Flanders mixes flix, tunes

Freeman, Dickinson to receive kudos from fest which focuses on music in film

Each October, a high ratio of musicians and filmmakers take to the cobblestone streets of the medieval city of Ghent, Belgium, for the fest dedicated to cinema music.

The Flanders Intl. Film Festival draws some 80,000 visitors annually for a mix of movie and musical events. This year, the 27th edition (Oct. 10-21) kicks off with a live concert of film music from composer Hans Zimmer (“Gladiator,” “The Lion King,” “The Thin Red Line,” among others). Previous years have seen composers the likes of Ennio Morricone, Jean-Claude Petit, Michael Kamen, Elliot Goldenthal, Stephen Warbeck and Georges Delerue play their works in person.

Opening the fest screenings is Julie Taymor’s “Titus.” She and composer Goldenthal will be on hand for the unspooling Oct. 11.

In tune with the fest’s theme is its competitive section, which focuses on the impact of music on film and this year will unspool such pics as Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” Karyn Kusama’s “Girlfight,” Terence Davies’ “House of Mirth” and Wong Kar Wai’s “In the Mood for Love.” Jury will be headed by producer Mace Neufeld.

Fest topper Jacques Dubrulle has announced that Morgan Freeman will receive the fest’s lifetime achievement award, the Josef Plateau Prize. The honor will be presented by Lili Fini Zanuck, who produced “Driving Miss Daisy,” for which Freeman received an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe. Prior Plateau recipients include Peter Ustinov, Elmer Bernstein and Irwin Winkler.

Flanders also will pay tribute to Angie Dickinson, who’s been a Euro favorite since her 1970 TV series “Police Woman.” The honor dovetails with the fest’s annual Memory of Film section, which this year focuses on pics with police themes, ranging from “The French Connection” to “Fargo.”

Another special showcase will feature Danish cinema, including the early works of helmer and reigning Cannes Palme D’Or winner Lars von Trier.

Beyond the high-profile guests, music and pics, the Flanders fest is known for it’s exceptional hospitality. The northern Belgian cuisine is a major boon to attracting festgoers — as are the region’s famous chocolates, which are doled out generously throughout the proceedings.

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