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Series Mania Q&A: French Director Nicolas Saada Discusses ‘Thanksgiving’

  • Variety
While at Series Mania Festival to present his mini-series “Thanksgiving” in competition, Nicolas Saada sat with Variety to discuss the spy drama which centers on the marriage between a Frenchman and American woman who are keeping secrets from each other.

Written by Saada and Anne-Louise Trividic, “Thanksgiving” was produced by Claude Chelli at Capa Drama, the thriving French banner behind “Versailles” and “Braquo,” for Franco-German network Arte. Newen Distribution is handling international sales on the series.

A former high-profile film critic, Saada previously wrote Frederic Jardin’s “Nuit Blanche,” which was remade into “Sleepless” with Jamie Foxx; and directed two films, “Spy(ies),” a London-set thriller with Guillaume Canet, and most recently “Taj Mahal,” a psychological thriller with Stacy Martin (“Nymphomaniac”) set against the backdrop of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack.

What’s the genesis of “Thanksgiving”?

It was Claude Chelli [the boss of Capa Drama] who approached me. He wanted to work with me and
See full article at Variety »

Dancing with the past by Anne-Katrin Titze

Arnaud Desplechin with Mathieu Amalric: "What I love about the scene of the dance between Charlotte Gainsbourg (Sylvia) and Marion Cotillard (Carlotta) - is that Marion is on the side of life." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

In the final installment of my conversation with the Ismael’s Ghosts: Director’s Cut (Les Fantômes D'Ismaël) director Arnaud Desplechin and his longtime star Mathieu Amalric (My Golden Days, La Sentinelle, Un Conte De Noël, Rois Et Rein, My Sex Life... or How I Got into an Argument, Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian), we discuss the dance scene between Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marion Cotillard, Mathieu's performance of the theme from Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie, composer Grégoire Hetzel, the modesty of Ivan Dedalus (Louis Garrel), John Gielgud's character in Alain Resnais' Providence, and what could be the opposite of a scene from Woody Allen's Bananas.

Arnaud Desplechin on Mathieu
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Understanding Céline by Anne-Katrin Titze

Emmanuel Bourdieu on who could play Louis-Ferdinand Céline: "One is Denis Podalydès, who is my best friend. And the other was Denis Lavant whom I knew only as a fan." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

At the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Emmanuel Bourdieu, director and co-screenwriter of Louis-Ferdinand Céline (based on the book The Crippled Giant by Martin Hindus and starring Denis Lavant), spoke with me about the casting of the lead role, shooting in Belgium with cinematographer Marie Spencer and screenwriter Marcia Romano and editor Benoît Quinon on board, working with composer Grégoire Hetzel on creating a tune for a William Blake poem to characterize Philip Desmeules' portrayal of Hindus, and how Géraldine Pailhas helped with the costumes for Lucette (designed by Florence Scholtes and Christophe Pidre).

Denis Lavant as Louis-Ferdinand Céline with Bébert: "He could change the mood very very fast. And Denis knows how to do that.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

The avenger by Anne-Katrin Titze

Emmanuelle Devos on Frédéric Mermoud's Moka based on the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay: "The landscape does have an effect on your acting." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Moka star Emmanuelle Devos at the start of our conversation at the French Institute Alliance Française, mentioned seeing Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon in Lillian Hellman's Little Foxes and Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper in Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2 on Broadway. She has a long history with her first director, Arnaud Desplechin (My Sex Life... Or How I Got Into An Argument, Esther Kahn, A Christmas Tale, Kings & Queen), who also directed her son Raphaël Cohen in My Golden Days. Desplechin and Mathieu Amalric regular Grégoire Hetzel is Moka's co-composer. Emmanuelle and I had spoken at the Tribeca Film Festival with Jérôme Bonnell for his Le Temps De L'Aventure (Just A Sigh).

Marlène (Nathalie Baye) with Diane (Emmanuelle Devos
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Here in my car by Anne-Katrin Titze

Claude Lelouch on Howard Hawks's Bringing Up Baby and his own La Bonne Année as films to watch to cheer you up: "Very good choices!" Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The Cannes Film Festival is gearing up for tomorrow's opening night screening of Arnaud Desplechin's Ismael’s Ghosts (Les Fantômes D'Ismaël) starring Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Marion Cotillard with Louis Garrel and Alba Rohrwacher, and a score by Grégoire Hetzel. Claude Lelouch with Un Homme Et Une Femme, starring Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant, in 1966 had won Palme d'Or honours and with Pierre Uytterhoeven, a Best Screenplay Oscar.

Mr and Mrs Gallois (Charles Denner and Judith Magre) with Simon (Jean‑Louis Trintignant) in Le Voyou: "One must learn how to detect cheaters."

Driving with Fanny Ardant, Dominique Pinon, and Audrey Dana in Roman De Gare, Abbas Kiarostami and cars, Un + Une in India with Jean Dujardin and Elsa Zylberstein,
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Grappling with genius by Anne-Katrin Titze

Denis Lavant as Louis-Ferdinand Céline with Bébert

Paolo Sorrentino begins his Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza) with a quote about imaginary travel from Louis-Ferdinand Céline's Journey To The End Of The Night. Céline's novels changed French literature forever and influenced writers all over the world since the early 1930s. Is it possible, Emmanuel Bourdieu's probing film asks, to reconcile the literary genius with his anti-Semitic pamphlets and statements?

Céline and Lucette (Géraldine Pailhas) with Milton Hindus (Philip Desmeules)

In the green room at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, the director of Louis-Ferdinand Céline and I discussed the terror of a genius, the score by Grégoire Hetzel, casting Denis Lavant of Léos Carax's Holy Motors fame, creating a tune for a William Blake poem, how Géraldine Pailhas helped with the costumes, bird sounds, and Bébert, the cat.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Mythmaker: Kiyoshi Kurosawa Discusses "Daguerrotype"

  • MUBI
Kiyoshi Kurosawa. Photo courtesey of Film-in-evolution | Les Productions BalthazarGone are the glory days when Hollywood would identify and poach remarkable foreign (inevitably European) directors, enticing them with greater budgets and production capabilities. France, with its generous co-production financing, cannot compete with Hollywood of the 1930s, but half a decade ago they brought over a spate of our favorite East Asian auteurs to make several great films: Hou Hsiao-hsien (Flight of the Red Balloon), Hong Sang-soo (Night and Day) and Tsai Ming-liang (Visage). Now count Kiyoshi Kurosawa with that number. The Japanese director, best known for a cluster of haunting mysteries that coincided with the J-Horror trend and still conflated with that brief cultural moment, has made Daguerrotype, a haunted house gothic featuring French stars Tahar Rahim and Olivier Gourmet.Though often creeping towards horror—“thriller” might be more appropriate if his films didn’t move at an unsettling, dreamily
See full article at MUBI »

Tiff 2016. Correspondences #4

  • MUBI
DaguerrotypeDear Fern,I've heard a lot of mixed things here about Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time, so I'm very pleased at your enraptured praise. Did you know from the first moment that you liked it so much? Sometimes, in those rare special occasions, you know right off that a film is great. From the first shot of Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, a grainy Montana landscape grayed by winter, with hills so soft in they could be painted on, and a train arcing its way towards the camera, it is clear this film is special. Based on stories by author Maile Meloy, the film takes the unusual form of a sequence of three stories, all set in small town Montana, and each foregrounded on a woman and her conflicted yearning.Laura Dern is a lawyer whose client (Jared Harris) in a dead-end malfeasance lawsuit gets increasingly dejected and unhinged
See full article at MUBI »

Images in haiku by Anne-Katrin Titze

Abbas Kiarostami (June 22, 1940 - July 4, 2016) Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Composer Grégoire Hetzel (Catherine Corsini's Summertime, Anne Fontaine's The Innocents, Arnaud Desplechin's My Golden Days), filmmaker Roberto Andò (The Confessions, Long Live Freedom), and cinematographer Ed Lachman (Todd Solondz' Wiener-Dog, Todd Haynes' Carol and Far From Heaven) salute Abbas Kiarostami, who passed away in Paris on Monday, July 4, 2016.

Abbas Kiarostami's final film, Like Someone In Love, was screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where in 1997 he shared Palme d'Or honours for Taste of Cherry with Shohei Imamura's The Eel.

Grégoire Hetzel: "Kiarostami forced entry into my childhood memories by retrospective invasion." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Grégoire Hetzel, Roberto Andò and Ed Lachman remember Abbas Kiarostami:

"Kiarostami is one of my most beloved filmmakers. On hearing the news of his loss, I was instantly reminded that his films like The Traveler, Homework, Where is the Friend's Home?
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

The sounds of summer by Anne-Katrin Titze

Grégoire Hetzel: "Joy is difficult to translate." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The composer for Arnaud Desplechin's My Golden Days (Trois Souvenirs De Ma Jeunesse), A Christmas Tale (Un Conte De Noël); Kings & Queen (Rois Et Reine); La Forêt and The Beloved (L'Aimée), Mathieu Amalric's The Blue Room (La Chambre Bleue), Cédric Anger's Next Time I'll Aim For the Heart (La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur), and Renaud Fely's L'Ami (François D'Assise Et Ses Frères) spoke with me about scoring Catherine Corsini's Summertime (La Belle Saison) starring Izïa Higelin and Cécile de France and Anne Fontaine's The Innocents (Agnus Dei).

Delphine (Izïa Higelin) in Paris

Grégoire Hetzel, who previously worked with Corsini on Les Ambitieux and Three Worlds (Trois Mondes) points out the similarity between her joy and Anne Fontaine's religion in our conversation high above Central Park.

The love story in Summertime
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Keeping score by Anne-Katrin Titze

Grégoire Hetzel with Anne-Katrin Titze: "It's like Bernard Herrmann or Ravel." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Grégoire Hetzel scored Mathieu Amalric's chronicle of fluid crime The Blue Room (La Chambre Bleue) and César winning director Arnaud Desplechin's mythical braid of adventure My Golden Days (Trois Souvenirs De Ma Jeunesse), A Christmas Tale (Un Conte De Noël); Kings & Queen (Rois Et Reine); La Forêt and The Beloved (L'Aimée).

Grégoire recently worked on Cédric Anger's Next Time I'll Aim For The Heart (La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur); Anne Fontaine's The Innocents (Agnus Dei); Renaud Fely's L'Ami (François D'Assise Et Ses Frères), Mathieu Demy's Americano and Catherine Corsini's Summertime (La Belle Saison), which he presented at Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York.

Arnaud Desplechin: "In Arnaud's films the music is always underscored …" Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Gilles Deleuze, Bernard Herrmann and Maurice Ravel eventually reverberated
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

New York Rendez-Vous with French Cinema encore highlights by Anne-Katrin Titze

New York Rendez-Vous with French Cinema at Lincoln Center Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

As Guillaume Nicloux's Valley Of Love, starring Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert opens this year's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York tonight, here are four more highlights. Emmanuelle Bercot and Vincent Cassel are brilliant in Maïwenn's My King (Mon Roi) with Isild Le Besco and Two Friends (Deux Amis) director Louis Garrel. Garrel's film, co-written with Christophe Honoré, stars Golshifteh Farahani (Asghar Farhadi's About Elly), Vincent Macaigne and Garrel.

Isabelle Carré, Karin Viard, Denis Lavant (of Léos Carax's Holy Motors fame) and André Dussollier in Jean-Marie Larrieu and Arnaud Larrieu's alluring 21 Nights With Pattie (21 Nuits Avec Pattie) and Catherine Corsini's hot Summertime (La Belle Saison) Izïa Higelin, Cécile de France and Noémie Lvovsky with a score by Grégoire Hetzel (composer of Mathieu Amalric's The Blue Room) add to the early bird highlights.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

New York Rendez-Vous with French Cinema Early Bird highlights by Anne-Katrin Titze

Three Sisters (Les Trois Soeurs) director and star of Paolo Virzi's Human Capital, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

This year's New York Rendez-Vous with French Cinema opens with Guillaume Nicloux's Valley Of Love, starring Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert. Jacques Audiard's Cannes Palme d’Or winner Dheepan closes the festival. Melvil Poupaud, Julie Delpy, Alice Winocour, Diane Kruger, Maïwenn, Louis Garrel, Emmanuelle Bercot, Eva Husson, Rudi Rosenberg, Emmanuel Finkiel, Danielle Arbid, Nicolas Pariser, Clémence Poésy, Nabil Ayouch, Grégoire Hetzel, Mathieu Lamboley, Alain Resnais' composer Mark Snow, Huppert, Nicloux and Bruni Tedeschi are expected to attend.

Bercot's Standing Tall (Catherine Deneuve, Sara Forestier, Benoît Magimel, Rod Paradot); Winocour’s Disorder (Diane Kruger, Matthias Schoenaerts); Pariser's The Great Game (André Dussollier, Poésy) and Bruni Tedeschi's Three Sisters with cinematographer Simon Beaufils - who also brilliantly shot Paolo Virzi's study of capitalism in crisis Human Capital - are four of the early bird highlights.
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

New York Rendez-Vous with French Cinema special events by Anne-Katrin Titze - 2016-02-17 13:28:23

Guillaume Nicloux's Valley Of Love star Isabelle Huppert Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The Film Society of Lincoln Center and uniFrance have announced for the 21st edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York, a series of free talks starting with Isabelle Huppert, who co-stars with Gérard Depardieu in the opening night film Valley Of Love. It's followed by Melvil Poupaud starring with André Dussollier and Clémence Poésy in Nicolas Pariser's The Great Game (Le Grand Jeu) and a discussion with Lolo director Julie Delpy and Stephanie Zacharek.

Composers Grégoire Hetzel (Catherine Corsini's Summertime - La Belle Saison and Arnaud Desplechin's My Golden Days - Trois Souvenirs De Ma Jeunesse), Mark Snow (Alain Resnais' Wild Grass and Life Of Riley) and Mathieu Lamboley (Lolo) will take part in French Touch Composers, moderated by Elsa Keslassy.

Isabelle Huppert - Friday, March 4, 5:00pm

Melvil Poupaud - Saturday, March
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

'Mustang' triumphs at France's Lumiere awards

'Mustang' triumphs at France's Lumiere awards
Oscar-nominated film also a front-runner in Cesars.

Franco-Turkish director Deniz Gamze Erguven’s debut feature Mustang scored a hat-trick at the Lumière awards — France’s equivalent to the Golden Globes — on Monday evening (Feb 8).

The Oscar-nominated picture clinched prizes for best film and best first film while its young cast – Güneş Nezihe Şensoy, Doğa Zeynep Doğuşlu, Elit Işcan, Tuğba Sunguroğlu and Ilayda Akdoğan - shared the best female discovery prize.

The coming-of-age tale about five sisters growing up under the thumb of a strict and conservative grandmother and uncle, is in the foreign language Oscar race and also heavily nominated in France’s upcoming Césars awards [Feb 26].

Some 600 guests from the world of cinema attended the 21st edition of the awards ceremony at the Espace Pierre Cardin at which actress Isabelle Huppert was also honoured.

Arnaud Desplechin won the best director award for My Golden Days (Trois Souvenirs De Ma Jeunesse).

Like
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A Little Chaos at the Monkey Bar reception by Anne-Katrin Titze

A Little Chaos with Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Producer Gail Egan, who has worked with Mike Leigh on Mr. Turner, Vera Drake and Happy-Go-Lucky, with Anton Corbijn on A Most Wanted Man, Philip Seymour Hoffman's last role, and with Film4Climate’s Creative Producer Donald Ranvaud on Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardener, was celebrated by Alan Rickman. As was his cinematographer, Ellen Kuras, of Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and Be Kind Rewind as well as first-time composer, Peter Gregson, whose music is well placed in the landscape. Cédric Anger, when I spoke with him on his composer, Grégoire Hetzel, for Next Time I’ll Aim For The Heart, told me he had wanted the music in the forest sound like a cathedral. Hetzel also composed the score for Mathieu Amalric's The Blue Room and the positioning in A Little Chaos
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Inside a killer by Anne-Katrin Titze

Guillaume Canet with Next Time I’ll Aim For The Heart (La Prochaine fois je viserai le coeur) director Cédric Anger Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Cédric Anger wrote two of the films in the 20th Anniversary of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York, both starring Guillaume Canet. Next Time I’ll Aim For The Heart (La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur), he also directed, and André Téchiné's In The Name of My Daughter, aka French Riviera (L’Homme Qqu’on Aimait Trop), co-stars Adèle Haenel and Catherine Deneuve. Both films take place in the Seventies.

Guillaume Canet as gendarme Franck Neuhart: "He is not the same guy in daylight. He is a man of the night."

Next Time I’ll Aim For The Heart is neither a crime thriller, nor a horror movie, although it is about a serial killer and resembles F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu (Nosferatu, Eine
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

New York 2014 Review: The Blue Room Shows Off Mathieu Amalric's Directing Chops

Mathieu Amalric's The Blue Room is a hard film to like-- its tone is cold and distant. But it is precisely designed that way to accompany in showing the mind of its passive protagonist. Based on the book of the same name by popular French novelist Georges Simenon, the film tells a brief obsession that causes double murder and ensuing courtroom drama. It harkens back to the olden days of film noir with hidden motives, loose morals and an unlikely femme fatale. The film is a Hitchcockian intrigue coupled with Chabrol's breeziness. Even the film's score (beautifully composed by Grégoire Hetzel) reminds you of Bernard Herrmann.It starts with Julien and Esther in the throes of sweaty, passionate lovemaking in a French door shuttered, stifling hotel...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Nyff 2014. Main Slate

  • MUBI
Opening Night – World Premiere

Gone Girl

David Fincher, USA, 2014, Dcp, 150m

David Fincher’s film version of Gillian Flynn’s phenomenally successful best seller (adapted by the author) is one wild cinematic ride, a perfectly cast and intensely compressed portrait of a recession-era marriage contained within a devastating depiction of celebrity/media culture, shifting gears as smoothly as a Maserati 250F. Ben Affleck is Nick Dunne, whose wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on the day of their fifth anniversary. Neil Patrick Harris is Amy’s old boyfriend Desi, Carrie Coon (who played Honey in Tracy Letts’s acclaimed production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) is Nick’s sister Margo, Kim Dickens (Treme, Friday Night Lights) is Detective Rhonda Boney, and Tyler Perry is Nick’s superstar lawyer Tanner Bolt. At once a grand panoramic vision of middle America, a uniquely disturbing exploration of the fault lines in a marriage,
See full article at MUBI »

Cannes 2014. Atom Egoyan's "The Captive" & Mathieu Amalric's "The Blue Room"

  • MUBI
Ryan Reynolds and Mireille Enos in Atom Egoyan's The Captive

Nothing could make Mathieu Amalric's The Blue Room, a sleekly clouded, petit adaptation of Georges Simenon in Un Certain Regard, stand out at Cannes more than it being shown back to back with Atom Egoyan's ponderous, crippled genre film in Competition, The Captive.

As usual a half-thesis, half-melodrama on trauma spawned from and mediated by technology, Egoyan's child kidnapping picture does stand out with the idea behind its thriller mechanics: the Internet and surveillance technology create a cycle of perverse, sub-Mabusian manipulation, where children are kidnapped and after being abused are broadcast to capture more victims, and the "stories" told by closed circuit television and other audiovisual records are used to swaddle and coax victims and inspire captors to continue their reprehensible spree. The film ignores the actual horrors of kidnapping, pedophilia, and the other crimes it purports to focus on,
See full article at MUBI »
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