Polanski and the Dardennes top the bill
by Fabien Lemercier
European cinema lays siege to the French screens today with 8 films on show against only three new American films. In the wake of their recent Palme d’Or at Cannes, L’Enfant [+see also:
interview: Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne
film profile] Belgians Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and the French-British-Italian-Czech co-production Oliver Twist [+see also:
film profile] from filmmaker of Polish origin Roman Polanski, the entire Old Continent seems to have converged on Wednesday on the French theatres with the added bonus of a German animation success, a Dutch documentary, an Italian feature and three French films.
Distributed with a total of 214 prints from Diaphana, the second Palme d’Or for the brothers Dardennes, L’Enfant, interpreted by Jérémie Rénier and Déborah François (read the Focus dedicated to the film by Cineuropa) attempts to beat the 705 000 admissions in France achieved in 1999 by their first Cannes Palme Rosetta. An objective that is within reach for the production from Films du Fleuve and RTBF in co-production with French company Archipel 35 and with Arte France Cinéma, aided by the Belgian French community, Wallimage and the Wallonie Region, Eurimages and the Media Programme.
For his part, Roman Polanski takes on the large family market for the first time with his adaptation of Oliver Twist by Dickens, which is released on 457 prints (Pathé Distribution ). He headed the French production with his own production company, Alain Sarde and Robert Benmussa for RP Productions in partnership with British Run Team, Czechs at Etic Limited and the Italians at Medusa Film: 1,7 million French spectators saw his last film The Pianist [+see also:
film profile] in 2002.
The young public will be spoiled this week since Gebeka Films distributes 56 prints of the big German animation success L'étoile de Laura co-directed by Belgian Piet de Rycker and German Thilo Graf Rothkirch. Among the European films is the low-key release of the Italian feature Miracle à Palerme by Beppe Cino with Maria Grazia Cucinotta distributed on 2 prints in Paris by Les Grands films Classiques and also that of the Dutch documentary La jungle plate by Johan van der Keuken (one preview print ahead of a larger number in November during Documentary Month).
The 100 % French films are also present with Nuit noire 17 octobre 1961 by Alain Tasma (1 print in Paris from Les Acacias) and above all two comedies. Les parrains by Frédéric Forrestier with Gérard Lanvin, Jacques Villeret and Gérard Darmon starts on 427 prints from ARP Sélection and Il était une fois dans l'oued (La légende de Johnny Bachir) [+see also:
film profile] by Djamel Bensalah with Julien Courbey, Marilou Berry and David Saracino, has 269 prints distributed by Gaumont Columbia TriStar Films.
(Translated from French)
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