Category Archives: Cinema

Day for night

Anke Brouwers

Anke Brouwers introducing Days of Heaven

This weekend, the first edition of Day for night took place, a 24-hour film marathon organized by Cinea, KASKcinema and the Ghent University film club Film-Plateau. With nine films, six introductions, and just very tiny breaks in-between, it may look like a lot of unnecessary suffering for some, but for true cinephiles watching John Ford’s She wore a yellow ribbon, Alfred Hitchcock’s To catch a thief and Terrence Malick’s Days of heaven in a row just feels like… well, like a day and night of heaven.

Dorst naar bloed

French and Dutch-language poster for Daughters of Darkness

I gave an introduction to Harry Kümel’s 1971 Daughters of Darkness, a terrific vampire cult film which succeeds in making the bridge between arthouse and exploitation cinema. Afterwards, the night program continued with Toute une nuit (1982, Chantal Akerman), Night on earth (1991, Jim Jarmusch, 1991), Demoni (1985, Lamberto Bava) and Die hard (1988, John McTiernan). The closing film of the weekend was F.W. Murnau’s beautiful silent film Sunrise (1927).

Wouter Hessels

Wouter Hessels introducing Sunrise

dinner

Appropriate dinner for a film marathon…

Reframing the remake

Rip-Off or Resourceful Creativity? is the title of the latest special issue (edited by Sarah Smyth and Connor McMorran) of the Frames Cinema Journal, focusing on remakes. It features an article called Reframing the remake: Dutch-Flemish monolingual remakes and their theoretical and conceptual implications, by Eduard Cuelenaere, Stijn Joye and myself. The article offers some first theoretical reflections on remakes and the academic field of remake studies, stemming from our recently started research project on Dutch-Flemish remakes (cf. this previous blog post). You can read the article at full length here.

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In the article, we explicitly take distance from ‘anti-remake debates’ offering a normative standpoint towards remakes. We instead aim for a more nuanced reading of the remake practice. Our argument is based upon an examination of Dutch-Flemish remakes, which proves to be an original contribution to the field of remake studies, as well as an excellent exemplar in the context of the deconstruction and reframing of discourses about the global remake practice. As a first step, we claim that the non-commercial aura of the European remake should be revisited because the Dutch-Flemish monolingual remakes clearly disclose a similar incentive to the one that often inspires Hollywood remakes: financial gains. Furthermore, our case underlines the need for a more nuanced understanding of intercultural media practices, including the cultural proximity theory. Lastly, we reveal a remarkable discrepancy between the essentialist conception of cultural identity—that is put forward by remake directors—and the constructionist conception, which is dominant in scholarly discussions.

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.

Il Cinema Ritrovato

Yesterday, I arrived in Bologna to attend the thirtieth edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato. During this week-long film festival organized by the Cineteca di Bologna, both classic and rare films  from every period in film history are shown, and film archives from all over the world present their latest restorations.

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The Piazza Maggiore, occupied by the festival

During the day, screenings and debates are organized at the Cineteca itself and at two other film theaters (Cinema Jolly & Cinema Arlecchino). In the evening, the festival takes over the Piazza Maggiore with free screenings on a huge screen under the stars. The festival started yesterday evening with a presentation of the films that were shown by the Lumière brothers at the first public screening on 28 December 1895 (the Lumière exhibition that I visited in Paris last year, is now in Bologna), followed by Jacques Becker’s Casque d’or (1952). It is my first time here and I’m very eager to dive into this Walhalla for film historians and cinephiles from all over the world!

 

Problemski Hotel

Interview Verhulst

Yesterday, I interviewed Belgian writer Dimitri Verhulst in the Vooruit in Ghent, after the screening of Manu Riche’s recent film adaptation of Verhulst’s 2003 novel Problemski Hotel. Both the novel and the film give a disrupting view on the life in an asylum center. The realistic, raw and hard issues of misery are alternated by moments of absurd humor, which makes reading the novel/watching the film a very unsettling experience, forcing you to reflect on basic human rights and contemporary refugee politics.

problemski hotel

This event took place in the framework of a ‘project week’ focusing on diversity in its broadest sense, for first year students political and social sciences at Ghent University. (Last year, I interviewed director Kadir Balci for the same event.)