The Child offered to UK audiences
by Annika Pham
10/03/2006 - Still riding high on the success of Hidden [trailer, film focus] (£1.1m /€1.4m), its second biggest film since the 1991 hit Cyrano de Bergerac (£2.4m/€3.4m), Artificial Eye is releasing today another strong European title, acquired at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival: Palme d’Or winner The Child by the Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
True followers and supporters of the brothers’ work, just like with Michael Haneke, Artificial Eye has high hopes for their latest French/Belgian co-production, in which Jeremie Renier and Deborah François give outstanding portrayals of life on the streets of the outskirts of Liège, Belgium. The directors’ most successful title in the UK so far has been previous Palme d’Or winner Rosetta, also released by Artificial Eye, which grossed approximately £110,000 (€160,000).
According to Robert Beeson from Artificial Eye, the marketing and promotion on The Child [trailer, film focus] has been concentrated, as usual, on media coverage, with extra spent on press advertisement “because of the Palme d’Or”.
The Dardennes came to London twice to promote their film, first during the last London Film Festival and, more recently, during a special retrospective dedicated to their work, which took place at the London Film Theatre from February 6-28. Other previews were organised in collaboration with the weekly magazine Time Out to help spread word-of-mouth.
Besides The Child, eight other new films are opening today in the UK, including UK/Australian The Proposition [trailer] (released by Tartan Films), Swedish film Ketchup Effect (PPR), UK title These Foolish Things (Swipe) and New Zealand/US co-production The World’s Fastest Indian.
However, the biggest competition for The Child might still be Hidden, which climbed from 19th to 18th place at last weekend’s box office chart, with an extra £45,235 gross (€65,914). The film, which started with a 25-print run, is now playing on 40 screens.