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L'ennemi intime and The Secret

by Fabien Lemercier

First up is Florent Emilio Siri’s L'ennemi intime (“Intimate Enemy”), which looks at the French-Algerian conflict, while Claude Miller’s The Secret deals with the complex issue of memories following the Jewish Holocaust.

Released on 362 screens through SND, L'ennemi intime plunges the viewer into the cauldron of the French-Algerian conflict in 1959, as the French army were trying to wipe out the Algerian National Liberation Front.

A young army recruit and idealist lieutenant (Benoît Magimel) finds himself facing war atrocities as he works alongside his captain (Aurélien Recoing), whose orders he ignores, and a sergeant poisoned by the madness of violence (Albert Dupontel).

The film – which had its international premiere at the Toronto Film Festival – offers a mix quite rare in French cinema, with impressive action scenes (Siri is no stranger to the genre, having directed The Nest and Hostage, starring Bruce Willis) and a well-documented script by Patrick Rotman, an expert on the conflict. (Rotman was the interviewer in Bertrand Tavernier’s The Undeclared War (1992), scriptwriter on Alain Tasma’s television film Nuit noire, 17 octobre 1961 (2005) and author of the investigative book L'ennemi intime.)

Produced by Les Films du Kiosque, the €9.78m feature received €1.3m from France 2 Cinéma (€800,000 in pre-sales and €500,000 in co-production) as well as pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.

Distributed on 331 prints by UGC, Miller’s The Secret explores the emotional impact of the dramatic events of WWII on the life of a Jewish family after 1945.

Adapted from Philippe Grimbert’s novel set in the post-war period and told in flashbacks going back as far as 1936, the film – which features a strong cast composed of Patrick Bruel, Cécile de France, Ludivine Sagnier, Mathieu Amalric and Julie Depardieu – grabbed critics’ attention after it won the Grand Prize at the Montreal World Film Festival last month.

Jordi Dauder rueda en España el primer largometraje de Michel Houellebecq

Agencia EFE
Domingo, 6 de mayo 2007

Jordi Dauder está rodando en España, a las órdenes del escritor Michel Houellebecq, "La posibilidad de una isla", filme basado en la última novela del mismo autor, un libro "nada fácil", según ha explicado el actor durante una entrevista con Efe.

Dauder es el único actor español en el elenco del primer largometraje que el escritor rueda en España, país en el que reside, aunque la lengua del rodaje es el francés.

Houellebecq "ha hecho una gran depuración del libro, en el que narra un montón de historias, para concentrarse en la de la destrucción del Planeta", ha dicho el actor.

Jordi Dauder ha rodado en Lanzarote y volverá a participar en la película cuando se ruede en Alicante y cerca de Albacete.

Houllebecq, que vive en Almería, ha elegido España como plató principal de su estreno como director cinematográfico de un texto que, como la mayoría de los suyos, levantó polémica.

El libro narra la historia de Daniel, cómico de éxito que se retira y va a vivir como jubilado adinerado a la costa española, y desde su papel de protagonista vive 2.000 años después en una nueva dimensión o secta.

El personaje que interpreta Dauder es Gérard, "el amigo de toda la vida" del protagonista del filme, Daniel, el Profeta, encarnado por el actor francés Benoît Magimel.

Gérard "acompaña a Daniel en su periplo, por amistad, y no es un personaje que opina, es el alma gemela de Daniel", ha señalado Dauder.

Houellebecq tiene, en opinión de Dauder, "muy claro lo que quiere explicar, esa destrucción del Planeta y la historia de una secta, una secta que ha creado un ser humano esperanzador".

Lo hace a partir de la historia de un hombre que desearía ser inmortal y de lo que le pasa a su clon muchos años después.

Dauder, que ha leído "casi todos los libros de Houellebecq", opina que el escritor "es un personaje peculiar, un hombre bastante introvertido".

Houellebecq "tiene muy clara y nítida la idea del rodaje, quería rodar "Las partículas elementales" (1998), su primer libro de éxito, que vendió un millón de ejemplares, y no pudo ser, y ahora lo ha conseguido con "La posibilidad de una isla" (2005), ha señalado Dauder.

El actor catalán cree que la película, con un rodaje previsto de siete u ocho semanas y tomas de helicóptero casi al final, "tendrá un gran lanzamiento internacional".

Dauder vivió 15 años en Francia y vuelve a rodar en francés años después de su participación en varias series de la televisión francesa.

En 1988 encarnó al detective Pepe Carvalho, de Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, en una coproducción de TVE-TF1 y participó el mismo año en la serie de TF1 "Caraïbes".

En 1997 participó en la serie francesa de TF1 "La Tramontade", en 1995-1996 para la serie de France 2 TV "Le Gran Batre" y en 1995 rodó también "Le passager clandestin", dirigido por A. Villalonga.

Tras rodar con Houellebecq y anteriormente en Madrid con Santiago San Miguel el papel protagonista de "Azaña", Dauder tiene dos propuestas más de cine y teatro que no ha desvelado.

Dauder acaba de presentar en Mollerussa (Lleida) una primera edición de una muestra de cine catalán, que codirige, con la que pretende "recuperar la memoria histórica del cine catalán".

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Orange outlines six co-productions

26-05-07

Projects include Houellebecq adaptation

European telco Orange is forging ahead with its movie biz ambitions via Paris-based subsid Studio 37, which has unveiled half a dozen projects it will co-produce.

Movies range from author Michel Houellebecq's "The Possibility of an Island" to vampire comedy "La nuit medicis," with five French pics and one Italian in the mix.

Although Studio 37 hasn't disclosed its budget, it is assumed to be generously endowed.

In a deal announced earlier this week, company is investing e2 million ($2.7 million) in the Gallic hip-hop toon "Les Lascars."

Orange has been a partner of the Cannes Film Festival for the past seven years and, underscoring its ambitions to be a player, its Cannes HQ at the Noga Beach has been a hub of activity this year, used by rival French companies such as TF1, SND StudioCanal and even Luc Besson's EuropaCorp, for press conferences and lunches.

Orange will host its own party there tonight, attended by no less than parent company France Telecom's CEO, Didier Lombard.

Showing that the company's film biz designs don't only apply to France, a month ago, Orange's Polish operation announced it was going to invest in local film production.

Paris company was set up some six months ago with Frederique Dumas, formerly an indie producer of films such as Danis Tanovic's "No Man's Land," as its managing director. Projects unveiled this week rep the company's first foray into production.

Houellebecq adaptation began lensing in Spain last month, with Benoit Magimel in the lead role. French indie shingle Mandarin is producing.

Studio 37 will also co-produce the political thriller "Une affaire d'etat." Eric Neve's La Chauve Souris is producing and Mars Distribution will release the film in France.

"La nuit medicis" is produced by Lombard Prods. and directed by a duo of tyro helmers known as "les Elvis." Cast includes Sam Karmann, Francois Berleand, Tcheky Karyo, Julien Boisselier and Helene de Fougerolles. Pic will be distributed by Gallic web M6's subsid SND.

"Ca se soigne" is a comedy about depression, starring Thierry Lhermitte as a down-in-the-dumps pianist. TFM will distribute and Roissy is handling international sales on the pic that began lensing earlier this week.

Studio 37 has also boarded an Italian production, "Once Upon a time in Sicily," starring Gerard Jugnot as an anti-terrorist magistrate who encounters a young girl from a mafia background. Pic based on a true story will begin lensing this fall with Marco Amenta helming.

France's Roissy is co-producing and selling the film internationally.

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