Jacqueline de Jong - The Art Rebel
“It’s about looking hard!” says Jacqueline de Jong at one of the calmer moments of this film portrait that, full of relish and wit, engages with the insurgent energy of the 80-year-old Dutch artist. De Jong’s biography is arresting: escape from the Nazis, studies in Paris and London, her return to Amsterdam, the relationship with Asger Jorn and to the Situationist movement, and her political activism representing only few aspects of her life.
French filmmaker François Lévy-Kuentz approaches the sharp-tongued artist in a similarly unconventional way by choosing a cinematic form which, like the artist herself, is difficult to pigeonhole. From archive material, interviews and images of the artist’s work, he creates a bold collage supported by dynamic music to illustrate de Jong’s artistic credo: “Erotic, humor, violence!” Lévy-Kuentz cherishes de Jong‘s rebellious temper, but he also reveals that, first and foremost, she is a master in the art of looking.
The French writer and director François Lévy-Kuentz was born in 1960 in Paris. He studied cinema at La Sorbonne Nouvelle – Université Paris III and then started as assistant director on documentaries. He made his first film about art in 1989, "Man Ray, 2 bis rue Férou". In the following three years, he worked as writer for Ramdam magazine, writing about fifty portraits of painters, visual artists or writers. In 1994, he was responsible for Aux Arts et cætera, a weekly television program dedicated to visual arts, which was broadcasted on Paris Premiere. Between 1999 and 2001, Lévy-Kuentz directed several portraits of filmmakers (Jean Painlevé, Rainer W. Fassbinder or Luis Bunuel…) for Arte. For more than 20 years, François Lévy-Kuentz has been dedicating his docu-mentary work to films about the arts and directed documentaries about artists, including Pascin, Marc Chagall, Man Ray, Yves Klein, Salvador Dali, Piet Mondrian, Alexander Calder, as well as movies about Pictorial Movement ("Le scandale impressionniste", "Quand l’art prend le pouvoir").