Attal and Cornillac head to head in The Snake
by Fabien Lemercier
10/01/2007 - Opening on 300 French screens this week through Wild Bunch Distribution is thriller The Snake [trailer] by Eric Barbier, starring Yvan Attal, Clovis Cornillac and Finnish actress Minna Haapkyla (2003 Shooting Star and recently in Charlie Says [trailer]).
Adapted from a novel by British writer Ted Lewis (on which Mike Hodges’ Get Carter was also based), The Snake – a Fidélité, Big World and France 2 Cinéma production – is the third feature by Barbier (1991 Jean Vigo Prize for Le brasier).
Another example of the current vogue of genre films in French production, the title has been sold to several international territories by Wild Bunch. European territories having bought the title include Switzerland, Scandinavia, German-language territories, Greece, Benelux, Romania, Portugal and the former Yugoslavia.
Three other French films are opening this Wednesday. Les Films du Losange are releasing Faouzi Bensaïdi’s second feature What a Wonderful World (see news) on 14 screens. A Gloria Films with CNC advances on receipts, the film screened at the 2006 Venice Days.
Meanwhile, Gémini Films are releasing Portuguese/French title Take This Waltz [trailer] by Florence Colombani on 10 screens. The debut feature – an Arte France Cinéma co-production featuring Sarah Pratt and Clément Sibony – was selected in the Filmmakers of the Present sidebar at the 2006 Locarno Film Festival.
Other releases today include Anne Feinsilber’s documentary Requiem for Billy the Kid, which opens on two screens through MK2. Produced by Jean-Jacques Beineix for Cargo Films, the title was presented out of competition at Cannes last year.
Critics this week, however, are focusing their attention on two debut European films: 12:08 East of Bucharest [trailer, film focus] by Romanian helmer Corneliu Porumboiu (Bac Films – 35 prints), which won the Caméra d’Or and Europa Cinema Labels at Cannes last May (see article), and Saimir [trailer] by Italy’s Francesco Munzi (Les Films du Paradoxe – 7 prints), Grand Prize winner of the 2005 Annecy Italian Film Festival and a Luigi De Laurentiis Award Special Mention at Venice 2004.
(Translated from French)