Filmmakers Andrea Arnold and Harry Kümel will receive the 2021 Joseph Plateau Honorary Award on Wednesday 20 October in Ghent.
Arnold receives the award after the screening of his intimate documentary Cow. Kümel receives award ahead of performance by Condor Gruppe, who performs new live score of cult classic by Kümel Daughters of Darkness. Film Fest Gent honors their impressive contribution to the seventh art with this work award.
“Thanks to Andrea Arnold’s films, we get to know our fellow human beings better”, explains program director Wim De Witte. “Arnold makes full use of the power of cinema: to make the invisible visible. “
Although Arnold initially set her sights on an acting career, in the 1990s she switched her roles on the popular children’s TV show. No. 73 for film training in Los Angeles.
In 1998, she made her first short films Milk to Dog. His third short film Wasp, with Nathalie Press and Danny Dyer, immediately received an Oscar in 2003.
His first feature film does not go unnoticed either. The psychological thriller Red route, which largely follows the principles of Dogma 95 by Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, was well received at the Cannes Film Festival, earning it the Jury Prize. His second film Aquarium (2009), with a young Michael Fassbender on the verge of breaking through, again wins the Jury Prize at Cannes.
Arnold’s adaptation of The Wuthering Heights (2011) ignores all the clichés of costumed drama and leaves only Brontë’s essential ingredients: desire, revenge, and the gray, inhospitable Yorkshire Moors.
Arnold then travels to the United States, where she and a group of non-professional actors, assisted by Shia LaBeouf and Riley Keough, American honey (2016) completed. This road movie earned him a third Jury Prize.
Andrea Arnold often portrays young people on the margins of society struggling to escape a stifling working-class environment. His poetic camera work, however, sets his work apart from the often dark social-realistic films of a previous generation of compatriots, such as Ken Loach and Alan Clarke.
Arnold’s penchant for non-professional magnetic actors and her seasoned social vision of the places she captures on film give her work a distinctive authenticity.
With his latest film, the documentary Cow, she is looking again for the outsider who is being devoured by our capitalist society, this time literally.
“Our relationship with the millions of non-human lives we use is an important part of our existence,” says Arnold. “I have Cow made to invite people to think about it.
As one of the most esteemed British directors of his generation, Arnold is also a source of inspiration for the next one.
“Harry Kümel is hard to beat as a stylist,” says De Witte. “He is masterful in exploring and perfectly representing the boundaries between appearance and reality. “
Kümel made his debut in 1968 with Mr. Hawarden, in which an Austrian woman ends up on the run in Belgium and takes on the identity of Mr. Hawarden, based on the novel by Filip De Pillecyn.
Then Kümel made the erotic vampire movie Daughters of Darkness with French film star Delphine Seyrig as Hungarian Countess Elisabeth Bathory. The film has become a cult success around the world.
The restored version, released last year in various cinemas in Belgium and France, has again attracted a lot of people – even fifty years after the original release.
In 1971, Kümel chose none other than Orson Welles for his film adaptation of Malpertuis, the horror story of Belgian writer Jean Ray. With its plush decor, it has become ambitious Malpertuis Selected in 1972 for the official competition of the Cannes Film Festival, among others: Pictures by Robert Altman and Solaris van Andrej Tarkovski.
Kümel’s TV series The arrival of Joachim Stiller, a time capsule from Antwerp from the 1970s and based on the magical-realistic novel by Antwerp author Hubert Lampo, confirmed its success, this time on the small screen.
give it away, Kümel’s most recent film, was released in 1991, one hundred hundred years after the publication of Louis Couperus’ novel. Since the start of his directorial career, Kümel has been a much appreciated and sought-after cinema teacher.
Depending on who is speaking, Kümel is described as a provocateur or a living legend, and everything in between. But what is clear is that he is above all a visionary filmmaker who has never been satisfied with the limits imposed on Flemish cinema.
He put Belgian genre cinema on the international map and thus made a significant contribution to the history of Belgian cinema. His daring, both thematically and stylistically, paved the way for many Flemish directors working today and is still being rediscovered by new budding filmmakers.
The annual Joseph Plateau Honorary Awards honor guests for their exceptional contribution to the art of cinema. The prize itself is a replica of Professor Joseph Plateau’s Phenakistiscope, a device with which he could “set in motion” a series of successive drawings.
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