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24 September 2016

Anton Geesink

Every year in early autumn, the Netherlands Film Festival (NFF) takes place. For ten days, the city of Utrecht is the cinema capital of the Netherlands, and we join the fun with our own Unofficial Dutch Film Star Postcards Festival (UDFSPF). Today we feature a Duch non-actor and strongman who became a film star by accident. 10th-dan judoka Anton Geesink (1934–2010) destroyed the myth of Japanese invincibility in judo by becoming the first non-Japanese judoka to win a world title in 1961. He was a three-time World Judo Champion (1961, 1964 and 1965), Olympic Gold Medalist (1964) and won 21 European championships. With his 1,98 m and 130 kilo he was also an imposing figure in a few Dutch and Italian action films.

Anton Geesink
Dutch postcard by 't Sticht, Utrecht, no. AX 4883. Caption: Anton Geesink World Champion Judo Paris 2-12-1961.

Anton Geesink
Dutch postcard by 't Sticht, Utrecht, no. 6040. Photo: J.J. Herschel jr.

Anton Geesink
Dutch postcard by 't Sticht, Utrecht, no. 6049.

Samson


Antonius Johannes Geesink was born in Utrecht, The Netherlands in 1934. He first participated in the European Championships in 1951, and placed second in his category. The following year, he won his first European title. Through to 1967, twenty more European titles followed.

At the 1956 World Championships, Geesink was eliminated in the semi-finals against Yoshihiko Yoshimatsu. At the 1961 World Championships, Geesink became World Champion in the open class, defeating the Japanese champion Koji Sone. Japanese judokas had won all the World Championship titles contested up to that point.

Judo debuted as an official sport at the 1964 Summer Olympics, which were held in the sport's home country, Japan. Anton Geesink provided one of the surprises of the Games by winning the open class through defeat of Akio Kaminaga. Although Japan had won all other judo events, the loss of the blue riband open class saddened the hosts.

His reputation as a strongman won Geesink roles in a few European action films. He played a supporting part as a detective in the Dutch crime film Rififi in Amsterdam (Giovanni Korporaal, 1962) based on a novel by W.H. van Eemlandt. The film was a Dutch example of the Rififi films, a popular subgenre of the French cinema in the 1950s. These were fast moving crime films, full of familiar faces, fancy camera-work and a couple of laughs. ‘Rififi’ was French slang for 'trouble in the underworld'. At IMDb, Chip Douglas reviews the film: “The result is as much fun as a Roger Corman film from the same period, perhaps even a bit classier.”

Geesink then starred in an early Spaghetti Western, Oklahoma John (Jaime Jesús Balcázar, Roberto Bianchi Montero, 1965) with Sabine Bethmann. Geesinks’s best known film is probably the Italian peplum I Grandi Condottieri/Great Leaders of the Bible (Marcello Baldi, Francisco Pérez-Dolz, 1965) with Fernando Rey, in which Geesink starred as the biblical super hero Samson.

Anton Geesink
Dutch postcard by 't Sticht, Utrecht, no. AX 4884. Caption: Anton Geesink World Champion Judo Paris 2-12-1961. Tension during the match Anton Geesink - Koji Sone at the World Judo Championships in Paris.

Anton Geesink
Dutch postcard by 't Sticht, Utrecht, no. AX 4886. Caption: Anton Geesink World Champion Judo Paris 2-12-1961.
This headlock during the match against Koji Sone made Anton Geesink Judo world champion during the world championships in Paris.

Anton Geesink and Princess Beatrix at the Olympic Games of 1964
Dutch collectors card by Brio, no. 434, 1964. Caption: Princess Beatrix visited on the first day of her stay in Tokyo during the Games the Dutch department of the Olympic village and had a long and animated conversation with judo giant Anton Geesink.

Part-time Wrestler


After winning the 1965 World Championships and a last European title in 1967, Anton Geesink quit competitive judo. In October 1973, All Japan Pro Wrestling owner Giant Baba recruited Anton Geesink to join AJPW. Baba sent him to Amarillo, where TX, Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk trained him for a month. He worked for All Japan from 1973 to 1978, as a popular part-time wrestler.

Years after his short-lived film career, he re-appeared as an actor in some Dutch TV shows, such as the children’s series Pipo en de Noorderzon/Pipo and the Northern Sun (Wim Meuldijk, 1978) and the comedy series Zoals u wenst, mevrouw/As You Wish, Milady (Frans Boelen, 1984) with popular comedienne Carry Tefsen.

In 1986, Geesink was the first European judoka to receive the 9th-dan grade. A year later, he became a member of the board of the Dutch National Olympic Committee, and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In 1999, he was among the IOC members suspected of accepting bribes during the scandal surrounding the election of Salt Lake City as the host of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Geesink's name was cleared by the IOC which nevertheless issued him a warning for the appearance of a conflict of interest which could have damaged the reputation of the IOC.

His reputation as a sportsman was never damaged, and in 1997 he received the 10th-dan. This made him one of the highest graded judokas in the world. Only 18 people got ever a 10th-dan, and Geesink was one of the only three non-Japanese judokas who had this qualification. The International Judo Federation (IJF) placed him in their Hall of Fame in 2004.

At the age of 76, Anton Geesink died in 2010 in a hospital in his hometown Utrecht, where he lived above his own sports school in a street named after him, the Anton Geesinkstraat.


Anton Geesink at the 1961 World Championships. Source: beeld en geluid (YouTube).


With Anton Geesink 1962. Source: Tony Baretta (YouTube).


Scene from I Grandi Condottieri/Great Leaders of the Bible (1965). Source: Joe36Xcel (YouTube).

Sources: Sports-reference.com, Wikipedia (Dutch and English), and IMDb.

23 September 2016

Truus van Aalten

Every year in early autumn, the Netherlands Film Festival (NFF) takes place. For ten days, the city of Utrecht is the cinema capital of the Netherlands, and we join the fun with our own Unofficial Dutch Film Star Postcards Festival (UDFSPF). Today's star is the 'Dutch Louise Brooks', Truus van Aalten (1910-1999). In the 1920s and early 1930s, she made 28 films in Germany and Austria, but only one in the Netherlands. The Germans lovingly called her die kleine holländische Käse (the little Dutch cheese).

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4549/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Alex Binder, Berlin.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1720/1, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 1728/2, 1927-1928. Photo: Ufa.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3618, 1928-1929. Photo: Ufa. Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3823/1, 1928-1929. Photo: Hegewald Film. Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6436/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Gerstenberg, Berlin.

Film Metropolis Berlin


Geertruida Everdina Wilhelmina van Aalten was born in the city of Arnhem, in 1910. She was the daughter of high-street chemist Fransciscus (Frans) van Aalten and his wife Geertruida van den Anker.

Film crazy Truus was only sixteen when she won a competition by the Ufa in Dutch film magazine De Rolprent (The Moving Picture) in the summer of 1926. Soon she went to the film metropolis of Europe at the time: Berlin. By 1926, Universum Film A.G. (Ufa), was the main German film studio. From its Berlin studios at Neubabelsberg, Ufa had produced monumental films like Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen in 1923 and the Sci-Fi masterpiece Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1926).

Truus' film was called Die sieben Töchter der Frau Gyurkovics/A Sister of Six (Ragnar Hyltén-Cavallius, 1927) and starred handsome idol Willy Fritsch. Her role was just a small, uncredited part. None of the other five unknown 'daughters' from Frau Gyurkovics would survive in the film industry, but the Ufa would soon realise that Truus was a gifted comedienne.

Truus returned to the Netherlands after the shooting of the film had finished. Only two days after she had returned home, a telegram arrived from the Ufa: IMMEDIATELY TO BERLIN - 3 YEAR CONTRACT. Truus had had no acting education at all, but she was sparkly and funny and the camera liked her. The Ufa put Truus into her next film - and she had a much bigger part now. Die Selige Exzellenz/His Holy Lordship (Adolf E. Licho, Wilhelm Thiele, 1927) was a comedy starring Willy Fritsch and Olga Tschechova.

Soon more small parts in other silent films followed, like in the romantic comedy Der moderne Casanova/A Modern Casanova (Max Obal, Rudolf Walther-Fein, 1928) with Harry Liedtke. Truus was often lent out to other film companies, and appeared in many cinema commercials and magazine promotions. Because of her informal acting and her humour, Truus' nickname in Germany became die kleine holländische Käse (the little Dutch cheese).

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 3115/1, 1928-1928. Photo: Hanni Schwarz, Berlin.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4029/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Gerstenberg, Berlin.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4184/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5773/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Photo-Atelier May, Frankfurt a.M.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6584/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Atelier Binder, Berlin.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 6790/1, 1931-1932. Photo: Eli Cahn, Berlin.

Backfish


Young and irreverent, Truus van Aalten became affectionately known in Germany as a Backfisch (literally meaning fish to fry). The new, 1920s girl was boyish yet feminine - short hair, gawky limbs, a young flapper on the edge of sexuality. Truus posed for photos and gave interviews for film magazines all over Europe. Truus even ended up in American movie magazines advertising Lux soap.

In 1929, Dutch director Jaap Speyer, took Truus back to the Netherlands to shoot scenes for Jenny's Bummel durch die Männer/Jenny's Stroll Through The Men (Jaap Speyer, 1929). News cameras caught up with the unit filming one sunny day on Scheveningen pier, and Dutch cinema audiences saw it all in their newsreels a few days later. Her next film, Der Sonderling/The Oddball (Walter Jerven, 1929) gave Truus the chance to work with the great comedian Karl Valentin as his cute and naughty counterpart.

The transition to the sound film turned out well for van Aalten despite her Dutch origin. Truus entered talking pictures by courtesy of experienced director Max Mack, who was about to shoot a new film starring Daisy d'Ora, Nur am Rhein.../Only On The Rhein... (Max Mack, 1930), and he wanted Truus to play Daisy's pal Lore. Mack signed her without requiring a microphone test - news of which spread around the film community like wildfire.

The public didn’t hold her Dutch accent against her. Truus was becoming really well known now - film magazines like Filmwoche and Filmwelt featured articles about das Mädchen aus Holland (that girl from Holland), Ross Verlag and other main publishers were issuing postcards of her. For the first time, she got top billing in the popular comedy Susanne macht Ordnung/Susanne Cleans Up (Eugen Thiele, 1930) in which she played a schoolgirl in search of her missing father.

Next she performed in such early sound films as Liebling der Götter/Darling of the Gods (Hanns Schwarz, 1930) with Emil Jannings, Pension Schöller (Georg Jacoby, 1930), and Kasernenzauber/Magic of the Barracks (Carl Boese, 1931) with Igo Sym.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 4457/1, 1929-1930. Photo: Atelier Balázs, Berlin.

Fritz Schulz and Truus van Aalten in Kopfüber ins Glück (1931)
Austrian postcard by Iris-Verlag, no. 6538. Photo: Lux Film Verl. Publicity still for Der Bettelstudent/The Beggar Student (Victor Janson, 1931) with Fritz Schulz.

Truus van Aalten
German postcard by Ross Verlag, no. 5774/1, 1930-1931. Photo: Atelier Tannenwald, Wiesbaden.

Truus van Aalten
Austrian postcard by Iris Verlag, no. 6533. Photo: Lux Film.

Truus van Aalten
Dutch postcard by Jospe, no. 442. Photo by Godfried de Groot, Amsterdam.

Truus van Aalten
Dutch Postcard by JosPe, Arnhem, no. 462. Photo: Godfried de Groot, Amsterdam.

Souvenirs


By 1932, Truus van Aalten had outgrown her backfish image. She was a mature woman now, an experienced actress, but she was always typecast as a light comedy player. When the Nazis came to power, foreigners were subject to a quota system restricting how much they could work. Truus had not become a party member, and when the Nazis tried to use her in propaganda films, she refused.

Tired of the struggle to find work, she took the train and returned to Amsterdam. There, German director Georg Jacoby offered her a part in the Viennese operetta G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald/Tales From The Vienna Woods (Georg Jacoby, 1934), about an ordinary girl who swaps places with an American millionaire's daughter. In Austria, Magda Schneider was on board as the lead, and Truus played the rich girl. The successful film showed her new, mature look and her bleeched blonde hair.

Next van Aalten starred in the Dutch army comedy Het meisje met den blauwen hoed/The Girl with the Blue Hat (Rudolf Meinert, 1934) opposite Roland Varno. Although the film was a success in the Netherlands, it was not distributed abroad. Therefore Truus decided not to continue working in the young Dutch film industry.

After a long break, she got a role in Ein ganzer Kerl/A Regular Fellow (Fritz Peter Buch, 1939), a typical film of the Nazi era. Heidemarie Hatheyer played the lead as Jule, a strong, self willed woman who refuses to be ruled by the men in her life. By the end of the film she has realised her wrong-headedness, swapped her riding pants for a pretty dress and become the housewife she was destined to be. Truus played a character called Anni, a widow, and brought vivacity and humour to the part. Ein ganzer Kerl had its premiere in Berlin in January 1940. It would be Truus' last film.

After the war she tried to gain a foothold in Hollywood and in the British film business, but the there unknown actress finally failed because of her lack of knowledge of the English language. In the 1950s she became a businesswoman with a wholesale business importing and exporting Dutch souvenirs and promotional items, and in 1964 she married her employee Henk Godwaldt. Her last years were marred by mental illness.

Truus van Aalten died in the city of Warmond, the Netherlands, in 1999. Her archive has been donated to the Dutch Film Museum (now Eye Institute) in Amsterdam.

Truus van Aalten
Dutch postcard especially printed for N.V. De Faam, P.A. de Bont's chocolate and sweets factory, Breda. Photo: Ufa.

Truus van Aalten, Roland Varno in Het meisje met de blauwe hoed
Dutch postcard by M. B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma. Publicity still for Het Meisje met de Blauwe Hoed/The girl with the blue Hat (Rudolf Meinert, 1934) with Roland Varno.

Roland Varno, Truus van Aalten, Dries Krijn en Lou Bandy in Het meisje met de blauwe hoed
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma. Publicity still for Het Meisje met de Blauwe Hoed/The girl with the blue Hat (Rudolf Meinert, 1934) with Roland Varno, Dries Krijn and Lou Bandy.

Truus van Aalten, Het meisje met den blauwen hoed
Dutch postcard by M. B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma. Publicity still for Het meisje met den blauwen hoed/The girl with the blue Hat (Rudolf Meinert, 1934). Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Roland Varno and Truus van Aalten a.o. in Het meisje met den blauwen hoed (1934)
Dutch postcard by M. B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma. Publicity still for Het Meisje met de Blauwe Hoed/The girl with the blue Hat (Rudolf Meinert, 1934) with Lau Ezerman, Gusta Chrispijn-Mulder, Tony van den Berg, Adriënne Solser and Roland Varno.

Truus van Aalten in Het meisje met de blauwe hoed
Dutch postcard by M. B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Filma. Publicity still for Het Meisje met de Blauwe Hoed/The girl with the blue Hat (Rudolf Meinert, 1934).

Sources: Roger Mitchell (Truus van Aalten), Thomas Staedeli (Cyranos), Wikipedia (English and Dutch) and IMDb.

22 September 2016

Happy 75, Anna Karina!

Today is the birthday of the queen of the Nouvelle Vague, film actress, singer and director Anna Karina (1940). French, but Danish-born Karina was the muse of director Jean-Luc Godard and starred in eight of his films.

Anna Karina
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 471. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Anna Karina
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 209.

Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo in Pierrot le fou (1965)
French postcard by La Cinémathèque française, no. CF 5006, 1998. Photo: UGC Da International. Publicity still for Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965).

Anna Karina
French postcard by E.D.U.G., Paris, no. 181, 1969. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Fashion Model


Anna Karina was born Hanne Karen Blarke Bayer in Solbjerg, Denmark, in 1940. Her mother was a dress shop owner and her father a ship's captain. Before she turned one, her father had left her mother.

First she was raised by her maternal grandparents, where she stayed until the age of four. Then she spent time in and out of foster homes, before returning to live with her mother from the age of eight.
She has described her childhood as 'terribly wanting to be loved' and as a child, she made numerous attempts to run away from home.

She began her career in Denmark, where she sang in cabarets and worked as a model playing in commercials. At age 14, she appeared in the Danish short film Pigen og skoene/Girls and Shoes (Ib Schedes, 1954), which won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. She studied dance and painting in Denmark and for a while made a living selling her paintings.

In 1958, after a row with her mother, she hitchhiked to Paris. She had a break when, sitting briefly at the cafe Les Deux Magots, she was approached by a woman from an advertisement agency who asked her to do some photos. Hanne became a rising fashion model, and met Coco Chanel and Pierre Cardin. Chanel advised her to use as a professional name Anna Karina.

She made a series of Palmolive ads in a bath covered in soapsuds, and was noticed by Jean-Luc Godard, then a film critic for Cahiers du cinéma. Godard was casting his debut feature film, À bout de souffle/Breathless (1960) starring Jean-Paul Belmondo. He offered her a small role, but she refused when he mentioned that there would be a nude scene.

However, she eventually accepted his offer to play a major role in his second film, Le Petit Soldat/The Little Soldier (1960) with Michel Subor. Karina, who was still under 21 had to persuade her estranged mother to sign the contract for her.

Anna Karina
Dutch postcard by Hafbo film, no. 162. Photo: publicity still for Une femme est une femme/A Woman Is a Woman (Jean-Luc Godard, 1961).

Anna Karina in Le soleil dans l'oeil (1962)
Dutch postcard by N.V. v.h. Weenenk & Snel, Baarn, no. 853. Photo: Hafbo-film. Publicity still for Le soleil dans l'oeil/Sun in Your Eyes (Jacques Bourdon, 1962).

Anna Karina
French postcard by Edition Librairie de la Fontaine, Paris, no. 5 (Tirage limité à 250 exemplaires). Photo: Claude Schwartz / Spadem, Paris. Caption: Anna Karina, 1963.

Anna Karina
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. FK 110. Photo: Ufa.

Nouvelle Vague


Anna Karina and Jean-Luc Godard married during the shooting of their next film, Une femme est une femme/A Woman Is a Woman (1961) with Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean-Claude Brialy. It is a tribute to American musical comedy and the first film  Godard shot in color and Cinemascope.

Judd Blaise at AllMovie: "Rather than the sometimes alienating, dense intellectualism of later Godard works, Une femme est une femme offers aesthetic pleasure through luxurious visuals and a charming musical score by Michel Legrand. Against this bright backdrop, Karina proves particularly fetching, capturing the film's frolicsome mood in an unforced manner. While not one of Godard's most groundbreaking or influential films, Une femme est une femme is one of his most appealing and pleasurable efforts."

J. Hoberman at Criterion: "Mainly, A Woman Is a Woman is a valentine to Karina, who became pregnant during the course of the movie’s production; she and Godard were married in March 1961, an event that made the cover of Paris Match." At the Berlin Film Festival in 1961, Anna Karina was awarded as Best Actress for Une femme est une femme.

In the following years, the couple made Vivre sa Vie/My Life to Live (1962), Bande à part/Band of Outsiders (1964), Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution/Alphaville, a Strange Adventure of Lemmy Caution (1965) with Eddie Constantine, Pierrot le fou/Pierrot Goes Wild (1965) with Jean-Paul Belmondo, Made in U.S.A. (1966) with Jean-Pierre Léaud and the anthology film Le plus vieux métier du monde/The Oldest Profession (1967).

Though their cinematic collaboration seemed harmonious, behind the scenes, their relationship was tumultuous and bitter, made all the more difficult by the fact that it was under constant public scrutiny. Their three-year marriage ended in 1964, though they continued to work together until 1966. In 1967, Godard and Karina divorced.

Anna Karina
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg N.V, Rotterdam, no. 6099. Photo: Combi Press, Amsterdam.

Anna Karina
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden-Westf., no. 1872.

Anna Karina
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 133.

Anna Karina in La Religieuse (1966)
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 265. Photo: publicity still for La Religieuse/The Nun (Jacques Rivette, 1966).

Anna Karina in La religieuse (1966)
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 330. Photo: publicity still for La Religieuse/The Nun (Jacques Rivette, 1966).

Hollywood


Hal Erickson at AllMovie: "From all reports, Karina and Godard's relationship was symbiotic; it is certainly no coincidence that both actress and director went into a temporary artistic eclipse after their 1967 breakup."

Anna Karina's acting career was not, however, limited to Godard's films, and she had a successful collaboration with other well-known directors. Some consider as her best performance her role in La Religieuse/The Nun (Jacques Rivette, 1966) in which she plays an intelligent, freedom-loving woman who is forced into a convent against her will.

She also acted in the Italian productions Le Soldatesse/The Camp Followers (Valerio Zurlini, 1965) and the Albert Camus adaptation Lo Straniero/The Stranger (Luchino Visconti, 1967) starring Marcello Mastroianni.

Karina also maintained a singing career and scored hits with Sous le soleil exactement and Roller Girl. Both songs were taken from the TV musical Anna (Pierre Koralnik, 1967), which Serge Gainsbourg had especially written for her.

After her divorce in 1967 she went to Hollywood. She acted in Justine (George Cukor, 1969) and returned to Paris. Her later films included Laughter in the Dark (Tony Richardson, 1969), Rendez-vous à Bray/Appointment in Bray (André Delvaux, 1971) with Mathieu Carrière, Pane e cioccolata/Bread and Chocolate (Franco Brusati, 1973) starring Nino Manfredi, Chinesisches Roulette/Chinese Roulette (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1976), and Olyan mint otthon/Just Like Home (Márta Mészáros, 1978) with Jan Nowicki.

Anna Karina and Gérard Barray in Sheherazade (1963)
Small Romanian collector's card. Photo: publicity still for Sheherazade (Pierre-Gaspard-Huit, 1963) with Gérard Barray.

Anna Karina
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 177/69, 1969. Retail price: 0,20 M. Photo: Unifrance Film.

Anna Karina
Small Romanian collectors card by Cooperativa Fotografia, no. 10.

Anna Karina
Big East-German card by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 6/71. Photo: Unifrance Film.

Chansons de films


Anna Karina acted in but also wrote, produced and directed Vivre ensemble/Living Together (1973). She has also written three novels and made several appearances on television. She appeared on stage in Jacques Rivette's adaptation of La Religieuse/The Nun, Pour Lucrece, Toi et Tes Nuages, Francoise Sagan's Il Fait Beau Jour et Nuit and Ingmar Bergman's Apres La Répétition/After the Repetition.

In 2005 she released Chansons de films, a collection of songs sung in films. Incidentally she played in films like L'oeuvre au noir/The Abyss (André Delvaux, 1988) with Gian Maria Volonté, Haut bas fragile/Up, Down, Fragile (Jacques Rivette, 1995) and the romantic thriller The Truth About Charlie (Jonathan Demme, 2002) starring Mark Wahlberg.

James Travers at Le Film Site on L'oeuvre au noir/The Abyss : "This sombre adaptation of Marguerite Yourcenar’s acclaimed literary work was directed by the acclaimed Belgian film-maker André Delvaux. Visually, the film is impressive and it boasts an excellent cast, but for all its excellent production values it is a heavy and somewhat laboured affair."

Karina's most recent film as a director was Victoria (2008) in which she also starred. Mark Deming at AllMovie: "Thirty-five years after directing her first feature film, iconic actress Anna Karina once again steps behind the camera for this charming comedy-drama shot in Canada. Jimmy (Emmanuel Reichenbach) and Stanislas (Jean-Francois Moran) are a pair of nightclub performers who play second-rate gay nightclubs as part of a drag act called 'Les Lolitas'."

After Godard, Anna Karina was married three times more: to scriptwriter-actor Pierre Fabre (1968–1973), actor-director Daniel Duval (1978–1981) and director Dennis Berry (1982–1994). Since 2009 she is married to Maurice Cooks.


Scenes from Vivre sa vie (1962). Source: Paulo A (YouTube).


Anna Karina sings Jamais je ne t'ai dit que je t'aimerai toujours in Pierrot le Fou (1965) with Jean-Paul Belmondo. Source: Tobe Auster (YouTube).


Trailer Made in U.S.A. (1966). Source: Danios 12345 (YouTube).


Japanese trailer Anna (1967). Source: Night of the Trailers (YouTube).

Sources: Judd Blaise (AllMovie), J. Hoberman (Criterion), James Travers (Le Film Guide), Mark Deming (AllMovie), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Fuck yeah! Anna Karina, IMDb and Wikipedia.

Louis Borel

Every year in early autumn, the Dutch film industry and public gather at the Netherlands Film Festival (NFF) to see, assess, discuss and celebrate the Dutch cinema. From 21 till 30 September 2016, Utrecht is the capital of film, and at EFSP, Dutch cinema is also placed centre stage. Today, Dutch actor Louis Borel (1905-1973), who appeared in films in the Netherlands, in Great Britain and in Hollywood. He also adapted, translated, directed and starred in many stage plays. At the end of his career he became a popular star on Dutch television.

Louis Borel and Jopie Koopman in Malle gevallen
Dutch postcard by M. B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 5. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934) with Jopie Koopman.

Roland Varno, Annie van Duyn, Johan Kaart, Enny Meunier, Louis Borel, Jopie Koopman, Malle gevallen
Dutch postcard by Loet C. Barnstijn Film, no. 2. Photo: still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (1934). Collectie: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Silly Situations


Louis Borel was born as Lodewijk Borel in Den Haag (The Hague), Netherlands in 1905. He was the son of author and journalist Henri Jean François Borel and his second wife Helena Maria de Hartog. He had two half-sisters and a half-brother. His father had destined Louis to become a banker but the boy chose otherwise.

In 1924, Louis started his stage career as Lodewijk Makkay at the company of legendary Dutch actor Cor van der Lugt Melsert. Next he worked at the Nederlands-Indisch Toneel (Dutch-Indonesian Theatre), led by Cor Ruys, which performed alternately in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies. In 1928 he worked with a theatre group which was led by Theo Frenkel jr.

In 1934 he made his film debut in the comedy Malle gevallen/Silly Situations (Jaap Speyer, 1934) based on a novel by Hans Martin. Louis played Hans, one of three students (the others were Johan Kaart and Roland Varno) who date three nice girls (Annie van Duyn, Enny Meunier and Jopie Koopman).

In a row he made three more films. De Kribbebijter/The Cross-Patch (Hermann Kosterlitz aka Henry Koster, Ernst Winar, 1935) was a comedy starring Cor Ruys and Frits van Dongen (aka Philip Dorn). In the comedy De Suikerfreule/The Sugar Lady (Haro van Peski, 1935) starred Johan Elsensohn and Annie van Duyn. Fientje Peters - Poste restante/Fientje Peters: General Delivery (Victor Janson, 1935) with Dolly Bouwmeester was an alternate language version of the German production Hilde Petersen postlagernd (Victor Janson, 1936).

At the end of 1934 Borel moved to England, where he worked on stage and in the cinema till 1939. He was successful in the play Return to yesterday and was praised for his charm by the British critics. He also acted in the play Heart's Content, at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London, with Diana Wynyard, and Anthony Bushell in the cast. Raymond Massey was director.

British film productions in which he played leading roles were House Broken (Michael Hankinson, 1936), the crime film The Avenging Hand (Victor Hanbury, Frank Richardson, 1937) with Noah Beery, the musical Head Over Heels (Sonnie Hale, 1937) opposite Jessie Matthews, and the Alexander Korda produced comedy Over the Moon (Thornton Freeland, 1939) with Rex Harrison and Merle Oberon.

Borel returned shortly to the Netherlands, where he starred in De Spooktrein/The Ghosttrain (Karel Lamac aka Carl Lamac, 1939) with Jan Musch and Fien de la Mar. Then he left for the United States.

Roland Varno, Louis Borel & Johan Kaart in Malle gevallen
Dutch postcard by M.B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 4. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle gevallen/Silly Situations (1934) with Roland Varno and Johan Kaart.

Malle gevallen
Dutch postcard by M.B.& Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam), no. 6. Photo: Loet C. Barnstijn Film. Still for Malle gevallen/Silly Situations (1934).

Roland Varno, Johan Kaart, Annie van Duyn, Louis Borel, Jopie Koopman, Enny Meunier, Malle gevallen
Dutch postcard by Loet C. Barnstijn Film, no. 11. Photo: still for Malle Gevallen/Silly Situations (1934). Collection: Geoffrey Donaldson Institute.

Hollywood


Louis Borel stayed in the US for ten years. First he appeared in small roles in Hollywood productions like Foreign correspondent (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940) and the anti-Nazi film Paris After Dark (Léonide Moguy, 1943).

Billed as Louis Borell, he had bigger roles in B-films like London Blackout Murders (George Sherman, 1943) and A Night of Adventure (Gordon Douglas, 1944). He also played several stage roles, including in Candle in the Wind and Made in Heaven.

In 1949 Louis Borel returned to the Netherlands, but regularly appeared in American TV shows like Passport to Danger, Crusader, Topper, and Those Whiting girls. He also played bit parts in the films Desirée (Henry Koster, 1954) with Marlon Brando, and The Purple Mask (H. Bruce Humerstone, 1955) starring Tony Curtis.

In The Netherlands he often worked as a stage director, and in 1955 he had his own company De Blijspelers. He also translated and adapted many plays. He appeared in the Dutch crime films 10.32/Murder in Amsterdam (Arthur Dreifuss, 1966) starring Linda Christian, and Because of the Cats (Fons Rademakers, 1973) with Bryan Marshall and Sylvia Kristel.

At the end of his career he became a popular TV star in the Netherlands for his role as the mayor in the legendary Dutch TV series Swiebertje (1970-1972) starring Joop Doderer as the tramp Swiebertje. Other TV series in which he appeared were Een Koekoek op het nest/The Cuckoo’s Nest (1965-1966), De Klop op de Deur/The Knock on the Door (1970-1971), and the children’s series De Vloek van Woestewolf/The Curse of Woestewolf (1973-1974).

Louis Borel died in 1973 in Amsterdam. In his last years he had suffered from Parkinson's and he was unable to control his mouth muscles. His last role had been in the TV play Hier stierf Anna Tholen/Here Died Anna Tholen, which was broadcasted posthumously. Borel was married to Jantje Stanneveld and they had a daughter, Fernanda Borel.

Joop Doderer as Swiebertje
Dutch postcard. Photo: Joop Doderer, Rien van Nunen (who replaced Borel after his death as the mayor) and Lou Geels in Swiebertje.


Scene from Head Over Heels (1937) with Jessie Matthews. Source: guggle 86 (YouTube).

Sources: Wikipedia (Dutch), My Heritage, Swiebertje.tv (Dutch) and IMDb.