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Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
Director / Producer / Screenwriter
Jean-Pierre 1951 - | Luc 1954 -
Jean-Pierre Born April 21, Engis, Prov. Liege, Belgium | Luc Born March 10, Awirs, Belgium
Key Production Countries: Belgium, France
Key Genres: Drama, Social Problem Film, Psychological Drama
Key Collaborators: Olivier Gourmet (Leading Player), Alain Marcoen (Cinematographer), Marie-Helene Dozo (Editor), Jeremie Renier (Leading Player), Fabrizio Rongione (Leading Player), Denis Freyd (Producer), Mireille Bailly (Character Player), Igor Gabriel (Production Designer), Frederic Bodson (Character Player), Morgan Marinne (Leading Player)

Highly Recommended: Rosetta (1999), The Son (2002)^, The Kid with a Bike (2011)
Recommended: La Promesse (1996), L'Enfant (2005)^
Worth a Look: Lorna's Silence (2008)
^ Listed in TSPDT's 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films section.

Links: [ Amazon ] [ IMDB: Jean-Pierre ] [ IMDB: Luc ] [ TCMDB: Jean-Pierre ] [ TCMDB: Luc ] [ All-Movie Guide: Jean-Pierre ] [ All-Movie Guide: Luc ] [ Cineuropa Interview (2005) ] [ Wikipedia ] [ kamera Interview ] [ Strictly Film School ] [ Film-Philosophy Article (2009) ] [ Reverse Shot Interview ] [ Guardian/NFT Interview (2006) ]
Books: [ Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Contemporary Film Directors) ] [ Committed Cinema: The Films of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne: Essays and Interviews ]
Rosetta (1999)The Son (2002)The Kid with a Bike (2011)La Promesse (1996)
  "The universe of the Dardenne brothers - one of austerity, poverty and crime - is a world away from the mussels and beer stereotypes of theme-bar Belgium... The Dardennes' films are characterized by a certain raw energy and by similar themes, settings and visual idioms. Their characters exist on the margins of society - black marketeers, illegal immigrants, minimum-wage earners - and are locked into painful, unresolved issues with either their parents or their children." - Lloyd Hughes (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)  
  "Often, the best material lies in the small struggles of everyday reality, the daily dramas parents, kids, and teens overcome to carve out a decent life. Brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have turned these tiny tales into compelling cinema. Operating from a decayed working-class slagheap town in Belgium, they moved from documentary to fiction for their stories of socially excluded individuals confronted with moral choices... The Dardennes' films hardly have dialogue; their characters don't make big speeches. Instead, their camera says it all, simple and effective, with respect. In doing so they achieve the pressing social relevance that all realist cinema aims for." - Ernest Mathijs (501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers, 2007)  
  "The Belgian social realists Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne fabricate simple but not simplistic human dramas examining the moral and ethical dilemmas of working-class characters scraping together a meager existence in the brothers' hometown of Liège." - Andrew Bailey (Cinema Now, 2007)  
  ""In order to film what you want to show on a face or a body, you first have to decide what you want to hide." - Jean-Pierre Dardenne  

"So much of modern cinema is built on visual flourishes and technological gimmicks that it’s easy to forget that the most enthralling special effect of all is the sight of characters moving through space, their body language, facial expressions and mundane actions telling you what they believe and feel. The Belgian filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne believe this, and they’ve created a distinctive aesthetic around their conviction. They tend to tell stories about poor or working-class people. They employ long takes, existing locations, ambient sound and natural (or natural-seeming) light to connect the characters to their surroundings, and emphasize how the characters’ physical environment and social conditioning shape their personalities and affect (sometimes dictate) their choices." - Matt Zoller Seitz, Salon

The Son
21st Century Top 50 
Ranked 5th on Film Comment's list of the 25 Best Directors of the Decade (2000-2009)
Salon's Directors of the Decade (2000-2009)
501 Movie Directors: A Comprehensive Guide to the Greatest Filmmakers
See Also
Andrea Arnold (external link)
Ramin Bahrani
Robert Bresson
Alan Clarke
Bruno Dumont
Lodge Kerrigan (external link)
Lee Chang-dong
Ken Loach
Shane Meadows
Cristian Mungiu (external link)
Maurice Pialat
Gus Van Sant
Dardenne's Favourites
Jean-Pierre: The Gold Rush (1925) Charles Chaplin; Luc: Sunrise (1927) F.W. Murnau. Source: Sodankylä Ikuisesti: Desert Island Films (2010)
 in St. Louis (1944)


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