The Crimson Tongue

Violaine de Villers & 69' — 2016

Belgian artist Walter Swennen invites us into his workshop for a thoughtful but playful dialogue between the movements of his mind and the matter of his works, between a way of being and a way of painting. Born just post-war, Swennen has been producing a polymorphous and inventive body of work since the 80s, characterised by its independence and its radical experimentation. When words fail and meanings get muddled, painting steps up, making light of the arbitrariness of images and words. Swennen moves from Brussels to New York, and helped by the film’s director and a team of curators of contemporary art, he speaks to his paintings, and they speak back. We are drawn into this painter-philosopher’s wacky world, in which Buster Keaton bumps into Titian, Krazy Cat rides a Dadaesque hobbyhorse, Mickey Mouse puts ears on Mallarmé, and Boris Vian jams with Thelonious Monk. Swennen is a master of not taking himself too seriously, while talking seriously about his art. With impish precision, this film prods and probes a great Belgian oddball artist.

Belgium

Production : YC Aligator Film
Co-production : CBA, RTBF
With the support of the Centre du Cinéma de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Tax Shelter fédéral de Belgique

Director
Violaine de Villers
Scenario
Violaine de Villers
DOP
Johan Legraie, Jean-Pierre Fargeas, Violaine de Villers
Sound
Cosmas Antoniadis, Matthieu Roche, Benoît Bruwier
Image editor
Lou Galopa
Sound editor
Jean-Jacques Quinet
Mix
Jean-Jacques Quinet
Calibration
Stéphan Higelin
Music
Graham K. Riach
Production
YC Aligator Film (Marie Kervyn)
Image Format
HD
Sound Format
5.1, Stereo
BW/Colour
Color
Languages OV
FR
Available subtitles
EN, NL

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