Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Dardenne Brothers win Palme d'Or - and what that means

Of course, by now you know that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne won the Palme d'Or for their The Child. But what that means has been less commented on. The Dardennes are the first directors to win two Palme d'Or since Bille August won for Pelle the Conqueror in 1988 and Den Goda viljan in 1993 and Emir Kusturica for Underground and When Father was Away on Business. But I think winning two Palme d'Or in 6 years is more important than simply handing the freres Dardenne more awards.

The Dardennes, I believe, represent a new worldwide breakthrough in taking us to the next level of film. Of course, everybody manages to gush that about every Palme (or Golden Bear or Oscar or Sundance) winner, but I think I have a good gut instinct about this. If you know me, I lump Bruno Dumont in with the freres Dardenne, as well as the freres Belvaux. I think David Gordon Greene is trying to do something similar here in the US (with a different emotional register, I admit). The above are working along the same sorts of lines as many film-makers in Iran are. And folks like Hou Hsaio-Hsien. I'm still struggling with how to identify all this gang of people or what ties them all together, but I'll let you know when I figure it out.


Blogger Doug said...

Alex, it's good to see you touting the Brothers Dardenne, I couldn't agree with you more. I'm delighted that they've won the Palme d'Or and I can't wait to see the film. (Hopefully at TIFF.)

5:04 PM  

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