Malpertuis (1972) – Harry Kümel

This screening is part of The Power of Belgian Cinema.

It includes a lecture that starts at 6:30 PM.
The film itself will begin around 7:45 PM.
There is also a Q&A afterwards.

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20 February 2024 | 18.30 (lecture) | 19.45 (film)

119 minutes | OV-NL st EN (Dutch language, English subtitles)
Nederlandse tekts onder // Texte français en bas

Lecture “Belgian Cult Cinema” by Ernest Mathijs + MALPERTUIS (1972)
This is the first in “The Power of Belgian Cinema”, a series of combined lectures and screenings highlighting the accomplishments of Belgian filmmakers on an international level. Over the course of eleven evenings, eleven Belgian film scholars will visit Cinema RITCS to discuss important movements, films, filmmakers in the moving history of Belgian cinema. Each lecture is followed by a screening of a Belgian film (with English subtitles). The screening is then followed by a short Q&A with the film scholar or an invited filmmaker.

18:30 – 19:30 : Lecture
19:45 – 21:45 : Film
21:45 – 22:15 : Q&A

About the speaker
Ernest Mathijs is a full professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, lecturer/researcher at EhB-RITCS, and former professor at the VUB. He researches cult film, genre cinema, David Cronenberg, and European horror.

About the film
A fresh-faced blond sailor is shanghaied from a ’20s port full of sleazy bars and art-nouveau mansions, and held captive in the endless corridors of a crumbling Gothic pile called Malpertuis: we don’t discover why until the end, in a denouement as outrageous and devastating as any ever filmed. Kümel elaborates the mystery like a master, drawing much of his design and composition from Surrealist painting (Magritte, de Chirico), and weaving serpentine patterns from the intrigues between the many characters. Welles is at his most mountainous as the house’s patriarch; Hampshire is a revelation, playing three contrasted women. (Time Out, 1990)

About the director
Harry Kümel (b. 1940) is a Belgian director of features films, documentaries and television programmes. In 1968 he made his first feature film, Monsieur Hawarden, about a wealthy Austrian woman who disguises herself as a man to avoid a trial. His lesbian vampire film Les lèvres rouges (1971), developed into a cult film. Kümel managed to rope his idol Orson Welles into playing the lead role in his film Malpertuis (1971-1973). In 1991 he filmed Couperus’ classic novel Eline Vere. The film was unsuccessful, the critics were predominantly negative and the attendance was disappointing. Kümel complained afterwards about the poor production conditions. That was his last feature film to date. In Kümel’s work, surrealism and bizarre romance played a major role. For many years he taught at the Film and Television Academy in Amsterdam, where his students included Martin Koolhoven and Mike van Diem.

Lezing “Belgian Cult Cinema” door Ernest Mathijs + MALPERTUIS (1972)
Dit is de eerste film in de reeks “THE POWER OF BELGIAN CINEMA”, waarin telkens een klassieke Belgische film wordt voorgesteld met een Engelstalige lezing. De film wordt daarna vertoond met Engelse ondertiteling. 
Blonde matroos Yann probeert het geheim te ontsluieren van Malpertuis, een labyrint dat nog meer gangen heeft dan Mariënbad. Kümel verzamelde een internationale cast voor zijn gesofisticeerde horrorfilm.
Harry Kümel zal bij de vertoning aanwezig zijn en blijft daarna ook voor een Q&A.

Conference “Belgian Cult Cinema” sur Ernest Mathijs + MALPERTUIS (1972)
C’est du premier film de la série « THE POWER OF BELGIAN CINEMA » (LA PUISSANCE DU CINÉMA BELGE), dans lequel un film belge classique est présenté avec une conférence en anglais. Le film sera ensuite projeté sous-titré en anglais.
Les Dieux déchus de l’Olympe, réincarnés dans une vieille maison de la région gantoise. Le roman maléfique de Jean Ray, avec quelques séquences tournées en Belgique par un Orson Welles démiurge.
Harry Kümel sera présent à la séance et restera ensuite pour une Q&A.

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