Jan Decorte, born in 1950, established himself in the Belgian theater as the author of several plays, adaptations and translations, as well as as an actor and director, before turning to film in 1975 with Pierre. He played the role of Sylvain in Chantal Akerman's Jeanne Dielman (1976) (see May 21). Since 1978, he has taught acting at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Decorte makes the following comments about Pierre: “Pierre, a plumpish young man with a furtive look, lives with his elderly mother in a modest dwelling on the outskirts of town. Some time ago his father died of a thoracic tumor the cause of which remains obscure. Every morning Pierre travels by tram to work at the town hall. He spends his lunch-hour there eating his sandwiches and listening to his colleagues' jokes. In the evening he stays at home smoking and listening to the radio. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings he attends the Gynmastics League.
“The story covers a day and a night and the action certainly tends towards the melodramatic. As far as I am concerned, in order to describe daily reality, it is perhaps better to keep as much as possible away from what it is alleged to be in so many novels, plays and films. A description, if you like, of reality.
“Man is an unravellable secret to anyone else. The final significance of most of his actions is obscure as are the reasons for them. At what point can we know the motivations of others? Should not one question the very existence of motivations?”