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Herbert Curiel


Running Time: 91'

Main Cast :
Rutger Hauer - Pierre
Willeke van Ammelrooy - Toni
Piet Ršmer - Daan
Bart Hammik - Karel
Sascha Hoffs - Muisje
Riet Henius - Tineke
Jan Winter - Joris
Jantine De Jong - Nadia
Fien Bergheppe - Pierre's Mother

Herbert Curiel from the book by Hugo Claus

It's the story of a passionate love affair between a man and a woman, Pierre and Toni. They have entirely different backgrounds.
Pierre is a marketing company director, he has an unsuccessful marriage behind him and lives at his mother's house. He has no shortage of either money or friends.

Toni lives with her husband Karel and their 4-year old daughter Muisje, but she goes her own way and has her own circle of friends.
They do not live according to conventional standards. Toni works as a make-up artist for Dan on his current one-man show.
Dan is a friend of Pierre and the first encounter between Pierre and Toni takes place in Dan's dressing room.
Pierre is immediately bowled over by her, and he goes to Dan's first night in Maastricht, which is followed by an all-night pub crawl, and, come morning, with him and Toni alone together in a hotel room. The outcome of their lovemaking holds an unusual and fascinating quality for Pierre.

Back in Amsterdam their relationship gains in intensity.
Pierre wins Toni's trust, is introduced into her unconventional world and meets her friends. But it doesn't eradicate the differences in their background, there are fierce arguments and tempestuous reconciliations.

Pierre buys a big house with the intention to have Toni and Muisje come to live with him. Toni refuses, she is afraid he is trying to thrust his own way of living on her, jeopardizing her independence. Yet she can't do without him, she loves the protection he gives her and the fact that he can make her have a climax is very important to her as well. Emotions reach a peak when Pierre and Karel meet, resulting in a break between Toni and her husband. She takes refuge with Pierre for a few days, but refuses to stay until she has proven that she can fend for herself and Muisje.

She moves into a houseboat and after giving a party she invites Pierre to come along with her and her friends for a holiday in the Ardennes.
Pierre has been attracted by their free and easy ways, but he is now beginning to find their candour and nonchalance irritating. The holiday results in a total break between Toni and Pierre. They stop seeing each other.

Karel moves in with Toni again and Pierre goes on with casual affairs.

The final scene dramatically shows that they would never be able to live together, yet don't know how they can do without each other.

The film is based on a successful autobiographical novel by the Dutch contemporary writer Hugo Claus.
Originally, it was meant to tell the real love-story between Claus and the actress Kitty Courbois.

Hugo Claus (1929-2008) was a leading Belgian-Dutch author, writing primarily in Flemish. He was a frequent contender for the Nobel Prize while he was alive. Over the years he has distinguished himself as a novelist with 'De metsiers' ('The Duck Hunt', 1950), 'Het verdriet van België' ('The Sorrow of Belgium', 1983), 'Het verlangen' ('Desire', 1978) and 'Belladonna' (1994), as a short-story writer, playwright, translator, (artistic) director, scriptwriter, visual artist and poet (his collected poems from 1948 to 1993 were published in 1994).

Claus's first play, 'A Bride in the Morning' was performed in 1954. Later works, such as the novel 'De Verwondering' (1962) show his success in integrating experimental and traditional styles. His work was awarded numerous important literary prizes, including the State Prize for Dutch Letters (1986) and the Herman Gorter Prize.

Hugo Claus

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