13-year-old Gunther Strobbe grows up surrounded by alcohol, trash and his completely useless father and uncles. Slowly but surely, he's being prepared for the same hapless life. Can he defy his destiny?
Felix van Groeningen
Koen De Graeve
The Blue Villa is a seedy bordello on a Mediterranean island where the villages are frightened by the ghost-like return of a young man, who mysteriously disappeared after the killing of a young Eurasian woman.
Dimitri de Clercq,
At a wake one night in 1945, a group of aged women recall the life of one of their number. Sixty years before, Thérèse was barely 20 years old when she eloped with her boyfriend, Firmin, a ... See full summary »
Cleo is trying to pick her life back up after a devastating car crash which kills her parents. She is raised with her brother by their grandmother and meets an older guy in a night club who seems to understand the struggle she is in.
Anna Franziska Jaeger,
Martha Canga Antonio
The story takes place in feudal Japan, when any commerce with the rest of the world was strictly prohibited. An idealist suddenly appears in an isolated inn (the one that the title refers ... See full summary »
Vincke and Verstuyft are one of the best detective teams of the Antwerp police force. When they are confronted with the disappearance of a top official and the murder of two prostitutes, the trail leads to the almost retired assassin Angelo Ledda. Since Ledda starts showing symptoms of Alzheimer's, it's getting more and more difficult to complete his contracts. When he has to murder a 12-year old call-girl, he refuses and becomes a target himself. While Vincke and Verstuyft are chasing him and counting the corpses, Ledda is taking care of his employers.Written by
In the first scene in the café, Bieke en Vincke are watching an episode of "Buiten de Zone" (season 2, episode 2: "Kitsch en Kunst"), a highly popular youth series in the 1990s. The actor who plays Bieke's father in the movie, Dirk Roofthooft, appeared several times in this series. See more »
When the cops are in the car with Ledda, the cops shoot out the tires. But in a later shot of the rear of the car, the tires are still intact. See more »
Noirish police story as twisted as the killer's mind
This Belgian film was titled "The Memory of A Killer" when it played in Austin in September. Known in Europe as "The Alzheimer Case," it's a police procedural about an aging hit man with early Alzheimer's who agrees to complete what he knows is his last assignment. Movies featuring a character with Alzheimer's are often somber, bittersweet weepers. "The Memory of a Killer" is nothing like that.
It's a taut, fast-paced noir with a protagonist who lives by the same code as that of Alain Delon in Jean Pierre Melville's "Le Samourai" or Jean Gabin in "Touchez Pas Au Grisbi." The hit man Angelo Ledda is portrayed by Belgian actor Jan Decleir. He won his country's top acting award and other European festival honors for his nuanced, empathic performance.
How Ledda knows what's happening to his mind is explained in a way totally credible to anyone who has known someone suffering from this disease. Even as his mind slips away, he retains his morality about certain crimes and that code eventually sends him in directions that surprise and anger his employer. Ledda's crimes and related crimes drive two police investigators - and Ledda - in a race against time. The plot threads become as tangled and mysterious as the tangles in Ledda's diseased mind and unravel in a stunning conclusion.
This film was made by Belgian director Erik Van Looy, whose stylish work won top honors along with Decleir. The film is based on the novel "De Zaak Alzheimer" by popular Belgian detective novelist Jef Geeraerts. Hopefully, it and his other novels will be translated into English. Geeraerts' psychological approach evokes another Belgian writer, the incomparable Georges Simenon. This is the first of Geeraerts' stories to reach the big screen, and Hollywood has bought the rights to a remake. Don't wait; see the original. Decleir's portrayal should not be missed.
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