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Op de vijfde rij bij het fantasme /Raw

Badlands x Op de vijfde rij...

In 1999, De Fantasten called for more fantasy and imagination in Dutch cinema using passionate slogans such as ‘Banish narrow-mindedness’ and ‘Cinema is dreaming’. The Eye/VPRO podcast Op de vijfde rij... and Badlands revisited the manifesto of the imagination, their legacy and the future of Dutch genre cinema. The feature film will be the deliciously subversive Raw by Julia Ducourneau.

poster Raw (Julia Ducournau. FR 2016)

This episode of the new podcast series On the fifth row... will discuss the imagination manifesto by De Fantasten from 1999. Guido van Gennep, Elbert van Strien and Djie Han Thung called on filmmakers to go for wonderment and passion: ‘Escape the quotidian! Realism is risk-free! Banish narrow-mindedness! Be unrealistic. Because cinema is dreaming!’ What remains of this manifesto today?

Tonight, Cesar Majorana has a video message and Bodil Matheeuwsen will talk about her love of genre cinema, the fantasy films she has made and her plans for the future. Matheeuwsen is a scriptwriter who graduated from the Netherlands Film Academy. She wrote the script for Porfotto, Verdwenen dagen and co-wrote the first Dutch Netflix series Ares. She has selected Raw by Julia Ducournau as the feature film.

Raw (Julia Ducournau, FR 2016)

16-year old veterinary student Justine is a passionate vegetarian until she is forced to eat raw rabbit kidneys during a hazing ritual. Justine is disgusted, yet discovers her desire for meat is unstoppable just like her desire for sex and … more meat. The shy, young virgin transforms into a seductive vamp with untameable cannibalistic tendencies.

Nevertheless, Ducournau’s feature film debut isn’t primarily dependent on coarse shock effects even though she is a horror buff and David Cronenberg fan. For the director, Julia’s coming-of-age story is also a story about how women view their bodies as well as how the body thinks for us.

Not prudish

“How the body develops and responds provides a preview of what goes on in the mind,” says Ducournau in an interview with The Guardian. The rash Justine develops after eating the rabbit kidneys is a sign of the changes in her character, explains the director. This sounds refreshing in the prudish, political correctness dictated modern cinematic climate. This opinion was shared in Cannes where Raw won the FIPRESCI prize from film critics. Ducournau’s second feature film Titane even won the Golden Palm last year.

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Julia Ducournau

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109 min.

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Original title

Op de vijfde rij bij het fantasme







Part of


Up-and-coming film talent at Eye: a new generation of Dutch makers are given the opportunity to present their debut films, discuss filmmaking and select films by makers that inspired them. These Badlands evenings are compiled by guest curators Lemuël de Graav, Xiang Yu Yeung and Eye programmer Ronald Simons.

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still Raw (Julia Ducournau. FR 2016)
still Raw (Julia Ducournau. FR 2016)
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From the Fifth Row with De Fantasten

In 1999, three young filmmakers wrote a manifesto to end 'the dictatorship of realism' in Dutch cinema. They call themselves De Fantasten and argue for a major cultural change: there must be much more room for imagination and fantasy. "Down with the smell of Brussels sprouts!"

The manifesto is signed by dozens of colleagues, and countless media appearances follow, but in the end real change does not come. In the three-part series From the Fifth Row with De Fantasten, Cesar Majorana investigates what became of De Fantasten. Why did the manifesto not have the desired impact? Does the 'dictatorship of realism' still exist? And isn't it high time for a new pamphlet?

Listen the three-part series

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