Three documentaries about Flanders landscape.
Vlaanderen in vogelvlucht
1976, 33'35”, colour and b&w, Dutch spoken.
An outlook on Flanders from the air. The familiar landscape is explored as it could never be explored before and this liberating experience makes it even more familiar in many ways. The spaces, plains and roads are taken up as part of a bigger unity – like on a roadmap, if it weren’t for the fact that the movement could make the exploration take place in a much more physical way. The natural landscape has turned into a cultural one, a witness of an extraordinary differentiation within a very tiny space. Industrialisation, urbanisation and exploitation have left indelible traces, but we miss a landscape of our own, shaped by our own usage. The time that soil and climate were able to impose their amicable arrangement is behind us. We can make or break each landscape.
1977, 36'10”, colour and b&w, Dutch spoken.
Together with the author Leo Pleysier, Cornelis creates one of his most beautiful elegies of Flanders. They thumb through the landscape as if it were a book, seemingly of new, strange and unknown origins, a colourful patchwork veiling the remainders of smoking battlefields with its bizarre alluring and hidden charms and revealing fragments of a disaster area in its outer corners. The area is scoured like a mosaic of photo material, aerial shots and archive films, casually outlining its history, its fragmentation, acidification and fossilization. Flanders is pictured as a landscape with many names and colours, a bundle of faces and countenances, movements and gestures, voices and sounds, couching not merely resignation, but anxiety as well.
Landschap van kerken
1989, 34'54”, colour, Dutch spoken, English subtitles.
Based on the 1987 book with the same title by Geert Bekaert, which explores the enigma of the Belgian historical church buildings. Similarly to the book, this documentary purposes to show these peculiar objects, beyond a merely religious, aesthetic or art-historical interpretation, in all their complexity, as fascinating spatial objects and revealing monuments for contemporary conceptions of the architectonic space.