Saturday sees the official premiere of the Belgian movie Go For Gold from Piet Bataillie. The movie is a satire on the world of consultancy and international business, as well as being a sketch of the social life of Flemish people in Brussels. Set against the backdrop of several local events and starring Benan Gungor and Joke Vander Mijnsbrugge, Go For Gold tells the story of Bernd Van Cleemput, a senior consultant with a big car and a gorgeous girlfriend. He’s the successful yuppie with the perfect life. The sky is the limit. Occurrences in both his private and business life will confront him with new challenges. How will his quest for gold end?
To celebrate the official premiere of Go For Gold, director Piet Bataillie shares with Celluloid Diaries five movies that inspired his film.
Summer in the early nineties. I had just graduated from university and was discovering music (The Doors, Velvet Underground) and culture in general. A blissful feeling.
Ecran Total, a summer program with cinephile movies in Cinema Galeries, dedicated a program to indie icon John Cassavetes, who passed away in the late eighties. I was instantly taken by his film style and the charisma of both him and his actors/friends, Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara, and his wife, Gena Rowlands.
And what a name!
John Cassavetes is and remains a great inspiration. Just like I made Go For Gold over the course of five years due to budgetary constraints and the deployment of a dozen friends and acquaintances, John Cassavetes, too, did his thing with hardly any budget and with his friends. Without a doubt, Faces marked the beginning of my career in motion pictures.
I’m a fan of almost all of Scorsese’s films, but if I have to pick just one, I’ll go for one of his earlier movies, Mean Streets, which features not only an oppressive New York atmosphere but also the brilliance of the young and upcoming actors Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
In my opinion, the two most important criteria for a good movie are 1) the screenplay and 2) the actors. If these are good, you’ll automatically have a good film. I’m less interested in the rest, which is why I’m not a fan of science fiction and blockbusters. My motto is: keep it small and realistic.
The oppressive New York atmosphere is also reflected in Downtown 81, a semi-documentary about painter Jean-Michel Basquiat and New York in the early eighties, especially the Lower East Side, which was then a rugged, dilapidated neighborhood. This cult film is a must-see for lovers of art and music. Starring Blondie and James Chance & The Contortions.
In Melinda and Melinda, we see the gorgeous Radha Mitchell in the title role. And, yes, we’re in New York again.
I’m a big Woody Allen fan. He hardly ever goes wrong when it comes to screenplay and actors. He tells recognizable stories and succeeds in attracting the biggest actors and most beautiful actresses. In addition, Woody Allen’s films are steeped in good music, jazz. While not all his movies are great, he knows how to transport me to an ideal world, to a beautiful town, with blissful jazz music, and dazzlingly beautiful and interesting women.
When it comes to European cinema, I’m a big fan of Danish Cinema (Lars Von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg), the better French movie (François Ozon), and the British film (Ken Loach), but also Aki Kaurismaki and Pedro Almodovar. One of my favorite female directors is Andrea Arnold who directed Fish Tank. It’s a small film, with a great screenplay and atmosphere. On a personal note, I once interviewed actress Kierston Wareing at Bifff, which was a great experience.
Attend the Go For Gold premiere
The Go For Gold premiere will be held on Saturday, March 18th in the presence of the director, cast, and crew. The screening is organized in conjunction with the non-profit organization Curieus-August Vermeylenfonds and will take place at 8 pm in Espace Delvaux, Gratèsstraat 3, 1170 Watermaal Bosvoorde, Belgium.
You’re also welcome at the after party at Café Les Brasseurs in the center of Brussels.