A dozen outsiders brave Harry Potter hurricane
by Fabien Lemercier
24/11/2010 - While Warner today launches David Yates’s UK/US co-production Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 [trailer] (see review) in over 860 French theatres, 12 other new releases will try their luck as an alternative programme.
First up among these bold outsiders is Michel Leclerc’s The Names of Love [trailer], which is being released by UGC Distribution in 222 theatres. This intelligent, funny French comedy won acclaim last May in Cannes Critics’ Week (see review). Its cast includes Jacques Gamblin, Sara Forestier and former French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin in a much-remarked cameo appearance.
Critics have also been won over by Mikhaël Hers’s debut feature Memory Lane [trailer] (see news), which was unveiled in the Filmmakers of the Present section at the latest Locarno Festival and is being distributed by Ad Vitam on 23 screens.
Non-domestic European productions take pride of place in the form of three very different films. Pathé Films is releasing a 49-print run of Italian director Luca Miniero’s Welcome to the South [trailer], the successful Italian remake of Welcome to the Sticks [trailer].
Meanwhile, Wild Bunch Distribution is launching a 34-print run of Sam Garbarski’s Belgian/Luxembourg/German/French co-production A Distant Neighbourhood [trailer, film focus], adapted from Japanese author Jirô Taniguchi’s cult manga and starring Pascal Greggory, Jonathan Zaccaï and Alexandra Maria Lara. Finally, KMBO is releasing on seven screens Polish director Borys Lankosz’s debut feature Reverse [trailer, film focus], which made a clean sweep of awards in Poland. Its cast includes Shooting Star Agata Buzek and legendary actress Krystyna Janda.
The line-up also includes Luc Vinciguerra’s French/Australian animated co-production piloted by Gaumont Alphanim, Santa’s Apprentice [trailer] (released by Gaumont in 304 theatres); as well as two films from the US, one from Japan, one from Korea and the documentaries Empire of Mid-South (France) by Eric Deroo and Jacques Perrin (Les Acacias) and Mugabe and the White African [trailer] (UK) by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson (Pretty Pictures).
(Translated from French)