For the Palme d'Or—winning DARDENNEBROTHER& filmmaking is war. The Belgian boys tell The List Kaleem Aftab
\.r"./'t‘.er: tlie [Jarot-ni're brothers talk, it Is hairl tr; fathor'r that there are two separate mm n", at xvork l_u(, three years younger than Jean-Pierre, is taller and tlunrier Yet the physrcal (liffe'e'ir e'i ‘ail to mask an llllllll‘ﬂrllwilJlt‘ bond that ties the two llii‘xtilIUElLl‘,’ together A response to a guestroe rizyen by one brother is always supported by the nodding
'She is a soldier, a survivor who tries everything to escape. Her
battle is to find a job.’
approval of the other. 'We make films together beraiise we have no chorce,’ they say ’lt is post something that happened 2‘) years ago. We cannot imagine making a film alone. It is (lllll( tilt to say why because we are not tran‘pir'ent
l'he )aitlenne brothers have pr'oduterl over 60 documentary features since 1975, and the free
Imagine that you
flowing hand-held style associated With them has been carried over into the four fiction films they have also made. Watching Rosetta, wrnner of the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes last year, it is sometimes difficult to believe that the film is not a documentary. The camera follows first time actor Emilie Dequenne like an odOur hanging over a pair of old running shoes Luc suggests that the camera is used in this way to make the film feel like a war mowe and not a documentary.
’In our mind, we wanted to follow someone like a soldier of war, it is her body and movement which rs the boundary and not her envrronment. She rs a soldier, a survivor who tries everything to escape. Her battle is to find a job. She lives in a caravan that is like a campsite for soldiers, her mother being a casualty of war. For us, finding a JOb is like war, in order to get one you have to take out someone else.’
The bitter truth of the travails of a working class Belgian girl has more than a passing resemblance to the battered economies of Britain's old mining towns. It is the age old tale of the pushing to the margins of an underclass in a society where the gap between rich and poor still continues to grow.
The brothers often base their fictional characters on persons they have encountered while filming documentaries. The idea for their last feature, La Promesse, arose after meeting a man supplying immigrants
w m as. «ass.- 2: ;
War correspondents: Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne
With dilapidated basspoi'ts rettirr‘ twr "ee lal‘o:,r
Anrl, a» a"<: ha" i) t-r'e kit. of their :"’):tliii'.i<i'1 ),:’.'.'t) Slll‘tlllilllt”) my retrxku'. ' 'i a ,ii'i'r}
girl “.‘uoikinr; in a glam fac'oi, .'.i‘o they entotintererl axltne ri‘aki'iri their (l()(tllli(*."ritt.’,, l/le’ f: fine ()7‘it" ‘s reminded of then seen: wily psﬂhit link
'Spontaneiirisiy, both T: r: i’tll'. of her when .‘.e inane Rosetta, despite the fact that if ‘arl 'r-ee't a «i'n Tilllt‘ srnte \.‘1()i‘(i(l 8M" I‘ve ‘ Ni it)“, w ails Jean—Pierre ".".’e (l (2 iv. 7 lt‘.:t".'. it, but we toi‘staiitlv tl.rv.;r1h? rtllil .t ler'
et up one morning, go out into the street . and find that no one is there. You’re all alone in the world.
STARTS 25th FEBRUARY
A FlLM BY ALEJANDRO AMENABAR
i abre.los mjo ..
[open your eyes]
\‘Jantino tr: make films in \".llltll tit tror‘al thara< ters highlight the problems or our tiiries is a lHt)ll‘.’dIl()ll tor the brothers Ann tl‘ey are etitially tt‘i’itt"l‘it”l that tlie workers they form upon get a thanre to match their films lhe brothers toiireil Bt‘l(]lllill and frame \.‘.'rth a print of [a Prornesse, ‘~.llt)“.‘.lll(] it to people in etlutatron (entres, pr'rsons and Ill (heap ticket (iiieinas lhere is no plan to do the same \‘Jlll‘. Rosetta lor their new film, the Dardenne brothers want the atitlience to < orne into the (inertia
Rosetta opens Fri 25 Feb. See review.
t7 Feb-2 Mar 2000 THE llST21