Films

Films of the month

Figures of Dissent: Cinema of Politics / Politics of Cinema

by Stoffel Debuysere

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How can the relationship between cinema and politics be conceived today? This question was the starting point for Figures of Dissent, an extensive series of discussions, dialogues and screenings organised by Stoffel Debuysere over the course of the last four years. Some of the thoughts and doubts that simmered as a result of these encounters were expressed in the form of letters. This manuscript assembles six of those letters, addressed to fellow filmmakers, artists, producers and theorists. They are six tentative forms of study that blend various impressions, associations and digressions in an attempt to make sense of this conundrum that has been haunting the past century: how does the art of moving shadows pertain to the realities of political struggle?

Besides being a driving spirit behind the Courtisane Festival in Ghent, Stoffel Debuysere is a researcher, curator and writer working in the field of cinema and audiovisual arts.

You can order the book on the website of the publishing house MER. Paper Kunsthalle: merpaperkunsthalle.org

War Is Over

Over the next two months (until 2 November) Cinema Nova in Brussels organises a programme on the aftermath of recent and past wars. It deploys an arsenal of films and events that each in their own way deal with the psychological, territorial and social outcome of the (self-)proclaimed post-war periods. Don’t miss the harrowing Homeland: Iraq Year Zero (Abbas Fahdel, 2015) and the magisterial The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1943).

—  nova-cinema.org

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Cinephile pilgrimage

Every year the Flemish-Dutch House deBuren invites a dozen young writers for a residency in Paris. Film critic Ruben Demasure seized the opportunity to go on a cinephile pilgrimage in the French capital. You can find the Dutch text on our website:

‘Mijn verhaal is een persoonlijke pelgrimage en filmviering. Een grand tour langs filmhistorisch en bouwkundig erfgoed in de stad waar 120 jaar geleden het concept van de publieke filmvertoning ontstond. Art et essai: een essay in acht scènes.’

All My Life: The Films of Bruce Baillie
(L’Âge d’or Festival)

Taking its cue from Luis Buñuel’s film, the L’Âge d’or Prize was conceived by the founder of the Royal Belgian Film Archive, Jacques Ledoux, to support the production of poetic, subversive and innovative films. In 2014, it became the L’Âge d’or Festival and is today, in compliance with the initial objectives, a bold annual film programme aiming to deconstruct and criticise conformism in both cinema and society.

This year, this marvellous festival runs from 6 to 11 October at CINEMATEK in Brussels and introduces, among others, the work of the Lebanese artist duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige and the work of Peter Gidal, a key figure of the independent cinema and the academia in Great Britain. In 1966 he helped to establish the prolific London Film-makers’ Co-op. In addition the festival focuses on Asian experimental cinema and the avant-garde of the American West Coast of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Check our selection on sabzian.be

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Part of this latter programme is a retrospective of the magical work of Bruce Baillie.

‘A poetry in light… an alchemist… a tender anarchist. Bruce Baillie makes me see more colours in the world.
I was lucky to see his films in 16 mm. This was such a religious experience, almost, because the way he controls the lights and colours is so organic. Later, I found out that he sometimes developed his films himself or that he sent specific instructions to the lab, and that’s so admirable. Especially now that everything is automatic. I would call watching his films “religious” because they are so profound and it’s like watching the wonder of nature.‘ (Apichatpong Weerasethakul on Bruce Baillie)

The second quote stems from Bjorn Gabriels’ interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul for Sabzian.


Sabzian is a collection of online reflections on cinema and maps cinephile events in Belgium and its surroundings. Articles are written in Dutch, English and French