Immersed in the world of the Bodybuilder
by Fabien Lemercier
- Mars Distribution is releasing Roschdy Zem’s film in 115 cinemas, while today also sees the launch of Black Souls, Scrap Yard and Still the Water
He is a talented actor, an attention-grabbing director and a co-producer: Roschdy Zem (popular at Venice for his performance in The Price of Fame [+see also:
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile]) has an ever-increasing number of strings to his bow. With Bodybuilder [+see also:
film profile], his third feature as a director, which comes out today courtesy of Mars Distribution in 115 theatres, he delves into the highly unusual world of bodybuilding. This level of immersion is the main strength of a film that tells the story of the reunion between a son (the superb Vincent Rottiers) and his father (the remarkable newcomer François Yolin Gauvin). “I’ve always wondered what tempo and what training regime bodybuilders could really force themselves to endure in order for them to successfully transform their bodies in such an incredible way. Bodybuilding is entirely built up around aesthetic values – it’s really visually striking, and it’s a celebration of the human body. For the bodybuilder, everything is sacred: their bodies, the way they move, their diet. Their bodies are pushed to the limit, edging closer to what they consider to be purity and perfection. The first time I saw one of the competitions, the image that came to mind was that of a rotisserie! All those bronzed bodies, dripping with sweat, with their ripped muscles... It’s really odd. Initially, it tends to make you smile, but very soon you’re won over by respect and admiration.” Produced by Why Not, co-produced by Hole in one (Roschdy Zem’s own outfit), Mars Films and Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, and pre-purchased by Canal+, Ciné+ and TMC, Bodybuilder is sold internationally by Wild Bunch.
Today also sees Black Souls [+see also:
interview: Francesco Munzi
film profile] by Italian filmmaker Francesco Munzi hitting screens. The enthralling star attraction from the latest Venice competition has a plot that revolves around the fearsome Calabrian mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta (distributed by Bellissima Films across 30 screens).
Also of note is the fascinating documentary Scrap Yard [+see also:
film profile] by Nadège Trebal, a Maïa Cinéma production unveiled at the EntreVues Belfort International Film Festival and selected in the Berlinale Forum this year (Shellac in 24 cinemas). And then, featuring among the top-notch European co-productions are the Cannes competitor Still the Water [+see also:
film profile] by Japan’s Naomi Kawase (Haut et Court Distribution in 98 theatres) and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner To Kill a Man [+see also:
film profile] by Chilean director Alejandro Fernandez Almendras (read the news - Arizona Distribution across 16 screens).
Today’s raft of new releases also includes the romantic comedy Tu veux ou tu veux pas [+see also:
film profile] by Tonie Marshall (carried impressively by a highly convincing Sophie Marceau, assisted by Patrick Bruel, André Wilms and Jean-Pierre Marielle – distributed by Warner), L'apôtre by independent filmmaker Cheyenne Caron (who is producing and distributing the title herself), the documentary Le temps de quelques jours by Nicolas Gayraud (distributed by La Vingt-Cinquième Heure), and the brilliant and inflammatory The Tribe [+see also:
film profile] by Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, which won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Critics’ Week and is rated unsuitable for under-16s in France (UFO Distribution in 37 cinemas).
(Translated from French)