Today was the first day of the Summer Film School Rotterdam, an intensive five-day programme of lectures and film screenings organized by the cinephile platform Roffa Mon Amour in co-operation with Cinea, whose yearly Summer Film College in Antwerp served as an inspiration source. The first edition of the Summer Film School Rotterdam focuses on the work of two very different directors: the provocative American filmmaker Brian de Palma and the French ‘Rive Gauche’ director Alain Resnais. The lectures on Brian de Palma are given by film critics Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin, while Alain Resnais’s films are analyzed by film scholars Patricia Pisters (University of Amsterdam) and Nadine Boljkovac (Falmouth University).
The Summer Film School kicked off with a very inspiring lecture by Patricia Pisters. After introducing the serious and the playful Alain Resnais, she provided us with great insights into one of the major threads throughout Resnais’s oeuvre. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s writings, Pisters explained the working of and reflections on time and memory in films such as Hiroshima mon amour (1959) and particularly Je t’aime je t’aime (1968). I hadn’t seen this last film yet, and it was a delightful experience (a nice extra was to see all the Belgian references in the film, as it was shot in Ostend and Brussels). After the Resnais part of the day, Cristina Álvarez López gave an excellent introduction to the early works of Brian de Palma. Adrian Martin subsequently introduced de Palma’s cult musical Phantom of the paradise (1974), which was screened afterwards.