IFFR KINO #17: Dagen zonder lief
Dagen zonder lief screened at IFFR in 2008. It’s Van Groeningen’s second film and a refreshing variation on a well-known theme: twenty-somethings on the way to thirty look back at their youth that is gone forever.
At first sight, the four friends from Dagen zonder lief are doing well for themselves: Zwarte Kelly leads a flashy existence in the New York fashion scene. Frederic has a rich girlfriend and is about to move to Brussels. Kurt has a wife, child and Labrador and runs a webshop for robo-gadgets. And bar owner Nick? Oh, he's just his loafing self.
But when Zwarte Kelly unexpectedly returns to her old home she is the unintentional catalyst of tempestuous events. Everyone does his best to make the mood what it once was, but too much has changed.
Calmly and using sober stylistic techniques, Van Groeningen sketches the inner world of the protagonists. The beautiful score by pianist Jef Neve contributes to the melancholy tone.
(Tip: to get in the mood, listen to these two lovely piano renditions by Neve of Lasgo's 2001 hit Something and of the 1992 hardbag house classic Don’t You Want Me by Felix, which both feature in the film.)
Why screen it now?
Felix van Groeningen is well on his way to becoming a real big shot in the world of cinema. Both his De helaasheid der dingen (2009) and The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012) were Belgian entries for the Oscars.
Beautiful Boy, Van Groeningen’s first English-language film starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, will hit Dutch cinemas in late November 2018. Watch his second feature film Dagen zonder lief in KINO, so you can see where he once came from.
Dagen zonder lief, Felix van Groeningen, 2007, Belgium, 100’
(Another tip: If you’re interested in Belgian cinema, be sure to visit MASH-UP! on Friday 12 October, our collaborative event in Kunsthal Rotterdam where we screen the film Girl by Lukas Dhont.)