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June 01, 2018

Frank & Eva

frank and eva bd.jpg

Frank en Eva
Pim de la Parra - 1973
Cult Epics BD Regions ABC / Region 0 DVD two-disc set

The full English language title of Pim de la Parra's film is Frank & Eva: Living Together Apart. This married Dutch couple share the same house, but have separate bedrooms and very individual lives. Eva has her tailor shop, while Frank is said to be a top car salesman. Most of the movie is about Frank, who gets drunk, hates his job enough to not return after crashing a company owned car, has sex with any available female, and is in general an irresponsible lout. The sex as depicted here is relatively mild, so it may come to a surprise for some viewers that Frank & Eva was the film that ended previous Dutch censorship laws. The film can also be seen as an example of the kind of soft core erotic cinema that was commercially popular in the early 1970s.

The Dutch Eye Film Institute restored de la Parra's film, his most popular work at the time of release. With Cult Epic's home video version, de la Parra can be said to be restored as he was an almost forgotten part of Dutch film history in spite of his hand in making Dutch cinema commercially viable. This new disc set helps put things in perspective with a commentary track by de la Parra in English explaining the circumstances of making and releasing the film. One of the supplements is a discussion of erotic Dutch cinema featuring actress Willike von Ammelrooy. Whatever one might think about this story of a love-hate relationship of one couple, the film's historic significance is well established.

The film marked the debut of Sylvia Kristel, who essentially demanded that de la Parra give her a part in his next movie. Kristel is only in the film for a few minutes, seen partially nude during the opening credits during a wild ride in a car driven by the drunk, and inattentive, Frank. Those few minutes were enough to launch a career, with international stardom a year away in Emmanuelle. The film's Eva, Willeke von Ammelrooy, has had a substantial career, including playing the title role in the Oscar winning Antonia's Line. Hugo Metsers, Frank, has also appeared in Paul Verhoeven's Spetters and The Black Book. Even though Frank & Eva is in Dutch, the screenplay was co-written by de la Parra with Charles Gormley, a filmmaker who later gained acclaim in his native Scotland. The often avant-garde score was by Antoine Duhamel, following work done for Godard and Truffaut.


Posted by Peter Nellhaus at June 1, 2018 08:47 AM