Robert Mitchum est mort: road-movie European style
Young French filmmakers seem set on turning to great US actors for inspiration these days, with Nassim Amaouche’s film on Gary Cooper last year Goodbye Gary [+see also:
film profile], while a new title on Mitchum, Robert Mitchum est mort (Robert Mitchum is dead), is currently lensing. This is the first feature from director duo Fred Kihn and Olivier Babinet (winner of a Special Jury Prize at Clermont Ferrand this year for his short C'est plutôt genre Johnny Walker).
The four-way co-production between France (49 %), Belgium (22 %), Poland (18 %) and Norway (11 %) features such names as Olivier Gourmet (in Christophe Blanc’s Blanc comme neige and Abdellatif Kechiche’s Black Venus both out next year), Pablo Nicomedes, André Wilms, Bakary Sangaré, Danuta Stenka (Best Supporting Actress at the 2008 Polish Film Awards for Katyn [+see also:
interview: Andrzej Wajda
interview: Michal Kwiecinski
film profile]), as well as Norwegian actor Nils Utsi. Photography is by Timo Salminen (Aki Kaurismäki’s usual choice).
Scripted by the directors (who were discovered via a series on Canal +), the story follows Franky (Nicomedes), an actor suffering from insomnia and his manager Arsène (Gourmet). To curb full-on depression, Franky is his friend, spiritual son and source of income. The action begins when Arsène (a former rocker and kleptomaniac) steals a car and takes Franky to the Arctic Circle under the pretence that the two are going to meet a famous director shooting an American film there. What ensues is an adventurous journey across Europe as Franky has problems distinguishing between what’s real and what’s not.
Produced by Igor Wojtowicz for French outfit Ferris & Brockman, Robert Mitchum est mort is being co-produced by Panache Productions (Belgium), Studio Agart (Poland) and Sweet Films (Norway) on a €1.3m budget, with funding from Eurimages, Communauté Française de Belgique, the Alsace cultural agency, as well as pre-sales from TPS and Ciné Cinéma. The seven-week shoot kicked off on August 24 in Poland, from where the team has just returned with Norway the next stop.
(Translated from French)
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