Author Archives: gertjanwillems

ECREA Film Studies Section

Last week, I attended the ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) conference in Lugano. At the previous ECREA conference, Eduard Cuelenaere presented our research project (together with Stijn Joye) on Dutch-Flemish film remakes for the first time. Now, two years later, it’s very nice to hear Eduard presenting on this subject again, and to see how the project has evolved in very exciting directions and how the project seems to play an important role in the current upswing in remake studies (see, e.g., this workshop on methods in remake studies in Berlin to which Eduard and the project were invited).

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At the conference, I was also elected as chair of the ECREA Film Studies Section. I’m happy to continue my work as chair for another two years, together with the two other chairs, Mariana Liz (University of Lisbon) and Sergio Villanueva Baselga (University of Barcelona). More information on our planned activities will follow soon. A big thank you to Laura Rascaroli (University College Cork), who’s stepping down after six years of much appreciated work for the Film Studies section!

University of Antwerp

I’m excited to announce that since 1 October, I’m appointed as a part-time assistant professor at the University of Antwerp! After 8 beautiful years of academic endeavours at Ghent University, my main home institution will now be the University of Antwerp, but I will still be 25% FWO postdoctoral fellow in Ghent. In Antwerp, I am connected to the department of Communication Studies, where I teach a course Modern and Contemporary Film Movements, and to the department of Literature, where I’m teaching the courses Film Genres, Adaptation in Theatre, Film and Literature, Text and Representation and Research Seminar Film.

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Guided visit by Bruno Mestdagh at Cinematek

All my courses start in February, except for the Research Seminar Film, which has already started 3 weeks ago. In this course, which I’m co-teaching with Steven Jacobs, we focus on an unknown but highly fascinating film from 1930 by Carlos Queeckers, Het leven eener grote abdij, about the history of the abbey of Tongerlo. The students make an in-depth investigation of the text, production and reception of the film, which was recently digitised by Cinematek (the Royal Belgian Film Archive). The seminar also focuses on how to present research to a broader audience, in the framework of which we visit a number of exhibitions. Last week, we visited a great exposition on the French filmmaker/multimedia artist Chris Marker, Memories of the Future, at BOZAR (the exhibition comes from the Cinémathèque française). Combining an insightful overview of his artistic work with some rare material, it’s definitely worth a visit!

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Chris Marker at BOZAR

 

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).

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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!

Summer Film School Rotterdam

Today was the first day of the Summer Film School Rotterdam, an intensive five-day programme of lectures and film screenings organized by the cinephile platform Roffa Mon Amour in co-operation with Cinea, whose yearly Summer Film College in Antwerp served as an inspiration source. The first edition of the Summer Film School Rotterdam focuses on the work of two very different directors: the provocative American filmmaker Brian de Palma and the French ‘Rive Gauche’ director Alain Resnais. The lectures on Brian de Palma are given by film critics Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin, while Alain Resnais’s films are analyzed by film scholars Patricia Pisters (University of Amsterdam) and Nadine Boljkovac (Falmouth University).

Summer Film School

Patricia Pisters’s lecture on Alain Resnais

The Summer Film School kicked off with a very inspiring lecture by Patricia Pisters. After introducing the serious and the playful Alain Resnais, she provided us with great insights into one of the major threads throughout Resnais’s oeuvre. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s writings, Pisters explained the working of and reflections on time and memory in films such as Hiroshima mon amour (1959) and particularly Je t’aime je t’aime (1968). I hadn’t seen this last film yet, and it was a delightful experience (a nice extra was to see all the Belgian references in the film, as it was shot in Ostend and Brussels). After the Resnais part of the day, Cristina Álvarez López gave an excellent introduction to the early works of Brian de Palma. Adrian Martin subsequently introduced de Palma’s cult musical Phantom of the paradise (1974), which was screened afterwards.