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Ron Reed

Other Dardenne Films

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In addition to their much-celebrated, available-in-North-America films (LA PROMESSE, ROSETTA, THE SON, L'ENFANT), the Dardenne brothers have produced a tremendous number of documentaries and a pair of fiction feature films. I'd love to know more about all those.

Here are blurbs I've cobbled together about those two fiction features. If anybody knows more about them, I'd love to know if the descriptions are pretty much accurate...

FALSCH (1986, Belgium, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, w/ Jean Gruault fr Rene Kalisky play)

After years of documentary work, the Dardenne brothers turned to a play by a Belgian playwright of Polish extraction for their first fiction feature. Joe's large Jewish family gathers in a strangely unpopulated airport to greet him, but as the warmth of their welcome gives way to confrontation and revelation, we realize this is a waiting area for death, and that Joe is the last family member to be killed in the Holocaust. Unreleased in North America.

JE PENSE A VOUS ("Thinking Of You," 1992, Belgium/Luxembourg/France, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, w/ Jean Gruault)

The Dardenne brothers' second fictional feature, and their second collaboration with Jean Gruault, who penned many Truffaut screenplays (THE GREEN ROOM, THE NUN, JULES AND JIM) as well as Rossellini's 1976 film, THE MESSIAH. Fabrice is a steelworker whose marriage is strained when he loses his job. While the film won prizes at some small festivals, it failed to find general distribution, due in part to the limited control the Dardenne brothers had over various stages of the production. This frustration led them to a more independent approach to the process, and the creation of a series of minimalistic masterpieces which won top prizes at Cannes and accolades around the world; ROSETTA, LA PROMESSE, THE SON and L'ENFANT.

Edited by Ron

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In my PhD research on the Dardenne brothers, I've discovered that the Liege production company, Dérives, which produced the brothers' early documentary films mainly shown on Belgium TV, has a Vimeo page. Nearly all of the Dardennes early work is available here for purchase, including versions with English subtitles (which is a rarity). I don't know how long these will be available, as many of the videos were uploaded November 2017. You'll have to search individually for each film, and they're only available for purchase. But for all you Dardennes purists, this is a fantastic find.

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