“This No Land” – Alexander Decommere

An old cowboy ‘Grandpa Sudoku’ (Patrick Pevenage) leaves on a trip to Disneyland with the 6 year old Laura (Lisa Lelieur). When  they stop at a gas station, they bump into two couples, who each have their own reason to make the same stop.

This synopsis shortly introduces Alexander Decommere’s western short film (surreal western to be precise) This No Land that made the selection for the Flemish Fiction Competition at the International Short Film Festival in Leuven this year.

Alexander Decommere, known for his documentaries End Credits (2013), Alaturka (2014) and the 2015 short film Where The Pelican Lands, is an experienced director. This No Land proves this fact. The end result is quite impressive, considering that it is shot in both Belgium and the Spanish desert, and crowdfunded.

This No Land has a top of the bill Flemish cast such as Titus De Voogdt (Cub (2014), King of the Belgians (2016)) & Peter Van den Eede (Dirty Mind (2009), Wasteland (2014) as a classy queer couple. Other names are Robrecht Vanden Thoren (Hasta La Vista (2011) and Anne-Laure Vandeputte.
The film has a steady narrative pace, but the dialogues are rather trivial at times unfortunately. But the acting performances are flawless, which adds up to the final result.

Another asset of the film is the remarkable camera work by Jorge Piquer Rodriguez, who achieved to set the right atmosphere for the genre by using wide establishing shots and a symmetric framing for the dialogues.

In my opinion, the narrative is very action-driven, rather than character-driven, which makes the encounters look coincidental. It took me some time to get the story, but eventually I realised that the entire film was a dream sequence. The end pulls us back in the real world by a dramatic climax. This is where all things fit together, like the pieces of a puzzle. Important elements get explained, like for example why they meet the 2 other couples and who the young girl is. Despite the ‘aha’ experience, the main story plot lacks some backstory though.

To conclude, This No Land is satisfying when it comes to visuals, but the plot line could be made more clear. Although it’s typical for short films to have an open ending, here it is mainly vague and incomprehensible for a mainstream audience. Nonetheless, I sincerely liked the concept and the atmosphere.

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Work

Fiction

March – June 2016   –   The Missing II (tv-series); Czar TV & Company Pictures   –   Personal Assistant/ Assistant Locations

March 2016   –   Zie Mij Graag (tv-series); Eyeworks   –   Assistant Locations

October – November 2016   –   Where Hands Touch (film); UMedia & Pinewood Pictures   –   Assistant Locations

Januari 2017   –   Himalaya Gold (short film); Pinceel Producties   –   Location Manager

May – July 2017   –   Domino (film); Zilvermeer Productions & Blenkov&Schonnemann   –   Personal Assistant to Director (Belgium)

August 2017   –   The Team II (tv-series); Lunanime – Casting Assistant (1 day)

March 2018    –   Luther (tv-series); BBC1 & Czar TV   –   Driver (1 day)

April 2018   –   De Volgende (short film); RITCS Brussels   –   Production Manager

June 2018   –   Immenhof, das Abenteuer eines Sommers (film); Potemkino & Rich & Famous Productions   –   Set Runner

July 2018   –   Sprite Sister, Die Vier Zauberhaften Schwestern (film); Potemkino   – Driver/Runner

September   –   October 2018The Barefoot Emperor (film); Lunanime & BoFilm   –   Production-Assistant

Non-Fiction

October 2017   –   The Amazing Race Season 30; CBS   –   Personal Assistant to Director

Commercials

January 2016   –   Samsung; Geronimo   –   Production-Assistant

May 2016   –   Dierenwelzijn; De Machine   –   Assistant Locations

August 2016   –   JoeFM; Hamlet TV   –   Assistant Locations

September 2017   –   VTM; Wenneker   –   Sound Continuity

September 2017   –   Fairtrade; Wenneker   –   Production-Assistant

September 2017   –   Zora Robotics NV   –   Kids Coach

November 2017   –   Weight Watchers; Wenneker   –   Production-Assistant

April 2018   –   Promoclip Film Fest Oostende   –   Production-Assistant

May 2018   –   Videoclip The Color Grey; Wenneker   –   Production-Assistant

July 2018   –   Leonidas; Hamlet   –   Assistant Location Manager

August 2018   –   Ausy; Red Dust   –   Production Manager Preproduction & Production

Internships

October 2014   –   Radio 2 Antwerp   –   Reporter

February – May 2015   –   ENTER Socio-Cultural Festival   –   Reporter

May 2015   –   Filmfestival Cannes; Nisimasa   –   Filmcritic

October 2015   –   Hakuna Casting   –   Assistant Event management