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Doillon and Bollain in the shadow of Disco


Two giant releases hit French theatres today, monopolising a large number of screens and leaving limited exhibition space for the 11 other films launched this Wednesday.

Despite its 708-print release, US animated feature Horton (released by Twentieth Century Fox) is nonetheless overshadowed by Fabien Onteniente’s French comedy Disco (see news) launched by StudioCanal on 821 screens.

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Having enjoyed box office success with Camping (5.48m admissions in 2006), the director put together a stellar cast (Emmanuelle Béart, Gérard Depardieu and popular comic Franck Dubosc) to make his "Saturday Night Fever" on a budget of €18.73m. The film was produced by LGM Productions with backing from TF1 Films Productions (€2.6m in pre-sales and co-production investment), Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.

But this week critics are more inclined to favour the French/Belgian co-production Just Anybody [+see also:
film profile
by Jacques Doillon, which was lauded, despite passing relatively unobserved, in the Forum section at the latest Berlinale.

Starring Clémentine Beaugrand, Gérald Thomassin and Guillaume Saurrel, the film – which subtly interweaves different genres – is being released by Pyramide on 36 screens. The title by the 64-year-old director was produced by France (74% investment) and Belgium (26%) on a €1.47m budget, including an advance on receipts from the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC) and backing from France 3 Cinéma.

There has also been warm critical reception for Spanish director Iciar Bollain’s detective film Mataharis by, which won six nominations at the Goya Awards and is being released by Haut et Court on 35 screens.

Another Spanish film hitting screens is Alberto Rodriguez’s Seven Virgins (released by Epicentre Films on eight screens), for which Juan Jose Ballesta won the title of Best Actor at San Sebastian in 2005. Other releases this Wednesday include the Italian animated feature Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom by Iginio Straffi (Quinta Communications - 314 screens); as well as two alternative French productions - François Boutonnet’s Urbi et Orbi (production Cinémaginaire, distribution Kalimago Films) and Thomas Bardinet’s Les petits poucets (“Little Tom Thumbs”, CP Produtions). French/Italian co-production Sans état d'âme (“Without Frame of Mind”) by Vincenzo Marano is also being launched by Les Films de l’Astre.

Noteworthy documentary releases include Swiss title Return to Gorée by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud and French film Des Indes à la planète Mars (“From the Indies to Planet Mars”) by directorial duo Christian Merlhiot and Matthieu Orléan.

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(Translated from French)

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