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During 18 months Jan Lauwers was followed closely by cinematographer Nico Leunen. This film tells the story of a restless artist with a pessimistic intellect and an optimistic soul. Get an exclusive insight into the ups and downs of a struggling father-husband-artist.

Although Nico Leunen cannot strictly be called a member of Needcompany, collaboration with this film-maker has become ever-closer.

His very first contribution was in fact a rather unusual experiment. When shooting Goldfish Game, he edited a rough version of the scenes that had been shot each day. This created a closed feedback system that enabled both Jan Lauwers and the two photographers to make daily adjustments to their view of how the film should turn out. After shooting, he worked on for three more months editing Lauwers’ first full-length film.

During that time, an interesting chemical process must have taken place which has since then seen to it that Nico Leunen continues to reprise his role as lost son.
The results of this include C-Song, the many recordings of Needcompany performances, and Nico’s personal portrait of Jan.

The Unauthorised Portrait came about after Jan took up the challenge of playing a part in Nico’s film. The only condition Nico set was that the character would have the same name as Jan Lauwers himself. This of course led to what ultimately became a documentary portrait.

In the whole of the 18 months in which filming took place, the only guideline Jan gave Nico was, ‘from now on you regard me as an object, as soon as the camera’s turning...’

Nico Leunen has always emphasised that making this film did not signal the conclusion of several years of cooperation, but is, on the contrary, a creative emancipation whereby he can carry on doing Needcompany’s audiovisual projects.

The Unauthorized Portrait,
a film by Nico Leunen.
Cobblersson Incorporated with the support of Needcompany and Senstudio

Documentary / portrait - 2003
DVD 52 mins. Engl. Sub. Stereo 1:78 Letterbox