Courtisane festival 2011

30 March, 2011 - 3 April, 2011
  • Ghent

The Courtisane Festival celebrates its tenth anniversary. A reason to be proud, but not an excuse to slow down. The search for relevant and alternative cinematographic forms and experiences brings every year new surprises and revelations. Resistant and poignant, experimental and reflexive, complex and sensual: the works in the programme represent a kaleidoscopic mosaic of styles, media, gestures, languages and emotions; a patchwork of recent and historical works that share an insatiable hunger for experimentation and a creative obstinacy.

On top of the yearly selection of recent film and video works by Belgian and international artists, Courtisane celebrates the work of several "Artists in Focus": a committed activist filmmaker (Sylvain George), a poet of 16mm film (Robert Fenz) and a seminal avant-garde filmmaker (Robert Beavers). They will each present a selection of their own work as well as a compilation of works by other filmmakers that have influenced their practice. In the same context Sylvain George and Robert Fenz will also collaborate with, respectively, jazz legends William Parker and Wadada Leo Smith. Two unique encounters of cinematographic ingenuity and singular music improvisation which will surely generate sparks.

Film Socialisme, After Empire, Qu'ils reposent en revolte (des figures de guerre), Meditations on Revolution ... Many of the titles in this year's festival programme reveal that a combative questioning of the dominant socia-political system is not only expressed in terms of a radical philosophical and activist discourse, but also artistically and cinematographically. The question of what "political cinema" can mean - and what it means to make cinema politically - is the implicit red thread that runs through the programme of Courtisane 2011. A fit challenge for troubled times.

"Voir" (to see) is also "recevoir" (to receive) as Jean-Luc Godard explains using one of his cherished word games. The possible dialogue between image and imagination, sight and insight, looking and learning, is something that Courtisane holds very dear. What is the role and the potential of images in contemporary media culture? What place can Cinema take in a world in many ways increasingly formatted? These are questions that Courtisane wants to explore in all modesty. The political undertone of this festival edition is not solely inspired by current events; it's the logical evolution of a constant learning process. By trial and error.