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RELEASES France

Commercials, money, girls and cocaine abound in 99 F

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Surrounded by a big media frenzy, Pathé Distribution is opening Jan Kounen’s 99 F [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
on no less than 407 screens in France today, making it the biggest of this week’s 11 releases.

Adapted from Frédéric Beigbeder’s best-selling novel, which speaks out against the spin-off of the advertising world, the film is hoping that the growing popularity of actor Jean Dujardin (Brice de Nice [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, OSS 117 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) will help lure filmgoers despite disappointing reviews.

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A vitriolic satire (also starring Jocelyn Quivrin, Patrick Mille, Vahina Giocante and Elisa Tovati and scripted by Bruno Lavaine and Nicolas Charlet), 99 F follows Octave, an editor for the world’s largest advertising agency and for whom “man is a product like any other". Money, girls and cocaine abound in his life until the day he rebels and sabotages his most important campaign.

It was the character’s ambiguity ("I hope you will hate me for better hating the era that created me") that attracted Kounen, a controversial character himself. This is the director’s third feature after Dobermann (1996) and Blueberry (2005) and some dabbling in mystical documentary (Darshan: The Embrace, an out-of-competition title at Cannes 2005, and Other Worlds).

Produced by Ilan Goldman for Film 99 Francs, the €12.4m feature received backing from Arte France Cinéma (€350,000 in co-production and €150,000 in pre-sales), some co-production funding from SFP Cinéma, pre-sales from Canal + (€2.3m) and CinéCinéma (€250,000), in addition to €4.25m from Pathé (co-production, French distribution and world sales).

Young French women’s cinema is also in the spotlight today, with the release of two low-budget features (€1.64m and €2.1m), funded by CNC advances on receipts (€430,000 and €420,000).

Pyramide is releasing 42 prints of Mia Hansen-Love’s All Is Forgiven [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: David Thion
interview: Mia Hansen-Löve
film profile
]
, a Les Films Pelléas production enthusiastically received by audiences and critics alike at its Cannes Directors’ Fortnight screening back in May.

Gaumont is releasing a solid 107 prints of Audrey Estrougo’s 7e Apache Films production Ain't Scared.

These three films are accompanied by Erwann Briand’s documentary Les Femmes du mont Ararat (Novociné, 2 screens), four US titles and two minority co-productions that screened at Cannes 2007: Alexandra [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Russian helmer Alexandre Sokurov (see article), distributed on 26 prints by Rezo Films, and The Age of Ignorance by Canada’s Denys Arcand (260 screens, StudioCanal).

The indisputable star this week, however, is Anton Corbijn’s Control [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, featuring Sam Riley and Samantha Morton.

Winner of the Europa Cinemas Label at the 2007 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight (see article) and the Michael Powell Award at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, the European co-production about the life of Ian Curtis, the leader of legendary 1970s English rock band Joy Division, won the unanimous enthusiasm of critics, which should assure the feature an interesting international run.

Control opens today on 51 prints through La Fabrique de Films.

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(Translated from French)

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