This is the 4th annual Grit and Whimsy series of Belgian cinema organized by the Consulate General of Belgium and showing at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica every 3rd Wednesday of the month throughout the year. I only found out about it now so I’m quite disappointed I’ve already missed 2 spectacular films coming from Belgium. Some of the screenings will include Q&A with the filmmakers and every screening is followed by a Belgian beer reception!
Jan 16 – Mobile Home: In director Francois Pirot’s funny and insightful feature debut, thirtysomething Simon (Arthur Dupont) leaves his job and girlfriend in the city to return to his rural village, where he runs into childhood friend Julien (Guillaume Gouix). The two had once dreamed of exploring the world together and, since they’re both out of work, they decide there’s no better time to make that dream a reality. They buy a huge RV, but when their road trip is delayed, they decide to start their adventure where they are – and in that not-so-mobile home wind up exploring what they really want from life.
Feb 20 – Kinshasa Kids: Tens of thousands of children in Congo’s capital live on its streets, expelled from their families for being “witches,” and writer-director Marc-Henri Wajnberg drew on their stories to create this uplifting, music-filled drama. Little Jose (Jose Mawanda) is one of a small group of orphans who form a makeshift band that is taken under the wing of an eccentric rapper (Bebson Elemba). Costarring Rachel Mwanza (REBELLE), the film never loses sight of the sobering reality confronting its subjects, but its high spirits will surely have you rooting for these KINSHASA KIDS.
Mar 20 – Loft: A group of married men share a luxurious Antwerp loft, using it for their extramarital affairs. The five friends think they know each other well – until the dead body of a young woman appears in the apartment and turns their camaraderie into suspicion and deceit. A major hit in Belgium, this stylishly shot, expertly plotted murder mystery never runs out of surprises. The top-flight cast includes Koen De Bouw, Bruno Vanden Broucke, Filip Peeters and RUST AND BONE’s Matthias Schoenaerts (who is featured in the Hollywood remake THE LOFT due later this year).
Apr 17 – Time of my Life: Based on a true story, TIME OF MY LIFE is the story of MS-patient Mario Verstraete, who was not only instrumental in legalizing euthanasia in Belgium, but was also the first to make use of that new law. This is the story of his best friend and the girl who loved both of them… the story of a group of friends and family who stood by him.
More to be announced…