|October 2002 News|
|30 October 2002|
On Guard (aka Le Bossu) is currently playing at the Paris Theatre in NYC at 4 West 58th Street. Film critic Charles Taylor of Salon magazine raves about it - "Arriving here with little advance publicity five years after it was made, Philippe de Broca's On Guard turns out to be one of the screen's great swashbucklers. For sheer entertainment it puts nearly everything else that's playing to shame. De Broca's film is a delight from top to bottom, packed with romance, adventure, beautifully executed swordplay and a sumptuous period look... As Nevers, Vincent Perez shows an unexpected flair for comedy. He's dashing and sexy in that slightly pleased-with-himself manner that always made Errol Flynn so funny." For the full review, click here. NY Times critic A.O. Scott describes the swashbuckler film as " full of durable cinematic pleasures: a little sex, a lot of sword fighting and a plot that combines heady passion with complicated political intrigue." For those of you have already seen this film, I'm certain you'll agree that it's one of Vincent's finest performances. His pure acrobatic movements in his duels are enough reason to watch!
|16 October 2002|
Paris - on Wednesday, October 9th, Vincent took a break in promoting his film, Peau d'ange, to see the latest work of Senegalese artist, Ousmane Sow - a statue of Victor Hugo. Created for the International Day of Refusing Misery, an initiative of the Medecins du Monde, this sculpture is a symbol of misery and political combat. Sow began his remarks with, "Victor Hugo, like Gandhi or Mandela, is one of those men that I admire and who can still make me believe in humanity." The sculpture obviously touched Vincent, who said, "I am moved by each one of his works. Ousmane Sow makes me think of Prometheus, who carved with clay. My wife and my children are Senegalais. Me, too, but that is seen much less!" Vincent confides that his wife Karine is expecting twins.
I am quite backed up right now with magazine and newspaper articles/reviews/interviews with all the happenings in regard to the opening of Peau d'ange. I will be continually featuring new material as time permits. Here's an interview by Ruth Legrand for Cinelibre.com.
Peau d'ange is among the official competition at Eden Cinema's 7th Festival du Film Francais Cine Coup de'Coeur from November 14-17, 2002.
|10 October 2002|
Alain Grasset recently interviewed Vincent in regard to Peau d'ange. Published in today's Le Parisien newspaper, Alain quotes Vincent as saying - "My wife also has a role in this film. She is an actress. On the street, many people recognize her because they've seen her in the television series, Les Cordier, juge et flic on TF1. People greet Karine more often than me. And the ability to film somebody you love is thrilling... I wanted this film to come straight from the heart. It is very pure and leans toward poetry. It not only references my life at thirty, but also the relationship that I have with my wife Karine... This film marks a change. I am reinventing my career by completely centering it in France. From now on, I want to be near my family - my wife Karine, my daughter Iman, and Roxane, my stepdaughter. And the family will soon increase since Karine awaits twins. I have just bought a large house..." (photo of Vincent & Karine taken at Montreal World Film Festival on 8/25/02.
|9 October 2002|
In the press kit for Peau d'ange, Vincent says, "Something calmed down in me. I had the impression that I found a place where I had a good feeling." That good feeling has translated to very generous comments on the premiere of his first feature film as director. The future looks promising for Mr. Perez as both director and actor according to most critics. I'm not surprised. Are you? My favorite comment is "Peau d'ange is a film to be received like a gift."
Telerama ( Pierre Murat) - "Told with sobriety and care to avoid being excessive...Shades of Maupassant (famous French author of the naturalistic school)... Or a contemporary variation of Stefan Zweig's Lettre d'une inconnue (Letter from an Unknown Woman)... One continually senses that Vincent Perez tried to plunge into the heart of his subject: the splendor of the contagious beauty, which both illuminates and frightens others... Morgane More is remarkable. And Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Dominique Blanc and Olivier Gourmet accepted secondary roles to help their friend make an intriguing first film."
Ecran Noir - "Peau d'ange is a simple, true and passionate film. The script and the scenes, skillful and fluid, both contribute to the telling of the story. Around his main characters, Angele and Gregoire, Vincent Perez populated his film of characters in a very moving way. Whether they're in pain (the extraordinary Olivier Gourmet) or have liminous participation (Dominique Blanc, Karine Silla...) they are all very touching and add charm. After having directed three short films, Vincent Perez has created a beautiful simple film authenticated by his images."
AFP - "One needs courage to present an unfashionable subject, even anachronistic. Vincent Perez surprises but does not convince."
Cinelibre (Ruth Legrand) - The great success of Peau d'ange is certainly the angel herself. Vincent Perez succeeds in giving the tragic role of the young person to Morgane More (17 years old) and the film seems to be written for her... A romantic fable.... Vincent Perez, the director, presents the tragedy of love - impulsive, passionate and romantic, words he uses for himself."
Monsieur Cinema (Stephanie Thonnet)- "Peau d'ange is a film to be received like a gift. A film in love and generous like its director, Vincent Perez, who seems to have put all his heart into his first full-length film... This moving cinema allows us to witness two exceptional actors: Morgane More, whose grace, angelic face and unforgettable eyes hide a share of mystery, and Guillaume Depardieu, awkward, touching and unquestionably imposing... He directs with instinct... A wind of freedom blows on this film, the script punctuated with beautiful form...
Figarascope (Marie-Noëlle Tranchant) - "All is natural and surprising in this first film from Vincent Perez and Karine Sylla... The film is fastened firmly with reality, but with flights which cross and transfigure it."
Cinopsis (Eric Van Cutsem) - "We are pleased to see a Besson production which tells the story of a meeting between two people without special effects and physical violence... With its well-tended photography and soundtrack, Peau d'ange deserves to be seen... For his first full-length film behind the camera, and after three short films, Vincent Perez surprises. We were accustomed to his whirlpool of acting passing from The Crow: City of Angels to Le Libertin, but we now see a sensitive, interesting and instinctive director who can cause unquestionable emotions from his audience."
Les Echoes (Annie Coppermann) - "Striking... tender... sincere... touching..."
Liberation (Philippe Azoury) - "Overflows with attention... An absolutely sincere account by the director."
Aden (Philippe Piazzo) - "In its best moments, Vincent Perez's first full-length film, co-written with his wife, Karine Sylla, evokes a short story by Flaubert. The film follows a course where religious signs mix with faith in love... One does not always believe in it, but when one does believe, it is thanks to the exceptional intensity of the young actress, Morgane More, discovered in Saint Cyr."
Tele Obs Cinema (Frederic Faure) -"Peau d'ange is a good surprise in this cinematographic homecoming."
Le Parisien (Pierre Vavasseur) - "Guillaume Depardieu and his young co-star, Morgane More, are excellent."
Studio (Jean-Pierre Lavoignat)
Zurban (Véronique Le Bris) - "The performances of Guillaume Depardieu and Morgane More are remarkable..."
L'Express (Gilles Medioni) ...Morgane More and Dominique Blanc are alive, daring and disconcerting."
Les Inrockuptibles (Bertrand Loutte)
Cine Live (Philippe Paumier) - "Funny, burning, naive, mystical... A short meeting which emerges from ordinary thanks to the force of conviction of Morgane More."
Les Cahiers du Cinema (Lisa Bellynck)
Chronic'Art (Jean-Philippe Tessey)
Oui Rock (Sarah Beaufol) - "The actors inspire a real tenderness, in particular the young and tender Morgane More, but also Karine Sylla, the splendid co-screenwriter and wife of the director."
|6 October 2002|
I came across a music video of M's song, "J'ai une pensée" from the Peau d'ange soundtrack. I don't know how much of the video is actual scenes from the film, but it looks like Vincent's three-year-old daughter, Iman, and his 12-year-old stepdaughter, Roxane (a lookalike for her mother Karine) are shown in this video.
Peau d'ange was also screened at the Festival International du Film Francophone in Namur, Belgium last weekend. It was not among the official competition.
|5 October 2002|
Vincent took a break from filming Fanfan la tulipe to attend the French premiere of Minority Report on September 24th. Penelope Cruz, his co-star, accompanied Tom Cruise. Other couples attending the premiere in Paris were Steven Spielberg and his wife, Kate Capshaw, Vincent and his wife Karine, and Luc Besson with Virginie Sylla, Karine's sister. You can get a quick look at Vincent in the short video covering the premiere. It begins with comments by Julie Delpy, and then halfway through Vincent is interviewed with Karine at his side.
The soundtrack for Peau d'ange is now available at Amazon.fr. One of the tracks is called "Tout le Monde" sung by Vincent's ex-girlfriend, Carla Bruni, who has switched her career from modeling to singing. The original music for the film was done by guitarist/composer Replicant. With its romantic theme, the music is dramatic and impassioned as well as poetic.
|3 October 2002|
Screened at the Montreal World Film Festival (click for all articles/interviews)
"Perez Impresses with Directing Debut" ... Variety
"A luminous and mysterious film" ...Le Devoir
"Sweet with a strain of spirituality and uplifting pathos" ...Indie Wire
Notes from the Director, Vincent Perez:
"I studied photography at the Ecole des Art Appliques at Centre Doret, a school of photography in Vevey, Switzerland where people come from all over the world. I also worked in a photo studio where I spent all my days in the darkroom of a laboratory developing images. I did that for two years. I always have a camera with me and my images often speak better for me than words. At the Conservatory d'Art Dramatique in Paris and at the School at Amandiers, I put together scenes and directed other students. But my desire to direct came through my film experiments. It is the privilege of an actor to be in the intimate circle of a director during filming. And those experiences gave me the desire to stand behind the camera."
"The idea of Peau d'ange came little by little. When Karine wrote, Angele existed. In the first lines, Angele was like the air, impalable, unreal. Karine made her alive. Jerome Tonnerre and I were touched by Angele's purity. The character was very strong. He guided us and we followed him."
Filming: Two weeks in the area of Auxerre, and then two weeks in Anjou, in Cholet and the countryside nearby, with the remainder of the film around Paris.
Image and ambiance of the film: Vincent and the director of photography, Philippe Pavans de Ceccatty, chose a naturalist image, a little pale, without marked contrasts. They both wanted to avoid an excessively aesthetic image, which would have been against the spirit of the film.
Morgane More as Angele: "I was impressed by the serenity of Vincent Perez as a director. He was irritated by me only once, but I needed his response. He knew what to say without my feeling locked up. He left me free. When I had a problem with a scene, he helped me and shared the techniques of an actor. He was always there. As both a director and actor, he taught me much. It was a true opportunity for me."
Photography experience: In directing his first full-length film, Vincent Perez took the advice of Luc Besson who said to him: "You are a photographer... why don't you shoot your film?"
Familiar actors: Dominique Blanc starred with Vincent in Indochine, Queen Margot, and Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train. She also starred in his first short film, L'echange. Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi shared the screen with him in Those Who Love Me..., Hotel de France and Queen Margot. She also starred in another of Vincent's short films, Rien Dire with his wife, Karine Sylla (co-screenwriter). Karine was also in Epouse-Moi and now appears in Peau d'ange, produced by her sister, Virginie Sylla.
[Note: You will find that two of the Montreal Film Festival articles are printed without translation. One is Spanish and the other French. Anyone wishing to try their hand at either one will brighten my day] Update - The Spanish article will be translated by Cinzia Masina.