EriKa | Iceland | 02/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A surprising and eye-opening tale about lonely people in the Netherlands. Two strangers meet on a phone sex line in modern day Netherlands. Their lives are such that they go out and meet people and may even have significant others in their lives, but they still feel empty and lonely and feel a need to reach out for something more. Significantly they do not at first acknowledge their emptiness and loneliness. They simply call this phone sex line to feel some connection to someone, even if it is only nervous and surface chat about sex. The film is stunning because it employs very little scenery and only two characters. You never see anyone else and all of their interactions take place over the phone. After talking once (the woman calls the man because she does not want to divulge her phone number, her real name or the city in which she lives) they agree to have a regular time for talking. Their relationship develops over the phone and it becomes clear from their interactions that they care about each other, as strange as it seems, on a deeper level... as more than just phone sex partners or as a voice on the end of the line. This development is well handled and very convincing. Eventually when they reach a level of real human intimacy, the woman still will not tell the man her identity. When she phones him at the appointed time one day someone else answers (or what sounds like someone else). She is startled and the person who answers announces that he is the man's father and is going through his things because the man had died earlier in the week. The woman is visibly devastated by this sudden news, and she becomes quite unnerved and asks a lot of questions. The father says that he does not feel like discussing the details of his son's suicide but would call her back if she permitted him to. She provides all her contact information, and then he tells her that it was all a joke and that it is really him, not the father, and that he was still alive. You can see that she is so relieved and so glad that he is really alive, but at the same time she is furious that he took advantage of her and lied to her that way. She tells him they will never speak again, and the next week when their appointed phone date arrives, the film shows both of them silently sitting by the telephones but doing nothing. It was a rather heartbreaking work which really felt unsettling because it was so true to life and so... close to home. Even when you have people around who love you and are close to you, you can still feel so lonely and crave attention from some other person or medium, and this film illustrated that delicate frustration so well."
Unique film with only two cast member!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Dutch has certainly formed a pretty entertaining short film with 1-900. Erotic? Well, perhaps, but it is through the exchange of fantasies between a man and a woman(Interestingly... the cast consists of only two actors) in distant locations. It is interesting how their `unusual' relationship unfolds from an awkward beginning(each trying to act accordingly to what is expected) to something more emotionally entrenched. Due to the lack of scenic change, the viewers become rather engrossed with the characters conversations over the phone. Quite unique I'd say. One simple film, with a straightforward plot... yet superior to most films I've seen. Five stars out of five!"
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 04/07/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There are always people who are lonely and/or are seeking happiness for the moment. This story depicts this through the use of the brilliant invention by Bell, the telephone. As the story is set in motion there is a man, Thomas, who answers a phone sex ad and presents himself as someone who enjoys art, which results in him matching interests and age that another caller, Sarah, wishes for. In reality, Thomas is an equal with Sarah in his sense of art, but nothing else. Lies begin during their first session where they shyly introduce each other over the phone; however, as they talk their shyness disappears. They talk about many issues in their lives which leads the story into humor, tragedy, lies, and truths. However, Thomas has needs that remain unfulfilled when he is seeking contact with her because she remains distant and refuses to share her phone number with him. 1-900 is an intriguing film that provides some interesting dialogues that leads to stimulating perspectives in the development of a phone-relationship."
Brilliant Character Study
VoiceOver | Netherlands | 01/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1-900, originally called "06", by the so tragically murdered Dutch director Theo van Gogh is a very provocative movie about loneliness, communication, relationships and phantasies, set in a, on first sight, rather unique situation for a movie. Like the director himself there was a lot of controversy around the movie. When one looked at the poster one would think to be in for a very erotic and sexually explicit movie.
Well, anyone going into the cinema with that expectation, would have been quite disappointed, for what you get is a very harsh emotional and psychological drama around two people making contact over a sexline to fulfill their need for socio-sexual release, hoping to feel a bit less lonely that way. The contact slowly devolves into a regular power struggle between two people, dare I say the two sexes, that can only end up leaving them where they started, alone and with an unfulfilled longing to have their barriers broken down and at the same time being mortally afraid of the vulnarability this would result in.
The drama is very intense and rarely erotic, because you sense much more the sadness of these two people and the way they really try to be close, through sex as the supposedly ultimate way of achieving intimacy with another person, and yet end up more isolated then ever.
It's a fearless and provocative movie, which is typical for this director, and actually cost him his very life in the end."