East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


The Rose and the Sword: Flesh + Blood (1985)

Rutger Hauer’s gone, and I wanted to rewatch one of his movies. I would have liked to watch Soldier of Orange, one of his earlier works, but I do not have a copy, so I settled for second best – Paul Verhoeven’s Flesh + Blood, from 1985. Also known as The Rose and the Sword.

And I’ll open with a disclaimer – the movie is popular today mostly because it was the inspiration of Kintaro Miura’s fantasy manga Berserk, and I think this is a pity – because the movie stands on its own merits, and it is worthy of being watched and enjoyed as something more as the inciting event of a comic book (I am not a fan of Miura, and I find his fans insufferable, so sue me).

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Rutger Hauer, 1944-2019

I have just learned of the death, five days ago, of Dutch actor Rutger Hauer. He is famous for portraying the character of Roy Batty in Blade Runner and Etienne Navarre in Ladyhawke, but is also remembered for classics like Soldier of Orange, The Osterman Weekend, The Blood of Heroes, Flesh + Blood and The Hitcher.
A former combat medic with the Dutch Army, he had founded the Rutger Hauer Starfish Association, an AIDS awareness organization.
He was 75. He will be sorely missed.