Artist in Focus: Philippe Grandrieux

Cinema as a sensual experience: this understanding is the basis of the extraordinary work of Philippe Grandrieux (FR, 1954). The French filmmaker, who studied at INSAS in Brussels, has made quite an impression during the past decade with feature films such as Sombre (1998) and La Vie Nouvelle (2002), but his idiosyncratic oeuvre also includes documentaries and video art works, many of which have never been shown in Belgium before. His cinematic vision is clearly inspired by the modernist ideas of artists such as Antonin Artaud and Jean Epstein, who saw in cinema the potential to grasp the essential power and brutal beauty of reality. As very few have, Grandrieux succeeds in inscribing the most archaic and primitive sensations in the materiality of the medium. This is a cinema that vibrates and shimmers: cinematic space is transformed into a plastic mass of light, sound, colour and movement, in which form and content, figure and ground, body and matter, the abstract and the figurative fuse. At the occasion of the festival, an extensive selection of his work will be shown in Ghent and Brussels, including the first part of the film series “Il se peut que la beaute ait renforce notre resolution”, which celebrates filmmakers who in the course of the last century dedicated their work and life to resistance and emancipation.