Over the past two decades, Belgian cinema, be it from Flanders or from the French speaking part of the country, has risen to prominence in the international filmmaking arena, boasting richly diverse films that consistently garner critical praise and worldwide anticipation. From the unsettling but still urgently relevant MAN BITES DOG which rocked the Cannes Film Festival in 1992 and the quirky and vibrant tale of identity mix-up in TOTO THE HERO, to the monumental saga of DAENS or the Oscar nominated EVERYBODY FAMOUS, the outstanding thrillers
MEMORY OF A KILLER and DOSSIER K, and the string of critically-lauded dramatic works by the brilliant filial duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (ROSETTA, THE SON, THE CHILD, LORNA’S SILENCE), to the gripping social drama ILLEGAL and this year’s impressive crime drama BULLHEAD, the Belgian film industry has proven its dexterity in tone and its originality in aesthetic.
Last year, the Consulate General of Belgium in Los Angeles, launched a monthly Belgian Film Series in partnership with the American Cinemathèque as a celebration of Belgium’s Presidency of the European Union in the second half on 2010. Thanks to the great success of the series, ‘Grit and Whimsy’ returns on a permanent basis starting April 2011. Each third Wednesday of the month is Belgian movie night at the American Cinemathèque in Santa Monica! October’s film from this series is OXYGEN. This film will be screened on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011 at 7:30 pm at the Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403.
(2010, Kinepolis Film Distribution, 98 min.) Dir.: Hans Van Nuffel.
Tom (Stef Aerts) and his brother both suffer from cystic fibrosis, a degenerative lung disease. Tom’s short life expectancy weighs heavily upon him until a trip to the hospital introduces him to Xavier (Wouter Hendrickx), a CF patient with a much more optimistic outlook, and Eline (Anemone Valcke), a quirky girl under quarantine for an infection. These two boost Tom’s spirits tremendously, until the young man falls into a tailspin when his brother dies. But it turns out that a dose of friendship – and love – can work wonders, even if it isn’t a cure. As romantic and funny as it is heartbreaking,
OXYGEN is a compelling drama about making the most of the time you have.
Belgian Film Series screenings in Los Angeles is organized by the Consulate General of Belgium in Los Angeles, in cooperation with Flanders Image and Wallonie Bruxelles Images, with the support of E.L.M.A. (European Languages and Movies in America).