Category Archives: Arts & Culture

Bérénice Bejo in ‘Le passé’

I wrote a piece on Le passé (2013, Asghar Farhadi) and its main actress Bérénice Bejo for the Flemish public television channel Canvas. You can read it here (in Dutch).

Le passé poster

Zaterdagavond vertoont Canvas Le passé (2013), een film van de Iraanse regisseur Asghar Farhadi. De film vertelt een intens, diepmenselijk verhaal  over complexe gezinsrelaties. Zo’n film staat of valt met de acteerprestaties. En laat die in Le passé van de allerhoogste kwaliteit zijn. Vooral Bérénice Bejo maakt indruk met haar genuanceerde vertolking van een vrouw verstrikt in een web van vaak contrasterende gevoelens, tegenover haar dochters, haar oude en haar nieuwe geliefde. Daarmee demonstreert ze haar dramatische veelzijdigheid, na eerder vooral uitbundige rollen te hebben gespeeld (zoals haar doorbraakrol in The Artist) in een carrière die getuigt van een grote liefde voor de cinema.

Op de website van Canvas ga ik hier dieper op in. De film valt ook te bekijken op VRT.NU (tot 15 juli).

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4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days

I wrote a piece on 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days (2007) for the Flemish public television channel Canvas. You can read it here (in Dutch).

4 months

Zaterdagavond vertoont Canvas 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days (2007, Cristian Mungiu), een hoogtepunt uit de Roemeense new wave. Op de website van Canvas leg ik uit waarom deze film een absolute must see is. De film valt ook te bekijken op VRT.NU.

University of Antwerp

I’m excited to announce that since 1 October, I’m appointed as a part-time assistant professor at the University of Antwerp! After 8 beautiful years of academic endeavours at Ghent University, my main home institution will now be the University of Antwerp, but I will still be 25% FWO postdoctoral fellow in Ghent. In Antwerp, I am connected to the department of Communication Studies, where I teach a course Modern and Contemporary Film Movements, and to the department of Literature, where I’m teaching the courses Film Genres, Adaptation in Theatre, Film and Literature, Text and Representation and Research Seminar Film.

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Guided visit by Bruno Mestdagh at Cinematek

All my courses start in February, except for the Research Seminar Film, which has already started 3 weeks ago. In this course, which I’m co-teaching with Steven Jacobs, we focus on an unknown but highly fascinating film from 1930 by Carlos Queeckers, Het leven eener grote abdij, about the history of the abbey of Tongerlo. The students make an in-depth investigation of the text, production and reception of the film, which was recently digitised by Cinematek (the Royal Belgian Film Archive). The seminar also focuses on how to present research to a broader audience, in the framework of which we visit a number of exhibitions. Last week, we visited a great exposition on the French filmmaker/multimedia artist Chris Marker, Memories of the Future, at BOZAR (the exhibition comes from the Cinémathèque française). Combining an insightful overview of his artistic work with some rare material, it’s definitely worth a visit!

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Chris Marker at BOZAR

 

Herman Teirlinck & film

Last Friday, I participated in a seminar on Herman Teirlinck, one of the protagonists of Flemish cultural life in the first half of the 20th century. He’s most famous for his literary works, his innovations in theater and, after the Second World War, for establishing ‘De Studio’, a drama workshop that educated various generations of actors. I presented a study on the only film in which Teirlinck was involved, the remarkable The Evil Eye (1937, Het Kwade Oog, dir. Charles Dekeukeleire).

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Niets bestaat vóór het spel, by Toon Brouwers

The seminar was organized by the University of Antwerp (the Research Center for Visual Poetics, my colleagues from last year), the Conservatory and the Royal Academy for Fine Arts Antwerp, to celebrate a new book by Toon Brouwers, on Teirlinck’s ‘De Studio’, its importance for theater education and its evolution until the 1990s.

Radio dramas & ‘transmediality’

This morning, I participated in an exciting ‘audio workshop’ organized by the Study Centre for Experimental Literature (Ghent University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel). After some fascinating introductory reflections by the organizers on the historical context of radio dramas in Flanders, the Netherlands and Germany, and their theoretical and analytical possibilities in the light of ‘transmediality’, four speakers approached one or more radio dramas from a different angle. Janine Hauthal (VUB) talked about Samuel Beckett’s Cascando from a drama perspective, thereby including some critical gender-related observations (why are the roles in Cascando always interpreted by men, while Beckett doesn’t prescribe any sex to the characters? Is it really only because of a dominant – and restricting – autobiographical reading?). Luk Vaes (Orpheus Institute) offered a musicology perspective on the ‘radio dramas’ by the fascinating composer Mauricio Kagel.

audioworkshop

Lars Bernaerts (Ghent University) shared his insights on the practice of novel-to-radio drama adaptations, taking Terug tot Ina Damman, based on Simon Vestdijk’s novel, as a starting point to talk about how literary conventions are taken over and slightly adapted, while the multi-modal possibilities of the radio drama medium itself are also at play. In my own talk, I also focused on a literary adaptation: how the theatre play De Vertraagde Film (1922), by the Flemish writer Herman Teirlinck, was made into a radio drama by the same name in 1967. The transmedia-perspective was enriched as there was also made a film based on De Vertraagde Film in 1937, Het Kwade Oog, by Charles Dekeukeleire in co-operation with Teirlinck himself. This transmedia perspective was follow by some institutional considerations, as the radio drama was made by the public service broadcaster BRT to pay tribute to Herman Teirlinck, who had just passed away. As I’m invited to give a talk on Teirlinck’s relation to film during a study day in February, I’m looking forward to work further on this material!

Writer’s residence in Paris

Since Friday, I’m in Paris for a writer’s residence organized by the Flemish-Dutch House deBuren. They give the opportunity to 18 young Flemish and Dutch (fiction and non-fiction) writers to spend two weeks in Paris and to write some texts inspired by the city. Throughout these two weeks, literary, cultural and political figures such as the Dutch author Adriaan van Dis and the Flemish Minister of Culture Sven Gatz are invited for a meal, a talk and a discussion.

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The participants and coordinators of the deBuren writer’s residence

This residence also feels a bit like coming home, as we are staying at the Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre (la maison des belges), where I resided during my research stay at the Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas last year. Moreover, I will again be spending quite some time in the Cinémathèque française, for archival research on the Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens.