“Dekeukeleire’s Thèmes d’inspiration (1938) compared portraits of Old and Modern Masters with footage of real people to demonstrate ‘that throughout the ages the soul of the people had not been changed’. Constantly shifting between the past and the present, Thèmes d’inspiration is marked both by the avant-garde (to which Dekeukeleire had contributed earlier with film poems inspired by Germaine Dulac and a series of montage films) and by the new documentary trends of the 1930s. Focusing on the telluric alignment of characters in paintings by Pieter Bruegel, Joachim Patinir, Jacob Jordaens, Constant Permeke and Frits Van den Berghe, among others, Dekeukeleire’s film also comprised images of the countryside and farmers at work, connecting them to the land by means of low camera positions. A highly lyrical film, Thèmes d’inspiration won the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1938.”
- 1. Steven Jacobs, Framing Pictures: Film and the Visual Arts, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011), 12.
“With Rubens, Storck clearly demonstrated that the medium of film was suitable for formal analyses of artworks. Moreover, with his large formats and compositions characterised by movements and spatial depth, Rubens is almost presented as a precursor of cinema. This aspect is even made explicit when a view of the interior of a Jesuit church with an altar painted by Rubens is almost transformed into a cinema theatre. Suddenly, the image is underexposed apart from the altar that illuminates as a cinema screen. Rubens’s art, in short, is presented as a proto-cinematic spectacle – an idea that is not absurd, knowing that the proliferation of his prints was particularly important for nineteenth-century academic painting, which, in turn, is echoed in the spectacular and lavish shot compositions of Hollywood directors of the late 1910s and 1920s such as Cecil B. DeMille.”
- 1. Steven Jacobs, Framing Pictures. Film and the Visual Arts, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2011), 16.