FF69 - Redbad

Intro by Rob Schulte

A lot of talented filmmakers have an origin story that goes something like: ”I borrowed my dad's Hi8 camcorder and filmed my action figures or dolls or friends and made movies for fun” In an interview with Redbad director Roel Reiné on a podcast called The Well he tells a similar story, but with him it was with Playmobil toys. Later in that interview he shares a different experience that betrays something deeply illustrative of his personality and, I think, his philosophy about filmmaking.

When he was 20 years old he saw that there was a film production shooting nearby, a big budget horror film. Being the budding film maker that he was he snuck onto the movie set to take a look around. After seeing the camera department in action and actors and wardrobe and PAs (Production Assistants) serving first ADs (Assistant Director), serving directors, his big takeaway wasn't an overwhelming feeling of wonder or awe or fear, I guess, for sneaking onto a closed movie set. No, about that formative moment he said: "Oh, I can do this! This is not that difficult. It was not that complicated and that feeling I always kept with me"

I think it explains a lot about the film we are reviewing today. You can say a lot of things about Redbad, and the hosts do, but one thing I think we all agree on, and this description obviously cuts both ways, is that it is confidently made. I mean, Roel Reiné directed it, produced it and shot it! Just ask him and he will tell you it is not that difficult. That is an attitude that got him a film resumé the length of a drug store receipt full of straight-to-video sequels and the random Steven Seagal movie.

He toiled long in the Hollywood B-movieverse before returning to the Netherlands to make The Admiral (on the list) and this film: Redbad. Slick production on a shoestring budget is what the B-movie economy is all about and so Rene was uniquely suited to this task. Whether or not he was successful is another story, one which we will tell today as we review the 2018 Frisian biopic Redbad.

John walking from Hoek van Holland to Amsterdam (FF69)

This segment is part of The Big Walk

John has walked the beach from Hoek van Holland all the way to Amsterdam. At one point when he had 3-4 days to get to Amsterdam he was having a great day, he was sleeping on the beach, and he was just walking in the surf to get over there where nobody was around. He waded ankle-deep for an hour, just kicking waves, and when he got back on shore he realized that in the seawater his leather hiking boots had become stiff, waterlogged cheese graters which immediately cheesegrated his waterlogged feet and he was basically bleeding in his boots for two weeks after that.

John has suffered desecration on that coast and his blood is there, too. That whole area was part of the Atlantic Sea Wall that the Nazis built and there are pillboxes and bunkers back in the dunes the entire length of that coast with people smoking pot and writing Death Metal graffiti.

John should have thrown these boots in the Amstel and he should have bought some Nike Lava Domes and just tip-toes across Europe. Instead he said that these Cinder Blocks that were tied to his feet with leather straps were how he was going to do this, because that is what he deserved, he was all about the Hair Shirt.

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