This is the first part of a series of posts which will look at what films we can expect to see make their premiere during 2009. You can check some of my earlier posts about the Berlinale for news about films from Lukas Moodysson, Catherine Breillat, François Ozon, Rebecca Miller, Stephen Frears, Costa-Gavras, Andrzej Wajda, Hans-Christian Schmid (Requiem), Lucía Puenzo (XXY), Andrew Bujalski, Sally Potter, Chen Kaige and Theo Angelopoulos. This post will focus on French directors and productions. The run-down is admittedly auteur-driven, as no one can really predict when a film like Cristian Mungui's 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days will sneak up and floor us. As you can imagine, many of these films won't hit the US until next year, later (or never).
UPDATED: I forgot to include Jean-Pierre Jeunet's new film when I pasted this from my word processor, so scroll down for that. I've also included some more links (nearly all of which are in French).
I've mentioned my enthusiasm for Claire Denis' latest film, White Material, several times on the blog as I was told (via Facebook) that Denis was hoping to have the film edited in time for the Berlinale. It isn't playing there, so the next likely place would have to be Cannes in May, though I'd suspect it'd play out of competition as star Isabelle Huppert is the head of this year's jury. Set in Cameroon, Christopher Lambert co-stars as Huppert's husband, along with Nicolas Duvauchelle and Isaach de Bankolé, both of which have worked with Denis in the past. The film is produced by Why Not Productions in France. Denis' 35 rhums [35 Shots of Rum], which played at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, opens in France on 18 February.
Four years after Gabrielle, Patrice Chéreau (Queen Magot, L'homme blessé) returns behind the camera for Pérsecution, which he co-wrote with Anne-Louise Trividic who also co-write Gabrielle, Son frère and Intimacy with Chéreau. The film stars Romain Duris, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jean-Hughes Anglade, is being produced by Arte France Cinéma and should be released by mk2 before the end of the year.
Isabelle Huppert will once again team with director Benoît Jacquot (L'école de la chair [The School of Flesh]) for Villa Amalia, which opens in France on 11 March through EuropaCorp. Jean-Hughes Anglade, Xavier Beauvois and Maya Sansa (Buongiorno, notte [Good Morning Night]) also star.
I haven't been able to find any new information about Catherine Breillat's Bad Love, a remake of her own Parfait amour! starring Naomi Campbell and Christophe Rocancourt. Naturally, I will post more information as I come across it. Her latest, a fantasy La barbe bleu, premieres at the Berlinale. La barbe bleu was produced by Arte France and look for the possibility of a re-release of Tapage nocturne [Nocturnal Uproar] as it will screen at Berlin as well.
In their sixth collaboration, Catherine Deneuve will once again grace the screen for director André Téchiné in La fille du RER, which opens in France on 18 March from UGC Distribution. The film also stars Michel Blanc (who was in Téchiné's last film Les témoins [The Witnesses]), Mathieu Demy (Jacques Demy and Agnès Varda's son), Ronit Elkabetz (Late Marriage, The Band's Visit), Émilie Dequenne (Rosetta) and Nicholas Duvauchelle.
Alain Resnais' new film Les herbes folles stars Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos and Anne Consigny, all three of which were last seen in Arnaud Desplechin's Un conte de Noël, as well as André Dussollier and longtime collaborator Sabine Azéma. The film is based on the novel L'incident by Christian Gailly and should be released through Studio Canal on 21 October in France. Les herbes folles was shot by Eric Gautier, who has previously worked with Olivier Assayas, Catherine Breillat, Patrice Chéreau and Desplechin.
Still working at 81, Jacques Rivette's new film (perhaps his last?) 36 vues du Pic Saint-Loup stars Jane Birkin, who also co-starred in Rivette's L'amour par terre and La belle noiseuse, Jacques Bonnaffé (Prénom Carmen, Jeanne et le garçon formidable) and Sergio Castellitto (The Wedding Director, My Mother's Smile). Les Films du Losange are releasing the film on 16 September.
Claude Chabrol, who turns 80 next year, will unveil his latest Bellamy on 25 February through TFM Distribution after it premieres in Berlin on the 8th. Gérard Depardieu, Clovis Cornillac (Faubourg 36) and Jacques Gamblin star.
In the second Coco Chanel biopic in two years (the other was made-for-television and starred Shirley Maclaine), Anne Fontaine (Nathalie...) will direct Audrey Tautou as the fashion designer. Coco avant Chanel [Coco Before Chanel], which also stars Alessandro Nivola, Emmanuelle Devos and Benoît Poelvoorde, will be out in France through Warner Brothers on 22 April. Warner will also distribute the film in the US sometime at the end of the year or 2010.
Seven years after her disturbing feature-length debut as a director Dans ma peau [In My Skin] Marina de Van's second film Ne te retourne pas stars Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau and Andrea Di Stefano (Before Night Falls). The film sounds a BIT like The Eyes of Laura Mars, but that's okay in my book. The film should be out sometime in May in France from Wild Bunch.
The filmmaking duo Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau (Jeanne et le garçon formidable, Drôle de Félix [The Adventures of Felix], Ma vraie vie à Rouen [My Life on Ice], Crustacés et coquillages [Côte d'Azur]) should have their latest, L'arbre et la forêt, out sometime this year, though I wasn't able to find any dates or distributors for the film. L'arbre et la forêt stars Guy Marchand, Françoise Fabian, Sabrina Seyvecou (Paris), Yannick Renier and Pierre-Loup Rajot (Felix, À nos amours). Their last film Nés en 68 [Born in '68], which also stars Seyvecou, Renier, as well as Laetitia Casta and Yann Trégouët, will be released in the US later this year through Strand Releasing.
Julie Delpy's second foray as a director will make its international debut at the Berlinale on 9 February. The Countess, which Delpy also wrote and stars in, also features William Hurt, Anamaria Marinca, Daniel Brühl and Sebastian Blomberg. The poster above incorrectly lists Vincent Gallo, Ethan Hawke and Radha Mitchell as stars though all three dropped out of the film. No word yet on a French or US release.
Jacques Audiard's (Sur mes lèvres [Read My Lips], De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté [The Beat My Heart Skipped]) Un prophète will be released through UGC Distribution on 26 August in France. The film stars Niels Arestrup (Je, tu, il, elle, Stavisky....).
Bruno Dumont's fifth film Hadewijch will be distributed by Tadrat Films sometime in 2009, after making a likely showing at this year's Cannes Film Festival. All of his films except for Twentynine Palms have debuted at the fest, and his last film Flandres won the Grand Prix. The cast will, like Flandres, be comprised of unknowns.
After contributing to two omnibus films (Destricted and 8), Gaspar Noé's third feature film Enter the Void will be released in France from Wild Bunch over the summer, possibly after a showing at Cannes. Enter the Void, which was filmed in Montréal and Tokyo, will be Noé's first English-language film.
After disastrous results working in the US (he called Babylon A.D. "like a bad episode of 24"), Mathieu Kassovitz returns home to direct, star and co-write L'ordre et la morale. Not much is known about the project, but it seems unlikely to make it out by the end of the year.
And finally, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's latest film Micmacs à tire-larigot stars Dany Boon (of the regional box office sensation Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, currently being remade in the US), Dominique Pinon, André Dussollier and Yolande Moreau (the latter three were all in Amèlie). Warner will release the film in France on 28 October and in the US sometime in 2010.
More coming soon...