Belgian brothers share film-making wisdom at Cannes

22nd May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Two-time Cannes winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne this week dispensed technical tips and practical advice on the art of movie-making at the film festival's prestigious Cinema Masterclass.

CANNES - The Belgian brothers recounted how they first got into the movie business by filming residents of a run-down housing estate talking about a time in their lives when they stood up against an injustice.

That gave them a taste for using real people and not professional actors in their naturalistic films which focus on lower class life in Belgium.

"We don't want the viewer to be distracted by a known actor," Jean-Luc told an audience of several hundred cinema fans in a talk lasting nearly two hours and interspersed with clips of the brothers' films.

In the wake of Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino or Wong Kar-Wai, who have all offered the class at Cannes, the Belgian film-makers talked about how they film and write together, as well as the meaning behind their films.

They won the Palme d'Or for Rosetta in 1999 and a second for The Child in 2005. Only Francis Ford Coppola and Emir Kusturica have also scooped the award twice.

The brothers told the Cannes Masterclass how they began their careers as assistants to director Armand Gatti, then shot several documentaries before moving on to fiction.

Their third film, The Promise brought them critical acclaim and international recognition in 1996.

Asked what it was like to make films as brothers, Luc quipped: "When we were kids we were rivals like all kids, but I think we've got beyond that stage now."


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