Angel leads contingent of European auteur films
by Fabien Lemercier
14/03/2007 - All eyes are on European directors in French cinemas today, including François Ozon, Anthony Minghella, Dagur Kari, Albert Serra, Olivier Meyrou and Nikolaus Geyrhalter. Nine European (co-)productions are opening this Wednesday along with a Chinese film and four US titles in a year when domestic production is heading the field.
Indeed, the latest CNC estimates show a 58.9% market share for French films in January and February, compared to only 36.2% for US films and a mere 4.9% for films from other territories, despite the success of German helmer Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck’s The Lives of Others [trailer, film focus] (see Focus), which has clocked up close to 800,000 admissions after six weeks on screens.
However, Gallic titles still lead the way, with last week’s top four box office spots held by Olivier Dahan’s La Vie en Rose [trailer] (4m admissions in four weeks), Gérard Krawczyk’s Taxi 4 [trailer] (almost 4.2m), Franck Mancuso’s Counter Investigation [trailer] (272,000 filmgoers in five days) and Thomas Gilou’s Michou d’Auber [trailer] (nearly 500,000 in two weeks).
Released today through Wild Bunch Distribution on 161 screens, Ozon’s Angel [trailer], which screened in competition and as the closing film at the Berlinale this year (see article and interview), is hoping to jump on the bandwagon.
The three other French productions out today are Meyrou’s documentary Beyond Hatred [trailer], presented in the 2006 Berlinale Forum sidebar (see article, dist. Eurozoom, 19 prints), Jean-Pierre Mocky’s Le deal (dist. MDP) and Eric de Montalier’s debut feature My Place in the Sun [trailer], starring Nicole Garcia, Jacques Dutronc, Elodie Bouchez and André Dussollier (dist. StudioCanal).
Danish production Dark Horse [trailer] by talented Icelandic filmmaker Kari is representing Northern Europe. The title, which screened in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival (see article), opens on 10 screens through Epicentre Films.
Kari, who first came to public acclaim with Noi the Albino, has already made his third feature, The Good Heart [trailer], which was awarded the prestigious 2007 Sundance /NHK International Filmmakers Award at the Sundance Film Festival (see news).
Meanwhile, Geyrhalter’s Austrian documentary Our Daily Bread, about excess in the food industry, is being launched on 22 screens by new distributor KMBO.
Lastly, La Fabrique de Films is releasing 47 prints of Michael J. Bassett’s British-made horror Wilderness (see article), while BVI is distributing Minghella’s Breaking and Entering [trailer], starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, a UK co-production by Mirage Enterprises with US outfit The Weinstein Company for MGM.
(Translated from French)