Tuesday, November 29, 2005

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COOL! - Dutch film about hip hop gangster kids
Directed by Theo Van Gogh. 2004

"Though his shocking murder at the hands of an Islamic extremist in November, 2004, has generated a worldwide interest in the films of Theo Van Gogh, he has long been a prominent filmmaker in his home country of the Netherlands. Known for his propensity to address controversial subjects that no one else would dare to touch--as well as his blood relation to Vincent Van Gogh--he was killed by an assailant reacting to his short film SUBMISSION, which condemns Muslim subjugation of women. The director's last feature effort before his untimely death, COOL! was made with the students at Amsterdam's Glenn Mills Reform School, as well as well-known actors Johnny de Mol & Katja Schuurman. The story follows a group of five young hooligans and best friends: Abdel, Mohammed, Hamid, Jacky, and Jeffrey. Mostly immigrant and all disaffected, their petty crimes are elevated to a new level when Abdel gets to know beautiful bank teller Mabel, the girlfriend of a gang leader, Prof, whom Abdel admires. Prof hatches a plan to rob the bank, but the boys are instead caught and sent to reform school, where they struggle to cultivate a sense of respect for themselves and society. Set to a hip-hop soundtrack, Van Gogh has crafted a hip crime drama that makes good use of its unprofessional cast, as well as presenting the other side of the often-glamorized gangster lifestyle".

I’ve been waiting ages for this film to hit DVD. It finally appeared in the UK & the US last month. I wonder how it was recieved by the Dutch hip hop community. Knowing how it usually pans out they probably hated it.

TRAILER - Cool! wmv
LINK: English film overview - Cool!
LINK: A page with hi-res images - US press kit
LINK: Dutch article on the music artists - Soundtrack

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