On the eve of the ‘Focus on Belgian Cinema’ season at Ciné Lumière (French Institute, 22-25 February), BIMI is hosting an introductory event about Belgian film, including a free screening of King of the Belgians (Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth, 2016).
Two speakers, Wouter Hessels, film lecturer and cinema programmer at the Brussels Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema & Sound, and the film critic and author Louis Danvers, will each give a brief talk about contemporary Belgian cinema, and their presentations will be followed by a screening of King of the Belgians and a discussion chaired by Janet McCabe, director of the MA Film Programming and Curating at Birkbeck.
King of the Belgians is a road movie in which King Nicolas III (Peter Van den Begin), faced with a domestic crisis while on a state visit in the Balkans, embarks on a trip that awakens him to the real world. The movie has been selected for numerous film festivals and was described by Variety as “an enormously appealing mockumentary blending gently satirical humour with deeper underpinnings […] a delightful, surprisingly respectful ribbing of the incongruity of monarchy, Belgium and the Balkans”. Filmmaking duo Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth both come from a documentary background, and King of the Belgians marks a change in direction for them, as they explain in this interview about the film: http://cineuropa.org/ff.aspx?t=ffocusinterview&l=en&tid=3049&did=319853
This special event is organised with the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles International and Flanders House. For more information about the ‘Focus on Belgian Cinema’ season at the French Institute: http://www.becultural.co.uk/culture/focus-on-belgian-cinema-2018
Louis Danvers is a film critic living in Brussels, where he was born in 1955. He writes for Le Vif-L’Express, while also reviewing films for Telepro and for radio programs on RTBF. Co-founder of the film monthly Visions in the early 1980s, he is a long-time collaborator of the Royal Belgian Film Archive, and has written several film books, including Nagisa Oshima (Les Cahiers du Cinéma) and Brazil de Terry Gilliam (Yellow Now). He has directed documentaries about filmmakers, including Jaco Van Dormael and Abderrahmane Sissako. Under his real name, Michel Sordinia, he is the singer and songwriter of post punk cult band The Names, signed by Manchester’s Factory Records in 1979 and still active today.
Wouter Hessels teaches film history, Belgian cinema and media studies at RITCS, Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema & Sound in Brussels. He also teaches at Vesalius College (Free University of Brussels) and at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Since 2009, he has been the film programmer at the art house CINEMA RITCS in Brussels, and he also worked for the Royal Belgian Film Archive, and as a film expert for Flemish national television. He publishes regularly on art, media, film, education and politics, and he creates poetry-music projects, such as Brussels North–Brussel Centraal–Bruxelles Midi (2015-2016). He writes, teaches and performs poetry in Dutch, French, English, Spanish and Italian.