Olivier Assayas and Xavier Giannoli aim for Venice
by Fabien Lemercier
17/07/2012 - Only one week before Alberto Barbera reveals the official selection for the 69th Venice Film Festival (from August 29 to September 8), Après Mai (lit. “After May”, although its international title is Something In The Air) by Olivier Assayas (photo) and Superstar by Xavier Giannoli seem to be the best placed French candidates to join the competition for the 2012 Golden Lion, along with The Lines of Wellington [trailer, film focus] by Valeria Sarmiento (read more).
It would be the first time for both these filmmakers to go to Venice, after many appearances in Cannes. Olivier Assayas ran in the competition at Cannes three times (in 2000, 2002, and 2004) and screened Carlos, among others, out of competition in 2010, while Xavier Giannoli was selected twice for the competition for the Palme d’Or (in 2006 and 2009).
Olivier Assayas’s Something In The Air stars Clément Métayer (for the first time on the big screen), Lola Créton (Goodbye First Love), and Félix Armand. The screenplay, written by the filmmaker, is set at the beginning of the 1970s. Gilles, a Parisian high school student, is swept up in the time’s lively political scene. He however mostly aspires to paint and make films, and his peers reproach him for not being totally ideologically committed. Along a series of love interests and artistic discoveries, Gilles and his friends will have to make some serious choices to find their place in this turbulent time. Eric Gautier was the film’s director of photography. Produced by MK2, Something In The Air was notably co-produced by France 3 Cinéma, pre-acquired by Canal + and Ciné+, and supported by the Ile-de-France region. MK2 will release the film in France this November and handle its international sales.
As for Xavier Giannoli’s Superstar, it stars Kad Merad (Welcome to the Sticks [trailer]) and Belgian actress Cécile de France (The Kid with a Bike [trailer, film focus]) beside, among others, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing. Written by the director in collaboration with Marcia Romano, the screenplay is loosely based on The Idol, a novel by Serge Joncour. In the film, Martin is an “ordinary” man who works as a supervisor in a work centre for the disabled. One morning, without him understanding why, a couple takes his photo in the metro. Little by little, people start to notice him, and ask him for his autograph or to take his photo... This man, who comes from nowhere but who, suddenly, everybody is fighting over, is a perfect subject for a talk show. Or so thinks Fleur, a television commentator, who suggests a television show about this mysterious event. Martin, who wants nothing, not fame nor money, accepts to appear on the show just so that everybody will leave him alone... The show provokes all sorts of reactions in the audience: adoration, identification... But then suddenly, the mood inexplicably swings and the audience starts to see Martin as a terrible enemy. He becomes a catalyst for people’s hate, a man to kill... Produced by Rectangle Productions, Superstar was co-produced by Wild Bunch (who will release the film in France on August 29 and handle its international sales), Studio 37, France 3 Cinéma, and the Belgians from Scope Pictures. It has also been pre-acquired by Canal+ and Ciné+.
The official selection for this year’s Venice Film Festival will be announced on July 26.
(Translated from French)