Barratier’s Paris 36 opens Montreal
by Fabien Lemercier
22/08/2008 - Recalling the fact that the 2004 edition of the Montreal World Film Festival kicked off the successful international career of his debut feature, The Chorus [trailer], Christophe Barratier opened the competition at the 32nd edition of the Quebec event with his second work, Paris 36 [trailer].
The Canadian press lauded the film, which has conventional charm and is in the same popular vein as its predecessor. This second feature is nonetheless more ambitious (illustrated by the presence of DoP Tom Stern, loyal collaborator of Clint Eastwood) and contains numerous references to films of the 1930s (Jacques Prévert, Marcel Carné, Julien Duvivier, René Clair…).
The title has also been praised for its cast, in particular new discovery Nora Arnezeder and the trio made up of Gérard Jugnot, Clovis Cornillac (whose performance recalls both Jean Gabin and Serge Reggiani) and Kad Merad.
Paris 36 is set in a Northern suburb of Paris in 1936 when the spring election of the Popular Front government elicits the wildest hopes and gives rise to elements of extremism. Three unemployed performers decide to forcibly occupy the music hall where they were once employed in order to put on a hit show.
Co-produced by French companies Galatée Films and Constantin (70% investment), Germany (20%) and the Czech Republic (10%), the feature was made on a budget of €28m. This included investments from France 2 Cinéma (€2.1m) and France 3 Cinéma (€1.6m), as well as pre-sales from Canal + and TPS.
The film will be released domestically by Pathé on September 24 and will hit Belgian screens on the same day. The title will be launched in Germany on November 27.
The Montreal World Film Festival (August 21-September 1) – which honoured Claude Miller’s A Secret [trailer] and Nic Balthazar’s Ben X [trailer, film focus] in 2007 – this year pays tribute to Isabelle Huppert.
Other French productions screening out of competition include Laetitia Colombani’s Mes stars et moi [trailer] (“My Stars and I”), Diane Kurys’ Sagan [trailer] and Le voyage aux Pyrénées [trailer] (“Journey to the Pyrenees”) by Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu.
The Focus on World Cinema section includes the international premiere of Jean-Claude Brisseau’s A l’aventure [trailer] (“To the Adventure”), Hany Tamba’s Une chanson dans la tête [trailer] (“A Song in the Head”), Sólveig Anspach’s Icelandic/French co-production Back Soon [trailer], René Féret’s Comme une étoile dans la nuit [trailer] (“Like a Star in the Night”), David Tardé’s La saison des orphelins [trailer] (“The Season of the Orphans”), Edouard Niermans’ French/Belgian co-production Le septième juré (“The Seventh Juror”) and Philippe Laïk’s Le voyage de la Veuve (“The Widow’s Journey”).
Also making an appearance are Tonie Marshall’s French/Swiss co-production Passe passe [trailer] (“Sleight of Hand”); Belgian/French co-productions Private Lessons [trailer, film focus] by Joachim Lafosse and Rumba [trailer, film focus] by directorial trio Dominique Abel - Fiona Gordon - Bruno Romy; Eric Forestier’s La Troisième partie du monde [trailer] (“The Third Part of the World”); and Marie Jaoul de Poncheville’s Tengri [trailer].
(Translated from French)