Your Weekend Entertainment – Black Book

Friday, September 24, 2010

It’s entirely possible that I am the only person in the world who hadn’t seen this film.

Possibly once again I am the last to know about wonderful things that I should have already seen. Equally possibly none of you know what the hell I am on about. If it’s the former, then feel free to ignore this post, if it’s the latter then, please, trust me, you need to see this film.

Black Book is the story of Dutch Resistance during the Second World War, focusing on Rachel Stein, a wealthy but resourceful Jew, who finds herself with a new identity infiltrating the German Security Services by seducing one of the senior officers.

The film is directed by Paul Verhoeven, yes, the same man that directed Total Recall, Robocop and Starship Troopers. Whilst those are all good films, and actually deal with some of the same themes as Black Book (they do, trust me, there’s more to them than meets the eye!) Black Book is in a wholely different film.

It is subtitled, so it’s not film to watch while doing your knitting, but the story is gripping and the performances from all of the main cast are fantastic. It’s a film not only about the Dutch resistance and the Second World War, but about people. I love films that focus on people swept up in big events and Black Book deals with themes of love and betrayal in a way that isn’t over blown and dramatic. The characters are neither good, nor evil, but just doing what they need to do to get by.

It is also richly detailed and beautifully shot, making it a visual treat. Being into 40s fashion as I am I can’t resist the urge to examine in detail the women’s costumes in WWII dramas, and from a fashion perspective now is the time of year to watch it for some inspiration. Shot in the last few months before the liberation of Holland in spring 1945, this means much of the film is shot in Autumn and Winter, providing, on a more frivolous note, lots of lovely eye candy as well as a gripping plot.

This belted coat and beret fit perfectly into my current day dreams about a new Autumn wardrobe, as do the high waisted trousers and leather jacket

I am going to a ball next year. If anyone can tell me how I can look exactly like this I would be very grateful!

Black Book [2006] is only £4.99 on Amazon, and if you use this link I’ll earn a few pennies.

It also appears to be available through iTunes, or check out local library or rental shop, but remember it may well be in the foreign language section!

7 Responses
  • Natasha
    September 24, 2010

    This looks like a rather fabulous film! I will check it out, thank you!

  • LandGirl1980
    September 24, 2010

    Thank you so much for alerting me to this. This sort of thing is right up my street (you only have to see the types of books I review!) and watching rather than reading is more than appealing! I have just nabbed a copy of this for myself!

    And… ooooh! That red ball gown! SWOON! You would look a picture in something like that!

  • Claire Forest
    September 24, 2010

    Cool photos. I don’t think I’ve even heard of it, let alone seen it! x

  • Andi B. Goode
    September 27, 2010

    I haven’t seen this film, so you’re not the last. ;] I don’t think I’ve even heard of it, either. How did that happen? Gah. Must try to track it down…eventually. Hehe.
    -Andi x

  • Fashion Limbo
    September 27, 2010

    will add this film to my list of “must watch” movies…
    funnily enough I spent Saturday evening talking about what films to watch and a friend mentioned this one…and also a French one that now I am struggling to remember… dammit third glass of rosé 😛

  • eyeliah
    October 9, 2010

    I saw Black Book in theater when I had went ot Seattle for a The Killers concert and they canceled last minute. It was a random experience but with Paul Verhoeven directing and the intriguing movie poster (her on the back of a bike lifting her dress to the knee) I was glad I got sucked in. I even purchased the film when it was released on dvd, one of my favorites “woohoo Gunter!”