Edmond Bernhard

Edmond Bernhard was born in Halle in 1919 and died in 2001. As a filmmaker with a passion for chess and philosophy, Bernhard embodies the history of Belgian cinema itself. As a former professor at INSAS, he is also one of the few theorists of Belgian cinema who has practiced the art himself. He left a mark on the development of several generations of filmmakers, cameramen and editors through his investigative and self-reflexive ideas.

He is the author of The Chess Themes of Lolita, an analysis of Kubrick's adaptation of Nabokov's novel and an Apology of Jazz. As a director he focused on works imbued with Catholic spirituality and the description of rituals.

He directed a small number of short films, including Lumière des hommes (1954), an ethnological view of the Eucharistic ceremony and the diptych Waterloo (1957) and Beloeil (1958). In 1960 he directed L'École de la liberté together with Paul Haesaerts. In 1963 he was commissioned by the film department of the National Education to tackle "the problem of leisure". He made a film about emptiness, idleness and boredom. Dimanche, produced by the Union économique occidentale and recorded in Brussels, is a lyrical and musical work. In 1967 he produced his last work, Échecs. The game and the moves are less important here than the geometry generated by the movement of the separate pieces.

A Sunday in Brussels. The guard is changing, children are playing and people are visiting Cinema Aventure. A short film about boredom that manages to sublimate the everyday, without commentary and usage of exceptional images.

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