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19 April 2011

Screen Daily reports that Leipzig-based Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) is backing Vincent’s adaptation of Hans Fallada’s 1947 novel "Alone In Berlin", which was described by Primo Levi as “the greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis”. Vincent is working with producer Stefan Arndt of Berlin’s X-Filme Creative Pool on the adaptation as a German-French-Swiss co-production. Three months after the book's 2009 English release, it became a "surprise bestseller" in both the US and UK. It was listed on the official UK Top 50 for all UK publishers, a rare occurrence for such an old book. Filming is expected to take place this summer in Berlin with Vincent directing.

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In the May issue of Marie France magazine, Vincent gave an interview promoting his wife's play, "Le temps qui passe", which deals with abandonment and family secrets. He admitted to personal confidences about his own life as well. After having his family tree researched for a television program last year, he discovered that on his mother's German side, one of his uncles had died in a gas chamber in 1942 and on his father's Spanish side, he learned that his grandfather was shot during the Franco era. This information has allowed him to more fully understand who he is. However, digging into one's family history can also bring unsettling results. He tells Marie France that he and his brother Carlos learned a terrible secret -  they did not share the same father. Vincent compared his story to Carla Bruni's - "I lived with a woman who has also discovered that her father was not her biological father." You may recall that the first lady of France learned in 2008 that Alberto Bruni was not her biological father.

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On the French web site, Paperblog, an anonymous blogger had the opportunity to preview the upcoming film, "UN BAISER PAPILLON", directed by Vincent's wife. Here is what they had to say:

The theme is followed through groups of people who each have small or large tragedies to manage that cause despair, hope, laughter and tears. Without going into details of each story, it shows us ordinary people faced with problems that are baffling. The film should have been called "Like a butterfly." For the writer/director flits from group to group by not putting a group and its problem in the foreground. We cannot, as a spectator, really focus on these groups... All characters have common relationships and give the strange impression that Paris, a city of Turbulence, is a village where people have the opportunity to cross easily. Billie has cancer. She is being treated by a nurse, who has problems in her relationships with her son and husband. Billie's husband is a lawyer. He has a brother Paul who has relationship problems with their mother. Paul fell in love with a Ukrainian prostitute who, during an argument with her Russian pimp, will take refuge in a hair salon, run by the mother of a successful actress, a former friend of the famous Paul...

4 April 2011

Vincent has been donning his photographer's hat again, this time for the beautiful French publication, Milk magazine. You may have caught sight of it at Barnes & Noble. It looks like a French Vogue for babies. The magazine, which is published four times a year, focuses mainly on contemporary children's trends in fashion and the home. Children are paired with articles on such topics as haute French children's clothing and bedroom decor. The mag is both inspirational and whimsical. In this fashion shoot, which was featured in the November issue, Vincent captures his family in a fairytale setting. His daughter, Iman, 11, and twins Pablo and Tess, 6, are joined by their friends Livia, 10, and Falko, 5.

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In a recent interview, Vincent's wife Karine discussed her directing debut in her upcoming film, "UN BAISER PAPILLON (aka A Butterfly Kiss) . Here are some excerpts:

With her slender silhouette and her little voice, it is difficult to imagine the warrior described by her husband when it comes to do battle. In this case: to produce a film. "It was not easy. This is a first film. You have to convince, persuade ... "

Yet this film, as she explains with great kindness and availability, was long overdue. "I wrote it only as a sort of kaleidoscope of events in my life. I have a passion for people and I wanted to mention all these things and events that have made me what I am today. This comedy-drama, as she defines it, spins its web around a couple and their two children: Billie played by Valeria Golino and Louis, a lawyer, played by Karine's husband. Suddenly the couple's life is turned upside down under the blows of an upsetting news.

The former model, who denies having made a message movie, says, "It's just a movie about love between men, women, brothers and sisters, slices of life. Louis is played by my husband because he's my favorite actor," she adds with tenderness and sincerity. "And especially because he is an intuitive actor and I wrote the role thinking about him. Vincent responds with, "I like her determination. She believes in miracles... I was very moved to read the script. I read it and I found the stories we've experienced. Moreover, this film could have been called Nonfiction. Karin has an incredible memory. I also loved playing with our two daughters Roxane and Iman. I am amazed to see my wife grow and open another chapter of fulfillment in her life."

30 March 2011

There are a couple more video clips online regarding Vincent's play, "Le temps qui passe", which continues to be staged at the Theatre du Mathurins in Paris through April 23rd. In the first clip, I love the scene where he dances around the stage! The second clip can be found at this link. I've come across a couple of reviews from theatre critics. The first one is from Nathalie Simone of Le Figaro and the second is from Dimitri Denorme of Premiere.

"The poster for the play presented at the Theatre des Mathurin, 'Le temps qui passe' by Karine Silla-Perez, is enticing. Elsa Zylberstein co-stars with Vincent Perez, who has not been on the stage for twenty years. Problem: we feel the time passing for one hour and twenty minutes! I must say it is served by a story that flirts with boredom. A woman arrives at a detective specializing in missing persons. She is looking for her father who abandoned her. The author gets lost in a wordy pseudo-psychoanalytical-philosophical-poetic. Endless! The actors involved have merit, but in vain."   ...Le Figaro

"It is always nice to want to organize things - what is more wonderful in life is not rational but emotional. The two characters in the play by Karine Silla-Perez will face this flood of emotions. The young woman played by the lovely Elsa Zylberstein has not been spared by life. She has learned to live with its cracks and gaps, sometimes seeking to display a certain hardness to better conceal its fragility. Abandoned by her father at age 4, she finally decides to fill the void that lives and grows in her one evening by visiting a specialist in missing persons. A subtle play will develop between them as they expose their overall fear to love. To confront her past to evaluate the present is a dramatic device known for developing the nostalgic theme of time passing. It is precisely this which Karine Silla-Perez focuses on. If the dialogue seems uneven, it is nonetheless enjoyable. What undoubtedly is attractive is a freshness and tenderness in her writing. The words and feelings evoke happiness in this love story, of course, but also of death and absence. Make no mistake, if the emotion is present, we smiled a lot throughout the show. A beautiful game unites Elsa Zylberstein and Vincent Perez. At the heart of the games of love, the duo works well. The actress is disarming in the role of Mary. With infinite gentleness and talent, she plucks delicately. Beside her, Vincent Perez, who also directed the play, is an ideal partner...  You will leave the theatre with a light heart.    ...Premiere

Here is a recent photo of Vincent with his co-star Elsa Zylberstein and wife Karine. Ms. Zylberstein can also be seen in Karine's new feature-length film, UN BAISER PAPILLON, premiering in France on June 1st.

It's interesting to note that Vincent, the photographer, is featuring several of his portraits in the lobby of the Theatre du Mathurins. They include Michel Bouquet, Jean Rochefort, Guillaume Gallienne and, no surprise, Gerard Depardieu! Apparently these portraits will be in a forthcoming exhibition in Moscow.

23 March 2011

Vincent returned to the stage this month when "Le temps qui passe" opened at the Theatre du Mathurins in Paris. Vincent says his return to the stage is from his desire to rediscover his roots when he studied drama at the Conservatory of Geneva. He wanted to regain that sensation of being on the stage for 90 minutes and recapturing the theatre life because it's part of him. He and co-star Elsa Zylberstein recently appeared in a TV interview on France 3, which included a scene from the play. As you can see, the set design is very sparse and not what you would expect from a play about intimacy. However, it has been explained that the existential stage design is part of the plot in which a young woman must gradually move from her anguishing emptiness to the overflowing of love. Actress/model Karine Silla-Perez projects her identity quest in writing her autobiographical first play, imagining the encounter between this man and this woman weakened by the pain of an absent father. Apparently, Karine's father abandoned her at the age of four.

Theatre critic Simone Alexandre had much praise for Vincent:  "Vincent Perez is beautiful, unbelievably young. Like Dorian Gray, the years have no control over him. His actions are extremely elegant, without a shred of affectation, so related as those of a dancer. A perfect natural."

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For fans living in France, this Friday, March 25th, you can hear some of Vincent's favorite songs at this podcast link. Here is the schedule:

6:40: Bob Dylan / Like a Rolling Stone
7:40: M-/ complex Corn-Flakes
8:40: Radiohead / Creep
9:40: Nirvana / Smells Like Teen Spirit

12 March 2011

I haven't come across any official critiques of "Le temps qui passe" but a few anonymous theatre-goers have posted some comments:

"The performance of Elsa Zylberstein and Vincent Perez is remarkable. The dialogue is very well written, though  not without some imperfections."

"The actors are excellent but I found that the sets were too traditional."

"I was very surprised by the minimalist set. I enjoyed much of the dialogue and the excellent performances of the two actors. Rather a cerebral spectacle but very engaging!"

"The play was enjoyable in the company of these two actors who involved us in their verbal exchanges. The set decoration was minimal, which was a little surprising."

"A splendid performance of the two actors. Elsa Zylberstein is touching in her naturalness and sincerity. Vincent Perez is worrying and gracious… It's a pity that the dialogue does not have greater depth."

These photos come from a Culture Box TV interview with Vincent regarding the play.

06 March 2011

Bulldog Avenue, a new monthly catering to French men, was launched on February 21 with the motto "The men's mag with flair."  The magazine is targeting men aged 25-49 by providing male-skewed lifestyle content on fashion, decor, media, well-being and culture. 500,000 copies of its debut magazine, which features Vincent on the cover, were distributed for free in major urban spots as well as hot cultural and entertainment venues like Pathé cinemas and Zenith concert halls. Copies were also available in restaurants like Sushi Shop, Hippopotamus, the hairdresser Dessange, and perfume and glasses stores like Nocibé, Optic 2000, and Krys Optic.


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