Meet the Young Critics

Young critics workshop 2 100
10 Oct 2020
We asked the participants in the seventh edition of the Young Critics Workshop of Cinea who they are and which three films are they most looking forward to at the festival? Below are their answers.

Wiebe Copman

I am a Belgian graduate student at Columbia University. I write about documentary, experimental film, poetry, and food.

Top three anticipated FFG Films:

I look forward to rewatching Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow, which I saw last year in New York. I rode my bike to Lincoln Center despite a light drizzle that evening. Halfway there it started to pour, and I was completely drenched by the time I arrived. I decided it really would be too inconsiderate to take off my wet shoes once I sat down in the cinema, but the dampness eventually contributed to an enriching, multi-sensory experience of the film. Ghent is usually quite wet in October, so I will come prepared and bring an extra pair of socks.

I am happy to see Hong Sang-soo’s The Woman Who Ran on the schedule. During my year studying music in Brussels, I wasn’t practicing so much as running off to the CINEMATEK at every opportunity. My then-roommate and I went on-and-off to screenings at Hong’s retrospective, occasionally on our own but most often together. We became best friends. Hong’s cinema is intertwined with that period of my life, echoing in some sense its emotional implosions of the variational rhythms of the everyday. I haven’t seen any of his new films after the retrospective, so I’m excited to tap back into his work.

I have to include Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach (1968). My days of early music at the conservatory might be over, but I am still a fiend of historical performance practice and its anti-romanticist methodology; the early music scene is one of radical aesthetic and political reinterpretation, working off of historical research to inform musical choices as well as busting enduring myths of musicianship. I imagine a collaboration between Straub, Huillet and period music pioneer Gustav Leonhardt to be the culmination of two complementary artistic practices—all I’d ever wish for.

Stefan Goncharov

I am from Sofia, Bulgaria. My academic background is in Scandinavian studies and at the moment I am doing my MA in Cultural studies and Contemporary art. As a film critic I have written articles for several Bulgarian outlets throughout the years and have had the pleasure to cover several big festivals like Berlinale and Festival de Cannes. I am also a poet with two published poetry collections under his belt.

Top three anticipated FFG Films:

  • Vitalina Varela by Pedro Costa
  • Servants by Ivan Ostrochovsky
  • I Was at Home, But… by Angela Schanelec

Joseph Owen

I am currently writing up my doctoral thesis on Carl Schmitt, literary modernism and sovereignty at University of Southampton while teaching undergraduates about power and ethics before Machiavelli. I’m UK-based and have worked as a journalist at international film festivals since 2016. The first film I saw at a festival was Woody Allen’s Café Society (2016) in Cannes; the most recent was Lav Diaz’s Lahi, Hayop (2020) in my living room. I have written several hundred first-look reviews in the interim.

Top three anticipated FFG Films:

  • Nomadland by Chloé Zhao
  • There Is No Evil by Mohammad Rasoulof
  • Undine by Christian Petzold

Camilla Peeters

I am an MA student in theatre and film at the University of Antwerp. This is the second time I am participating in a Young Critics workshop, which I am very excited about, because the first one (at the MOOOV film festival, Bruges, 2018) was the singular event that made me start writing critically—on film—in the first place. Since then I have written at a range of different workshops in different places. Since last year, a very precious year that I spent in Berlin, I have started writing pieces on music as well. I like fringe film, cult/horror film, charged film. And the things in between, if the feeling is right.

Top Three Anticipated FFG Films:

First, Maria Clara Escobar’s Desterro. Second, Tsai Ming-liang’s Rizi. Third, The Fall by Jonathan Glazer. Since I have already seen the third pick, I will add a fourth one: Servants by Ivan Ostrochovsky.

Kathy Vanhout

I just finished my Masters in theater and film studies at the University of Antwerp and am currently studying philosophy whilst preparing a PhD-proposal around the notions of tragedy and figura in the cinema of Werner Schroeter (wish me luck). I am a sucker for beautiful shot compositions, lyrical dialogue and films that show a visible understanding of textures and materiality. My heart also goes out to les beaux arts and music, which—when all is well—are also readily available in good cinema.

Top three anticipated FFG Films:

Among many others, three movies I certainly look forward to seeing at Film Fest Ghent are Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, Tsai Ming-liang’s Rizi and Stories from the Chestnut Woods by Gregor Bozic.