Hunger leads strong European contingent
The line-up of 14 new releases hitting French screens today is dominated by 11 European features, including seven French films. Leading the contingent is Cannes Camera d’Or winner, Hunger [+see also:
interview: Laura Hastings-Smith Rob…
interview: Steve McQueen
Launched by MK2 Diffusion on 64 screens, this outstanding debut feature by UK director Steve McQueen – which looks at the fatal hunger strike of Irishman Bobby Sands in 1981 – has been unanimously praised by critics.
Another favourite among the press is François Dupeyron’s social comedy With a Little Help From Myself [+see also:
film profile], which received a special mention at the latest Rome Film Festival and is being released by its producer ARP Sélection on 143 screens.
The film’s €5.49m budget included an advance on receipts from the National Film Centre (CNC) and pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma. The title – which stars Claude Rich, Félicité Waoussi and Mata Gabin – traces the many trials and tribulations of a married African woman in the Paris suburbs.
Critical interest is also focusing this week on Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s French/Belgian co-production Johnny Mad Dog [+see also:
film profile], which won the Hope Award in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Produced by MNP Entreprise in collaboration with Scope Picture and Explicit Films for €2.3m, the film on everyday life for child soldiers in Liberia is being released by TFM Distribution on a 40-print run.
Another film unveiled in competition at Rome has won over the press with its quirky style: Ilan Duran Cohen’s The Joy of Singing [+see also:
film profile], starring Marina Foïs, Lorant Deutsch and Jeanne Balibar. The film – produced by Mille et Une Productions for €1.33m – received an advance on receipts from the CNC and is being launched by Pyramide on 57 screens.
Four other French productions are among this Wednesday’s heavy contingent. They include Graham Guit’s Hello Goodbye [+see also:
film profile] starring Gérard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant (produced by Babe Films for €7.4m - released by SND on 93 screens); Diane Bertrand’s Baby Blues [+see also:
film profile], featuring Karin Viard and Italian actor Stefano Accorsi (produced by Move Movie in co-production with France 2 Cinéma - launched by Mars Distribution on an 80 print-run); the documentary Chomsky et Compagnie, pour en finir avec la fabrique de l'impuissance (“Chomsky and Co.: Putting an End to the Factory of Powerlessness”) by Olivier Azam and Daniel Mermet (distributed by Les Mutins de Pangée); and Olivier Mégaton’s English-language action film Transporter 3 [+see also:
film profile], which is being released on 535 screens by its producer and distributor EuropaCorp, thus crushing competition in terms of its monopoly of screens.
Non-domestic European film is also represented by Norwegian director Bard Breien’s acclaimed title The Art of Negative Thinking [+see also:
film profile] (released by Little Stone Distribution on four screens in Paris and the surrounding suburbs); UK director Sean Ellis’ The Broken (launched on 24 screens by its co-producer Gaumont); and Olivier Masset-Depasse’s Belgian/French co-production Cages [+see also:
film profile] (released by L’Entrepôt on one screen in Paris).
(Translated from French)
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