The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York is to present the work of director Caroline Strubbe, the first of the new batch of Flemish filmmakers to have her films selected by the prestigious cultural institute. Both her debut feature Lost Persons Area and her follow-up film I’m the same I’m an other will be screened on a daily basis throughout the first week of July.
‘Caroline Strubbe is a voice I haven’t heard before’, says Dave Kehr of the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art. ‘At times intimate, detailed and realistic, but at the same time enigmatic, evasive and with a lot of respect for the mystery of people and places. I’m very proud and honoured to be able to present these extraordinary films to New York audiences.’
Lost Persons Area premiered in the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2009 where it won the SACD Prize for Best Screenplay. The film tells the story of Bettina and Marcus, portrayed by Sam Louwyck and Lisbeth Gruwez, a passionate couple living in the middle of a vast field with endless lines of pylons. He is trying to set up his own power line maintenance business; she runs the employees’ canteen. Meanwhile, their nine-year-old daughter Tessa wanders the industrial area, looking for bits and pieces to occupy her mind. When Marcus hires a Hungarian engineer, the family’s unconventional way of living takes a new turn until a tragic accident shatters everyone’s pursuit of happiness.
Strubbe’s second film, I’m the same I’m an other, was premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year. The film screened in the Wavelenghts programme, which focuses on daring and visionary voices expanding the notion of cinema.
I’m the same I’m an other is about a man in his thirties on the run with a young girl. As they take a ferry to the UK, traces of a common past come to light, a past filled with loss and sorrow. They end up hiding in a small apartment by the seaside, where they live day to day, exploring each other’s mourning and grief.
Both films have Kimke Desart and Zoltan Miklos Hajdu in leading roles. While Lost Persons Area was shot by Nicolas Karakatsanis (Bullhead, The Drop, The Loft), David Williamson (Mont Blanc, Iceland) took over for I’m the same I’m an other. Albert Markos composed the original soundtrack for both.
Tomas Leyers produced both films for Minds Meet, the production company behind Gust Van den Berghe’s Lucifer, Little Baby Jesus of Flandr and Blue Bird, as well as Welcome Home, directed by Tom Heene; and Violet, directed by Bas Devos. Both Lost Persons Area and I’m the same I’m an other were supported by Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.