Filmmagie x Daily Nightshift

04.06.2020 — 28.06.2020 Film

Curated by Filmmagie

In the framework of the group exhibition 'Daily Nightshift', Kunsthal Extra City invited the independent, critical filmmagazine Filmmagie to curate a five-part film programme bringing together arthouse (short)films and documentaries in which the night plays a central part.

Given the current circumstances, we unfortunately cannot allow these screenings to take place at our premises, we therefore invite you to discover them at home.



With his Brussels-based roadmovie 'Ghost Tropic' (2019), Bas Devos takes a new path. His debut 'Violet' and city-in-fear-film 'Hellhole' already explored what makes a house a home, but took acts of aggression as a starting point and showed how mourning and loneliness can build walls between people. Their impressive, at times distant mannerist photography moved searchingly through a landscape of despair. Emptiness and absence often seemed like the residue of a shot, of the narration, of the thoughts evoked by the films. Now, 'Ghost Tropic' begins in an empty apartment, where no traces of a person are to be found, except for the table cloth and the furniture which are slowly covered in falling darkness. In the film that follows, viewers are invited to make up who resident Khadija is, whilst she walks through Brussels at night on her way home from her work as a cleaning lady.


‘Ghost Tropic’ is available for streaming via



Three brothers, one night, one city. ‘Tchoupitoulas’ (2012) embarks on a night-time adventure through the French Quarter of New Orleans on the trail of Bryan, Kentrell and William Zanders, and their dog Buttercup. While the three boys dream of distant futures, impressions of a vibrant city shimmy along.

This evening dedicated to documentary filmmakers Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross, opens with the short ‘Up All Night’ (2017), written and directed by their five-year-old niece Dorothy Jean Ross, whose also the main star in this wonderful reverie.

‘Tchoupitoulas’ is available on DVD, but check the trailer here. The short film‘Up All Night’ is available here.



Filming at night was no easy feat for city symphony pioneers. While ‘Berlin - Die Sinfonie der Großstadt’ (Walter Ruttmann, 1927) and ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ (Dziga Vertov, 1929), now canonized, incorporated nightly recordings into their compositions, films by Eugène Deslaw and Svatopluk Innemann completely surrendered to the night. In ‘Prague by Night’ (1928), Czech cineaste Innemann sketches a cityscape from late evening to the crack of dawn. In addition to the night work by agents, firefighters and postal workers, he also displays a fascination for the beams of electric light that allowed him to film in the dark. The French-Ukrainian filmmaker Deslaw is even more radically seduced by the play of light in the dark. In a manifesto that joined his abstract ‘Les nuits électriques’ (1929), he writes: “I believe that the modern night, populated by strange and singing lights, a night unlike any other in history, is as photogenic, or even more, than the face of a beautiful woman. Isn't the terrifying sweetness of the night the synthesis of all the smiles and tears of all the women in the world? Isn't this every bit the current nostalgic and turbulent poetry? Is it not the ultimate reservoir of freedom, of love?”

‘Prague by Night’ and ‘Les nuits électriques’ are both available online.

One version of ‘Les nuits électriques’ has a recent soundtrack by Xavier Garcia, who plays instruments he rebuild from inventions by futurist composer Luigi Russolo, who performed live music when the film was initially shown.



In his 1958 debut, Louis Malle pairs Jeanne Moreau, wandering through the night, to an improvised soundtrack by Miles Davis. The Paris of Ascenseur pour l’échafaud is a place of adultery, of desire and despair in telephone booths and on the Champs-Élysées. Two days after seeing the images of a mistress spending an entire night looking for her lover, Davis gathered a group of musicians for a nighttime improvisation. This night has become a blueprint for cinematic desire.

‘Ascenseur pour l’échafaud’ is available via VoD-platform UniversCine.



In her voice-over, author-filmmaker Marguerite Duras tells about the handprints that were placed in a cave 30,000 years ago. During her reverie about that archetypal image, a camera set on a car glides through the streets of Paris at night. With these images, filmed in 1978, Duras leaves a new set of prints, which may turn out to be much more fragile than the pigment left in the cave. The Paris that gradually emerges from the night, appears almost futile next to the drawing evoked by Duras’ words. Yet, precisely this nocturnal city is Duras' imprint.

‘Les mains négatives’ is available online here.


Practical information

These events were adapted to digital formats due to COVID19.

Language English

Location Online, World Wide Web

Daily Nightshift 21.03.2020—28.06.2020