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La fièvre monte à El Pao

Luis Buñuel's most direct film about revolutionary politics brandishes few if any surreal touches in its clash between French star Gérard Philipe and the Mexican legend María Félix. Borrowing the climax of the opera Tosca, it's an intelligent study of how not to effect change in a corrupt political regime. La fièvre monte à El Pao Region A+B Blu-ray + Pal DVD Pathé (Fr) 1959 / B&W / 1:37 flat (should be 1:66 widescreen) / 96 min. / Los Ambiciosos; "Fever Mounts at El Pao" / Street Date December 4, 2013 / available at Amazon France / Eur 26,27 Starring Gérard Philipe, María Félix, Jean Servais, M.A. Soler, Raúl Dantés, Domingo Soler, Víctor Junco, Roberto Cañedo, Enrique Lucero, Pilar Pellicer, David Reynoso, Andrés Soler. Cinematography Gabriel Figueroa Assistant Director Juan Luis Buñuel Original Music Paul Misraki Written by Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcoriza, Charles Dorat, Louis Sapin from a novel by Henri Castillou Produced by Jacques Bar, Óscar Dancigers, Gregorio Walerstein
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The Bravura Sequence

  • MUBI
I’ve finally made it to the grand master of the bravura sequence, or, more specifically, of the ending bravura sequence, King Vidor.

It isn’t surprising that a producer as knowledgeable as Selznick often ran to the services of the two major champions of “slice of cake” cinema and strong sequences, Hitchcock (Rebecca, Spellbound, Notorious, The Paradine Case) and Vidor (Bird of Paradise, Duel in the Sun, Light’s Diamond Jubilee, even Ruby Gentry), who, without a doubt, made the best films for Selznick.

Love Never Dies, Wild Oranges, Hallelujah, Our Daily Bread, Comrade X, Duel in the Sun, The Fountainhead, Ruby Gentry and their terrific denouements once made me write that Vidor was a director of film endings. No doubt I was exaggerating, but it isn’t for nothing that he hesitated for a long time between several different endings for The Crowd. I was also exaggerating because
See full article at MUBI »

Movie News: Hollywood to Remake 'Le dîner de cons'

No, you read this post's title correctly and you don't need to purchase a new pair of glasses. After ridiculing itself in its attempt to remake Asian horror films, Hollywood (I don't remember the last time I saw an outstanding comedy from Hollywood) will try to remake a film that is considered as a classic of French comedy. The film in question is Le dîner de cons (The Dinner Game), a hilarious comedy which won the 1999 César Awards for best screenplay (original or adaptation).

First of all, the Hollywood version of Le dîner de cons will be titled Dinner for Schmucks and directed by Jay Roach (Meet the Fockers). As for the script, it's described like this on IMDb: "An extraordinarily stupid man possesses the ability to ruin the life of anyone who spends more than a few minutes in his company." Moreover, the cast will include Paul Rudd, Steve Carell,
See full article at The Cultural Post »

'Dinner for Schmucks' ready to be served

Jay Roach's remake of the 1998 French comedy hit "Le Diner de cons" is finally coming together.

According to Variety, Spyglass Entertainment, Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks will team up to develop the film, with Spyglass and Paramount providing the majority of the budget.

Steve Carell and Paul Rudd are on board to star in the project, in which a bunch of friends organize a weekly dinner to which they invite the dumbest people they can find.

The trade says the film will most likely start principal photography in October. "Schmucks" will mark Roach's first big-screen project since 2004's "Meet the Fockers."

Most recently, the filmmaker received a Emmy for his television movie "Recount."

The original "Diner de cons" was directed by Francis Veber and turned into a huge hit. The comedy starred Thierry Lhermitte, Jacques Villeret, Francis Huster and Daniel Prévost. Very funny movie indeed.
See full article at screeninglog »

Film review: 'The Dinner Game'

Film review: 'The Dinner Game'
In the '70s and early '80s there appeared one classic French farce after another, including such crowd-pleasing hits as "Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe," "A Pain in the A--", "Les Fugitives", "Les Comperes" and of course, "La Cage Aux Folles". What all those films had in common was Francis Veber, either as director or writer or both, and his newest offering, "The Dinner Game", is a marvelous return to form.

If the picture, to be released this spring by Lions Gate, doesn't hit the commercial heights of his previous efforts, it will only be because the glory days of French comedies have long passed. The film was recently showcased at the Miami Film Festival, where it was a great success if the nonstop audience laughter was any indication.

"The Dinner Game" uses the classic formula employed by Veber many times in which an unlikely pair of protagonists are thrown together to great comic effect. The duo here is comprised of Pierre (Thierry Lhermitte), a handsome and successful publishing executive with a great apartment featuring a striking view of the Eiffel Tower, a beautiful wife and enough yuppie accoutrements to fill an issue of Vanity Fair; and Pignon (Jacques Villeret), a buffoonish, short, stocky accountant working for the Financial Ministry whose hobby is recreating historical monuments with matchsticks.

Pierre also has a hobby, a rather cruel pastime in which he and his friends get together for parties and engage in a competition in which they try to procure the most idiotic dinner guest imaginable; the one who produces the most laughable contestant is the victor, and the hapless guests have no idea that they are being displayed as objects of humiliation. With Pignon, Pierre feels confident that he has found a real winner.

Unfortunately, they never get to the dinner. Pierre throws out his back and winds up trapped in his apartment, with Pignon at his side. In short order, Pignon, whose actions always seems to produce disastrous circumstances, virtually wrecks his new friend's life, destroying his relationship with his wife, inviting an audit from a rapacious fellow tax inspector and reducing Pierre to a physical and emotional wreck.

This systematic destruction is hilariously rendered in Veber's farce, which reveals its stage origins by its virtual confinement to one setting. Although the dialogue is always witty, what truly produces the laughter are the uproarious characterizations and the expert performances by the two leads. Villeret has the meatier role, and runs with it; his Pignon is a brilliant comic creation who is as endearing as he is silly. Lhermitte, though he mostly plays straight man to his outrageous co-star, is no less skillful, garnering huge laughs with a series of perfectly calibrated slow burns.

As the bulldog tax auditor who turns out to have problems of his own, Daniel Prevost nearly steals the film. Among the film's comic highlights are a dialogue centering on the first name "Just" that plays like a hilarious variation on the classic "Who's on First?" routine, and an adorable, animated opening credit sequence.

Although the material is strictly lightweight and trivial, "The Dinner Game" is a wonderfully entertaining and briskly paced comedy that comes as a blessed relief from the angst displayed in so many recent French imports. As with many of its creator's previous hits, the remake rights will no doubt be snatched up by a Hollywood studio, followed by the inevitable charmless American version.

THE DINNER GAME

Lions Gate Films

Director-writer: Francis Veber

Producers: Gaumont International, Alain Poire

Co-Producers: EFVE, TFI Films Prods., with the participation of TPS Cinema

Director of photography: Luciano Tovoli

Editor: Georges Klotz

Sets: Hugues Tissandier

Color/stereo

Cast:

Francois Pignon: Jacques Villeret

Pierre Brochant: Thierry Lhermitte

Just Leblanc: Francis Huster

Cheval: Daniel Prevost

Christine: Alexandra Vandernoot

Marlene: Catherine Frot

Running time -- 90 minutes

No MPAA rating

See also

Credited With | External Sites