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31 August 2014

The premiere of DISPARUS took place outdoors last night in Sagone on the island of Corsica, where the mini-series was filmed. Here is an short online video of the occasion. As you can see, Vincent was in attendance. The film will be aired in two parts on France 3 on September 13 & 14.

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I now have a special gallery for Vincent's eleven-year-old twins - Pablo & Tess. I had previously created a gallery for his fifteen-year-old daughter, Iman. As many of you know, Vincent has a 22-year-old stepdaughter fathered by Gerard Depardieu. In a Russian interview this year, the press was surprised that he was so open about his life. They noted that usually actors have a whole list of topics which they refuse to discuss but Vincent claims that he has lives a good life and has nothing to be ashamed of or anything to keep silent about. It was actually Vincent who had introduced Gerard to Karine, who was then modeling in the early 90s. At that time he thought he had found the perfect woman and then ending up losing her. For several months Karine lived with Gerard, who was separated from his wife Elizabeth at the time. When Karine became pregnant, apparently their relationship ended as well as Gerard's marriage. Fortunately, Vincent was able to hook up once again years later with his love, proposing to her in a Venetian restaurant on the Grand Canal and they were married in December 1998.

Vincent told the press that when he became Roxane's stepfather, "I followed her to school, taught her to draw, ride a bike. I was her everyday dad.  She rarely saw her real father." Who addressed the problems? Vincent responded, "It depends on what the problem is. For example, my area would be household matters, to issue a visa, to buy something. If someone has to meet her at the airport, it's still me (laughs)." So what about Gerard? "Gerard often participates in the preparation of her travel and gives valuable advice to Roxane."

Vincent was asked about his present relationship with the acclaimed French actor. He responded, "Since he lives in Russia, we don't see each other as often as we would like. And I miss him. Yes, I do not always agree with his actions, and sometimes I do not like the people with whom he communicates, but there is respect. After all, we share a daughter. It has not always been easy, but we've managed. On this basis we have often had an unusual situation. For example, one time Roxane fell off a horse. I immediately came to the scene and took her to the hospital. Gerard also arrived. And here we are, two fathers anxiously quizzing the doctor about Roxane. We were on one hand, the opponent. On the other hand, friends. We have experienced so much together that our relationship will never break."

In a 2005 magazine interview, Roxane, thirteen years old at the time, talked about the two men in her life. On Gerard, she said, "He is nice and he is funny. He makes me laugh and he takes me where I want on holiday. If I say I'd like to go to Tokyo, he agrees to it. And I feel safe with Pinpin (her nickname for him) because he is big and strong." As for her stepfather, she responded, "I adore him. He saw me at the hospital when I was born. It is because of him that I love horses. He is brilliant. He is very nice to me."

19 August 2014

The first public premiere of DISPARUS (Missing) will take place August 30th at an outdoor movie theater in the Sagone region of Corsica. This film will eventually be released as a two-part mini-series at 90 minutes each on France 3 National. Filming took place between January and March this year in and around the villages of Cargese, Piana, Vico, Sagone, Coggia and Ajaccio. It seemed natural to the film's co-producers/writers - Olga Vincent and Jean Pierre Alessandri - to present it first to those who facilitated and hosted the production, which included 200 extras, 24 actors, 14 Corsican actors, and 59 technicians including 33 from the island. The Corsicans were happy to oblige the cast and crew since the film injected € 800,000 into the local economy. The mini-series will be aired this fall and has already been selected for competition in the prestigious Festival of La Rochelle Fiction TV.

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For those who understand French, here's a video interview featuring Vincent discussing Chinese cinema during the 4th Annual Chinese Film Festival in Paris in May.

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Here are a few more photos taken in Ivanovo during Vincent's trip to Russia in June.

14 August 2014

With all the gossip in the French media last week about the fact that Vincent and Karine were guests of Carla Bruni and husband Nicolas Sarkozy at their house at Cap Nègre, it occurred to me that one of the photo galleries originally posted to the Archives back in 1999 lost its link and, therefore, visitors have not been able to access the January 1993 Vogue (USA) issue. The link is now accessible under the Family & Friends Gallery. I've also added two photos from the Italian Vogue issue of December 1992 as well. Both issues feature Vincent and Carla during their romantic days and were shot during the same photo shoot.

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I have been looking for some updates on Vincent's film project of last summer, THE PRICE OF DESIRE, but have come across little information as far as a release date. However, I offer this interview from director Mary McGuckian:

Financing an unapologetically art-house piece, in English and French, albeit extremely prestigious, was always going to be a challenge in this climate. 'The most important bi-sexual Irish architect and designer you've never heard of' is not much of an elevator pitch. That said, there are always genuine financiers to be found who respond to material with an integrity of purpose and palpable potential... As a companion to the feature film, the production has also produced both feature and broadcast length documentaries entitled "Gray Matters"  by Marco Orsini, a series of limited edition stills by Julian Lennon published by Stoney Press which will be exhibited internationally, a soundtrack album of  Brian Byrne's original score also featuring tracks by Alanis Morissette, and promoted by music publishers Just Temptation, a series of exhibitions and seminars following on from The Pompidou's lead in key cities and various other ancillary launches including the opening of Villa e1027 to the public.

As a dear friend in the distribution business recently reminded me in these days of distribution disruption, 'waiting to see if a film gets into a festival is not a business plan!'... "The Price of Desire" was conceived to play a part in a much more important movement exploring what Eileen Gray had to say about the way in which we live in the world. It's not just a movie, but more of a movement. We have endeavoured to create an entire project of events intended to give audiences interactive ownership of the project's objective, i.e., to restore Eileen Gray's rightful reputation as one of the most important and influential architects and designers of the 20th Century.

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The IMDB and other sources are showing a new Russian film in pre-production called KOROL MADAGASKARA (King of Madagascar), whose cast will include Vincent. Directed by Oleg Ryaskov and Natalya Maslova, it will also star  Sergey Chonishvili, Stefan Blankafort, Nikita Efremov, Alexei Morozov, Michael Politseymako, Tatyana Zhukova, Yuri Vasiliev, Andrew Ryklin, and Alexander Tereshko. The adventure story is about an expedition sent to Madagascar by Peter the Great. The film will include sea adventures, pirates, duels, chases and love. The genre is a mix of adventure, comedy and romance set against a historical background. Vincent will have the role of the ship's doctor, Ben Andersen. I've never seen a poster released before filming even begins but the Russians have thrown up this teaser. The second image shows Vincent at a photo shoot in St. Petersburg back in April. The third image shows Vincent on the cover of the Russian edition of Variety magazine. It looks recent. My question is are the Russians captivated by Vincent or is Vincent captivated by the Russians?

06 August 2014

I was on holiday in July so I missed posting all the news on Vincent's photography exhibition at the Rencontres d'Arles, which began July 7 and will run through September 25.  Here are some of the highlights including photos and excerpts from his many interviews. His exhibition is called "Face to Face" and is being shown in a lovely old Benedictine monastery called the Montmajour Abbey in the south of France.  Click here for all the publicity photos.

The Rencontres d'Arles is an annual summer photography festival founded in 1970 and the specially designed exhibitions, often organized in collaboration with French and foreign museums and institutions, take place in various historic sites. François Hébel, who has acted as director since 2003, was won over by Vincent's "mastery of the portrait and the creativity of its staging". Vincent indicated he gave Francois Hebel carte blanche in the selection of images. He said, "I trusted him; it is his gaze on my work that interested me."

Hébel told the press, "Vincent Perez is a real photographer. Not for the mere fact of having studied this discipline in the school at Vevey, but in the mastery of the portrait and the creativity of his productions. As an actor and director, film is obviously his favorite field. He has a view of the interior, empathy on the part of the subjects he photographs."

Vincent admitted, "I think I am primarily a portraitist, although I love architecture. What I like is the contact with the subject. I like the idea of ​​a workshop where I can work with subjects and invent the images. It is a long process and I just found the way I want to work. It's brand new. My next exhibition will be made in an artist's studio or a factory - a place where there is natural light."

Among the many photographs chosen for this exhibition are those of his wife and children and several friends, including Johnny Hallyday, Gerard Depardieu and Carla Bruni. The photograph below was taken on February 2, 2008, the day of Carla's marriage to Nicolas Sarkozy. It took place in the Green Room in the Palais de l'Elysée. He explains, "We have all lived through love, separation and death. We are family. She is a sister, a friend, someone I deeply love." He admits he loves this snapshot.

In regard to his photographs, he explains, "These are people close to me. I have a very intimate relationship with my subjects who I know very well. I could call my exhibition 'Intimacy'. I don't always have much time for my sessions. Most of the photos on display were taken quickly, during sessions of half an hour. But the relationship is different. My models know me personally. For example, with Tatiana Dyagileva (Belarusian model), I organized a session on a rooftop in Paris with an assistant, hairdresser and makeup artist. At one point she suddenly became tired and asked for a break so she could protect her face from the sun. It was at this precise moment that I took the photo. And with Johnny (Hallyday), I was with him alone in his dressing room just before he went on stage. We took the photos in a very short time. It is mutual trust at this point. I know he respects me and loves me as a human being and he knows that it's the same for me. I see things in him that touch me. We are linked." As for Michel Bouquet, Vincent reports, "I really wanted to photograph this monument of French theater. I went to his dressing room three hours before the play began. We talked.  I spent forty minutes with him."

Discussing his origins in photography, Vincent told the press, "I grew up with the idea of becoming a painter. Then, as a teenager, I branched into photography thanks to my mentor, painter Pierre Gisling... At fifteen, I did an apprenticeship as a photographer in the Doret center in Vevey, Switzerland. I stayed there two years following training as a portrait painter before turning to an acting career. I have always suffered a bit for not having listened to the little artist in me... During the last year I have not collected many images to prepare for the next exhibition which I consider to be my fist real exposure as an artist. Portrait requires confidence with the subject... As an actor, what is beautiful is when the image reveals something intimate, a certain purity. I'm a fan of Tim Walker, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn."

Asked what this exhibition means to him, Vincent responded, "I'm very surprised. For me, it is truly a privilege, an honor, and something absolutely amazing. This is especially encouraging because I think a photographer can doubt his work... This is a way to say: continue! The look of François Hebel on my work gives me direction and encourages me. I could not ask for more.  I was already expecting to exhibit in Paris, but I did not feel ready.  I also wanted to be careful how to show my work. At the moment, I've exhibited outside of France... Now that I'm in Arles, now that François Hébel has seen my work, I feel a little better at finding my way that begins to refine, to clarify. My world is slowly being revealed."

Here are a couple critiques of Vincent's exhibition. The first from Gala Magazine - "Whether it's the lunar portrait of Tanya Dyagileva, that of Marc Lavoine behind his round glasses, Marine Vacth perched on a stool looking into space with flying hair or the Bolshoi dancers backstage, Perez plunges us into the privacy of its protagonists without voyeurism. Whether immortalizing his daugher sitting on a white bed in a black pleated dress or revealing his friendships as in the marriage of Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni, Vincent Perez allows us to see the world with his eyes."

And the second from L’Occitane magazine - "The Rencontres d’Arles photography festival presents, in the Church of Sainte Anne and the Montmajour Abbey, two artists whose specialty is the black-and-white portrait, David Bailey and Vincent Perez. Two perspectives that look to magnify bodies and faces. These two artists have two points in common, black and white film, and the portrait. Yet their respective works are unique and can’t be confused. On the one hand is 'Stardust', rock and insolence by David Bailey. For 50 years, the photographer has framed the greatest icons across art, the underground, fashion and music... On the other, there is 'Face to Face' and the delicacy of Vincent Perez with pictures of cinema greats and actors that he understands before he even photographs them. Skin is transparent, the poses are no-nonsense and the looks intense! Unlike Bailey, his black and white photographs are actually more white than black. Pérez imposes a cinematographic grace on Milla Jovovich and Marc Lavoine. Our eyes are filled with stardust after a face to face of such portraits, as moving as they are captivating."

There's one particular portrait that I find rather fascinating because it's actually Vincent in drag for his role in  Patrice Chereau's "Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train" (1998). I'm very curious how he took this self-portrait. You can spot it in the two photos below:



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