AAn introduction to the life of George Sluizer
Director, producer and screenwriter George Sluizer is Dutch, but was born in Paris, where he attended the IDHEC film academy. He made his first film in 1961, HOLD BACK THE SEA, a documentary that won a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.
During the 1960s until the early 1980s he produced and directed many documentaries and TV specials. He also worked as a producer on numerous films, including Werner Herzog’s FITZCARRALDO and CANCER RISING with Rutger Hauer.
As a writer/director he made his first feature film in 1971, JOAO AND THE KNIFE, which was followed by TWICE A WOMAN with Anthony Perkins and Bibi Andersson, and RED DESERT PENITENTIARY.
With SPOORLOOS (THE VANISHING) in 1988 he received worldwide recognition. The film won him many awards and was the Dutch entry for the 1989 Academy Awards. In 1992 he directed a remake of THE VANISHING for 20th Century Fox, starring Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Bullock.
In 1991 Sluizer directed an adaptation of Bruce Chatwin’s novel UTZ, starring Armin Mueller-Stahl (Best Actor in Berlin 1992), and in 1993 DARK BLOOD, kept unfinished because of the death of its leading actor River Phoenix.
CRIMETIME followed in 1995, a thriller about the dangerous effects of reality TV, starring Stephen Baldwin and Pete Postlethwaite. In 1996, Sluizer produced and co-directed the nostalgic comedy DYING TO GO HOME and in 1997 he directed THE COMMISSIONER with John Hurt and Rosana Pastor. And in 2002 THE STONERAFT based on the novel by Nobel Prize laureate José Saramago.
During his career, Sluizer has directed films in six different languages and regards himself as a truly European director. A master of the thriller genre, Sluizer is known for his unique signature, his “going to the edge” and “search for one’s limits”.
“My strength as a filmmaker lies in my beliefs and convictions, and not in the ‘communis opinio’ of too many people. Filmmaking for me is a combination of my personal vision with what I think the audience wants to see. Finally, I only provide the cornerstones, the audience has to put the story together, reinvent it according to their moods and feelings. But I do not deny I have a basic instinct to disturb.”
• Knight (Chevalier) in the Order of Oranje-Nassau
• Student at the Paris Filmschool IDHEC
• Professor at the Netherlands Film Academy 1972-79
• Member of the Council of Arts (Ministry of Culture) 1974-80
• The European Film Academy EFA