Olivier van Malderghem
Olivier seeks achievement in both aspects of filmmaking: writing and producing. All his films have been selected in class A festivals.
Latest Work: "Since you went away"
Feature documentary, 2023
STATEMENT by Olivier
In 2006, at the age of twenty, my daughter Marjorie died of leukemia. This film reflects the work of mourning which followed this death. But it also tells of a search, in response to a desperate reflection that Marjorie shared with me during her treatment: “It’s unfair what’s happening to me.” Unfair is an understatement. But I didn't see it. I didn't see that rather than leukemia, it was others who put her in danger.
As she struggled to cope, my maternal family abandoned her. For a year and a half, none of them came to visit her. Like Marjorie, I never imagined that such abjection was possible.
Today I understand. My maternal family was bound by a secret. A secret that makes those who are not initiated into it a threat to those who keep it. One of them had killed.
Since Marjorie's death, I have picked up the threads, one by one, and pieced together a story that has taken me beyond imaginable.
My research was initiated at a time when I was in disarray, confronted with two issues that were beyond me and occupied my entire mind: Marjorie's leukemia, and her abandonment by my maternal family. So I had other concerns than the Brabant Killings, terrorist attacks which happened in the 1980s and terrified belgians from 1982 to 1985, when we were in the early 2000s.
But The Brabant Killings imposed themselves on me when, exhausted and desperate by the turn Marjorie's illness was taking, I experienced a moment of self-hypnosis which made me receptive to memories "buried" in my unconscious.
I understood that they were putting me on the path to explaining the rejection of Marjorie by my maternal family.
It didn't take long for me to recognize the collector as the killer. Furthermore, the relationship between the “giant” and Daniel, my mother’s companion, was unmistakable.
We know how those around you can play a positive role in the fight against an autoimmune disease. Conversely, in the event of abandonment, it becomes negative. Abandonment is a real aggression, the most dangerous and perverse, because it leaves no visible trace.
It is in this sense that the two themes, leukemia and the killings in Brabant, combine in Since you left. It is less a question of telling the agony and death of a sick person, than of a quest for the truth, through a common thought, visual rather than verbal: that which resulted from the communication of Marjorie's unconscious and mine, during her coma.
At the circuit (Short, 2021)
Every weekend, Anne and Jeff go to the Mettet motorcycle circuit. A racing driver, Jeff is training. Anne records his laptimes. Occasionally, at the Au Circuit café, she negotiates fiercely over the phone for the loan of the motorcycle. Anne's gaze then meets that of Jacques, a client who, like his sidekick René, is part of the furniture. They never exchange a word. One day, Jacques sets off. He joins Anne at the bar...
Au Circuit is the output of hazardous circumstances, miraculous encounters, adventurous intentions... Very favorable weather too, as well as a fortune "which only favors the daring". In these strange circumstances, a strange film was born.
The four characters who occupy our attention for fifteen minutes are profound antisocials, who, in other people, seek their ability to entertain or serve... Everybody manipulates and/or is manipulated.
Every Sunday the ritual is the same. Entering café Au Circuit, Anne has the usual effect on Jacques. Sitting at a nearby table, he no longer listens to René's rambling. He thinks of her, and his gaze wanders in her direction.
Anne, on the phone, negotiates a small deadline for the loan of the motorbike, and gets it. Outside, sitting on his Kawasaki, Jeff, his master and lover, waits.
For his part, Jacques, having overcome his fear, gets up and approaches Anne. But she hardly notices it.
This time again, his obvious yet noble ugliness ridiculed him.
Routine takes over. Jeff rushes off at two hundred an hour, trying to nibble a few tenths. Anne takes the times and her time, submerged by languor and a deep boredom.
From comedy to tragedy
This film came about as a series of creative impulses.
Passing daily in front of this dismal and endearing circuit, on my way to Jambes, where I am a conscientious objector to a community TV, I cannot help populating this deserted place with characters from a Shakespearean drama.
In Jambes, where I shot portraits of local artists, I met Jacques and René, and became attached to these inglorious creators, determined to carry out their work despite the indifference of the Jambois.
I liked the vital impulse and uncommon strength that pushed them towards creation in an irrepressible way.
So I wrote a first script draft tailored to René and Jacques...
These two characters were embodied, and well. But I had not a plot yet, nor Anne and Jeff.
Anne's infinite loneliness. Confined in the stands, she starts to move briefly only when the Kawa lands and Jeff takes note of his laptime. One day, she realizes that her place is not in the stands. That an existence reduced to the transmission of numbers is futile and unliveable... The following events had to happen some day.
Since the shooting...
The place itself, these "unspecified spaces" (Deleuze), "updated" by town planning departments, has now lost the sap that made it a unique set. Clinias and Pinchart, personalities-poems, are no longer among the living. Anne and Jeff, young talented actors, have disappeared in the wild... Fortunately, the rushes got better each day. They tell a story, but also are a testimony to a bygone era, resuscitated by new post-production tools.
After years of editing and directing, I finally found my own language. So I get back to work, reopened the tin cans.
From these rushes emerged three intersecting stories, forming a tragicomic braid, in which death is transcended by the silence of immense spaces, by humor. Love and benevolence replacing, in fine, the will to power of the hard-core, madly invested in their race for glory or the hearts to conquer.
All pictures by Antonia Geirlandt, but for the first one and the penultimate, showing her at the bottom right.
Teaser for Clermont-Ferrand
Illustrated filmography of Olivier
Borges, blind and visionary, essay, 26'. Visual commentary on "The Library of Babel", by Borges. A sort of recap of my all-too-brief stay in Buenos Aires, at the BAFICI festival, 2022.
Since you went away (Depuis que tu es partie). Documentary-fiction, 2022, 120 min. In post-production.
Note: Masks, Since you went away 1 & 2, and Flammable Film will be proposed as a serie to be broadcasted in that order, in four 60 min. episodes.
Documentary feature, 2020, 76 min.
Is there a life before dead ? The answer is in Flammable Film.
Documentary feature, 2016, 64 min.
The saga of Olivier's family, struggling for freedom from years 1600 to 1945.
"Un très bel essai qui a certainement exigé beaucoup de courage”. Henri Roanne-Rosenblatt, novelist, Media program founder.
Off limits (Hors limites), documentary feature about Jaco Van Dormael, 56’, 2011.
“Intelligent et passionnant", Anne Feuillère, Cinergie.
Rondo, fiction, L.M., 90’, 2010, 35 mm. Sél. Sao Paulo; Busan ; FFDM Montréal, etc.
"... perfectly produced, both stylistically and narratively". Elisabeth Kerr, Hollywood Reporter.
Making of Rondo, 2010, 37', documentary, HD.
"A masterly produced making-of". Agathe Natanson, actress.
Darkness (Noir d’encre), fiction, 15’, 2006, 35 mm.
Sextuor, documentary, 32', 2005, Betacam. Production : les Films Maelström.
Continental Drift (La dérive des continents) 13', essay, 2004.
Production : Les Films Maelström.
"I don't deserve my prize, Continental Drift might have received it instead". The laureate of short film section at Ecrans Documentaires 2004.
Léa's voice (Une fille de joie), 22', 35 mm, 2002, fiction. Prime à la qualité du CCFWB. 9 prizes, 50 international sélections.
"To complete watching Une fille de joie is to know that the poignant juxtaposition between perception and reality has been achieved to near perfection". Simone Ling, in « The short skinny », Los Angeles, spring 2003
The hanged dog tree (L’arbre au chien pendu), 13’30'', 2001, 35 mm, fiction. 7 prizes, 55 international selections. Prime à la qualité du CCFWB.
"The violence, the power, the mastery of your film lead us to write you our admiration. Writing a story through images is to move us long enough for the world to rediscover its grace through your eyes". Robert Bensimon, actor and director, by letter.
"Who is this phenomenon?" (Isaïe Disenhaus, professor at INSAS, discovering Olivier's test results).
Olivier passed the admission tests at INSAS, Belgian national film school, with the maximum score for each of them. After that, he successfully completed all the photographic projects "cum maxima laudes". Since then, he never stopped photographing. Discover his work in a series of albums published monthly HERE =>
Foreword of Storyless cinema (Un cinéma sans histoire), essay taken from Film unity, Ph. D. thesis defended in philosophy (film aesthetics) at ULB in 1994.
Avant propos de l'essai tiré de L'unité du film, thèse défendue à l'U.L.B. en 1994 en Philosophie (esthétique du film).
Storyless cinema (Un cinéma sans histoire), essay. A phenomenological approach of film. French, translation in progress.
Un cinéma sans histoire, essai tiré de L'unité du film, thèse de doctorat défendue en 1994 à l'ULB (grande distinction).
Analyse: “Les glaneurs et la glaneuse”, d’Agnès Varda.
Analyse: Dramaturgie de “Searching for Sugarman”, de Malik Benjelloul
Analyse: “Mort à Vignole”, d’Olivier Smolders.
Analyse: la reconnaissance.
Analyse: La vie des autres, de Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
Philosophie: Animalité, Humanité, Déité (1)
Philosophie: Animalité, Humanité, Déité (2)
Leurre qu'il était hier.
Analyse: Shoah, de Claude Lanzmann
Article: Leurre qu'il était hier.
Article: L'écriture de Toto le Héros.
Article: Providence, d'Alain Resnais.
Article: La moitié d'une image.
Avec l'aide du Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles.