Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Look at the Upcoming Brussels Film Fest From the Guy Not in Brussels

Now that Wario Wares has been forcibly removed from the household (good game by the way) and the temperature has fallen back into a non-lethal comfort zone I feel I should take this opportunity to chime in before the oppressive, doomsday-like weather strikes back up and reduces me once again to a gelatinesque substance unable to do much more than grunt and intermittently rise from the couch to pour water on my head. Yay for summer! Oh wait, it's still spring? Anyfuckles...

Taking a look at the lineup for the quickly approaching Brussels (European) Film Festival, BEFF, there are certainly some contenders that stand out from the crowd. The first being The Early Years - Erik Nietzsche Part 1. One guy who always inspires my curiosity with anything he's involved in is Lars von Trier. With Erik Nietzsche he's only working in writer capacity but since he's writing his own quasi-autobiographical story I'm sure it'll be interesting.
[Note: there's a whole lotta skin on the program guide pics... odd European thing?]

Isabelle Huppert is one of those gals who always makes everything she's in worth watching. Here she shows up in two movies -- Medee Miracle a sort of modern Medea re-telling -- and Nue Propriete what sounds like a bleak look at a family falling apart. Not happy go-lucky viewing from the looks of it but this is Isabelle Huppert we're talking about, what else do expect but utter devastation?

Hong Sang-soo (or Sang-soo Hong?) is a big part of the South Korean film movement that's been blossoming for the past five or so years and he's bound to make his masterpiece sooner or later. And us Yanks probably wouldn't even know because since 2004's bittersweet Women is the Future of Man his movies aren't even getting to Netflix (and word is that his two follow ups to that one have only been better). Will Bam Gua Nat (Night and Day) be the one? I don't know, but I'd put his lost Korean in Paris story at the top of my list. [That pic in the program (again with the nudity!) makes me laugh every time I see it.]

Besides those, and the "open air screenings" (seeing Delicatessen on the big screen outdoors in Brussels seems like nirvana to me) I can't say I know much at all about the film makers or the casts that make up the rest of the schedule but there are a few others that pop out simply from reading about them...

Liverpool has RFC Couchie all over it. "Both a geographical journey and a voyage into the interior, Lisandro Alonso’s film captures the intangible (as did Los muertos, Age d’Or Prize in 2004). A work of remarkable coherence, Liverpool is a radical film, with a plastic beauty that is rarely seen." That'll do.

Der Freund sounds like it could be creepy fun.

Ultranova has a striking still and could be a success in the vein of Wes Anderson.

I could go on speculating -- Das Herz ist ein dunkler Wald (The Heart is A Dark Forest ) has the Tom Twyker stamp of approval, which could be anything really -- and Saddo Bakeshon (Sad Vacation) sounds like it could be the return of a promising talent.

Whatever the case may be, Paddy, you're in an enviable position to get a look at some films that may never see the inside of a darkened theater in this neck of the woods. I hope you get to see at least a few of them and can get a word or two out to the internets about them.

1 comment:

Padraic said...

Well, I guess I have to go now!

I had already penciled in Delicatessen and Erick Nietzsche, but thanks for the other recommendations. I hadn't even seen half of those because they are outside of competition and are just being shown to find Belgian distribution. Truth be told, they look more interesting than most of the official competition.

No chance for an all-inclusive pass for this fest (not offered), but I'll certainly be getting the 6 films for 25 euro pass and hitting the free open-air screenings.

The last festival marathon produced such inspiration (guilt?) to write and create that I'm going to try to repeat it.

Nice review!