Belgica (film)

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Belgica
Belgica theatrical poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Felix Van Groeningen
Produced by Dirk Impens
Written by
  • Arne Sieren
  • Felix Van Groeningen
Starring
  • Stef Aerts
  • Tom Vermeir
  • Héléne Devos
  • Charlotte Vandermeersch
Music by Soulwax
Cinematography Ruben Impens
Edited by Nico Leunen
Distributed by
  • Kinepolis Film Distribution
  • Pyramide Distribution
Release date
  • 21 January 2016 (2016-01-21) (Sundance)
  • 2 March 2016 (2016-03-02) (Belgium & France)
Running time
127 minutes
Country
  • Belgium
  • France
Language Dutch
French
Budget €3.6 million[1]

Belgica is a 2016 Belgian drama film directed by Felix Van Groeningen, written by Van Groeningen and Arne Sierens. It stars Stef Aerts, Tom Vermeir, Héléne Devos, and Charlotte Vandermeersch.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2016.[2] It was released in Belgium and France on March 2, 2016, by Kinepolis Film Distribution and Pyramide Distribution.[3]

Synopsis[edit]

The film chronicles the lives of two brothers, Jo (Stef Aerts) and Frank (Tom Vermeir), who starts a live music club called 'Belgica' in Ghent, from the initial success to the later downfall.

Cast[edit]

  • Stef Aerts as Jo
  • Tom Vermeir as Frank
  • Héléne Devos as Marieke
  • Charlotte Vandermeersch as Isabelle
  • Boris Van Severen as Tim Coppens
  • Sara De Bosschere as Nikki
  • Dominique Van Malder as Manu Dewaey
  • Sam Louwyck as Rodrigo
  • Stefaan De Winter as Ferre
  • Silvanus Saow as Rudy Rasta

Production[edit]

The film was shot in Ghent between December 1, 2014 and January 10, 2015.[4] The soundtrack consists of 15 pieces of music by Soulwax, a band formed by the Dewaele brothers from Ghent, composed specifically for the movie.[5] Soulwax composed music of different styles for each of the sixteen fictional bands that performed at the club in the movie.[6]

Release[edit]

The film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2016,[2] where it opened the World Dramatic Competition.[5] Shortly after, Netflix acquired global distribution rights to the film, excluding select territories.[7] It was released in Belgium and France on March 2, 2016.[3] It was released on April 15, 2016, by Netflix.[8]

The soundtrack was released by PIAS Recordings on February 26, 2016.[9]

Reception[edit]

Van Groeningen won the Best Director prize in the World Cinema Dramatic section at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.[10] The film received a Magritte Award for Best Flemish Film at the 7th Magritte Awards.[11]

Many reviews of the film highlighted the film's soundtrack. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote "Van Groeningen catches the ebb and flow of [the brothers' success] in a very fluid way, synching up dramatic and mood shifts with apt musical choices that make the film a sensual pleasure."[12] Lanre Bakare of The Guardian praised the film's accuracy in "replicating hedonism going off the rails" instead of being "a morality tale about excess and its certain fatal consequences", also mentioning the "great Soulwax soundtrack" in their four-star review of the film.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Belgica". JP's Box-Office. 
  2. ^ a b Vlogaert, Hanne (22 January 2016). "Zo lovend is de Amerikaanse filmpers over 'Belgica'". De Morgen (in Dutch). Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Jagernauth, Kevin (24 November 2015). "Watch: First Trailer For 'Belgica,' New Film From 'Broken Circle Breakdown' Director Felix van Groeningen". Indiewire.com. Retrieved 25 May 2018. 
  4. ^ Kay, Jeremy (19 January 2016). "Sundance directors: Felix van Groeningen, 'Belgica'". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Fuller, Graham (22 January 2016). "'Belgica': Review". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Lynskey, Dorian Why Soulwax are writing music for imaginary bands The Guardian. April 5, 2016
  7. ^ Hopewell, John (17 February 2016). "Netflix Takes Sundance Director Winner 'Belgica' for Global (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  8. ^ McHenry, Jackson (31 March 2016). "What's New on Netflix: April 2016". Vulture. Retrieved 25 May 2018. 
  9. ^ Middleton, Ryan (27 January 2016). "Soulwax Unveil 'Belgica' Movie Soundtrack Tracklist". MusicTimes.com. Retrieved 19 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "2016 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners" (PDF). Sundance Film Festival. Retrieved June 19, 2018. 
  11. ^ "Les Magritte du cinéma 2017: le palmarès". Cinevox (in French). February 4, 2017. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  12. ^ McCarthy, Todd (January 21, 2016). "'Belgica': Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 19, 2018. 
  13. ^ Bakare, Lanre (22 January 2016). "Belgica review: a realistic tale of hedonism gone wrong". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 

External links[edit]