European animation in three dimensions
by Fabien Lemercier
13/02/2008 - Three animated European films are being launched among the 13 new releases hitting French screens today.
Wild Bunch Distribution are releasing on 199 screens Max and Co [trailer] by Samuel and Frédéric Guillaume, a Swiss/UK/Belgian/French co-production unveiled at the Annecy Film Festival (see news) and selected at Toronto.
Diaphana are releasing on 38 screens the collective French film Fear(s) of the Dark [trailer], which was lauded at the RomeFilmFest; while Northern French distributor CQFD are launching on 20 screens Lotte du village des inventeurs (“Lotte of the Village of Inventors”) by directorial duo Heiki Ernits - Janno Poldma, an Estonian/Latvian co-production that has enjoyed considerable domestic success (see news).
Co-productions of narrative films are also in the spotlight, with the release of Philippe Ramos’ French/Swedish feature Captain Ahab [trailer] (Best Director Award at Locarno, Sophie Dulac Distribution - 33 screens).
Equation are launching on three screens Pedro Costa’s Lusitanian/French/Swiss co-production Colossal Youth [trailer]. This feature, which is as outstanding as it is radical, was unveiled in competition at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival (see Special Report).
Sony Pictures Releasing are launching a limited, four-print run of UK/US co-production Sleuth [trailer] by Kenneth Branagh, which screened in competition at the Venice Film Festival (see Special Report).
One noteworthy French production is Gilles Legrand’s La Jeune fille et les loups [trailer] (“The Young Girl and the Wolves”, see news), starring Laetitia Casta, her Italian partner Stefano Accorsi and Jean-Paul Rouve (distributed by Warner).
Finally, Haut et Court are releasing on 185 screens their production Notre univers impitoyable [trailer] (“Our Pitiless World”) by Léa Fazer, starring Alice Taglioni, Jocelyn Quivrin and Thierry Lhermitte.
While Asterix at the Olympic Games [trailer] continues to dominate the box office (4.17m admissions in 12 days), the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC) has published the box office results for January 2008: 14.8m admissions (down 2.9% compared to the same month in 2007) and a market share of 39.4% for French films (compared to 45.9% for US productions).
(Translated from French)