Movie Talk

Rutger Hauer goes back to ‘The Future’ at Sundance

Rutger Hauer and Manuela MartelliRutger Hauer and Manuela Martelli (Photo: Kristin Murphy/Getty Images)Rutger Hauer was cutting a dapper -- if odd -- figure at the Sundance Film Festival with “Il Futuro” co-star Manuela Martelli. Just a few days before his 69th birthday, Hauer's dandyish hairstyle, his checkered jacket, and printed scarf with a razor blade pattern cut a sharp contrast with the lovely 29-year-old Martelli's comparatively demure and nondescript ensemble.

The pair were photographed at the Sundance premiere of “Il Futuro (The Future),” described as “wildly impressionistic” and featuring “bizarre cinematography,” in light of which Hauer's flamboyantly strange dress seems to be quite fitting

The Dutch star has entered his third decade of being able to do and wear whatever on earth he likes following his iconic performance in 1982’s groundbreaking “Blade Runner.” Since that and his equally memorable turn in “The Hitcher,” he has spent his time alternating between lead roles in arthouse films and cult fare (from the original movie version of “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” to 2011’s Grindhouse-inspired “Hobo With A Shotgun”) with supporting roles in more mainstream movies like “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” and “Batman Begins.” Next up, Hauer will be joining the cast of HBO's “True Blood” for the upcoming sixth season.

“Il Futuro,” by Chilean filmmaker Alicia Scherson features Hauer as a blind, hermit-like, vaguely Schwarzeneggerian ex-movie star who becomes romantically entangled with protagonist Martelli, who spends a healthy portion of the film in the nude.

Ruter HauerHauer and Martelli in 'Il Futuro' (Photo: Sundance Film Festival)

It’s not the first time Hauer has played a visually impaired character. In the 1989 cult classic “Blind Fury,” Hauer played a blind swordsman in a Western homage to the Japanese “Zatoichi” series. But where “Blind Fury” was more rooted in 80s B-movie aesthetics, “Il Futuro” promises to be much artier. Far from being a prurient excuse to parade around attractive naked women, the film is said to be an examination of the male gaze, with Hauer's blindness sharply contrasting Martelli’s character, a traumatized young woman who develops a sensitivity to bright light.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, keep an eye out for “Il Futuro,” and for whatever fascinatingly strange thing Rutger Hauer will wear to red carpet events for it.

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