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(2004)

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Berlin Film Review: ‘Saint Amour’

Berlin Film Review: ‘Saint Amour’
Not everyone in France is a wine connoisseur. In “Saint Amour,” country bumpkin cattle farmer Bruno (Benoit Poelvoorde) tosses back the stuff just to get drunk, estimating that he’s been plastered twice a week for the past 25 years (multiplied out, that’s at least 2,500 times). At the Paris Agricultural Show, Bruno grabs his best friend (helmer Gustave Kervern) and heads straight for the wine stand, aiming to do a virtual tour of France’s wine-producing regions without even leaving the fair — a scenario that’s not even funny for five minutes, even with an overweight Gerard Depardieu playing his exasperated dad. Fortunately, Kervern and co-director Benoit Delepine don’t stop there, delivering a surprisingly sweet, if not entirely successful addition to their unabashedly strange oeuvre.

With a sense of humor that would be right at home on Adult Swim, the French comedy conspirators know a thing or two about orchestrating anarchic road-movie premises,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #41. Gustave Kervern & Benoit Delepine’s Saint Amour

Saint Amour

Directors: Gustave Kervern, Benoit Delepine

Writers: Gustave Kervern, Benoit Delepine

Eclectic Belgian directing duo Gustave Kervern and Benoit Delepine have created a variety of bizarre scenarios together ever since their 2004 debut Aaltra. Notable titles also included 2010’s Mammuth starring Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Adjani, as well as their not-to-be-missed 2012 title Le Grand Soir, which won the top prize out of Directors’ Fortnight. In Venice 2014, they unveiled Near Death Experience while Kervern has been appearing on other French projects in front of the camera, opposite Catherine Deneuve in In the Courtyard (2014) as well as 2015’s delightfully offbeat Ashphalte from Samuel Benchetrit (unveiled out of competition at Cannes). They often recycle the same cast mates in their feature, and a few of them populate their next feature, Saint Amour (previously known as The Wine Route), with leads Depardieu and Benoit Poelvoorde (The Brand New Testament; 3 Hearts) as father and son
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Venice Film Review: ‘Near Death Experience’

Venice Film Review: ‘Near Death Experience’
In some sense, all of anarchic French duo Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern’s films are road movies: In “Aaltra,” “Louise-Michel,” “Mammuth” and “Le Grand Soir,” misfit characters split with society, veer off into the wilderness and wreak black-comedy havoc. “Near Death Experience” is their darkest and least commercial film yet, though also their most serious and soulful, , then spends three nights wandering alone near his home before deciding whether to go through with the deed.

Like Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point” without the pyrotechnics, the pair have crafted a a stark, off-the-grid disavowal of the hollowness of modern society, though their approach seems more resigned than radical. Audiences aren’t exactly clamoring for films about suicide, and to complicate matters further, “Near Death Experience” has the curious fortune of arriving less than a month after Robin Williams took his own life.

In order to shoot such a disquieting project on their own terms,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #20. Fabrice Du Welz’s Alleluia

Alleluia

Director: Fabrice Du Welz

Writers: Fabrice Du Welz

Producer: Clément Miserez, Vincent Tavier, Matthieu Warter

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available

Cast: Laurent Lucas, Lola Duenas, Helena Noguerra

While he hasn’t released anything since 2008’s sorely underrated Vinyan, Belgian director Fabrice Du Welz has been busy. His first film since then, the Joey Starr led action thriller Colt 45, wrapped some time ago, and while we thought we’d see this released somewhere in 2013, it looks like 2014 should usher it into theaters. But even more exciting is that Welz is in post-production with Alleluia, which is meant to be the second chapter in his Ardennes trilogy, an opus kicked off by his delectably bizarre debut, 2004’s The Ordeal. This latest sees him reteam with everyone’s favorite star of weirdo French films, Laurent Lucas (who starred in The Ordeal), co-written and produced by Vincent Tavier, the man who wrote
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Mammuth – review

In Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern's black comedy Aaltra, a pair of mutually hostile paraplegics set out in their wheelchairs from Belgium to Finland to seek compensation from the manufacturers of the harvester that maimed them. Their new film, Mammuth, is also a quirky road movie, in this case about Serge (Gérard Depardieu), a recently retired French butcher in a small-town meatpacking plant. He has to drive around south-western France on his old Mammuth motorbike to gather documents from all his past employers in order to claim his state pension. Depardieu, now the size of a beached whale, exudes sadness as he meets a succession of fellow eccentrics while pursuing his hopeless task. The earlier film was in elegant black-and-white; this one is in grainy, almost granulated, colour and is intermittently very funny. In one bizarre scene (reminiscent of a similar moment between Depardieu and Robert De Niro
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Louise-Michel DVD review

Fans of Gustave de Kervern and Benoît Delépine's kooky sense of humour will be pleased to know the zany writing team behind last year's Mammuth - and 2004's darkly comic and highly inventive wheelchair road movie, Aaltra - are back with their latest offering, Louise-Michel.

The Euro is strong and orders are down in economically bad times, but, after reassurances from the factory bosses, the workers are given their own name-embroidered smocks. Yet upon arriving to work the next day they find, without any warning, that the factory has been shut down and decide to call a worker's meeting. As a result of said meeting, the workers are offered a mere 2,000 Euros for over 20 years work - an insulting offer that leaves a bitter taste - until ex-con Louise suggests they pool their resources and hire a hit-man to “whack” their unscrupulous bosses. Well, it's that or making a nude calendar.
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Alan Warner on Aaltra

Gustave de Kervern and Benoît Delépine, 2004

I've only met one other person who has ever heard of Aaltra. I find most good cinema by idly channel-hopping on late-night television. With Aaltra I needed to see just one frame and a panning shot to know it was for me. I'm not some grand connoisseur; with so many bland-looking movies it's very easy to tell an interesting one in a few moments. Aaltra is shot in grainy black and white with long, slow takes. I was laughing, too: a mirth that started low down – illicit – then rose to delighted hilarity.

Aaltra was written and directed by two French comedians: Benoît Delépine and Gustave de Kervern, who also play the lead characters. It's not just weepingly funny and politically incorrect. To my tastes it's wonderfully shot and constructed – every scene shows a real cinematic imagination at work. The directors are sensitive as to
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

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