On the Ropes: A heavyweight debut
by Fabien Lemercier
With 56 debut features among the 164 French initiative films produced in 2006, the generational change in French cinema continues at a heightened pace. One of the newcomers includes Magaly Richard-Serrano’s On the Ropes [+see also:
film profile], which opens today to strong reviews on 84 screens through Pyramide.
Starring Richard Anconina, Maria de Medeiros, Louise Szpindel and Stéphanie Sokolinski, On the Ropes is set in a Paris working class district and is a story about boxing, like John Huston's Fat City. Shooting done with hand-held camera in Super 16 lends the film a documentary dimension.
Co-scripted by the director (a former French boxing champion), Gaëlle Macé and Pierre Chosson, the story revolves around a French boxing coach who has taught his daughter and his niece the sport since they were children. But when the two women face each other in the finals of the French Championships, the family’s equilibrium is shattered. A dangerous rivalry begins to fester between the two boxers, raised as sisters, both inside the ring and out.
Produced by Nathalie Mesuret and Bertrand Gore for Sunday Morning, the €2.54m On the Ropes included co-production funding from Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, pre-sales from Canal+ and CinéCinémas, as well as €450 000 in CNC advances on receipts.
Meanwhile, Rezo Films is releasing 274 prints of Philippe Leclerc’s animated film Princess of the Sun [+see also:
interview: Léon Zuratas
interview: Philippe Leclerc
film profile], based on the novel by Egyptologist Christian Jacq.
A European production headed by France (Belokan and Rezo) in co-production with Hungary (Cinemon ) and Belgium (Y.C. Aligator Film), the feature was backed by Eurimages, France 3 Cinéma, Canal + and Ciné Cinéma (see Focus).
On release this Wednesday in the heavyweight category of French productions (with budgets over €12.15m) is the comedy Le Prix à payer [+see also:
film profile] (lit. “The Price to Pay”), helmed by Alexandra Leclère and starring Nathalie Baye, Christian Clavier, Gérard Lanvin, Géraldine Pailhas and Patrick Chesnais (see news).
A Pan Européenne production on release through Wild Bunch Distribution on 444 screens, the film was co-produced by TF1 Films Production, as was this week’s other comedy, Eric Civanyan’s Kid Power, starring Sandrine Bonnaire (dist. TFM, 337 prints).
Other releases include the documentaries Ségo et Sarko sont dans un bateau (lit. “Ségo and Sarko are in a Boat”) by directing duo Karl Zéro and Michel Royer (dist. Rezo Films, 4 prints) and Sanvi Panou’s L’amazone candidate (Orisha Distribution), along with Julia Loktev’s Day Night Day Night [+see also:
film profile], a US title co-produced by Germany (ZDF) and France (ARTE) and distributed by ID Memento.
Four US productions, one Argentinean and one Filipino feature, and one Japanese animated film complete a packed week of releases that also includes an interesting international shorts programme released by EuropaCorp, Zéro deux.
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.