The two sides of the industry
The current dominance and full momentum of commercial cinema is apparent today, as 12 new releases hit French cinemas, including five that are monopolising screens: three US productions (Lions for Lambs released on 390 screens, Beowulf on at least as many screens and Saw IV on 197 screens) and two French comedies.
Gaumont is distributing Les deux mondes [+see also:
film profile] (“The Two Worlds”) by Daniel Cohen starring Benoît Poelvoorde (see news) on a very generous 478 screens and StudioCanal is launching on 273 screens Olivier Baroux’s romantic comedy Ce soir je dors chez toi (“Tonight, I’m Sleeping At Your Place”), starring Jean-Paul Rouve, Kad Merad and Mélanie Doutey (and produced by Alter Films and KL).
Alongside these giant releases, more modest and less commercial fare still finds a place on French screens, but unless their box office success is immediate these films risk being taken off by exhibitors riding the crest of new releases.
Three French auteur films trying their luck this week are: Hiner Saleem’s Beneath the Rooftops of Paris [+see also:
film profile] (Diaphana Distribution, 26 screens), for which Michel Piccoli won Best Actor award at the latest Locarno Film Festival; the controversial France [+see also:
film profile] by Serge Bozon, starring Sylvie Testud and Pascal Greggory, screened in the latest Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes and winner of the Jean Vigo Award 2007 (Shellac, 38 screens); and Once Upon a Tomorrow [+see also:
film profile] by Sandrine Veysset, starring Michael Lonsdale and Dominique Reymond (Pirates Distribution, 19 screens).
The week’s programme also includes two original and impressive European productions that won acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival. Epicentre Films is releasing on 17 screens White Palms [+see also:
interview: Szabolcs Hajdu
film profile] by Hungarian director Szabolcs Hajdu (see Focus), which screened in the 2006 Directors’ Fortnight, while Les Films du Losange is distributing 33 prints of Roy Andersson’s You, The Living [+see also:
interview: Pernilla Sandström
interview: Roy Andersson
film profile] (see Focus devoted to this Swedish/German/French/Danish/Norwegian co-production), whose quirky black humour captivated viewers in the Un Certain Regard section this May.
(Translated from French)
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