the pic benefits from an artful combination of naturalistic performances and attractively stylized visuals, aided by judicious use of an evocative score. The isolated seaside location (unspecified in the film but shot in Ostende) practically becomes a character itself, with gorgeous shots of crashing waves, blowing reeds and empty sand dunes employed lyrically throughout. Executed in widescreen with a Red One camera, Anton Mertens’ crisp lensing leads a colorful craft package.
The New York Times
And with its indeterminate period setting and tarnished-sunlight glow (courtesy of the gifted cinematographer Anton Mertens), the film has a delicate, dreamlike quality that’s quite affecting.
Defurne is immeasurably aided by cinematographer Anton Mertens, whose work will rank as some of the year’s most striking. The simple tale is wrapped in gorgeous but never too self-conscious imagery
San Francisco Chronicle
It’s a story that’s been told countless times, but first-time director Bavo Defurne has such an assured hand and visual flair (much credit also belongs to cinematographer Anton Mertens) that everything seems fresh and new.
Slant magazine US
Anton Mertens’s camera work enhances these aesthetic choices; his carefully lit compositions make the physical components of the story’s sleepy town seem both fantastical and familiar, as if from a dream. The lush visuals bring the film to life and the sense of insularity created by the mise-en-scène provides an effective mirror of the film’s highly reserved main character
The ViewEdinburgh Review
The film is beautifully shot courtesy of cinematographer Anton Mertens, who bathes everything in a nostalgia-tinged, almost dream-like yellow light. Defume and Mertens also evoke a strong sense of time and place, particularly in their use of the various town and beach locations
UK Empire magazine
But all the performances are as affecting as Anton Mertens’ evocative seascapes.
The windy city times
The elegant camerawork is by Anton Mertens, who captures the gorgeous, sun-drenched but lonely, windswept coastal terrain that contrasts with the cramped, rather plain interiors the characters inhabit.
The Times UK
The Times (UK) puts CLAN on #4 in its Best Foreign language TV Drama chart: ” where every shot is bright and polished like a 1950s hollywood postcard ”
Indie Wire: The Best Netflix Foreign Language Shows Worth Bingeing This Belgian crime drama could hold its own among other small-town TV murder mysteries, with its slow-burn storytelling and gorgeous imagery.
the daily dot
Beau Séjour does a ripping job of building atmospheric tension, and it certainly looks great. The cinematography, courtesy of Anton Mertens, marries the cold monstrosity of Michael Haneke efforts like The White Ribbon to a film noir sensibility.