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16 september 2011 - 16:39:09 spacer  
Rundskop goes to Hollywood!
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It is official: Rundskop will defend the Belgian colours at the Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, for a nomination in the category best foreign film. This morning, 18 films, released between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011, were still in the running for this honour.

The designation of Michael Roskam’s film is not really a surprise, because after the selection of Illégal last year (another Wallimage film), we already suspected that Le Gamin au Vélo, by the Dardenne brothers, no matter what qualities it had, had little chance to be chosen.
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However, the nomination of Rundskop cannot be explained simply by a communautary consensus. Michael Roskam’s first film is a real UFO, a USA-style independent thriller with a little Martin Scorsese mixed in, as well as a typically Belgian rural drama. All of this topped with a breathtaking psychological dimension and exacerbated by the exceptional acting by an absolutely mind-blowing Matthias Schoenaerts.

Released in January, the film attracted nearly 500,000 spectators to cinemas in Belgium. A triumph!

After its performances in Berlin and Beaune, the film also won the Grand Prix at the Motovun Film Festival in Croatia, as well as the New Flesh Award at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montréal.

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Following that, the film won the “Prix Spécial Nouveau Genre” at the famous “L’Étrange Festival” in Paris. Since Canal Plus is associated with the event since a little while, the film is assured to be broadcast on the French channel. The last awards won in the list are six Vlaamse Filmprijzen: best film, best first film, best director (Michael Roskam), best actor (Matthias Schoenaerts), best photography (Nicolas Karakatsanis) and best actor in a supporting role (Jeroen Perceval).

Rundskop/Bullhead is also one of the rare films which are co-produced in all three regions, co-financed by all three regional funds, among which, obviously, Wallimage/Bruxellimage. It is a bilingual film, subtitled both in French and in Flemish (because of the often hard to understand dialects), and a number of French-speaking actors appear on the credits: Erico Samalone, Philippe Grand’Henry and a mind-blowing Jeanne Dandoy, the female lead.

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Now, the film will be screened for an American selection committee, which will decide on 24 January 2012 whether the film will be one of five nominees for the Oscars, to be awarded on 26 February 2012 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

Until now, no Belgian has won the Oscar. Five works produced and directed here have made it to the final five: Paix sur les Champs by Jacques Boigelot (1970), Le Maître de Musique by Gérard Corbiau (1988), Daens by Stijn Coninx (1992, with Matthias Schoenaerts making his debut), Farinelli by Gérard Corbiau again in 1994 and finally perhaps the most unexpected but not the least moving, Iedereen Beroemd by Dominique Deruddere in 2001.

For our own personal satisfaction, let’s note that a director who studied film in Belgium, and who was co-produced here, did win the ultimate prize. Of course we are talking about Danis Tanovic, who presented No Man’s Land for Bosnia in 2002.

Does Rundskop/Bullhead have what it takes to write history? It is far from impossible!
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blue Films linked to this news item
Rundskop (Tête de Boeuf)
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