Valentin, Valentin: a "group portrait with added crime"
by Fabien Lemercier
- SBS Films is releasing Pascal Thomas' new opus, a Ruth Rendell adaptation; titles by John Boorman and Xavier Beauvois are also hitting screens
While French movie theatres drew in 208.43 million viewers in 2014 (up 7.7% compared to 2013, and the second-highest figure in 47 years), with a 44% market share for national film production (as against 45.1% for US features and 11% for films from the rest of the world), the latest batch of releases is picking up the pace with renewed vigour this Wednesday.
Among the titles hitting screens is Valentin, Valentin [+see also:
film profile] by seasoned director Pascal Thomas, starring the ever-impressive Vincent Rottiers in the lead. Adapted from the novel Tigerlily's Orchids by British author Ruth Rendell, the film illustrates a wide variety of different kinds of love (be it violent and secretive, wild and carnal, maternal and selfish, peaceful, forbidden, frustrated because of unfulfilled desire, and so on) in a small block of flats in Paris. It revolves around a young man who unwittingly triggers a downward spiral of violence by inviting all of his neighbours to his house-warming party. The cast of this genre-blending (a mix of comedy, drama, crime film and love story) "group portrait with added crime" also includes Marie Gillain, Marilou Berry, Geraldine Chaplin, Arielle Dombasle, François Morel, Christine Citti, Agathe Bonizer, Félix Moati, Isabelle Candelier, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing and Alexandra Stewart. Produced by SBS Films (which is directly in charge of the French theatrical release across 197 screens, with scheduling outsourced to Paname Distribution) and Les Films Français, Valentin, Valentin was co-produced by France 2 Cinéma.
Also arriving on the cinema listings is The Price of Fame [+see also:
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile] by Xavier Beauvois (read the interview), the director's first foray into comedy, which was unveiled in competition at Venice. It stars the charismatic Roschdy Zem and Benoît Poelvoorde as graverobbers who steal Charlie Chaplin's body (Mars Distributionin 110 theatres).
Jérôme Cornuau is also trying his hand at something new (following Tiger Brigades [+see also:
film profile] and La Traversée [+see also:
film profile]) with Chic [+see also:
film profile], a comedy set in the world of haute couture, starring Fanny Ardant, Marina Hands, Eric Elmosnino and Laurent Stocker. This Alter Films production was co-produced by France 2 Cinéma and StudioCanal, which is also distributing it in 240 cinemas.
French film production is also taking centre stage with the crime drama L'Affaire SK1 (read the article) by Frédéric Tellier, starring Raphaël Personnaz, Olivier Gourmet and Nathalie Baye (SND across 246 screens), and with the documentary Les règles du jeu [+see also:
film profile] by Claudine Bories and Patrice Chagnart (Happiness Distribution in 20 theatres).
Non-French European cinema is represented this Wednesday by Queen and Country [+see also:
interview: John Boorman
film profile] by British director John Boorman (read the interview – popular at the Cannes Directors' Fortnight – distributed by Le Pacte in 90 cinemas), Teddy Bear [+see also:
film profile] by Denmark's Mads Matthiesen (which won at Sundance and whose director has just been shooting his second feature, The Model [+see also:
film profile], in Paris – read the article – Solaris Distribution across five screens), and Paradjanov [+see also:
film profile] by Serge Avedikian and Olena Fetisova (a co-production between Ukraine, France, Georgia and Armenia – Zootrope Films in 14 theatres).
(Translated from French)