Bouli Lanners takes Giant steps
by Aurore Engelen
12/10/2011 - Omnipresent on our screens, Bouli Lanners's horizons keep widening. Appearing in last year's Nothing to Declare [trailer], he is expected in the next Astérix, in front of Jalil Lespert's camera in Des vents contraires, and he will begin shooting the sixth feature by Jacques Audiard, Un goût de rouille et d'os, together with Marion Cotillard and his fellow countryman Mathias Schoenaerts.
In parallel with these numerous roles, Lanners is confirming his status as a key director in Belgian cinema. Selected for the Directors' Fortnight last May, awarded last week at Namur's FIFF (International Festival of Francophone Film), Les Géants [trailer, film focus], his third film arrives on our screens accompanied by glowing reviews and by a real sense of expectation by the public. In 2008, his second opus Eldorado [trailer] surprised the world - released in June in the Cannes selection, and preceded by rave reviews and raking in more than 40,000 sales, the film returned hope to some in the profession about how to mobilise the francophone Belgian audience towards their national cinema. This success, soon followed by that of Barons [trailer, film focus], had given some solace to all those who wanted to work towards a revaluation of francophone Belgian cinema on its own territory. At the time, the film was distributed in ten copies by BFD. Today, it's O'brother, the company set up since by Versus, Bouli Lanners' historical producer, who takes the baton, on a combination of 16 copies in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia. Eldorado managed to bring together more than 100,000 French viewers.
Les Géants will have to face another Cannes laureate, Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist [trailer, film focus], a slightly crazy project that is arousing much curiosity. Developers still retain a happy memory of Eldorado's release - we're guessing that the success of Géants could depend on longevity…
(Translated from French)