5 items from 2016
The political thriller genre gets a very timely infusion of life with Thomas Kruithof’s debut “Scribe,” a lean, edgy drama about an outwardly bland middle-aged factotum hired to transcribe taped conversations that may or may not have been recorded by the French secret service. Set during an election clearly intended to elicit parallels with current right-wing campaigns from Marine Le Pen to Donald Trump, the film, at one time given the unwieldy English title “The Eavesdropper,” boasts an ace cast and the kind of skillfully crafted script that keeps audiences tensely guessing the outcome until the delicious “did that just happen?” denouement. The movie is likely to do strong home business on its January opening, and should be enjoyed by Francophile art houses worldwide.
When we first meet bookkeeper Duval (François Cluzet), he’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown, precipitated by a nasty boss and a weakness for alcohol. »
- Jay Weissberg
While at the 2016 Fantastic Fest last month, I had the opportunity to check out a few films that were on the fringes of horror and sci-fi, so I’ve decided to recap my thoughts on a few of those movies here.
24x36: A Movie About Movie Posters: A documentary about the art form of creating movie-themed posters, first-time filmmaker Kevin Burke’s documentary, 24x36: A Movie About Movie Posters, hit all the right notes for me. It perfectly covers the rise—and subsequent fall—of the artists behind some of the most iconic movie posters in cinema, and it also offers an in-depth look at the creative process that goes into crafting images that would go on to become iconic, huge parts of pop culture.
24x36 covers a decent amount of ground history-wise (although the geek in me would have always loved more), and the way Burke delves »
- Heather Wixson
Snd has come on board Nicolas Boukhrief’s WWII-set romance drama “The Confession,” the helmer’s follow-up to gritty contempo thriller “Made in France,” and Pascal Bourdiaux’s comedy adventure “Family Heist,” with Jean Reno (“The Da Vinci Code,” “The Squad”).
Now in production, “The Confession” toplines Romain Duris (“The New Girlfriend,” “The Beat That My Heart Skipped”) and Marina Vacth (“Young and Beautiful”). The period drama turns on a young woman who confesses, while lying on her deathbed, that she fell in love with a priest in Occupied France during the Second World War.
Boukhrief’s latest film, “Made in France,” follows a journalist who infiltrates a jihadist cell in Paris. Pic, which was shot before the Charlie Hebdo and recent Paris terror attacks, will soon by released in France. “The Confession” marks a departure for Boukhrief who is known for directing high-voltage, bold genre films such as “Off Limits” and “Cash Truck. »
- Elsa Keslassy and John Hopewell
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne co-produce out of their Brussels-shingle Les Films du Fleuve. Producer of Rebecca Zlotowski’s highly regarded debut “Belle épine” and follow-up “Grand Central,” which established her a director to track, Les Films Velvet’s lead produces out of France.
“Good Luck Sam” is the first feature of Farid Bentoumi, a laureat of France’s Emergence talent development program whose alums include Mia Hansen-Love and Katell Quillevere, two of France’s most exciting young distaff directors.
Bentoumi’s project was originally god-mothered at Emergence by Agnes Jaoui (“Let It Rain”). It is co-penned by Bentoumi, Gaelle Mace (“Aylah”) and Noe Debre, co-scribe on Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Dheephan” and Thomas Bidegain’s “The Cowboys.”
Ad Vitam, whose 2016 line-up also includes »
- John Hopewell
Paris – “Five,” featuring Pierre Niney, “Boss’s Daughter,” a Wild Bunch market premiere, and “Irreplaceable,” on Le Pacte’s books, will all screen at the 18th UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the biggest national film market in the world.
Other potential highlights, of new films screening, take in Indie Sales’ “Dofus – Book 1: Julith,” Bac’s “The Great Game,” Films Distribution’s “Good Luck Sam,” a EuropaCorp drama, “Stop Me Here,” Elle Driver’s “Jailbirds,” Pathe’s “Come What May” and The Other Angle’s “The Roommates Party.”
Running Jan. 14-18 in Paris, the Rendez-Vous will also highlight the state and direction of France’s movie export industry, the biggest in the world after the U.S. in its sales agents numbers and, with the U.K. –depending on the definition of what constitutes a U.K. film – in theatrical gross and companies revenues.
Putting this into perspective, the French and U. »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
5 items from 2016
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