Venus and Them hit UK screens
by Annika Pham
The major European release of today, Venus [+see also:
film profile] by UK filmmaker Roger Michell, is being distributed by Buena Vista UK on 190 prints. Coinciding perfectly with Oscar season, it’s release is getting extra coverage thanks to veteran star actor Peter O’Toole’s nomination for an Academy Award.
O’Toole plays Maurice, a veteran actor who spends most of his time with his best friend and fellow actor Ian (Leslie Phillips) until their comfortable daily routine is disrupted by the arrival of Ian’s grandniece (Jodie Whittaker).
The film reunites Michell with scriptwriter Hanif Kureishi and producer Kevin Loader (Free Range Films), who previously collaborated on The Mother [+see also:
film profile]. Co-financing was provided by FilmFour, the UK Film Council and Miramax Films. International sales are being handled by The Works .
Aimed at a totally different audience, the other main European release is French horror film Ils (Them) [+see also:
film profile] by David Moreau and Xavier Palud. Betting on the potentially wide audience of post-teen followers of the genre, Metrodome Distribution is releasing the film with 44 prints.
The third European offering amongst nine new titles is UK low budget film The Lives of the Saints, platformed by Tartan Films at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art. The morality tale, set amidst north London’s criminal underworld, marks the directorial debut of celebrity photographer and publisher Rankin, was co-directed by Chris Cottam and is based on a script by Tony Grisony (In This World). The film was financed by Italian denim brand Meltin’pot for whom Rankin works as creative director.
UK films still holding on very well at the local box office include The Last King of Scotland [+see also:
film profile], with over £2m from 248 prints in its second week for Fox, and Miss Potter [+see also:
film profile], still number five after three weeks with over £4.5m grossed from 361 prints for Momentum. Paul Verhoeven’s Black Book [+see also:
film profile] had a disappointing opening last week with a screen average of only £1,957 and a total three-day gross of £166,362 from 85 prints.
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