10 essential Belgian movie posters – Part 1

To mark the release of The Frame, a unique UHD TV allowing you to broadcast your favorite artwork when it’s switched off,  we join forces with Samsung and handpick 10 iconic Belgian movie posters. From the essential (C’est arrivé près de chez vous) to the graphic (Bullhead) and the tragic (La Merditude des Choses), we zoom in on the artwork that positioned these movies for longevity.

1 – C’est arrivé près de chez vous, (Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, Benoît Poelvoorde – 1992)

A cult movie, if ever there was one, C’est arrivé pres de chez vous is a mockumentary that sees a team of journalists follow Ben, a lowly crimininal who indiscriminately targets pensioners, dwarfs and guards alike. Peppered with memorable quotes, the utter indignation from the media as well as, and maybe above all else, Benoit Poelvoorde’s career-defining performance quickly gave the movie an international reach. And, precisely because of its sudden international success, the movie’s poster – designed by Pascal Lebrun, who painted Poelvoorde’s portrait based on a photograph of him – was adapted to suit different cultural sensibilities, resulting in the French poster seeing the baby’s pacifier removed, and a much less violent version for traditionally febrile American audiences. An absolute classic of Belgian cinematography excellence, and one that set the tone for many future films to come.

2 – De helaasheid der dingen (Felix Van Groeningen – 2009)

Gunther is 13 and lives with his grandmother, his father and his three uncles. Far from being what is generally considered an ideal family, his is a life consumed by alcoholism, unemployment and small-time jobs here and there. A masterful film by Felix Van Groeningen – part funny, touching and human – that offers audiences a sneak peak into the lives of a beautiful, and endearing, bunch of losers. Both tragic and triumphant, just as its official poster, which features photography by long-time Van Groeningen collaborator Ruben Impens, with whom he also worked with on the more recent Belgica.

3 – The Sound of Belgium (Jozef Devillé – 2012)

It took director Jozef Devillé over six years to make The Sound of Belgium, which charts and documents Belgium’s oft-forgotten yet invaluable contribution to electronic music. Taking in everything from the glory days of Bonzaï, the locally-infused blend of EBM and the New Beat generation, the film reads like an 86-minute insight into a time when parties were free and plentiful. And that cover – employing, rather logically, the symbol most closely associated with the scene at the time – says it all.

4 – Toto le heros (Jaco Van Dormael – 1991)

Convinced of having been swapped at birth with his neighbor, Thomas Van Hassebroek imagines how his life could have been different, drawing upon childhood memories to construct a seemingly new reality. A poetic movie which catapulted Jaco Van Dormael on to the international scene thanks to it winning the Caméro d’Or award at Cannes, thanks in no small part to his collaboration with Francois Schuiten, the celebrated Belgian cartoonist.

5 – Rundskop (Michaël R. Roskam – 2011)

Violent, somber and hair-raising, Bullhead delves into the macabre world of hormone trafficking on Belgian farms. A powerful performance by the then relatively unknown Matthias Schoenaerts, who put on 30kg for the role, and a movie that ushered in a new era in Flemish cinema. The movie’s poster – simple and to the point – was created by Amira Daoudi, who’s considerable contribution to Belgian cinema is evident in the many local movies she’s worked on, from Little Baby Jesus of Flandr and Blue Birds to I am the Same, I am Another and Ants on a Shrimp.

More infos on Samsung new TV: samsung.com/be_fr/tvs/theframe/apercu