Kill Me Please up against fierce competition
by Aurore Engelen
03/11/2010 - Grainy black-and-white images, an ABC guide to assisted death, quirky energy and a cast of actors with unmistakably Belgian accents…Does this remind you of anything? Twenty years (or almost) after Man Bites Dog: It Happened In Your Neighbourhood, in Belgium it’s no coincidence when you make a b&w film about a rather strange clinic where patients are helped to commit suicide. Even less so when you use similar methods, hire some of the original team (Benoît Poelvoorde and Vincent Tavier) and set it in a real and imaginary adjoining territory.
So, laden down with this cumbersome yet stimulating baggage, in Kill Me Please [trailer] Olias Barco (making a radical change in direction after his debut feature, Snowboarder) offers an updated homage to a founding classic of Belgian cinema, thrusting into the spotlight a new generation of actors who look the part.
Produced by La Parti Production, the film had a very proactive viral publicity campaign, with support from broadcasters (in particular RTBF) and a cleverly revealed teaser. The film is being released by O’Brother on eight screens in Brussels and Wallonia, on a commercial network focusing on multiplexes.
As the calendar would have it, the film will have difficulty competing for audiences this school holiday week. On the comedy side, 20th Century Fox and UPI are ready to impress viewers with two US box office heavyweights: the Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis vehicle Due Date and Jackass 3D. As a modest alternative to last week’s release, Despicable Me, Starway Film (the distribution company helmed by Flemish media giant VMMA) is launching Martijn van Nellestijn’s Dutch family film Sinterklaas En Het Pakjes Mysterie on 18 screens.
Fierce competition will come from the three French films trying to win over Belgian audiences this week: Bertrand Tavernier’s The Princess of Montpensier [trailer] (UPI, 14 screens); Eric Lartigau’s The Big Picture [trailer] (Victory, 12 screens); and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Black Venus [trailer, film focus] (Imagine, eight screens).
(Translated from French)