Source: Paul van Ostaijen, ‘Lege Bioskoop’, in Bezette Stad (Antwerp: Sienjaal, 1921)
Comments: Paul van Ostaijen (1896-1928) was a Belgian poet. His idiosyncratically-designed Bezette Stad (Occupied City) is a collection of poems influenced by Dadism and Expressionism which deals with his life in Antwerp during the First World War. It features many references to the cinema and film stars (particularly Asta Nielsen). The poem ‘Lege Bioskoop’ (Empty Cinema) has a pianist playing to films in an empty cinema, building the music up to a gallop. I have not been able to find an English translation, and cannot match the titles Eenzame Bank, De Duivelse Vrouw or Arme Meisje van Belleville to any known films. My thanks to Karel Dibbets for drawing my attention to van Ostaijen’s work.