The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, April 19-25


The Fourth Man (1983)
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
In The Fourth Man, paranoia, fantasy and spiritual revelations go hand in hand, with protagonist Gerard Reve (Jeroen Krabbé) blurring the lines between various modes of experience. Brooding, violent, manipulative and devoutly Catholic, Gerard is plagued by premonitions of his own death and visitations from the Virgin Mary (the “Lady in Blue”) as he attempts to navigate the perilous web woven by the seductive and secretive widow Christine (Renée Soutendijk). Over the course of the movie, Christine is compared to a spider, Delilah, the devil and a witch. Behind her camera, she captures the souls of the men who love her; behind the barber’s chair and in Gerard’s dreams, she cuts his hair and dismembers him, clutching his severed manhood like a trophy. The Madonna-whore dichotomy, which can get tiring in most movies, is redeemed somewhat by Verhoeven’s nuanced exploration of queerness and Krabbé’s electric portrayal of a man driven to madness and alcoholism by his fragile notions of masculinity. Christine might be the devil, but the dreamlike logic of this Dutch thriller begs the question: are men like Gerard worth saving? Celina Reynes (April 24, at the Quad’s “Four Play”)


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