Jos Stelling – The Gas Station (2000)
During a traffic jam, a man flirts with another driver.
Jos Stelling (1945) made his debut as a director with Mariken van Nieumeghen in 1974. The film was selected for Cannes in 1975. Since then he has been writing and directing eight feature films. For his short film The Waiting Room (1996) Stelling was awarded a Golden Rose (Press Award) in Montreux, a Golden Gryphon in St. Petersburg as well as his fourth Gouden Kalf (GoldenCalf, the Dutch film award).
Attending some international film festivals can be a painless chore for Dutch director Jos Stelling. When he goes to the Riga Arsenals festival (he’s been there twice), he is greeted on the street by fans and admirers – after all, he had been honored with a retrospective tribute there as far back as 1988. The same goes for St. Petersburg: back in 1997, when his Waiting Room (1995) was awarded both the Golden Gryphon Award and the Public’s Prize, that double-decker recognition had come close on the heels of the Golden Calf at Utrecht and the Prix de Presse at Montreux. Indeed, the world-wide honors showered on The Waiting Room prompted Regina Ziegler to offer Jos Stelling carte blanche for a second Erotic Tale – with an option to go for broke and round the series out to a feature-length trilogy.
Two factors are worth considering when debating the pros and cons of a Jos Stelling Erotic Tale. Primary and foremost, he doesn’t lean on a word of specious dialogue to tell his story. That waiting room at a railway station, for instance, attracts per se a plethora of oddballs, eccentrics, bumpkins, and other bizarre types familiar to the human species, to say nothing of the games of one-upman-ship that enliven and animate this groundling arena. Add to this the presence of Belgian mime actor Eugène Bervoets, and you have the archetype of the bravura peacock macho who will scale a wall or walk off a cliff if necessary to demonstrate his manly wiles with the opposite sex.
Watch ten Damme and Bervoets in action in The Gas Station – and you get the point. What better place to continue a flirt than that friendly oasis offering relief – and promise – after a fatiguing traffic-jam on the expressway?
An acknowledged master of the short sans dialogue, Jos Stelling won a bundle of awards for THE WAITING ROOM at festivals in Holland, Russia, and Switzerland. And if you thought that richly inventive spoof of the leering macho in God’s Little Acre, the crowded waiting room of your local railway station, was one of the luniest Erotic Tales ever made, then buckle your seat belt for a ride down Life‘s Great Battlefield: the expressway during rush hour! Take the boredom of the slow lane, add the spice of one-upmanship, top it off with a delightful girl-boy butting match, and what’s missing? A layover at the next gas station. (Ziegler Film)
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