Dangerous stars in Neumann’s The Stargazer
by Fabien Lemercier
Final preparations are underway before shooting starts on January 4, 2010 on documentary filmmaker Stan Neumann’s debut narrative feature: The Stargazer.
Denis Lavant (Captain Ahab [+see also:
film profile]) will star as the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), alongside Elise Caron and young actor Max Baissette de Malglaive (Versailles [+see also:
Written by the director, the film opens on August 29, 1610 when the astronomical revolution arrives in Prague, capital of the German Empire, in the form of a 1m-long wooden tube, with two glass lenses set into it. This is the first telescope.
Rudolph II of Habsburg agrees to lend it to imperial astronomer Kepler who will have ten nights to explore the sky and the new invention. The instrument is installed on the terrace of the Belvedere, which becomes the scene of a small drama.
Kepler observes, notes and becomes the centre point of a merging between astronomy, optics and witchcraft, the journey of light and the flight of witches, instruments of observation and instruments of torture… He is in great danger but continues as if nothing were the matter, with his head in the stars…
The Stargazer is produced by Richard Copans for Les Films d’Ici and by Le Fresnoy. Its €2.8m budget includes co-production support and pre-sales from Arte France Cinéma, an advance on receipts from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC) and €120,000 in backing from the CRRAV.
The five-week shoot will take place in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. Ad Vitam will handle theatrical distribution in France, while international sales are still under negotiation.
(Translated from French)