22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Philippe de Pierpont

Portrait Philippe de Pierpont
© Johan Legraie

Philippe de Pierpont was born in 1955 in Brussels. After studying art history and archaeology and taking courses in theater, film, and video, he dedicated himself to a diverse spectrum of activities: He is a documentary filmmaker and film director, a screenwriter, and a comic book author. In the 1990s, he made a dozen award-winning documentary films that have been shown at numerous festivals. In 1999, he made his first short film »L’héritier«, which was selected for the 2009 Venice film festival. He tackled the topic of incest in his first feature film, »Elle ne pleure pas, elle chante« (2011), based on the autobiographical book by Amélie Sarn. In »Welcome home« (2015) he tells the story of two teenagers who run away from home and embark on a dangerous journey. In his third film, Pierpont plans to address the complex subject of Belgian colonialism in Africa.

As a comic book author, he first worked with Stefano Ricci (»Tufo«, 1996) and Merkeke (»Sablier«, 2000) and later with Éric Lambé. Their graphic novel »Alberto G.« (2003) portrays the artist Alberto Giacometti in a chronological retelling of his search for the perfect human expression in his characters until a vision of death finally gives him the decisive inspiration. For this book, Pierpont has chosen to use curt, precise language. Their next book »La pluie« (2005; tr: The Rain) is about a lifeguard and a night shift-working midwife whose love seems that it will either drown in endless rain or dissolve completely. »Un voyage« (2008; tr: A Journey) is the story of a young man with a relapsing leukemia diagnosis who allegedly only has weeks left to live and, demoralized by fear, uncertainty, and buoyed by the sincere desire to live, takes a last trip to Belgium together with a stray dog. In their most recent graphic novel »Paysage après la bataille« (2016; tr: Landscape after the Battle), which earned Pierpont and Lambé the Prix du meilleur album at the 2017 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême, a broken woman who has lost her child runs away from herself and her pain and hides at an abandoned campsite in the middle of winter. She meets an older couple, a grim lumberjack, and the proprietor of the campsite, all of whom have an emotional, social, or pecuniary problem they have failed to solve and have withdrawn into loneliness. »Paysage après la bataille« is a deeply melancholy book with only limited dialogue that reflects the loss of the protagonist’s communication skills due to her traumatic experience.

Philippe Pierpont lives in Belgium.