Diaphana releases Phantom Boy across 173 screens
by Fabien Lemercier
- The new, highly accomplished animated film by Gagnol and Felicioli rubs shoulders with the return of Jean-Paul Rappeneau and the debut by Camille Fontaine
While according to the CNC's estimates 144.47 million admissions were recorded in French theatres during the first three quarters of 2015 (4.4% lower than for the same period in 2014), September was not particularly earth-shattering (9.36 million admissions, 0.2% up on September 2014) and the market share of French films stood at 35.2% over the first nine months of the year (as against 52.7% for US productions and 12.1% for features from elsewhere in the world), 11 new releases are hitting screens today.
The originality of French animation takes centre stage once again with Phantom Boy [+see also:
film profile] by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, distributed by Diaphana in 173 theatres. Unveiled at Toronto, produced by Folimage Studio (Raining Cats and Frogs, Mia et le migou [+see also:
film profile]) and co-produced by Belgium, the new opus by the directors of A Cat in Paris [+see also:
film profile] (nominated for the Oscar in 2012) has enraptured the critics thanks to its poetic blend of the crime and fantastic genres, topped off with a touch of the super-hero vibe, all set in New York and boasting a magnificent hand-drawn style that pays homage to the characters from the comic books created by US artist Stan Lee in the 1960s. Also of note is the fine French cast (Edouard Baer, Audrey Tautou and Jean-Pierre Marielle) providing their voices to this film that recounts the misfortunes of an 11-year-old boy who is sick, and who has the power to escape from his own body. The movie's international sales are handled by Doc & Film.
Another top-notch French animated film is out today: Mune le gardien de la lune [+see also:
film profile] by Alexandre Eboyan and Benoît Philippon (produced by Onyx Films – distributed by Paramount Pictures France in 281 cinemas).
French film production is also very well represented with the sophisticated Families [+see also:
film profile] by Jean-Paul Rappeneau (read the article – ARP Sélection across 377 screens), which marks the return of the renowned director (Cyrano de Bergerac, The Scoundrel, The Horseman on the Roof) after a ten-year hiatus. He is back with a very well-paced comedy that offers Mathieu Amalric, Marine Vacth, Gilles Lellouche, Karin Viard, Nicole Garcia, Guillaume de Tonquedec and André Dussollier some juicy roles to get their teeth into.
The press has also had good things to say about the directorial feature debut by screenwriter Camille Fontaine: Par accident [+see also:
film profile] (read the article). Starring Hafsia Herzi and Emilie Dequenne, the movie is a drama that morphs into a thriller and is distributed by Ad Vitam in 46 theatres.
Among the mainstream films, the comedy Les nouvelles aventures d'Aladin [+see also:
film profile] by Arthur Benzaquem is landing in a huge number of theatres (starring Kev Adams and Jean-Paul Rouve – Pathé Distribution in 718 cinemas), and as for movies by European auteurs, we have Face Down [+see also:
film profile] by Bulgarian director Kamen Kalev (executive-produced by France, with Belgium and Bulgaria – read the article – distributed by Le Pacte across 16 screens).
Lastly, three documentaries round off the cinema listings, spearheaded by the Franco-German-Swiss co-production A German Youth [+see also:
film profile] by Jean-Gabriel Périot (UFO Distribution in 21 theatres), which was unveiled in the Berlinale Panorama and was screened at gatherings such as San Sebastián. Other movies coming out are La forme des iles by Patrick Viret (Les Films du Viaduc in two cinemas) and C'est quoi ce travail? by Luc Joulé and Sébastien Jousse (Shellac across nine screens).
(Translated from French)