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Filmen Over Grenzen ( Filming Beyond Boundaries)

Filmen Over Grenzen ( Filming Beyond Boundaries) (2006) Netherlands, 2006. Directed by Hans Heijnen.

Interviewed for the documentary

  • George Sluizer
  • Karen Black - actress on "Dark Blood" and "Crime Time"
  • Jan de Bont - cinematography on "Joao en het mes" (Joao and the Knife)
  • Jeff Bridges - actor on "The Vanishing"
  • Nik Powell - executive producer on "Dark Blood"
  • Johanna ter Steege - actress on "Spoorlos"
  • Gene Bervoets - actor on "Spoorlos"
  • James Michael Taylor - actor on "Red Desert Penitentiary"


Filmen Over Grenzen is a documentary directed by Hans Heijnen about George Sluizer career, as a producer and a director. He interviewed the director in his house in the South of France, as well as a number of people who worked with him. Half of the documentary is in Dutch, the other interviews are in English with Dutch subtitles.

The documentary talks about George Sluizer's work as production manager on Fitzcarraldo, a movie by Werner Herzog shot in Brazil and notorious for having been extremely difficult to film. It also dwells on Spoorlos, the movie that helped Sluizer be known as a director worldwide, about a man trying to find what happened to his girlfriend, who disappeared mysteriously while they were on a trip. There was a remake done by George Sluizer himself for the USA, called The Vanishing, with Jeff Bridges in the part of the killer.

I will focus here on the last part of the documentary, documenting the movie River Phoenix filmed with George Sluizer, "Dark Blood".

Karen Black, who plays the motel lady in Dark Blood, remembers River as extremely beautiful. She didn't have scenes with him but saw him on set. She appears close to tears at the memory of his death. She says the movie was very difficult to make, and one of the reasons it was made difficult was, "I'm sorry to say it but I will", due to Judy Davis, who "decided that she didn't like George Sluizer". Karen had talked a lot to Sluizer over the phone prior to the movie, and she knew him to be "sincere, caring, perfectionnist, but a good man. So why did Judy Davis decided to not talk to her director? Because that's what she did." (Mrs Black looks still pissed about it, and the doc was done in 2006).

Nik Powell, one of the movie executive producers, is more measured about it. He says Davis is a very independantly minded woman, and Sluizer's approach to deal witg her was probably not the best. The interviewer asks if it's due to cultural differences, and Powell says it's not, it could have happened to an American or a Scottish director. Interviewer says it happened with David Lean. Previously in the doc, Sluizer told about it, but in Dutch, so I didn't get the details. Only that on Dark Blood, she made non-contractual requests, about shooting this profile and not this one, etc.

Some of the Dark Blood scenes featuring in the documentary are also part of the trailer : Boy flirting with Buffy under the pretense of asking her to help him fix the truck. And Boy threatening Harry (Buffy's wife) with his gun after Harry hit him violently on the head, his hair stuck with blood. Having River's character almost dying on the big screen is always... a bit uncomfortable to watch.

The documentary was shot before George Sluizer's stroke in 2007, and at this point he hadn't yet decided so firmly to complete the movie.


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