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Âge d'Or

Âge d'Or History

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The avant-garde legacy of Jacques Ledoux

L'Âge d'Or was created by Jacques Ledoux, founder of the Film Museum. L'Âge d'Or is the name of the surrealist feature film by Luis Buñuel from 1930. For Ledoux, this was the pre-eminent example of a film in which innovative language makes the subversiveness of the content even more pungent.

 © Bea Borgers


The Âge d'Or prize was first awarded in 1958, as part of EXPRMNTL, the Competition for Experimental Film in Knokke-het-Zoute. At the first edition of this exceptional festival, the prize was awarded to Kenneth Anger.

The event thus had both an aesthetic and a philosophical vocation. With regard to the pedantic film style, which became very popular after May '68, Ledoux believed that 'a neglected, academic and conventional style could not but negate, itself betray, a revolutionary and subversive content.' garde framework are the core values ​​of Âge d'Or.


Film prize

In 1973, the Âge dOr prize is reimagined. The prize was to be awarded by a Belgian jury to a feature film as part of a public program presented at the Film Museum.

The concept would change several times over the years. In the current text, which is the result of a lot of animated discussions between Jacques Ledoux and René Micha, long chairman of the jury of the Âge d'Or prize, the words 'revolutionary' and 'poetic' give way to 'originality'.

The Âge d'Or prize is awarded to a film which, due to the particularity of its design and its writing, departs from the broad cinematographic paths. It remains, of course, a tribute to the renowned oeuvre of Luis Buñuel and is a reflection of the parallel evolutions of mentality and cinema.

(Jury Äge d'Or)

Held annually at CINEMATEK, the film festival continued to include thematic retrospectives, screenings, debates and screenings of film restorations, with the aim of highlighting films produced over the past two years. The festival presented a daring film program that sought to deconstruct and critique conformism in both cinema and society. The festival chose not to distinguish between genres in the various sections, nor to limit itself to a specific format. The visitor could enjoy unique and special screenings where artists regularly came to present their own film.

The list of achievements not only provides a good overview of the winners of the Âge d'Or prize, but it also reflects the continuous development of the concept. As a contemporary and progressive film festival that always wanted to reinvent itself so as not to become mainstream or traditional, new angles were regularly devised. The titles are cataloged from 1973 and five years later the Film Finds are created, this category includes existing films that fully fit the spirit of Âge d'Or and that, according to the jury, deserve fame, but do not participate in the competition. In 2004 it was decided to award a prize for this category as well, and from 2010 there will be an official public award. No competition took place in 1995 and 2001.


Curious about who won the prize?

Below an excerpt from the palmares of Âge d'Or (until 2004)

1973
WR: Misterije Organizma, Dusan Makavejev Yugoslavia
1974
Les Contes Immoraux, Walerian Borowczyk France
1975
L’expropiacion, Raul Ruiz Chili
1976
O Thiassos, Theo Angelopoulos Greece
1977
Seishun No Satsujinsha, Kazuhiko Hasegawa Japan
1978
Shirley Temple Story, Antoni Padros Spain
1979
1980
Sauve qui peut (la vie), Jean-Luc Godard France-Switzerland
1981
Caniche, Bigas Luna Spain
1982
Outside in, Steve Dwoskin UK
1983
Eisenhans, Tankred Dorst BRD
1984
Utopia, Sohrab Shahid Saless BRD
1985
Le Soulier De Satin, Manoel De Oliveira Portugal-France
1986
Diapason, Jorge Polaco Argentina
1987
Anjos De Arrabalde, Carlos Reichenbach Brazil
1988
1988
Os Canibais [The Cannibals], Manoel De Oliveira Portugal
1989
Neardeath, Frederick Wiseman USA
1990
Caidos Del Cielo [Fallen from Heaven], Francisco Lombardi Peru-Spain
1991
Edward Ii, Derek Jarman UK
1992
Sangatsu No Raion [March Comes In Like A Lion], Hitoshi Yazaki Japan
1993
Kitchen, Yoshimitsu Morita Japan
1994
Satantango, Béla Tarr Hungary
1995
1996
A Comedia de Deus, João César Monteiro Portugal
1997
Witman Fiuk, Janos Szasz Hungary
1998
Xiao Wu, Jia Zhang Ke China
1999
Khroustaliov, Ma Voiture, Alexei Guerman Russia-France
2000
Eureka, Shinji Aoyama Japan
2001
2002
Japón, Carlos Reygadas Mexico
2003
Clément, Emmanuelle Bercot France
2004
Los Muertos, Lisandro Alonso Argentina-France

Under the hashtag #meetthefilmmakers, CINEMATEK introduces you to an ÂGE D'OR director in a fascinating way.
So be sure to check #agedor as well!