13 items from 2016
Paris — Paris-based producer Wassim Beji is on board to produce “Based on a True Story,” the film being scripted by Cannes award-winner Olivier Assayas and that will be directed by Roman Polanski, Variety has learned.
Marking Polanski’s return to filmmaking since his 2013 drama “Venus in Fur,” the French-language “Based on a True Story” is an adaptation of Delphine de Vigan’s critically acclaimed novel of the same name. The book was published last year and won the Prix Renaudot and high school prize Goncourt des Lyceens.
Assayas, who nabbed the best director prize at Cannes for supernatural drama “Personal Shopper” with Kristen Stewart (the award was shared with Romanian director Cristian Mungiu for “Baccalauréat”), is writing the psychological thriller, which turns on the dangerous and toxic relationship between a writer and an obsessive fan.
“Based on True Story” marks Beji’s first collaboration with Assayas and Polanski. Beji is »
- Elsa Keslassy
In Don’t Breathe, three friends break into the house of a wealthy blind man with unexpected consequences.
Jean-Francois Richet’s Blood Father will make its North American premiere as part of the festival’s closing night events and as the official closing film of the Action! Section.
The thriller, which first premiered at Cannes in May, stars Mel Gibson as an ex-con who reunites with his estranged 16-year old daughter to protect her from »
Cassel is one of France’s biggest stars, with films such as Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” Maiwenn’s “Mon Roi” and the upcoming “Jason Bourne.” In “Fleuve Noir,” Cassel will star as a disillusioned cop who starts investigating the death of a child when his estranged delinquent son walks back into his life.
“‘Fleuve Noir’ marks our first collaboration with Curiosa and we expect there will be many more to come. Olivier Delbosc and I have known each other for 20 years and we have similar tastes,” said Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, co-founder of Films Distribution, which has three films playing in Cannes: Brillante Mendoza’s competition title “Ma’Rosa, »
- Elsa Keslassy
Cannes — Cyril Gely, scribe of Omar Sy hit “Chocolat,” is adapting U.S.-set thriller “I Spit on Your Graves,” the celebrated American race relations/revenge novel that made and killed -literally – French literary legend Boris Vian, a friend of Duke Ellington and Charlie Parker.
Set in a contemporary Southern U.S., to be shot in English,“I Spit on Your Graves” will be directed by Santiago Zannou, a Spanish Academy best new director Goya winner for “The One-Handed Trick.” Morena Films, producers of Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” and Oliver Stone’s “Comandante,” one of Spain’s best financed and most cosmopolitan of production houses, produces with France’s Mare Nostrum, headed by Alexandra Lebret, which garnered with Morena on Antonio Banderas’ “Altamira.”
Written in 1946, “I Spit” became a sensation when a copy was found on the bedside table of a strangled girl. France’s Catholic Church claimed that the »
- John Hopewell
To coincide with the release of Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan [read our review here], the winner of last year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, we’re looking through this auteur’s back catalogue. With consistent critical acclaim, we’re here to see if such receptions still hold up, and to see if certain films still warrant such appraisal. We may also be able to detect recurring themes, motifs, and visual traits, and to see if they’ve matured in later projects, or have diminished in time. In short, we’re ranking the man’s films from worst to best.
Jacques Audiard firmly roots himself in the crime underworld of Paris with his follow-up to Read My Lips. Thuggish broker Thomas Seyr (Romain Duris) involves himself in unscrupulous activity to assist in his real estate enterprise. »
- Matthew Lee
★★★★☆ Ostensibly a remake of James Toback's 1978 film Fingers, The Beat That My Heart Skipped sees an electric Romain Duris fill Harvey Keitel's boots as livewire musician and borderline crook, Thomas Seyr. The fourth feature from French director Jacques Audiard, it is a vibrant, kinetic depiction of obsession, desire and filial responsibility which freewheels around the City of Lights, largely at night. At its heart a tale of fathers and sons, Beat takes place at the intersection of the bourgeoisie, a real estate racket and the more dangerous elements of Paris' criminal underworld. Built around a stellar lead performance, it is a dynamic film, constantly on the move and tightly coiled with the ever present threat of violence. Backed up by an eclectic score that veers from electro to acid jazz to classical and superbly framed by cinematographer Stéphane Fontaine - who would go on to collaborate with Audiard »
- CineVue UK
At the Us première of Valley Of Love, Guillaume Nicloux's searing portrait of a long divorced couple (Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert), John Waters recalled Bertrand Blier's Going Places (Les Valseuses) as his first Isabelle experience, Catherine Breillat's Abuse Of Weakness (Abus De Faiblesse), and wishing he had seen her in Tennessee Williams' Streetcar Named Desire or Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis, or Jean Genet's The Maids with Cate Blanchett and Elizabeth Debicki.
The next morning over coffee, I shared greetings from her Tip Top director Serge Bozon and Mrs. Hyde, where Isabelle will star with Romain Duris and Depardieu. At the French Embassy after party celebrating 25 years of French electronic music with DJs Busy P, Boston Bun, Superpoze and Jacques, she tried to answer John Waters earlier posed question. »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
After premiering at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival in the Galas Program, via Cohen Media, the double 40th César Award nominated The New Girlfriend received a limited theatrical release a year later for a meager box-office take just under one hundred and fifty thousand. Based on a novel by Ruth Rendell, Francois Ozon’s playful subversion of gender dynamics hinges on camp, recalling a legion of vintage queer classics from decades ago (as well as Ozon’s own darker, challenging early filmography when the auteur was referred to as a terrible enfant). As politically correct agendas continue to be applied to queer characters, engulfing deliberations of appropriate representation, items such as Ozon’s film have become a rarity in the English language market. But there’s a perverse mixture of dark comedy and psychological unrest portrayed here, and Ozon gleefully captures a neglected energy of queer cinema once again relegated to the periphery of good taste. »
- Nicholas Bell
Director: Serge Bozon
Serge Bozon’s sophomore effort, Tip Top (2013) was among our favorite 2014 Us theatrical releases, and still remains an underappreciated title. Bozon, whose first film was 2007’s offbeat wartime musical La France, has become an increasingly unpredictable talent, and we’re highly anticipating his recently announced third feature, Madame Hyde, a loose adaptation of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson short story, adapted famously by many auteurs (Rouben Mamoulian, Victor Fleming, and Walerian Borowczyk included). Along with his regular co-scribe Axelle Ropert, Bozon reunites with Isabelle Huppert (who starred in Tip Top), who portrays Mrs. Gequil, a shy teacher at a vocational college who experiences weird urges following a failed experiment. Bozon’s film aims to be a contemporary portrait of the education system and the relationship between teachers and student. Notably, this is the third pairing of Huppert and Depardieu following »
- Nicholas Bell
MK2 Films has acquired sales of Serge Bozon’s black comedy Mrs. Hyde, starring Isabelle Huppert in a role inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s 19th century classic The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
Huppert is set to play a timid physics high school teacher, despised by her pupils and colleagues alike, whose life is changed forever after she is struck by lightning and wakes up with powerful and dangerous new capabilities.
“We are thrilled to represent this extraordinary new voice in French cinema that Serge Bozon has embodied since he began making films,” said MK2.
“We anticipate that, with this adaptation of a world-renowned story and simply the best possible French actors, he will be »
In the run up to the UniFrance Rendez-Vous in Paris, MK2 has acquired international sales rights to Serge Bozon’s “Mrs. Hyde,” a black comedy starring Isabelle Huppert, Gerard Depardieu and Romain Duris.
Produced by David Thion’s Les Films Pelléas, the project is freely inspired by Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Huppert stars as a timid physics teacher despised by her pupils and colleagues in a suburban high school. But after getting struck by lightning, she wakes up with powerful and dangerous new capabilities.
“We are thrilled to represent this extraordinary new voice in French cinema that Serge Bozon has embodied since he began making films. We anticipate that with this adaptation of a world renowned story and simply the best »
- Elsa Keslassy
Jean Reno stars in Family Heist as master thief who teams up with long-lost daughters.
French outfit Snd has boarded international sales and local distribution rights to art theft comedy caper Family Heist and romantic drama The Confession ahead of Unifrance’s annual Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris next week (Jan 14-18).
Pascal Bourdiaux’s Family Heist stars Jean Reno as a master thief who enlists the support of his long-lost daughters on an ambitious robbery aimed at exacting revenge on a double-crossing, former partner.
Reno is set for a high-profile year. He will hit screens at home and abroad in French comedy The Visitors: Bastille Day this spring and also has roles in Sean Penn’s upcoming The Last Face and the historical drama The Promise.
The two-month »
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
13 items from 2016
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