappen, Joao and the knife (1972) by George Sluizer and Wan pipel (1976) by Pim de la Parra. All early work by passionate makers who revitalised Dutch cinema in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The gangster girl is Weisz's nouvelle vague-style debut. A film based on an idea and book by Remco Campert. A film also that celebrates a new freedom and pays homage to the imagination, with this story about a screenwriter with marriage crisis, writers block and a mysterious gangster girl. Partly shot in film city Rome.

Wan pipel

Wan pipel (image: Eye)

Verstappen's candid Blue Movie was, thanks to its nudity, the most notorious Dutch film of the 1970s. At the time, Verstappen was mentioned in the same breath as Pim de la Parra. Together, they were two key pacesetters. In the package of restoration titles, they are both well represented. De la Parra not only with his Hitchcock-inspired debut Obsessions (1969), but especially with Wan pipel. Around this story about a young Surinamese returning from the Netherlands to his native soil, De la Parra broaches emotionally charged themes at the time. In Suriname, the film is considered a classic. Every year Wan pipel there around Independence Day on television.

And don't forget George Sluizer, who joined the company of newcomers in 1972 with Joao and the knife. His stunning and critically acclaimed debut set in the Amazon, with a cast of exclusively Brazilian actors. His later thriller Trackless (1988), with which he attracted international attention, is also one of the new restorations on the Eye Player.

But where is Paul Verhoeven? His Turkish fruit (1973) should surely not be missing from the above company. When asked, Eye spokesman Marnix van Wijk agrees with me. That this gripping and at the time extremely successful Wolkers film adaptation is not on the Player is, as I feared, a rights issue.

Furthermore, the Player features not only restored works, but also a wide and very varied assortment of other classics. From Russian grandmaster Tarkovsky to comedies by the unforgettable Jacques Tati, such as his Jour de fête and Playtime. But even in this section of the offering, rights continue to come into play. Some titles will disappear from the Player again over time. So: want to see something? Don't put it off for too long.

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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