Tag Archives: Cinematek

Charles Dekeukeleire at CINEMATEK

Poster expo

This month, CINEMATEK (the Belgian Royal Film Archive) pays tribute to Charles Dekeukeleire (1905-1971), one of Belgium’s most important filmmakers. Especially his avant-gardist films from the late 1920s, such as Impatience (1928) and Histoire de détective (1929), are (justly!) considered as masterpieces of experimental cinema. See, for example, Kristin Thompson’s excellent analysis of these films. But while Thompson is less enthusiastic about Dekeukeleire’s later work, I find films such as Witte vlam (1930), Visions de Lourdes (1932), Thèmes d’inspiration (1938) and the underrated Het kwade oog (1937 – on which I have been working, see here) equally interesting.

Next to a film programme focusing on Dekeukeleire’s work and its film historical links, CINEMATEK hosts an attractive exhibition curated by Mathilde Lejeune (Université Lille 3), who also gave a lecture on her ongoing research on Dekeukeleire’s life and work. For the exhibition, she made an insightful selection out of CINEMATEK’s rich archival holdings on Dekeukeleire: film stills, scripts, publicity material, reviews, certificates, letters, and, above all, Dekeukeleire’s intriguing little notebooks. Lejeune introduces the exhibition in this video.

Definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in the history of Belgian cinema, experimental and documentary cinema! The exhibition is on display until 28 April.



Il Cinema Repubblica

The ‘Gentse Feesten’ (Ghent Festival), one of Europe’s biggest street festivals, hosts countless cultural events, such as concerts, (street) theater, debates and expositions. Until last year, however, a film event was lacking (although the past has seen some attempts to include open air and other film screenings). Il Cinema Repubblica now provides the Gentse Feesten with a film event to be proud of.  This four day silent film festival (17-20 July) is an initiative of the audiovisual company Republic of Reinvention, in collaboration with Cinematek (the Royal Belgian Film Archive, taking care of the film programming together with Cinea) and the School of Arts Gent (providing the beautiful historical setting of the Miry concert hall in the heart of Ghent).


Bruno Mestdagh (Cinematek) introducing the films of Alfred Machin

All films are accompanied by live music: the first two days by musicians from the conservatory, the last two days by Hilde Nash, Cinematek’s house pianist. The first day had slapstick films, the second day served some rare copies of the Cinematek, the third day (which I attended last night) focused on the films of Alfred Machin and the fourth day combines a Chaplin classic with an early Italian feminist film and an obscure porn film from 1920. Hopefully Il Cinema Repubblica has come to stay!