본문 바로가기 메뉴 바로가기

Guest Country

* "Belgium Cineaste" was not seen due to the theater screening regulations at 2020’s Guest Country section will be screened as an additional films during this year’s Guest Country Section.​

 

From the early days of film history to the present, Belgium has secured its unique cinema ecosystem by producing various fiction, documentary, and animation films in different genres. One of the characteristics of Belgian cinema is its successful balance of industry and art, as seen in its remarkable commercial and art house films. Belgium is known as a home for world-renowned masters such as André Delvaux and the Dardenne brothers, not to mention the fact that Chantal Akerman, one of cinema’s most influential filmmakers, is from the country.

 

Chantal Akerman was born in Brussels in 1950 to a Polish-Jewish family. After watching Jean-Luc Godard’s 《Pierrot le Fou》 (1965), she made up her mind to become a filmmaker. Akerman attempted to subvert cinematic conventions and pioneered an undiscovered field of cinema. As a painter carefully observes an object, she thoroughly composed her images with her camera. Her films, such as 《I, You, He, She》 (1974) and 《Jeanne Dielman》 (1975),have left a significant mark on film history, becoming a source of inspiration and courage for other filmmakers. Akerman, a trailblazer of film arts and an artist with original perspectives, made her last film 《No Home Movie》 (2015) and died in Paris at the age of 65 in 2015.   

 

“Belgium Cineaste” presents Akerman’s four short films produced from the 1960s to the 1980s. Some keywords for those films include revolt, feminism, space, and body.​

Belgium Cineaste This program's film rating is for ages 15 and older
Blow Up My Town

Chantal Akerman

Belgium1968Fiction12'59"DCPB&W12

This film has a simple yet powerful plot: “A woman commits suicide.” The pain, anxiety, dejection, and despair of a young woman take the form of a tragic symphony of sounds guided by the humming of a song. At the same time, tragedy and comedy overlap to present anxiety and humor to the audience concurrently. Chantal Akerman’s first film, produced at age 19, features one character: herself. The director later claimed that her other feature films, documentaries, poetic essay films, as well as video installations, already existed within this film.​
The Room

Chantal Akerman

Belgium1972Documentary11'DCPColor15

The camera moves simply yet clearly inside a small apartment cluttered with furniture and accoutrements to show a woman lying on a bed. The 360-degree pan of the camera captures the continuity of life in a simple yet bold formal experiment. From visible objects such as fruit on the table to non-visible yet more obvious things such as loneliness and solitude, images float before our eyes in a kaleidoscope. In this static space, the only thing that moves is the director herself, who is both the protagonist of the film and its main object.​
August 15

Chantal Akerman, Samy Szlingerbaum

Belgium1973Fiction42'DCPB&W12

Paris in the summer. On August 15th, a bright sunny day, a young woman shares her own story in her apartment. The daily routine and trivial events of her life seamlessly unfold before us. However, an underlying anger simmers in her monologue, which retains the facade of triviality. The fixed camera takes a long look at her face, body, and movements. In the end, her portrait is completed by the mix of light and darkness filling the space inside her apartment. It was produced in the same year as Akerman’s masterpiece Jeanne Dielman.​
Three Stanzas on the Name Sacher

Chantal Akerman

France1989 Experimental12'DCPColorG

Light and darkness intersect to highlight a bed and a chair on the left side of a room. Cellist Sonia Wieder Atherton enters and performs a contemporary piece composed by French composer, Henri Dutilleux. Two windows in the back reveal how people repeat their everyday lives. The film shows Akerman’s technical experiments such as splitting a space into different sizes and front and rear camera movements. By doing so, Akerman subverts the alignment of image and video and presents various scenes and perspectives in landscape.​