A Beautiful Life

When Léo no longer accepts his wife's hatred, he decides to strive for his so called beautiful life by telling his side of the story.

  • Max Willocx
    The Unwanted Guest
  • Max Willocx
    The Unwanted Guest
  • Ilse Willocx
    The Unwanted Guest
  • Aza Declercq
    Key Cast
  • Gor Hakobjanian
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Une Belle Vie
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 56 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 6, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, ARRI Amira
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - KHSL Ghent
Director Biography - Max Willocx

Max Willocx, born in 2004 is a Belgian young director with Congolese roots. He’s in his senior year audiovisual arts at St. Lucas High School in Ghent, Belgium. 
Max became passionate about the art of the cinema when he first accompanied his mother to the set of Mandy, a Panos Cosmatos film, starring Nicolas Cage. He was thirteen at the time and didn’t feel like leaving the set ever again.
At that moment he decided he wanted to make movies.
In the beginning Max was most passionate about horror movies and thrillers, with time he brothened his range of interest and started seeking more depth in his stories. At first he couldn’t choose between directing, filming and editing , but now his dream and goal is to succeed in directing.
Une Belle Vie is his second short film. He wrote the first version almost a year ago and had to alter it due to budgettary restrictions.
He directed his previous short film The Unwanted Guest at the age of 16.
At the time, he wrote that script to be filmed in one space, with the help of some people who believed in his talent.
He filmed The Unwanted Guest in only 5 hours time, thanks to a detailed shotlist.
He directed, shot , edited and colorgraded everything himself. Also the music is his own making.
There was zero budget for the shoot.
The Unwanted Guest was selected for several festivals..

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Director Statement

Thinking about what’s bad and what’s good brought me the idea to make a film about people looking for a beautiful life. Not always knowing what happens in people’s lives , relationships or groups, it’s my opinion that it’s not our place to judge. It only takes some to make a psychopath out of someone. Therefore I chose to make the story about abuse in a relationship and add the fact that it’s not necessarily gender related. Do we feel equally sorry for either gender in case of an abusive relationship ?

And even though there is mostly a cause to our suffering, is the way we sometimes react to it justifyable ?

I believe that everyone deserves ‘Une Belle Vie’ or a beautiful life , although everyone has his own opinion of the meaning of a beautiful life.
We can ask ourselves if we believe that everyone truly deserves it…
Should our actions to obtain that beautiful life be left without consequences?
One of my biggest inspirations in film is ‘Requiem For A Dream’. Not only is it a very special audio-visual experience , Darren Aronofsky also found a perfect way to capture the depressed state in each of the characters and shows how they deal with it.
Another inspiration is definately ‘The Shining’. The transformation Stanley Kubrick was able to attend in the character of Jack and the way he made him into a total psychopath is completely mindblowing.
Also the series ‘Euphoria’ contains a large amount of depression. At some point in my young life I’ve had depressed feelings and therefore I guess the subject appeals to me.
On top of that I find the cinematography and the colors of the series next level.

It took a lot of preparation before we could finally start shooting and I couldn’t have done it without the help of a lot of people. The creating of the script has had a lot of ups-and-downs. After four drafts we could start preparing to go into production.
It was a risk to shoot the film with french dialogues, since both the actors are natively dutch speaking, but thanks to their rehearsals and strong will, I can say I’m happy with the result.