Flanders I spring issue puts spotlight on rising stars of Flemish cinema
by Aurore Engelen
22/03/2011 - In its spring issue, Flemish film magazine Flanders I puts the spotlight on Michael R. Roskam's sensational Bullhead [trailer, film focus], featuring its star Mathias Schoenaerts on the front cover.
Flanders I met with the actor and learned that the physical transformation he underwent for the role was no easy task. Having begun two years before the shoot, it involved lifting a great deal of weights and gulping down no fewer than 3,000 cans of tuna.
The onscreen result was fortunately worth the sacrifice, especially as Schoenaerts had to turn down a second audition for David Cronenberg’s next film in order to concentrate on preparing his character. His staggering performance, which didn’t go unnoticed at the latest Berlinale, should be a passport to international projects in the near future.
Having originally trained as a director, he also reveals that he is preparing his debut directorial film, Frankie, a documentary portrait of his childhood friend: a father, ex-convict and martial arts champion who also happens to be one-legged. The unstoppable Schoenaerts will also be appearing on stage next year in a production by theatre director Jan Fabre.
Flanders I also met with Bavo Defurne to discuss his debut feature, a coming-of-age movie which traces the transition to adolescence of young Pim, who discovers he has feelings for his neighbour Gino. Noordzee, Texas is adapted from Andre Sollie’s short story Nooit Gaat Dit Over and produced by Indeed Films.
Although Defurne doesn’t consider himself the gay Flemish director, the film is one of the first to show a teenage homosexual love story. Moreover, the casting was tricky because some potential young actors’ parents were very reticent. Distributed by KFD (Kinepolis Film Distribution), the film was released in theatres on March 16.
Finally, among the news-in-brief, readers learn that after his unusual Little Baby Jesus of Flandr [trailer] (presented in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2010), Gust van den Berghe is returning with an equally unusual project, Blue Bird, adapted from Maurice Maeterlinck’s The Blue Bird and shot in Togo. It will be produced by Minds Meet.
(Translated from French)