• Eric de Kuyper door Stef Verstraaten
  • Eric de Kuyper door Stef Verstraaten
  • Eric de Kuyper door Stef Verstraaten

Cinema Concert: Les nuits d'été

He himself called it a film ‘to ponder by’ and an ‘opera film’. Les nuits d’été shows footage of a Belgian cemetery to songs by Berlioz and Schubert. Filmmaker Eric de Kuyper, former associate director of the Filmmuseum, is in Amsterdam to attend his tribute programme and provide an introduction.

Les nuits d’été (2011, 38’) is based on the titular song cycle by Hector Berlioz. The film was shot at the cemetery of Laeken and in the workshop of the Salu family of sculptors who create funerary monuments.

slowed down like a diva film

Eric de Kuyper said about Les nuits d’été: ‘I’ve tried to create simple and quiet images that help you listen to the music. Silent shots, very simple scenes with the power of monochrome, to ponder by. The acting is also in the style of the silent film: it’s not the prancing pace of the burlesque, but the slowed-down rhythm of the diva film. For me, it’s also about the aesthetics of the early film.

Preceded by two of De Kuyper’s favourites from Eye’s Desmet Collection: the butterfly film La peine du talion (1906, 2’) and the sugary melodrama Heidenröschen (1916, 20’).

The songs of Les nuits d’été will be performed by an international top cast of young talents: Aphrodite Patoulidou (soprano),  Adanya Dunn (mezzo-soprano) en Gilles Van Der Linden (tenor). Piano accompaniment by Guido Vandromme.