The Dick Maas Method (2020)
Directed by: Jeffrey De Vore | 97 minutes | documentary | With: Barry Atsma, Pierre Bokma, Stefan de Walle, Nelly Frijda, Mark Frost, Barry Hay, Rob Hillenbrink, Martin Koolhoven, Lou Landré, Julian Looman, Dick Maas, René Mioch, Roel Reiné, Tatjana Simic, Huub Stapel, René van ‘t Hof, Willeke van Ammelrooy, Monique van de Ven, Sophie van Winden, Coen van Vrijberghe de Coningh, Sanne Wallis de Vries, Olga Zuiderhoek
You could call Dick Maas the Steven Spielberg of the low countries. Maas – just like his great example – always aims at the general public and presents them with films that are as spectacular as possible. With a less generous budget, of course. While Spielberg occasionally makes a foray into a more serious genre – ‘The Color Purple’ and ‘Schindler’s List’, for example – Maas always opts for thick-wood-cuts-one-board productions in which the acting is not central. Not that there is bad acting in these films, but Maas always puts laughter or action at the center. In recent years, this director’s popularity has waned somewhat, but that didn’t stop Jeffrey de Vore from filming a documentary about this iconic filmmaker. Enter: ‘The Dick Maas Method’.
In ‘The Dick Maas Method’ the special career of Dick Maas is discussed. This director watched various genre films that scored well in his own country. Especially in the 1980s, Maas was a household name in the Dutch film world. Horror thriller ‘De Lift’ did well, comedy ‘Flodder’ became a phenomenon and action film ‘Amsterdamned’ also made the cinema box office ring. Later things went a little less with Maas and his film studio in Almere went under. The documentary also highlights the collaboration with producer Laurens Geel.
What clearly emerges in this documentary is that Maas is a special person. A stubborn man with a vision. You get this information from conversations with people who worked with him. This is how directors and actors have their say about this stubborn filmmaker. Pierre Bokma, Nelly Frijda and Tatjana Simic share their experiences. That yields some interesting quotes. Against these fascinating stories are also less interesting statements on the schedule. Film critic Rene Mioch, for example, has very little to say.
‘The Dick Maas Method’ is a smoothly made documentary about a remarkable person who put the Dutch film industry on the map and who influenced a lot of directors from our own country, such as Johan Nijenhuis and Tim Oliehoek. Entertaining and insightful.