From the Branches Drops the Withered Blossom, 1960

The title of Paul Meyer’s compassionate, sincere, and deeply personal feature film on immigrant labor, cultural assimilation, and exile, From the Branches Drops the Withered Blossom, is a line from a poem by Salvatore Quasimodo pondering the inevitability of change. Initially commissioned by the Ministry of Education to promote the integration of immigrant children into […]

Raoul Servais: Short Films (1963-2001)

One of my favorite recent DVD purchases is Belgian animation filmmaker Raoul Servais’ L’Int├ęgrale des courts m├ętrages anthology from France. In addition to the ten short films in the collection (some of which can be viewed at Atom Films), there are also extracts from all of his remaining films (including his one feature film, Taxandria), […]

Seagulls Are Dying in the Harbor, 1955

In hindsight, the expressionistic collaborative feature Seagulls Are Dying in the Harbor by Flemish filmmakers Roland Verhavert, Ivo Michiels, and Rik Kuypers proves especially suited as a milestone film for Belgian national cinema, carrying the international distinction as the country’s first feature film to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival. Set in postwar Antwerp, […]