Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

“A Boy Has Never Wept nor Dashed a Thousand Kim”

August 29th, 2012 · 3 Comments


Even if Rutger Hauer had stopped making art before the turn of the millennium, he would still occupy a hallowed place in the Microkhan pantheon for his trailblazing work in Surviving the Game. Fortunately for us, the Dutch actor continued to hammer away at his craft in the early part of this century, including a turn as the lead in little-seen The Last Words of Dutch Schultz (above). The 22-minute film features a smorgasbord of surreal images to accompany Hauer’s reading of Dutch Schultz’s dying declaration, a masterpiece of accidental poetry. (Please note that the film has virtually nothing to do with William S. Burroughs’ infamous unproduced screenplay of the same name.)

Hauer’s throaty, slow-paced interpretation of the deluded rant probably bears almost no relation to Schultz’s actual delivery, which was likely woozily mumbled on account of his bullet wounds. But the narration works beautifully regardless—Hauer has a gift for making even the most nonsenical lines, like the one referenced in this post’s title, sound like pearls of Socratic wisdom.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • scottstev

    He is also fantastic “The Mill and the Cross” featuring other eminences such as Michael York and Charlotte Rampling. Very impressive visual film, where the principal actors play a backseat role to the chorus.

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @scottstev: That movie’s good? I just rolled my eyes at the conceit–seemed overly precious. But anything with Hauer and Rampling in it can’t be all bad, I guess.

  • scottstev

    No, it’s actually very good. Not a linear movie, basically a Bruegel painting come to life. So the vignettes of the lower-class chorus take preeminence, but the shots are wide to medium. So it’s just like looking at the painting.

    Hauer is Breugel and explains the composition. As you demonstrated in the post, late-era Hauer is a master of pacing. He packs a ton of feeling in each pause and breath. It takes religion seriously, which is a nice change from most contemporary films.

    It’s not a slog, I was able to watch it while pretending to care for my children (you’re probably noticing the young Kahn doesn’t require constant ministrations now).

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