L'Histoire de Richard O.: Odoul films Amalric’s fantasies
by Fabien Lemercier
Sales on Damien Odoul’s latest feature, L'Histoire de Richard O. (currently in post-production) have got off to a excellent start at the European Film Market in Berlin, placing the spotlight on an original director who first came to public acclaim at the 2001 Venice Film Festival with Deep Breath (Jury Grand Prize and FIPRESCI Prize in the Cinema of the Present sidebar).
Starring Mathieu Amalric, Stéphane Terpereau and 13 women, the fifth feature by the director behind Morasseix!!! (made in 1992 but only premiered at the 2004 Venice Days), Errance (2003) and After We’re Gone (2004 Directors’ Fortnight) explores an erotic summer quest in Paris.
Scripted by Odoul, the film opens with the night-time meeting in a bar between Richard O. (Amalric) and a young woman who fantasises about being raped. She asks him to grant her this wish. At first Richard accepts. Then he refuses. A violent argument then breaks out between the couple.
The film follows with a flashback to several weeks earlier, when Richard is in the throes of his desire for the opposite sex. Accompanied by his friend le Grand (Terpereau) he explores the sinuous mysteries of eroticism by satisfying his desires and fantasies, and those of any summer residents in Paris who cross his path.
Produced by the director’s company D.O.Films, L'Histoire de Richard O. was filmed with a small crew on a low budget, with Odoul himself doing the framing, while the score was composed by avant-garde hip-hop musician Buck 65.
While L'Histoire de Richard O. is hoping to be among one of the films selected at Cannes this year, its lead actor Amalric (2005 Cesar for Best Actor for Arnaud Desplechin’s Kings and Queen [+see also:
film profile] and highly acclaimed for his performance in Steven Spielberg’s Munich) may very well make it to the Croisette in May with any of his roles in Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (see article), Claude Miller’s Un secret (see news), Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Actrice or Nicolas Klotz’ La question humaine (see article).
(Translated from French)
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