Belgium – Ben De Smet, Sphinx Cinema (Ghent)

Cinema for me is…

Begium – Ben De Smet from Europa Cinemas on Vimeo.

Ben in 23 Frames

1. Describe yourself in ten words.
Curious, open-minded, quirky, sporty, social, considerate, verbal, calm, passionate, committed.

2. Your best quality? Your worst habit?
Best quality: baking cookies, especially shortbread.
Worst habit: leaving the house too late and having to rush.

3. Your dream job?
Movie critic and/or professional cyclist.

4. What do you like most about your country?
The wonderful city of Ghent.

5. Your favorite dish in your country?
French fries (with andalouse sauce).

6. Which word or phrase in your native language do you like the most and what does it mean?
From Het Huwelijk by Willem Elsschot: “Tussen droom en daad staan wetten in de weg, en praktische bezwaren”.
Desire and action are divided by laws, and practical objections.

7. What European capital have you visited lately?
That must be Paris, where I visited a friend of mine.

8. Other than your own, which European country would you love to live in?

9. What does Europe mean to you? 3 values.
Solidarity, openness, diversity.

10. What film made you fall in love with cinema?
I saw The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010, US) when I was 16 and I was amazed that a movie about some rich boys and their lawsuits could be so exciting.

11. Your favorite film theatre? What do you like about it?
Sphinx Cinema in Ghent. An intimate theatre with great, diverse programming, a beautiful location in the historical city center and a nice, cozy café.

12. Who is your movie hero?
Imperator Furiosa, the wonderful heroine in Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015, US).

13. Which movie director would you like to be?
Richard Linklater. I’d love to work with actors the way he does.

14. Briefly describe your favorite scene.
In Dagen Zonder Lief (Felix Van Groeningen, 2007, BE) , two friends dance around in a bar and sing along with a dance song and it’s so much more beautiful and moving than I make it sound.

15. What are the 3 best European films you have seen in the last year?
On Body and Soul (Ildikó Enyedi, 2017, HU)
120 Battements Par Minute (Robin Campillo, 2017, FR)
L’Atelier (Laurent Cantet, 2017, FR)

16. Which film character do you most identify with?
Ellis, in Jeff Nichols’s Mud (2012, US).

17. Your favorite soundtrack or song?
Aneurysm – Nirvana.

18. If you had to live in a movie, which one would you like it to be?
Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982, US) would be fascinating, but a little too depressing. So, Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004, US).

19. Your life becomes a bio-pic. Who plays the role of you?
Mark Ruffalo, Timothée Chalamet or Jeroen Perceval.

20. Which talent would you most like to have?
To ride a bike really, really fast.

21. What is your most treasured possession?
My copy of Cat Power’s heartbreaking album What Would the Community Think, autographed by drummer/producer Steve Shelley.

22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In all honesty: being part of the jury at the Venice Film Festival.

23. What is your motto?
From David Fincher’s Seven (1995, US):
“Ernest Hemingway once wrote “The world is a fine place and worth
fighting for.” I agree with the second part.”

Ben De Smet is the Ambassador of Sphinx Cinema. Find out more about the Cinema here.