Henri Storck

Paul Haesaerts & Henri Storck – Rubens (1949)

Cinema meets art critic. In this film commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Paul Haessaerts is responsible for ensuring that the screenplay (which he wrote together with Henri Storck) and the voice-over are intelligently informative. He provides a definition of Baroque, talks about the images’ composition, refers to Rubens’ life and makes a thematic analysis of his work, its evolution and it’s influence. The content is entirely in line with the demanding guidelines that André Bazin praised when explaining the education role of cinema. The form is innovative and inventive. The animation emphasizes the paintings’ key elements and structure and visualizes the composition. The split screen makes it possible to make comparative analyses of paintings and styles. Notwithstanding this textbook virtuosity Storck develops his own method, using the camera’s movements to enter into the drama of the painting. Tracking shots, exploring the painting, stopping at a detail, fragmentation, the closeness of the bodies and the faces. The first part of the film is analytical and biographical, the second part takes us, lyrically, into the paintings and into Rubens’ world “that the film recreates before our eyes” (Paul Davay). Both parts feature a very prominently present orchestral score. Read More »