Colour, 2K, Stereo (5.1)
Dutch and French spoken
In Spilliaert, filmmaker Lisa Spilliaert inquires into her blood relationship with the renowned Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946). Is she predestined to an artist’s life by this kinship, which may or may not be fictional? Is artistry genetically transferred?
She reveals herself as a rapping, fanatical genealogist who probes into the origins of her artistic identity.
Lisa Spilliaert visits archives and museums, painting a picture of the hopeless search for documents and clues concerning her origins. She eventually ends up in the middle of her genealogical fantasies, represented in a ceramic sculptural family tree designed and made by her sister Clara. In Ostend’s Centre for Geneology, the protagonist tries to substantiate her claim of kinship with certificates and registers.
Spilliaert specialist Anne Adriaens-Pannier briefly introduces the historical figure of Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946) and his life in Ostend, his particular personality, his special relationship with the city of Ostend and the sea, his artistry and, of course, his outstanding oeuvre.
A descendant of Léon Spilliaert, who chooses to remain anonymous, relates his memories and his personal relationship to the oeuvre of his great-grandfather. Once again, the question arises of the difference between real memories and retrospectively constructed meaning.
Spilliaert's narrative structure is strung together by a number of rap poems, performed by the Lisa Spilliaert. By choosing this form, she uncovers parallels and contrasts between rap music’s free identity construction and the strictly regulated structure of genealogy.
All these strands culminate in a strange encounter between Lisa and Léon Spilliaert, during which the absurdity of the desires projected onto the past is undermined.
The film will be screened or exhibited at:
World première: FIDMarseille (FR), 6, 8 en 10 July 2022
Actoral Festival (FR), September 2022
Filmfestival Oostende (BE), January 2023
Courtisane Festival Ghent (BE), 30 March 2023
De Cinema Antwerp (BE), 14 May 2023
37th Image Forum Festival (JP) 30 SEP > 6 OCT (Tokyo), 17>19 NOV (Kyoto), 23>26 NOV (Nagoya)
Co-produced by: Animal Tank
With the support of:
This production was realized with the support of the Tax Shelter measure of the Belgian Federal Government through Flanders Tax Shelter
Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)
City of Ostend, LUCA School of Arts, City of Ghent, Brakke Grond, Jos Jamar Gallery
Screenplay: Lisa Spilliaert
Lisa Spilliaert as Rapper
Wim De Busser as Léon Spilliaert
Genealogists: Bernard Legrand & Freddy Courtens
Art Historian: Anne Adriaens-Pannier
Works of Léon Spilliaert
Family Tree Sculptures by Clara Spilliaert
And the voice of an anonymous descendant
Camera, Gaffer, Cinematography: Hans Bruch Jr.
Camera assistants, second en extra cameras: Diren Agbaba, Rosa Maria Galguera Ortega, Bob Mees
Periscope Camera: Ruben Appeltans
Sound: Laszlo Umbreit
Interpretor French-Dutch: Sis Matthé
Make-Up, Hair: Lili Dang-Vu
Styling: Sietske Van Aerde
Driver: Stefaan Galle
Assistants: Rhana Dewaelssche, Emmelie Martens, Clara Spilliaert
Editing: Lisa Spilliaert, Vincent Stroep
Editing Advisors: Wim Catrysse, Inneke Van Waeyenberghe
Translation: Sis Matthé
Copy Editing: Trevor Perri
French Transcription: Rita Habib
French Translation: Anne Vanderschueren
Keying: Elias Heuninck
Colour Grading: Loup Brenta
Sound Design: senstudio
Title Design: Oliver Ibsen
Composer, Coaching, Ghostwriter: Benjamin Hertoghs
Consultants and Lyrics Opening Rap: Jan Matthé, Sis Matthé
'Spilliaert' is acquired by the Flemish government and part of the collection of Mu.ZEE (Oostende).