ExpositionsExhibition 'Martin Scorsese' at Caermersklooster
On the occasion of its fortieth anniversary, the Ghent Film Festival in October 2013 will honour one of the greatest American directors ever, with a spectacular retrospective exhibition of the work of Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Shutter Island, The Departed and Hugo), to be held at the Caermersklooster - Provincial Cultural Centre in Ghent.
Whenever someone says or writes anything about Martin Scorsese, he or she almost automatically adds ‘America’s greatest living director’. A qualifier which fellow filmmakers, film critics and the general public would all agree to.
The titles in Scorsese’s immense filmography speak for themselves, evoking a distinctive world and a film style that everyone can recognize from the very first frame. A world that certainly explodes with violence, but that also allows for catharsis, a world full of guilt and penance, depicted with the intensity of an expressionist behind the camera.
Scorsese’s career in a sense runs parallel to the Ghent Film Festival. Already at the second annual festival, in 1975, Scorsese’s breakthrough film Mean Streets was screened. In subsequent years another dozen films by Scorsese followed, from New York, New York and The Age of Innocence to the 2011 screenings of A Letter to Elia (Kazan) and George Harrison: Living in the Material World, both documentaries in which Marty gives free rein to his two great passions: film and music.
Moreover, the Italian-American director has a very special connection with Belgium: he received his very first honour at the festival of experimental film in Knokke organised by the Royal Belgian Film Archive, where his shocking short film The Big Shave (1968) was a prize-winner. The exhibition opens with the screening of this dramatic short, which kicked off Scorsese’s career and which gave a glimpse of the bloodthirsty obsessions that would dominate his later work (cathartic violence, self-destructive urges). And then there is also an indirect connection with Ghent. In his controversial religious film The Last Temptation of Christ, Scorsese explicitly refers to the painting Christ Carrying the Cross by Hieronymus Bosch, one of the masterpieces in the collection of the Ghent Museum of Fine Art. In Scorsese’s annotated original script, we can see a sketch by the director ‘from Bosch painting’. At the exhibit, visitors will be able to see for themselves, thanks to a perfect copy of the original work, how Bosch’s depiction of a suffering Christ surrounded by sadistic, grimacing murderers, torturers and Pharisees inspired the visual image of the scene of Christ’s way of the cross in Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ.
The exhibition not only honours the master-director Martin Scorsese but also Scorsese the film buff and his encyclopaedic knowledge of film history, which explains his important role in restoring classics and drawing attention to directors who inspired him, such as the British filmmaker Michael Powell.
11/10/2013 – 26/01/2014
Caermersklooster – Provincial Cultural Centre
Vrouwebroersstraat 6, 9000 Ghent
Tel.: +32 (0) 9 269 29 10.
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 4.30 p.m.), except Mondays.
Closed on 25 December and 1 January.
Tickets cost €8, €6 (concessions) or €4 for groups of 20 or more.
Discounted rate for people under 26, job seekers, Knack Club members, over 60s, holders of a teacher’s card or Museum Pass
Reservations for guided tours and groups can be made via the non-profit organisation Gandante
(www.gandante.be, +32 (0) 9 375 31 61)