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Koen Mortier

22 Mei * Koen Mortier (2010)

22 Mei (’22th of May’) opens with a scene reminding of Mortier’s “Ex-Drummer“. We follow the morning ritual of the rather cheap-looking Sam. With a cigaret in his mouth he brushes his teeth, makes his lunch and leaves for work. Sam proves to have the dull job of security guard at a small mall. While standing in front of the shopping center a massive explosion blows Sam to the ground. In a reflex Sam starts to drag people out of the collapsing mall, but soon he is overtaken by emotions and he runs away. After this the film gets stranger and stranger. The story of the explosion is told from various standpoints, victims, perpetrator, Sam. Pretty soon nothing is known to be true or imagined. “22 Mei” has a good atmosphere. It is quite a heavy drama with descent experimentations. An interesting film.

Ex Drummer * Koen Mortier * 2007

Ex DrummerHere we have another Belgian film, but this time spoken in Western Flemish. An extravagant writer thinks it is an interesting experiment to play the drums in a band with three lowlife idiots. He uses his ‘adventures’ to write a book (which later became this film). What you get is “Anyway The Wind Blows”, squared. Antisocial, mouth-filthy morons having fun with metal/punk-like music, beating up eachother, “janets”, women and whoever is in their way. This results in short explosions of bloody violence in the beginning of the film, working towards a very violent end. There are some crazy findings in filming and in the story and if you understand what the actors are saying, the dialogues are very amusing. “Ex Drummer” appears to be a scum version of the earlier works of Tarantino (but bloodier) layered with filthy music and characters that make the youths of “Trainspotting” look like mother’s favourite. “Ex Drummer” is a step further than most comparable films. Is this a path filmmakers should continue? Well, I had a few good laughs here and there, but overall I don’t find it necessary that film directors are trying to find the boundaries of when people actually get shocked (and I think “Ex Drummer” will do the trick for many people).