Best Shortfilms from Belgium

Best Shortfilms from Belgium




Drama
Belgium | 15min | 2011
„Fred and Marie“ by Nicolas Dedecker is a film dedicated to... well, a lot of couples in the world. We understand that Fred and Marie have some relationship issues from the very first dialogue, but they’re trying to make it work because it’s their anniversary. Fred is actually a typical example of an abusive partner: one moment he’s furious and the next – he’s tender. That behavior pattern is the reason these kind of relationships don’t fall apart right away: because of the tender moments – there’s always some hope.  Fred keeps telling Marie what to do. He won’t let her wear the dress she picked out for that night. His excuse is that she has no taste, but it’s obvious that he’s so jealous that he would gladly wrap her up and cover every inch of her body. Two of their friends announce that they’re getting married, Marie looks at Fred and we can actually see the horror on her face. We know that she wouldn’t want her relationship to last forever, but she also doesn’t have the courage to end it. In the end, Marie stands up to make a speech, and we all wait for her to finally break up with Fred, but she doesn’t. And that’s a great film ending because it provokes action in real life.

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Comedy
Belgium | 7min | 2001
Film „Gridlock“ by Dirk Beliën starts off with a potentially funny situation: a nervous, jumpy guy, addicted to anti-stress pills is stuck in a traffic jam. Lyrics of the song playing in the background (It’s a perfect sunny day at the California shore) are in contrast with the cold, windy weather and of course – his mood.  He phones home, obviously to let his wife know that he’ll be home late, but his little daughter picks up the phone. That’s where the film starts shifting from comedy to drama: the daughter says that „mommy is upstairs with uncle Wim.“  We don’t hear what he tells his daughter (which is a perfect way to build tension), but the result of his request is tragic: mommy and uncle Wim end up dead. The man told his daughter to knock on the bedroom door and tell her mom that daddy is coming home soon. So the woman rushes to the bathroom, slips and breaks her head. Uncle Wim tries to escape through a window and falls into a frozen pool. The plot twist is that the man dialed the wrong number. So the story shifts back to comedy at the very end. One of the best ways to tell a story with a sad ending and not make it pathetic is to wrap it up in humor.

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Romance
Belgium | 24min | 2010
„Tabu“ by Vincent Coen is a really bold film about a young man exploring his Belgian roots. By the acting style and the relationship between him and his parents, it resembles a typical family comedy or even a sitcom. He just broke up with his girlfriend and his parents are determined to cheer him up. So, his father sends him to a restaurant called Tabu, a place he was very fond of while he lived in Belgium.  There he meets a woman and falls in love with her right away. It turns out that she’s his real mother. The problem is, he had absolutely no idea, so they had sex and even managed to fall in love right away. The main quality of this film is that you really don’t guess their real relationship, but later on, you remember that there were some hints: she prepared his food, he was really fond of her breasts, she’s older than him... Once we know that she is his mother, we can easily be disgusted by their kiss in the end. But as long as we stick to the idea that this film represents going back to your roots and „mother tongue“, we can enjoy the film’s bold plot twist and its symbolic.

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