From Real to Surreal: Flemish Artists, Belgian Cinema 1910s – 1980s

Though a Frenchman, Alfred Machin was responsible for kickstarting both Belgian and Dutch cinema. Charles Pathé sent him to the Low Countries to start two production companies that would make beautiful use of the local landscapes, Belge-Cinéma Film and Hollandsche Film. We will be showing his classic anti-war film, Maudite Soit la Guerre (War is Hell; 1914), a silent pacifist masterpiece in beautiful color that actually anticipated World War I by a few months. Machin made very good use of Flemish landscapes and iconic Flemish and Dutch windmills in his films, as is the case in this film, often shooting close to the city of Ghent. The feature will be preceded by a slapstick short that has Machin’s pet panther Mimir – the star of many of his films - steal one of Belgium’s most iconic monuments in Saïda a enlevé Manneken Pis (1913).


Organized by Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program with the generous support of The General Representation of the Government of Flanders to the U. S.

Vito Adriaensens is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where he teaches in the Film Department, and a postdoctoral Fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation. He holds a PhD from the University of Antwerp and has also taught at the VU University in Amsterdam and the School of Arts, University College in Ghent. His research focuses on the interaction between cinema and visual and performing arts.

Event Time & Date

Date: Past Event
Location: Dodge Hall, room 511