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VENICE 2005 Orizzonti

Carmen : man in ape's image

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Carmen : man in ape's image

Filmmaker working often on the borders of experimentation, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Limousin yesterday unveiled Carmen [+see also:
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, projected in competition in the Horizons section, adding a new facet to his inventiveness : an almost totally animal work of fiction. Without doubt a tribute to Max mon amour by Oshima, the director indeed gave his principal part to a Bonobo ape whose chance encounter with a young couple played by Belgian actress Natacha Régnier (winner in Cannes in 1998) and Swiss James Thierree, gives food for thought on the thin line between Man and Ape.

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Retracing the cognitive apprenticeship of the ape Carmen in a research lab, then its escape following heart pains, the screenplay written by the director and Pierre Schoeller introduces in parallel the character of a young worker facing a testing interview with a multinational company undergoing a difficult audit. The roads of Man and Ape accidentally cross, the man’s pregnant wife has affection for the animal while he seeks every means – in secret – to get rid of this cumbersome companion. "I wanted to reflect on Wittgenstein’s concept : even if a lion could talk, nobody would understand it." explained Jean-Pierre Limosin who noted that there "exists only a 1,6 % difference in genetic make-up between Man and Ape". This exploration, which disconcerted the press and professionals, remains a rare, unclassifiable work from a director making only his 6th feature since 1983, his three documentary portraits of Alain Cavalier, Abbas Kiarostami and Takeshi Kitano having taken up his attention during a large part of the 90s.

Produced by Capa Drama, in co-production with the French-Grman network Arte with Celluloïd Dreams (which handles international sales Carmen had a budget of 1,7 million euros including notably support of 150 000 euros from the Picardie region. Made for TV, the film will also be released in the theatres, a deal for Italy having just been signed at Venice.

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(Translated from French)

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