A Tribute to Jean-Claude Van Damme


World’s most famous Belgian ; A tribute to Jean-Claude Van Damme.


A stiff-as-a-button pipsqueak becomes an international star in martial arts films. The story is rather beautiful and, for once, it is Belgian. It is also the story of Jean-Claude Van Damme, by far the most famous Belgian in the world. But Belgium has a problem with its heroes, especially its artists - it's not Ensor, Magritte or Broodthaers who will say so.and Broodthaers will say the opposite -, and has a complex relationship with them, where admiration is mixed with a form of rejection. "Some would say 'Abruxellation' to describe this relationship.


Some would say 'abruxellation' to describe the relationship between the people of Brussels and their city, where love and hate go hand in hand. Thus JCVD is both loved and mocked loved, for rather obscure reasons. It is true that there was a time when "the Muscles from Brussels' had a tendency to slip up and make original interventions his public appearances: the French of a certain encrypted channel who, in any case, never understood anything.


The French of a certain encrypted channel, who have never understood anything about Belgian humour, made him pay for it. But what star has ever shown such frankness? The most remarkable thing is the total absence of animosity of Jean-Claude Van Damme towards journalists who try to destabilise him, or even ridicule him: his proverbial generosity finds a new expression here.


His proverbial generosity finds a new expression here. These words, which he uses with disarming spontaneity, are first and foremost the sign of a spirit in permanent search of encounter with the other. Yes, he is 'lucid' and really interested in his interlocutor. 


Wouldn't the world be more viable if everyone did the same?

An athletic body? It is useless, or even a handicap, for those who practice 

karate at a high level. But for the pudgy kid of the time, it was all about looking like

the superheroes of his childhood. His dream was also to make films: why is it that in interviews he is not really asked about his films in interviews? His qualities as an actor

are real, in a field where, at first sight, they were not a major asset. Jean-Claude Van Damme's problem is not that he has succeeded - "everybody goes to Hollywood" - but that he has been able to make it.


The problem is not that he has succeeded - "everybody goes to Hollywood" - but that he has really given shape to his dreams, something that adults do forgive. 


P-Y Desaive

Brussels, 2005 


Special thanks to Marc Duvinage and JCVD fan club


video: Tribute to Jean Claude Van Damme | The Muscles from Brussels

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