NEWS: SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER 2019

 

 

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31 December 2019

Amazon Prime Video is offering 15 MINUTES OF WAR (aka L'intervention) so I made time to watch it this week and would recommend it as an excellent sniper film. I read that director Fred Grivois had cast Vincent in his first short film saying, "I love working with him. His natural demeanor has proven to be perfect for playing an old-style Legion General." Yes, Vincent plays this cigar-chomping General Favrart who rarely parts from his cigar, evoking the swagger of George C. Scott in "Patton". Certainly a unique character for Vincent to play.

 
26 December 2019

The second edition of the International Political Film Festival was held earlier this month. At the closing ceremony at the Salle du Dôme on December 14, a tribute was paid to director Stephen Frears and Vincent. The festival described the Swiss actor/director as a "key figure in the French-speaking film landscape, who has notably played in Cyrano de Bergerac, Indochine and Le Bossu, but who has also directed films such as Alone in Berlin and Peau d'ange." The first photo below shows Indochine director Régis Wargnier chatting with Vincent in the audience.

 
24 November 2019

Vincent's latest photography exhibition opened this month at the Swiss Museum of the Camera in Vevey. Called "Identités", the exhibition includes around twenty large formats selected from two series of photos taken in 2016 and 2017. The Russians occupy one section while the portraits made in the 18th arrondissement of Paris occupy another. You can watch an interview with Vincent at this link when he visited the museum on November 21.

Here's an analysis of Vincent's photography by François Hébel:

"Vincent Pérez is a true photographer, not because he studied this discipline in that temple which is the Vevey School of Photography, but because of his mastery of the portrait and the creativity of his mises en scène. An actor and director, cinema is obviously his preferred terrain. He has the advantage of an insider’s view, and share an empathy with the subjects he photographs. He hence manages to get actors to pose for him in a state of trust generally only granted to major photographers. Dance also fascinates him. He approaches this discipline differently, searching for the gesture and not only the gaze. For some years now, for marketing reasons, various institutions have found it interesting to pass off lm directors, musicians, writers and amateur photographers as great photographers. I’ve found myself caught out a few times, after rejecting several of these. But this is not the case with Vincent Perez: with exactitude and modesty, he has slowly been developing a genuine collection of portraits."

In a recent interview, Vincent was asked about  digital photography. He thoughtfully answered, "I always need to go back to film with my Leica. I need that feeling. It's like finding the fundamentals of photography. Now I have a little difficulty with digital, but with the Pentax 645 device (of which he is the ambassador), it is as if I have found a little a tool which corresponds to me in digital. There is a model at the level of the sensor which suits me well - 53 million pixels - double a full 24x36 format. As for the evolution of photography, for me it has become too conceptual for new generations. There are things in photography that you cannot conceptualize. "

Vincent then refers to the humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson - "To photograph is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart".

He continues, "Today in digital with this camera I take very few photos. I take them fairly quickly. I take one or two shots and then I hide my camera. I put it behind my back, I don't want it to exist too much between us."

As a director, he admits, "For me there is a strong link between photography and cinema".

 
16 November 2019

Roman Polanski’s new film is J'ACCUSE, but the demonstrators who gathered outside a Paris cinema to force the cancellation of one its first showings this week have defaced some of the publicity posters to read: "J’abuse". Vincent is among the cast in the film which tells the story of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish French military officer falsely accused of espionage in 1894.

Polanski launched his new film in France just days after French actress Valentine Monnier accused the 86-year-old director of having raped her in 1975 during a ski holiday in Gstaad, Switzerland. The official premiere took place at the UGC Normandy cinema on the Champs-Elysées on Tuesday evening. The Polish director was in attendance as well as Vincent, wife Karine and daughter Tess and, according to reports, the screening did not encounter similar protests.

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year where it won the Grand Jury Prize. Last week, the movie was nominated for four European Film Awards. The film's star, Jean Dujardin, who is nominated for Best European Actor at the EFAs, cancelled  interviews saying he does not want to answer questions regarding new accusations against Polanski.

 
08 November 2019

The funeral of 80-year-old Marie Laforêt, a French actress and singer was held yesterday at the Saint-Eustache Church in Paris. Known as "the girl with the golden eyes", Marie was seen in dozens of feature films and on television and sold more than 35 million records. Vincent and his wife attended the funeral Mass.

 
01 October 2019

Earlier this month, the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) handed out its prize at the 76th Venice International Film Festival to Roman Polanski’s AN OFFICER AND A SPY (aka "J’accuse"). The French drama about the Dreyfus affair, scripted by Polanski and Robert Harris, is based on Harris’ 2013 novel of the same name. It tells the true story of Georges Picquart, the 19th-century French army officer and Minister of War, as he struggles to expose the truth about the doctored evidence that sent Alfred Dreyfus, a French artillery officer of Jewish ancestry convicted in 1894 of treason, to Devil’s Island. While Polanski, as expected, did not attend, the film was reportedly well-received with a five-minute standing ovation. Reviews have, however, been mixed. The cast includes Jean Dujardin, Louis Garrel, Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathieu Almaric and Vincent in a minor role as a lawyer. The film will open in French theaters on November 13, 2019.

Vincent, the photographer, will have several of his portraits from his "Identités" exhibition presented at the Swiss Museum of the Camera from November 7, 2019 to January 26, 2020. They will be accompanied by a presentation of the hundred-year history of Pentax. Vincent uses this Japanese camera for his photography and has been the company's ambassador for the past couple years.

On September 27 Vincent attended the opening of Jeanne Damas' first Parisian boutique. Since the online launch of her label Rouje has been so successful, it seemed fit that a physical place should come next. On rue Bachaumont, the boutique also doubles as a restaurant called "Chez Jeanne". Vincent poses below with writer/actress Anne Berest.

 
27 September 2019

It's certainly been a long while since I posted any news. Obviously, Vincent took some time off this summer. He shows up in the news today because of the death of German fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh. Though he passed away on September 3, his funeral wasn't held until this past Tuesday at the church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. Vincent was accompanied by his wife Karine and daughter Iman. In a 2017 interview, Iman told the press, "Peter Lindbergh boosted my career as a model and helped me believe in myself. I had the opportunity to work with him and he made me feel safe very quickly. He explained to me that despite of my young age I could totally fit into the industry. When this kind of compliment comes from one of the greatest photographers in the world, it takes on its full meaning."

Vincent was also photographed by Lindbergh when he and Farida Khelfa modeled for Vogue Italia in 2011.

 

 
 

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