Grit and Whimsy: The Best of Recent Belgian Cinema


Over the past two decades, Belgian cinema, be it from Flanders or from the French speaking part of the country, has risen to prominence in the international filmmaking arena, boasting richly diverse films that consistently garner critical praise and worldwide anticipation. From the unsettling but still urgently relevant MAN BITES DOG which rocked the Cannes Film Festival in 1992 and the quirky and vibrant tale of identity mix-up in TOTO THE HERO, to the monumental saga of DAENS or the Oscar nominated EVERYBODY FAMOUS, the outstanding thriller MEMORY OF A KILLER, and the string of critically-lauded dramatic works by the brilliant filial duo Jean- Pierre and Luc Dardenne (ROSETTA, THE SON, THE CHILD, LORNA’S SILENCE), to last year’s impressive THE MISFORTUNATES, the surprising thriller LOFT or the hilariously wacky bigscreen installment of the stop-animated A TOWN CALLED PANIC, the Belgian film industry has proven its dexterity in tone and its originality in aesthetic.

Belgium assumes the Presidency of the European Union from July – December of 2010, and in celebration of this position, is partnering with the American Cinematheque to present Grit and Whimsy, a series showcasing six recent films to come out of Belgium, every third Wednesday of the six coming months. The line-up includes top-notch films that range from buoyant to heavy-hitting, such as the breathtaking thriller DOSSIER K., the coming-of-age comedy PRIVATE LESSONS, the delightful romp THE OVER THE HILL BAND, and the dramatic ANGEL AT SEA. Belgium’s submission to the Best Foreign Language Film of the 2011 Academy Awards and a surprise movie in December will be on the program as well. This film series will illustrate once more the great capacity of Belgian film production to tell new stories, funny or not, but all captivating, which are only waiting to be seen and heard by viewers around the globe.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 – 7:30 PM
Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
DOSSIER K., 2009, Kinepolis Film Distribution, 120 min. Dir. Jan Verheyen. Anchored by strong leading performances and gorgeously sleek cinematography, this taut thriller follows a duo of underdog policemen (a terrific Koen De Bouw and Werner De Smedt) as they unravel a labyrinthine network of deceit and corruption – extending from rural Albanian mafia warfare to the Belgian police bureau – behind one man’s murder. A box office success in Belgium, this gritty and morally intriguing tale of misguided revenge is sure to dazzle local audiences.

Sponsors of the Best of Recent Belgian Cinema are Consulate General of the Kingdom of Belgium, ELMA, Flanders Image and WBI.


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Sara Tehrani

Sara Tehrani, is a film publicist and a fan of international cinema

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