Camping Cosmos

Camping Cosmos

Infobox Film
name = Camping Cosmos

|Miss Vandeputte (Lolo Ferrari) and Mister Vandeputte, owners of Camping Cosmos.
caption = screenshot
director = Jan Bucquoy
producer = Francis De Smet
writer = Jan Bucquoy
narrator =
starring = Lolo Ferrari
Noël Godin
Arno Hintjens
Jan Decleir
music = Serge Gainsbourg
Vera Lynn
George Gershwin
cinematography = Michel Baudour
editing = Matyas Veress
distributor = Transatlantic Films Brussels
released = 1996
runtime = 88 min.
country = flag|Belgium
language = French
budget =
preceded_by = The Sexual Life of the Belgians (1994)
followed_by = The closing down of the Renault Factory at Vilvoorde Belgium (1998)
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0115814

"Camping Cosmos" is the second comedy in the film trilogy "The Sexual Life of the Belgians" [The Sexual Life of the Belgians] (of which "La vie sexuelle des Belges 1950-78" is the first part), starring Claude Semal (himself - Tintin) [Claude Semal] , Lolo Ferrari (Miss Vandeputte), Noël Godin (Pierre Mertens), Herman Brusselmans (Herman) and Arno (Harry). The movie's tagline is: "Revolution, football, beer and frites". It is an unconventional and non-conformist story of the sexual habits of Belgians. "Cosmos" refers to the eternity of heaven in full contrast with this little campsite where so many people live together with their problems and limited view of the world. It also refers to the Russian cosmonauts (national anthem of the Soviet Union) who explored space, but who as communists did not believe in an afterworld. And last, the name of this "Campsite Cosmos" is referring to the sky without limit above the heads of its residents.


We see Belgians on holiday in a caravan park at the beach in the year 1986 with the first warnings of AIDS. The aim of the campsite entertainer is to bring culture to the common people but they are not interested when the play of Bertolt Brecht "Mother Courage and Her Children" is shown. Then he launches a beauty contest, a song contest and a boxing match between the challenger of Cassius Clay (Jean-Pierre Coopman) and the former European champion. The story goes in a fast tempo because the film editor was handling the first digital equipment at that time (so called "clip-generation"). The first kiss, the first sex goes very rapidly and the camera is harassing the secret life of the habitants. We are watching every action of them, just like in Big Brother (TV series).


"Camping Cosmos" is a parody on the classical Beach Party films and Baywatch. Miss Vandeputte is C.J. Parker and Harry, the lifeguard ( Arno), is Mitch Buchannon. The movie starts with the evergreen song "Maria Elena" and the view of a bird overlooking the campsite. Is this not a signal for the upcoming paradise? Lolo Ferrari coming out of the sea as an Aphrodite with the song of Vera Lynn (Land of Hope and Glory: Belgium?) and having her first orgasm with the comic strip "Tintin in the Congo", is focused on as a central figure, but the movie treats all characters with the same interest (in this movie Lolo Ferrari has the looks of Brigitte Bardot). "Camping Cosmos" has a correct balance between an astonishing script and the development of the psychology of the different caravan (travel trailer) owners.


See the external links and the site of the production company Transatlantic Films. [ [ Transatlantic Films] ] The movie was at the origin of a huge controversy about the policy of Flemish state subsidising of movies not at least because of the presence of main actress Lolo Ferrari. [See Fr wiki for the background of the controversy.]


The production was entirely in the hands of Transatlantic Films and its director Francis De Smet. Because of the refusal of the Flemish Government to raise the capital fund of the equivalent of 200.000 Euro at that time, the film had a substantial delay and was not ready in time for the Cannes Film Festival of 1996. This had consequences for the release later in Belgium. The film could not be released before 1997 in Paris.

Philosophical Background

The influence of Jacques Lacan is imminent: "Sex is the little Death" and "Du cosmos à l'Unheimlichkeit" (Séminaire X, l'Angoisse) ["Il n'est pas sûr qu'il y ait un cosmos, car notre science avance dans la mesure précisément dans laquelle elle a renoncé à préserver toute présupposition cosmique ou cosmissisante".] . Arno Hintjens and Jan Decleir as a homosexual couple are really funny. Noël Godin as the eternal "pieing-pope" plays a convincing Pierre Mertens.The protest of the younger generation (Eve and her boyfriend, Antje de Boeck, Ulrique the terrorist) refers to "The Revolution of Everyday Life" and the epicureanism of the elder to "The Book of Pleasures", [Vaneigem] both by Raoul Vaneigem. The citations of Louis Scutenaire and the "détournement publicitaire" refer to surrealism (Marcel Mariën). Miss Vandeputte reads "Function of the Orgasm" by Wilhelm Reich.

Artistic Background: Surrealism

The movie is a rare surrealist cult movie which uses the technique of "Verfremdungseffekt" which means that the spectator is not supposed to feel sympathy for whatever feelings of the protagonists in the movie. Their sex life is of no interest, how peculiar it may be: sodomy, homosexuality, masturbation, rape, sado-masochism, sex with dogs and dolls, prostitution. The illusion is created that it is all far away and not related to us. The only artist never speaks (=the autistic painter).

ubject of the movie: People on holiday

There is also the idea that common people on holiday do not care about what is happening in the "real life", they live on an island (something like an Utopia: "De Optimo Republicae Statu deque Nova Insula Utopia" or the island "Laputa" peopled with struldbrugs and Yahoos) at this time of the summer, isolated from everything and everybody. Their Paradise Regained (= free sex and entertainment, sport, beerdrinking (boozing) and frites in abundance, sea & sun, no working schedule; Eve (Bible) being the main character), only lasts for the four weeks of their holiday. After the summer the normal life and the daily working routine starts again, the monotony and suffering in the grey cities of Southern Belgium: (Charleroi, La Louvière, Borinage etc...).

See also

* Cinema of Belgium
* Cult Movies

External links

thumb|340px|right|Tintin and Snowy (Claude Semal) and Jennifer at the Song Contest.]
* [ Transatlantic Films Official Site]
* [ moviefone]
* [ NY Times]
* [ yahoo movies]
* [ xploitedcinema]
* [ Movie Review]
* [ The Sexual Life of the Belgians]


# " [ The Sexual Life of the Belgians] ".
# [ Claude Semal] .
# Vaneigem:" [ Traité du savoir-vivre à l'usage des jeunes générations] " and " [ Le livre du plaisir] "


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