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Pastorale 1943

Wim Verstappen, 1978

About the Dutch during German occupation in World War II. Based on the novel by one of Holland's foremost authors, Simon Vestdijk, who also wrote Het Verboden Bacchanaal. A real super duper production. Thousands of extras, craving food and drink! Old cars that actually ran! Nazi banners in Amsterdam! Weapons and the strange types that get licensed to handle them! Took us six weeks or so to grind it out.

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There was one shot in the B/W press-set that wasn't made by me. Rightly or wrongly, producer Frans Rasker decided I had missed out badly there and just had to buy it from a press photographer, if only to teach me a little lesson. It was a photograph of people hauled away by the Germans, the farm where they lived burning in the background. But then, upon seeing the film footage of that, the laboratory director wondered out loud: "What would it actually cost to really burn that farm down?" - so I still can't feel awfully guilty. (I had the same feeling myself when I saw Moscow burning in King Vidor's War and Peace, anyway.)


The obligatory crew shot. Bunch of gypsies. Circus artists. Cor is represented by reflective styrofoam.
You can (well, maybe) find me in the mirror brother Marcel (loader/clapper) is holding (my shadow points straight to it).

There was so little light, most of these were made on 6x9 cm, at 1/4-1/8 second, full open - which means f3.5, with a 105mm lens.
I schlepped a tripod around all the time.

One of those lovely nights of exterior shooting:
Bugs in the HMI-strobe lights.


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