Last Friday, I arrived in Rome, where I’ll enjoy a two-month research stay at, and supported by, the Belgian Historical Institute in Rome. As I have done in Paris in 2015 and in Amsterdam in 2016, I will study the history of film relations between Belgium and the country where I’m staying. For this research on official Belgian-Italian co-operation agreements and concrete coproductions, I will visit the Istituto LUCE-Cinecitta, the Direzione Generale per gli Archivi and the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale Roma in Rome, and the Cineteca di Bologna in Bologna.
I am grateful to be able to stay at the Academia Belgica, an fantastic institute and residency which has provided accommodation to numerous Belgian scholars and artists since 1939. My research stay started yesterday in a classy and very Roman style, as the director of the Academia Belgica, Wouter Bracke, had organized an impressive archeological tour in the magnificent Domus Aurea, Emperor Nero’s palace.
Jan Cox’ painting ‘Hugo Claus and I’, which he painted during his residency at the Academia Belgica in 1954-1955. During that time, Cox’ lifelong friend Hugo Claus also stayed in Rome, where he got inspired by the Italian film world to write his 1956 novel ‘De Koele Minnaar’.