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A Young Poet thrown into the deep end of this week’s new releases

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- Shellac is bringing out the feature debut by Damien Manivel in the face of some heavyweight French comedies, and movies by Andersson, Vogt and Ricciarelli

A Young Poet thrown into the deep end of this week’s new releases
A Young Poet by Damien Manivel

Having bagged a Special Mention at Locarno in the Filmmakers of the Present section and screened at such festivals as Rotterdam (Bright Future), Montreal, Premiers Plans in Angers, Katowice, Murcia and Montevideo, A Young Poet [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Damien Manivel today continues its adventure in French theatres, distributed by Shellac across 13 screens, a modest print run reinforced by a strong dose of approval from the critics.

After turning a lot of heads with his short films, particularly La dame au chien (winner of the Jean Vigo Award 2011) and Un dimanche matin (Discovery Prize in the Critics’ Week at Cannes in 2012), Damien Manivel has successfully negotiated his transition to features with a sunny, off-the-wall and often ludicrous film, concealing some wonderfully promising elements in addition to its rather fine central theme. And the story? Barely out of his teens, Rémi (Rémi Taffanel) dreams of becoming a poet and bewitching the world with his deeply moving and unforgettable verses. In search of inspiration, under a swelteringly hot sun, and armed with nothing more than a biro and a notebook, Rémi is determined to write his poem... But where to begin? Spending ages gazing at the sea? Climbing to the top of a mountain? Listening to the birds sing? Heading to the library? Finding his muse? In a bar? In the cemetery? Underwater?... 

"The film has a comical side; I pick up some of the clichés about the figure of the poet, and we are nowhere near approaching realism in terms of either the character or the settings," explains Manivel. "More than poetry, the movie talks about our enthusiasm, our dreams, our difficulties in expressing ourselves and in growing up. The character encounters a lot of obstacles. There is no hostility against him, but rather a lack of answers from the world." Shot over ten days, A young Poet was produced by the director himself, with his company MLD Films

With this film and another French feature debut on an unusual subject (The Tournament [+see also:
trailer
interview: Lou de Laâge
film profile
]
by Elodie Namer – read the articleDiaphana Distribution in 42 theatres), there then comes a huge contrast with two national comedies that are also released this Wednesday: The Parisian Bitch [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Eloïse Lang and Noémie Saglio (distributed by Gaumont in around 290 cinemas) and Nos femmes [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, by and starring Richard Berry (who is joined by cast members Daniel Auteuil and Thierry Lhermitte – Mars Distribution across 457 screens).

In amongst the other new releases, there is some top-notch non-French European cinema on the cards with the Venice Golden Lion winner A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Roy Andersson
film profile
]
by Swedish director Roy Andersson (read the review and the interview - Les Films du Losange in 52 theatres), Blind [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Eskil Vogt
interview: Eskil Vogt
film profile
]
by Norwegian filmmaker Eskil Vogt (read the review and the interview, winner of the Best Screenplay Award at Sundance and the Europa Cinemas Label in the Berlinale Panorama – KMBO in 26 cinemas), Labyrinth of Lies [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
interview: Giulio Ricciarelli
interview: Giulio Ricciarelli
film profile
]
by Germany’s Giulio Ricciarelli (read the interviewSophie Dulac Distribution across 91 screens) and Long Distance [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Carlos Marques-Marcet
film profile
]
by Spaniard Carlos Marques-Marcet (read the review and the interview – Chapeau Melon Distribution).

Lastly, among the documentaries, we should highlight The Optimists [+see also:
trailer
interview: Ingunn Knudsen
film profile
]
by Norwegian filmmaker Gunhild Westhagen Magnor (Pickup Films and Jour2Fête in 36 theatres – read the interview with the producer, Ingunn Knudsen), Edgar Morin, Chronique d'un regard by Céline Gailleurd and Olivier Bohler (Tamasa Distribution), L'échappée, à la poursuite d'Annie Le Brun by Valérie Minetto (A3 Distribution) and the Franco-Belgian co-production On est vivant by Carmen Castillo (Happiness Distribution).

(Translated from French)

Jihlava
San Sebastián Full
Focal Production Value
 

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