Saturday, March 01, 2008

A perfect match (Man zkt vrouw)

The Belgian movie, Man zkt vrouw, (the English title is A Perfect Match) (wikipedia), made its North American premiere as part of the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose on Friday Feb 29. The film is directed by Miel van Hoogenbemt and was written by Pierre De Clercq and Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem.

I met up with Miel and Pierre at the Paragon Bar in San Jose, prior to the movie. They had arrived the night before and were still jetlagged. Although both are experienced film makers (IMDB: Pierre De Clercq, Miel van Hoogenbemt), they appeared a little anxious about what was to come. How would America like the movie? What would the audience ask during the Q&A section at the end of the movie?

The movie is a romantic comedy and stars famous Belgian actors. It is located in Ghent, Belgium.
On the day of his forced retirement, a school principal (Jan Decleir) decides to look for a wife on the Internet. It's not love he is after, but merely companionship. He meets a lot of women but can't seem to make up his mind. Until his new housekeeper (Maria Popistasu) arrives: she is almost forty years younger than him and a total disaster at housekeeping. For the first time in what seems a lifetime, he falls totally and desperately in love.
The movie is very well done, with witty comments. The plot is simple - it doesn't try to weave a complex story -. Yet, they story leaves enough unanswered which makes you wonder what will happen past the end of the movie.

Also the cinequest visitors appeared to like the movie. Throughout the movie, you could hear the entire audience crack up. And during the Q&A section, many had compliments and questions about the movie: about the languages, the location, the music, the actors and about the plot, (I won't list the questions not to give a way the plot.) As for the music, it was created by Spinvis. From the Man zkt vrouw blog:
Het was Wim Opbrouck die ons nog tijdens de opnamen de Nederlandse componist aanraadde. “Ga bij Holland,” fluisterde hij ons toe, “die gast maakt geweldige muziek. We hebben wat van zijn materiaal gebruikt voor De Bende van Wim.” Wij dus naar Utrecht waar we aan Spinvis (het alter ego van de zeer aimabele muzikant Erik de Jong) onze film toonden en hij was meteen dol enthousiast om er de muziek voor te schrijven. Bedankt voor de tip, Wim!
Prior to the movie, Pierre had worried how our group of Belgians would receive the movie. Would we still be proud of Belgian cinema? We were! We stuck around until the end and I was happy the film was a success.

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