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Schoenaerts gets behind the bar for Van Groeningen in Belgica

by Aurore Engelen

17/02/2014 - The film sees the first collaboration between two sure-fire hits of Flemish cinema, Felix Van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown) and Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust & Bone)

Schoenaerts gets behind the bar for Van Groeningen in Belgica
Matthias Schoenaerts

For several years, Flemish cinema has been using the wind in its sails to reach an international audience, as is obvious from the two almost back-to-back selections of Flemish films among the latest quintet in the Oscars race for Best Foreign Film. Being a form of arthouse cinema with hipster tendencies, the success of Flemish films is down to a group of artists who export particularly well, especially thanks to their mastery of foreign languages. Last spring, Michael Roskam, who directed Bullhead [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
film profile
]
(which battled it out at the Oscars in 2012), was filming his first American movie, Animal Rescue, with Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy and the sorely missed James Gandolfini. Over the last few weeks, in support of the promotional campaign for The Broken Circle Breakdown [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
festival scope
film profile
]
in the run-up to the Oscars, contracts seem to be have been raining down on the team. The lead actress, Veerle Baetens, who has just had a full-page spread dedicated to her in Variety, is now under contract with ICM. As for the director Felix Van Groeningen, he has just signed with CAA, which also includes another rising star of Flemish cinema, Matthias Schoenaerts, among its protégés.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

The two men will also be meeting for the first time both in front of and behind the camera for the director’s next film, Belgica. Van Groeningen is abandoning adaptations, following The Misfortunates [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
film profile
]
and The Broken Circle Breakdown, in order to tell a story based on his own experiences, or rather those of his father, who set up and then had to sell a famous bar in Ghent. It is a story of the rise and fall of two brothers who have nothing in common but who join forces to take up the reins of the Belgica, a microcosmic bar in which minor and major human comedies are played out, from racism and camaraderie to fraternity and rivalry. Producing the film is faithful collaborator Menuet, as well as Pyramide Productions (France) and Topkapi (Netherlands). Match Factory will handle international sales for the movie, which should start filming in autumn, just in time to make it to Cannes. 

(Translated from French)

Stockholm University of the Arts
 

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