Gans brews up a storm with Silent Hill
by Fabien Lemercier
26/04/2006 - Today marks a thundering return to French screens for Christophe Gans, with the French minority co-production Silent Hill [trailer] (see news ), released on 474 screens by Metropolitan Filmexport.
The director of Brotherhood of the Wolf has taken advantage of the occasion to have it out with French broadcasters, accusing them of only pre-buying formatted family films for the early evening time slot. According to Gans, this trend, which has been increasingly criticised by French directors and producers, will have serious consequences on the creativity of French filmmaking, forcing directors to abandon their more ambitious projects or, in some cases, even leave the country.
Silent Hill, a majority Canadian co-production, finished its first weekend as the most popular film on North American screens, with a box office gross of $20.2m – the best opening ever for a film by a French director.
This week’s 13 new releases include three European productions, the first of which is the thriller The Wolf by Spain’s Miguel Courtois, starring Eduardo Noriega and distributed by Artedis on 50 screens. Horror film The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael by British director Thomas Clay (see review and interview) is being released on 25 screens by Pretty Pictures, while Gémini Films is opening the Austrian/German/French co-production Klimt [trailer], directed by Raoul Ruiz and starring John Malkovich, on 29 screens.
Five French films also open today, including the comedy Camping [trailer] by Fabien Onteniente with Gérard Lanvin (Pathé Distribution, 576 screens). Pyramide will distribute A Perfect Friend [trailer] by Francis Girod, starring Antoine de Caunes and Carole Bouquet, on 74 screens, while EuropaCorp is releasing The Chinese Botanist’s Daughters [trailer] by Dai Sijie on 68 screens. Lastly, Pointligneplan is releasing Silenzio by Christian Merlhiot and Celui qui aime a raison (lit. "Those Who Love Are Right" by Arnold Pasquier on one screen each.
(Translated from French)