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Johannes is Zijn Naam x 'Rubens'

Edition 2024 Videodroom Concerten
Film & Music
Henri Storck's 1948 docu about the work of Pieter Paul Rubens is a true lesson in art history. Johannes is Zijn Naam (aka Johannes Verschaeve of The Van Jets) makes the film collide and merge with his dreamy avant-pop music.

About the film
Henri Storck (1907-1999) was a Belgian filmmaker and pioneer in documentary filmmaking. He is best known for his documentaries Misère au Borinage (1933), a pamphlet against capitalism made in collaboration with Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens, and his Virgilian ecloge in Symphonie Paysanne (1944). Storck made numerous films about art, which played a major role in his life and work. His contemporaries included Belgian artists such as Léon Spilliaert, James Ensor, Paul Delvaux, and Constant Permeke. His films on art include Le monde de Paul Delvaux (1946), Rubens (1948), and Herman Teirlinck (1953). The connection with his birthplace is reflected in films such as Images d'Ostende (1928), a beautiful ode to the beauty of Storck's birthplace on the Belgian coast.

In 1964, he founded the International Association of Documentary Filmmakers with Gian Vittorio Baldi and John Grierson. He was one of the main founders of the Royal Film Archive (now CINEMATEK) in Brussels.

Paul Haessaerts and Henri Storck's award-winning film Rubens (1948) was more than a formal analysis of Rubens' oeuvre. Through a generous use of cinematographic techniques, this film brings Rubens' pictorial world to life with often striking comparisons with real-life imagery. Henri Storck's documentary on the work of Pieter Paul Rubens is a true lesson in art history. Using evocative split screens, Rubens' fluid and natural style is systematically compared to the relative rigidity of Flemish Primitive painters such as Dieric Bouts and Jan Van Eyck. Storck clearly feels comfortable in the role of art history teacher. Despite his didactic approach, the experimental filmmaker often shines through.

About Johannes is His Name
You might know Johannes Verschaeve as the pleasantly deranged frontman of The Van Jets. After the band's break-up, the Ghent-based Oostendenaar is doing it all on his own as "Johannes is Zijn Naam". Poetic, Dutch-language lyrics meander between hissing rhythm boxes and primitive synths, with Johannes as the lone crooner at the microphone.

"Johannes Verschaeve's solo work moves in a slightly surreal universe, where alienating performance art and dreamy avant-pop music go hand in hand as a matter of course. This Lynchian vibe will not be absent during 'Rubens', expect a dose of school television on LSD." - Wouter Vanhaelemeesch, programmer VIDEODROOM