15 17 Oct '24

Hanne Schelstraete

Hanne Schelstraete
Function: Young Critic

I recently graduated in theatre and film studies at the University of Antwerp and am currently preparing a PhD-proposal on morality in the film theory of the École Schérer. In the meantime, I am finishing my Bachelor’s in philosophy, always seeking those precious points where philosophy and cinema approach each other. Encouraged by a previous Young Critics Workshop I attended (at the MOOOV Film Festival in 2019), I now work as a freelance film critic for Belgian film magazines such as Fantômas and Humbug.

Cinephiliac Moment

My cinephiliac flame started burning when, while watching Eric Rohmer’s Pauline à la plage, I realized that the colours in the painting hanging above Pauline’s bed corresponded to the recurring, dominant colours of the film itself. The shades of red and blue in Henri Matisse’s La Blouse romaine determined Rohmer's colour pallet: subtly but remarkably, they recurred in the quickly changing costumes, the flowers in the garden, and even the food on the dinner table. Not according to any symbolic theory of colour, these vibrant colours contributed to Rohmer's attempt to create an authentic experience of the beauty of reality as such. Such a simple and almost obvious observation made me understand that cinema is about so much more than exciting stories and likeable characters. Contemplating the image of a half-naked Pauline sleeping in her bed, with Matisse's painting hanging on the wall, I came to understand that cinema is not an artistic island, but a vivid, rich and complex form of art—and that watching a film is not only about understanding it but mainly about loving it.

Top three anticipated FFG Films

I am really looking forwards to Hang Sang-soo’s Introduction, Leos Carax’s Annette, and Mia Hansen-Løve’s Bergman Island.

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