"Arresting Mobility: Crossing Borders and Going Nowhere in the Films of the Dardenne Brothers"
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
401 Fisher-Bennett Hall
University of Pennsylvania
This talk will explore some of the distinctive road movie elements found in selected films by the Dardenne brothers. Beginning with their breakout film of 1996, La Promesse, we will situate their work in the broader context of contemporary European road movie trends. We will consider how and why urban mobility becomes a pressing motif throughout much of their oeuvre, where bodies forced into frenetic motion become circumscribed by various socio-economic conditions. Usually revealed through a fragile yet insistent mobile camera, the desperate instincts driving many Dardenne characters articulate the moral quagmires around human trafficking. Their tightly focused documentary style captures the fits and starts of the Belgian underclass, which in turn speaks to and for some of the darker features of transnational, neo-liberal Europe.
David Laderman is a Professor of Film Studies at the College of San Mateo. He also teaches for the Film and Media Studies program at Stanford University. He is the author of Driving Visions: Exploring the Road Movie (University of Texas Press) and Punk Slash! Musicals: Tracking Slip-Sync on Film (University of Texas Press).
This program is made possible thanks to the support of University of Pennsylvania's Cinema Studies Program and Department of French Studies, and Temple University's Department of Film and Media Arts.