Cinema for me is…
1. Describe yourself in ten words.
Enthusiastic, self-willed, clumsy, curious, detail-obsessed, a social loner, grateful and dedicated.
2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
Always trying to learn vs. overanalyzing (my own and other people’s) stupidities.
3. Your dream job?
Film programmer or director/screenwriter while still being connected to the educational field.
4. What do you like most about your country?
The educational opportunities I received and the amazing people (Belgian or not) I got and still get to meet.
5. Your favorite dish in your country?
Homemade shrimp croquettes with fried parsley and a dash of lemon juice.
6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
Zeeën van tijd hebben. (Literally: To have seas of time)
7. What European capital have you visited lately?
8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?
Spain because I was born there and because it is a country that is permanently tangled up with itself which makes it a quite fascinating place. Germany or France is definitely an option as well.
9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
Possibilities, myths & pragmatism.
10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
Amongst so many other films, Daisies (Věra Chytilová, 1966, CZ).
11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
Sphinx Cinema in Ghent because it offers an exquisite film programme, hosts nice events (like the sneak preview and an LGBTQ+ film festival) and there is a late-night discount.
12. Who is your movie hero?
The Girl in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014, US) and Dawn Wiener (from the films of Todd Solondz) are quite cool.
13. Which movie director would you like to be?
Agnes Vardà. I have the impression she always prioritized being human over anything else, which is quite meritorious and gives her films that very particular sensibility.
14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
The fainting scene of Pepa (Carmen Maura) in Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988, ES) because it is so beautifully meta.
Pepa has just been left by her unreliable lover, Iván. Both of them are voice actors and are working on the same film, Nicolas Ray’s Johnny Guitar. Pepa is reading her lines in the recording studio in response to Ivan’s previously dubbed questions, which is obviously quite painful. Especially when the questions become increasingly applicable to her emotional state which causes Pepa to faint. Almodóvar would not be Almodóvar, though, if the scene would end here: Pepa manages to get back up and starts her journey, full of gazpacho and unwanted visitors, towards a more honest future.
15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
This is not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, 2019, LS/ZA/IT)
System Crasher (Nora Fingscheidt, 2019, DE)
Josep (Aurel, 2020, FR/ES)
16. Which film character do you most identify with?
Antoine Doinel / Frances Halladay (they are basically the same person).
17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
The soundtrack of Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius (2016, BR) and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story (2019, US).
18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
Richard Linklater’s Before-trilogy. Yes, all three of them.
19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
Greta Gerwig or Phoebe Waller-Bridge. And while they are at it, why not letting them write and direct it as well?
20. Which talent would you most like to have?
Being as superb as Jacinda Ardern or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (It is talent combined with loads of work, vision and dedication, of course.)
21. What is your most treasured possession?
The engagement ring of my grandmother.
22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Always trying to stand up for myself and the people and ideas I believe in.
23. What is your motto?
“Trust your boredom” (from “The Choreographer’s Handbook” by Jonathan Burrows).