Florian Deroo

Florian Deroo (1994) is a doctoral student at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, working on the sensory experience of landscape in early 20th-century travel writing. He studied History at Ghent University and Liberal Studies at The New School for Social Research. He has written on film for De Standaard and Rekto:Verso, and was co-editor of De Netflix essays (2021). His book Barge Life, a wide-ranging essay on Jean Vigo’s 1934 film L’Atalante, is forthcoming with Punctum Books.

Ridley Scott’s Napoleon

Florian Deroo, 2024

Scott’s late-career method is to mix different modes: the epic and the banal, the serious and the ridiculous, the lyrically beautiful and the brutally violent. In Napoleon, the past is strange not because of its odd customs, but because we – from the detachment of our contemporary vantage point – can see all these different modes at work, simultaneously. The result is often comical, but also harrowing: history as some kind of terrible joke.