Kleine Teun

The Netherlands


"What kind of a person must I be?" sighs Brand halfway through LITTLE TONY, Alex van Warmerdam's fourth feature film. The illiterate farmer has been set thinking by Lena, a young teacher who comes to give him lessons at home, on the farm. Keet, Brand's suspicious wife, keeps a close eye on both of them, because she sees that her husband has fallen in love with the girl from the city. As time goes on, a dark plan takes shape in Keet's mind. She purposely drives Brand into Lena's arms. Her manipulations are not without their consequences. In this black comedy, van Warmerdam sketches the confusion and desperation which arise in this complicated three-cornered relationship. Too complicated for Brand, too confusing for Lena, too desperate for Keet.

Writer/director Alex van Warmerdam set out to rid his latest film (based on an original stage play) of everything superfluous to the story. Hence, when asked to provide a summary, his response is that KLEINE TEUN (Little Tony) is simply a tale of three characters and a farm. It is, of course, much more: an intricately realised black comedy centring on a complex three-cornered relationship.

Director's Biography

Writer, designer, director and actor Alex van Warmerdam was born on 14 August 1952 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. After attending the School of Graphic Design, he went to study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where he graduated in graphic design and painting. He was co-founder of the Music-Theatre Company Hauser Orkater and in 1980 he set up De Mexicaanse Hond Theatre Company.

He made the short film DE STEDELING and alter that, the feature films: ABEL (1986), which won the critic's award at the Venice Film Festival, THE NORTHENERS (1992), which won three EFA's (then called Felix) in 1992 for music, art direction and best film, and THE DRESS (1996), winner of the FIPRESCI - Award at the Venice Film Festival, and the Dutch Film Critic's Award. THE DRESS was sold to over 25 territories.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Alex Van Warmerdam

Written by: Alex Van Warmerdam

Produced by: Marc van Warmerdam, Ton Schippers, Alex Van Warmerdam

Cinematography: Marc Felperlaan

Editing: Stefan Kamp

Costume Design: Leonie Polak

Make-Up & Hair: Winnie Gallis

Cast: Annet Malherbe (Keet), Ariane Schluter (Lena), Alex Van Warmerdam (Brand), Sebastiaan Wierik (Teun), Thomas te Wierik (Teun), Maaike Meijer (young mother), Hanneke Riemer (her friend)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Actress 1998
  • European Screenwriter 1998
  • Feature Film Selection 1998