Academia & cinephilia

Being back in Belgium for one month now, I realize what a luxury it was to be in Paris and to have time to read things without a clearly defined practical purpose, to watch as many films as I wanted and to write the things I had promised myself to write a long time ago. At the same time, however, it has been a very rich month in Belgium, especially in terms of education activities; finishing the course International Communication at Ghent University, providing a guest lecture on European cinema to an international summer school audience at the KU Leuven (this lecture was followed by a screening of Roy Andersson’s idiosyncratic A pigeon sat on a branch reflecting on existence) and correcting a pile of student’s tasks, exams and bachelor’s and master’s dissertations (that one excellent paper making all the work already worth it).

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Richard Suchenski discussing Hou’s masterpiece A city of sadness

I was also happy to attend some interesting events at the intersection of academia and cinephilia, such as the closing event of Ghent University’s film club Film-Plateau, with a screening of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s rather silly but still amusing Green green grass of home (the Belgian Film Archive Cinematek had just restored this film), and, the next day, a symposium on this very same Taiwanese filmmaker in Antwerp. Unfortunately, I missed the interview session with the director himself (who had just won the Best Director award at Cannes for his film The Assassin), but this was partly made up by the illuminating presentation of Richard Suchenski, on the creative use of point-of-view, subjectivity, montage and the idea of realism in Hou’s films. The symposium was curated by Tom Paulus (University of Antwerp), who was also the supervisor of Vito Adriaensens’s PhD dissertation on the cinema of the French production company Pathé and the Danish company Nordisk in the period 1908-1914. Looking forward to the book publication that he promised at his public PhD defense…

Uitnodiging verdediging Vito Adriaensens

Invitation for Vito Adriaensens PhD defense

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