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RELEASES France

Valhalla Rising and Eastern Plays impress critics

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Valhalla Rising and Eastern Plays impress critics

A wave of 16 new releases is flooding into French theatres today, led by Roselyne Bosch’s media-hyped The Round Up [+see also:
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(see news), starring Jean Reno, Mélanie Laurent and Gad Elmaleh. Launched by Gaumont on over 700 screens, the film – produced by Légende in co-production with Germany and Hungary – is a sensitive and didactic work of memory on the deportation of the Jews in France during the Second World War.

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Critics have been won over by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s highly original UK production Valhalla Rising [+see also:
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interview: Nicolas Winding Refn
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, featuring Mads Mikkelsen. Presented out of competition at Venice last September, the title is being released by Wild Side Films and Le Pacte on 27 screens.

There has also been a good press reception for Bulgarian director Kamen Kalev’s Eastern Plays [+see also:
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interview: Kamen Kalev
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, which was a finalist for the European Parliament Lux Prize 2009. It is being released by Epicentre Films on a 20-print run.

European cinema is also represented in the line-up by Norwegian director Rune Denstad Langlo’s North [+see also:
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interview: Rune Denstad Langlo
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(distributed by Bodega Films on 15 screens); Sherry Hormann’s German production Desert Flower [+see also:
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(see review from Venice Days - distributed by Bac Films on a very ambitious print-run of 203); and Michele Placido’s The Big Dream [+see also:
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, unveiled in competition at the Venice Film Festival (see review- distributed by Studio 37 and Rezo Films on 37 screens).

The line-up also includes four French features: Grégoire Vigneron’s thriller Immaculate [+see also:
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(see news), starring Benoît Magimel (Mars Distribution - 170 screens); Denys Granier-Deferre’s Wedding Cake [+see also:
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(see news), whose cast includes Jérémie Renier, Clémence Poésy, Danielle Darrieux and Jean-Pierre Marielle (Diaphana Distribution - 355 screens); Yasmina Reza’s Chicas [+see also:
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(see news), starring Spanish actress Carmen Maura, André Dussollier and Emmanuelle Seigner (UGC Distribution on around 50 screens); and Cyril de GasperisBlank [+see also:
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(distributed by Les Films Sauvages on seven screens).

Also hitting theatres are three French documentaries: Raphaël Delpard’s Les Convois de la Honte (“The Convoys of Shame”, distributed by Artédis); Luc Decaster’s Etat d'Élue (“Elected State”, Contre-Allée Distribution); and Valérie Mrejen’s Valvert (Documentaire sur Grand Ecran). Meanwhile, Atom Egoyan’s Chloé is being launched by StudioCanal, who generously financed it.

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(Translated from French)

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