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RELEASES France

105 prints for Verhoeven’s Black Book

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105 prints for Verhoeven’s Black Book

Today marks an exceptional event for Dutch cinema in French theatres, with the release of Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book [+see also:
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through Pathé Distribution’s on an impressive 105 screens.

Screened in official competition at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year (see article), the co-production between the Netherlands (Fu Works, Hector Films and Motel Films), Germany (Egoli Tossell Film, Studio Babelsberg and VIP Medienfonds) and the UK (Clockwork Pictures) has been well-received by French critics in general.

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Starring Carice van Houten and Sebastian Koch, the film – which was a big hit at the Dutch box office (see news) – opens in the UK on January 19, in Italy on January 26 and in Spain on February 9, 2007.

In France, however, the title faces stiff competition from 11 new releases this week that include four US productions (including Martin Scorcese’s The Departed and animated title Flushed Away, with a monopoly on 1,349 screens) and one feature each from Argentina, Australian and Peru.

French production is placing its hopes on two films this Wednesday: Je pense à vous and Blame it on Fidel.

Rezo Films are releasing their own production Je pense à vous [+see also:
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(lit. “I am Thinking of You”) by Pascal Bonitzer on 134 screens (see news).

Starring Charles Berling, Géraldine Pailhas, Edouard Baer, Hippolyte Girardot and Marina De Van, the new feature by the director – whose previous opus Small Cuts was selected in official competition at Berlin in 2003 – was funded through CNC advances on receipts.

Meanwhile, Gaumont Columbia TriStar are releasing 99 prints of Blame it on Fidel [+see also:
film review
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by Julie Gavras, presented in the Extra sidebar at the RomeFilmFest (see article and news). Produced by Sylvie Pialat for Les Films du Worso, the debut feature by Costa Gavras’ daughter stars Julie Depardieu and Italian star Stefano Accorsi.

Lastly, French/Israeli co-production Distorsion [+see also:
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by Haïm Bouzaglo opens on 10 screens through Sophie Dulac Distribution.

At the box office, where Casino Royale [+see also:
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has got off to a lightening start with 1.1m cinema-goers in only five days, French films are the three most-seen titles in the top five.

Rent A Wife [+see also:
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by Eric Lartigau – starring Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg – continues its excellent box-office success, garnering 2.6m admissions in four weeks. Hot on its heels is Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One [+see also:
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(2.1m) and Alain Resnais’s Private Fears in Public Places [+see also:
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. The latter opened in fifth position and drew 182,000 film-goers in five days.

(Translated from French)

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