Weighty programme on this week’s slate
by Fabien Lemercier
14/11/2007 - Hitting French screens today is the thriller (a rare genre in national production) La chambre des morts [trailer] (“Death Chamber”), the debut feature directed by Alfred Lot, produced by Charles Gassot and starring Mélanie Laurent (Shooting Star 2007, see interview), rising talent Gilles Lellouche, Eric Caravaca and Jonathan Zaccaï.
Released on a generous 322 screens by Bac Films, this adaptation of a Franck Thilliez novel depicts the kidnapping of children by two female psychopaths, the discovery and whisking away of a ransom by two unemployed computer scientists and a police investigation following a trail of clues.
The other ten releases this Wednesday include Cannes prize-winner The Edge of Heaven [trailer, film focus] (see Focus) by the German director of Turkish origin Fatih Akin, released on 161 screens by Pyramide and lauded by critics. Another critically-acclaimed release is the US/Romanian/Italian/French co-production Youth Without Youth [trailer] by Francis Ford Coppola, unveiled at the RomeFilmFest (see report) and distributed by Pathé on 80 screens.
Other European productions feature on the programme with Once by Irish director John Carney (Audience Prize at the 2007 Sundance Festival, distributed by SND on 55 screens), and two Belgian/French co-productions: Micha Wald’s Horse Thieves [trailer], which attracted attention during Critics’ Week at Cannes (Rezo Films, 14 screens); and Stephan Carpiaux’s Red Ants [trailer] starring Déborah François (Jour2fête, 11 screens).
With such an abundance of new releases, many films risk being left unmentioned. Other noteworthy titles include Faut que ça danse! [trailer] (formerly known as L' Ami de Fred Astaire) by Noémie Lvovsky starring Jean-Pierre Marielle, Sabine Azéma, Valéria Bruni-Tedeschi and Bulle Ogier (UGC Distribution,186 screens) and Paul Auster’s The Inner Life of Martin Frost, a majority French production piloted by Alma Films, which is distributed it on 12 screens.
(Translated from French)