The WTF experiment
by Fabien Lemercier
- Today, Wild Bunch Distribution releases Raphaël Frydman’s feature film starring Rémi Gaillard, famous for his comical online videos
There is a very interesting wager being made today in French movie theatres: will a comedian tailor-made for the internet be compatible with cinema? Wild Bunch is releasing WTF [+see also:
film profile] by Raphaël Frydman across 211 screens; the feature film is produced by Jean-François Richet for Why Not Productions, and it mainly features and is inspired by the pranks performed by Rémi Gaillard, whose self-produced sketches have been viewed online 1.6 billion times over the last ten years or so. The phenomenon is based on the concept that “it’s by doing anything that you become anyone” and has featured, among other schoolboy and deceptive practical jokes, the Montpellier-based star dressing up as a kangaroo on a golf course or as a penguin at a Picard shop, challenging Ronaldo at football, and playing Mario Kart in real life. Gaillard is now attempting to conquer the big screen by relying on his 5.9 million Facebook fans. Wild Bunch has already sold the film in around 20 territories.
Among the other new releases this Wednesday are two French titles that recently won praise at Berlin and that are headed up by a couple of first-rate acting duos. Les Films du Losange is distributing If You Don’t, I Will [+see also:
film profile] by Sophie Fillières (read the review), starring Emmanuelle Devos and Mathieu Amalric, across 53 screens, while Gaumont is releasing 250 copies of the Franco-German co-production Diplomacy [+see also:
film profile] by Volker Schlöndorff (read the review), starring the brilliant André Dussollier and Niels Arestrup.
There is also good press coverage for the British film Le Weekend [+see also:
film profile] by Roger Michell (read the review), which earned Jim Broadbent the Best Actor Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival and which is being distributed by ARP Sélection.
Two other top-notch films that are coming to French screens also received Berlinale honours, but in 2013. These are the Israeli-German feature film Youth [+see also:
film profile] by Tom Shoval (read the review - Ad Vitam in 12 theatres) and Free Fall [+see also:
film profile] by German director Stephan Lacant (distributed by KMBO in five cinemas).
Lastly, also of note are the documentaries Parce que j'étais peintre, l'art rescapé des camps nazis by Christophe Cognet (distributed by Jour2Fête) and Se battre by Jean-Pierre Duret and Andréa Santana (Aloest Distribution).
(Translated from French)
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