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24 April 2020

One of the most romantic roles in Vincent's career was playing Yanko in the 1997 film SWEPT FROM THE SEA. I have updated the film page after 20 years! Yes, it's been that long. How many celebrity web site developers have shown that kind of dedication!

Based on famous novelist Joseph Conrad’s short story, "Amy Foster", the film is a love story which pits two strong-hearted lovers against the elements and against the hatred and prejudice of Cornish country people in late 19th Century England. Match this tragic romance with the cinematography of Tim Pope and the lush soundtrack by John Barry, and you have a glorious result! The film's esteemed cast included Sir Ian McKellan, Rachel Weisz and Kathy Bates.  They were very well selected. Rachel Weisz possessed a calm, confident sort of tranquility and her classic beauty made her perfect for the character of Amy Foster. In his role as Yanko, Vincent  was very expressive without losing a quiet sense of strength plus his accent and mannerisms were very convincing as a Ukranian foreigner on British soil. If you haven't yet seen this film, it's a must-see for every Perez fan.

"I would change nothing, my love, my gold, we are the lucky ones." ...Yanko

"I will love him until the end of the world."  ...Amy

I actually traveled to England to personally see this rugged and stunning landscape as the cinematography in this film was so rapturous for me. I stayed at the Port William Inn on Trebarwith Strand (pictured below), just a few miles north of Port Isaac and Port Quinn where much of the story takes place. Words cannot describe the beauty and romance of the Cornish coast.

Director Beeban Kidron discusses Vincent;
"If he needs to dance, he learns to dance. If he needs to speak Ukrainian, suddenly he can speak Ukrainian. Purely in terms of technical prowess, he's very impressive. He's also a lot of fun, and has an incredible sweetness as a human being that he brings to the role. And it doesn't hurt that he's also drop-dead gorgeous. Vincent did such incredible work transforming himself from Swiss/Spanish to Ukrainian that on some days, I would ask him to ad lib in Ukrainian, forgetting it wasn't his native tongue.  It was one of the great pleasures of working back in Europe."

"Beeban's approach to directing is very precise but also very free. I wasn't very far from Yanko and I guess she saw that. We never had to struggle to find a scene because the script was very well written, and she knew exactly what she wanted. But she was always ready for an actor to surprise her, which is great. I felt I had to do this movie for my father. My father left Spain and my mother left Germany to seek a better life, just as Yanko did.   When I read the script, I felt something very intimate."

Rachel Weisz discusses Vincent:
"He's a very passionate man, playing a kind of passionate role. He wasn't frightened to unleash all of it. He's so beautiful, but he didn't stand there being still in his close-ups. He really let go of all his feelings, which I thought was bold and refreshing. I had the best working relationship I've ever had with anyone. He's extraordinary... Ul
timately, the success of any love story depends upon the chemistry between the two protagonists. That's something that either happens or it doesn't. With Vincent, it was brilliant. We never planned it or talked it through. It just happened in front of the camera. Working with him was a very happy experience."

Ian McKellan:
I had hugely admired Rachel Weisz onstage (in the London production of Noël Coward's Design for Living) and Vincent Perez in the film La Reine Margot. With Kathy Bates supporting them, I should have been a fool not to want to be involved with such a talented group."

Flashback to 20 years ago: Here's Vincent and his wife at the Cesar Awards on February 19, 2000. The first photo shows the couple with actor/director Guillaume Canet and the second one with brother-in-law Luc Besson.

17 April 2020

Without any scheduled events to attend or film production going on, Vincent has turned his attention to posting some family photos. On January 24, 2003, Vincent and Karine had twins - Tess India and Pablo Vicente. At 17 years old, Pablo is now attending the Putnam Science Academy in Connecticut, enrolled in their basketball program. The third photo was taken a few years ago.

Vincent appears to be a very proud father and describes him with these sentiments - "My friends used to call him Buddha because he is always calm in difficult situations. He's wise and knows how to analyze things... He will achieve anything he decides to do."

Pablo's twin sister Tess also has her father's strong admiration and affection. He describes her as having an "incredible will" and she impresses him with her kindness and generosity. He says she sings with a "magical voice" and writes the most beautiful songs. What lovely things for a father to say about his children!

This first photo is a new addition taken from the Italian edition of the December 1992 issue of Vogue magazine. For other Vogue photos of Vincent with model Carla Bruni, check out this gallery. The photo shoots shown below were also taken in the same year.

04 March 2020

The third edition of the Rencontres du 7e art Lausanne has been canceled.

On Monday evening, the organizers of the Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne took the decision to cancel its 3rd edition, scheduled for March 4 to 8.

"The current context linked to the Coronavirus epidemic in Switzerland and the inherent uncertainty in this situation does not allow the 7th Art Lausanne Meetings to take place in good conditions", explained the persons responsible for the Meetings in a press release.

It is obviously a blow for the festival created and embodied by Vincent Perez, who was counting on this 3rd edition to anchor it even more deeply in the soil of Lausanne. Nearly 50 screenings of heritage films were planned, as well as a dozen conferences at the EJMA and public meetings with about fifty personalities, including Isabella Rosselini, Roland Joffé, Cédric Klapisch, Bertrand Blier, Anaïs Demoustier, Niels Schneider, etc.

The Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne had a budget of 1 million francs and had gathered 10,000 film lovers last year.

"Despite the respect of the limit of 1000 spectators decreed to date as a measure by the Federal Council, it has also become impossible to logistically ensure optimal reception and security for the public as well as for the guests", announced yesterday evening festival. And Vincent Perez to clarify. "Despite all our efforts to maintain this new edition, which promised to be magnificent, it is our responsibility to guarantee the quality to which we all aspire within the Meetings. I would like to thank all of our partners who are following us in this difficult decision, as well as the teams and volunteers for their wonderful work."

The festival hopes to be able to communicate as soon as possible postponement of this third edition. All ticket holders will be able to refund their tickets.

02 March 2020

The César Awards were held on February 28 with Roman Polanski's film AN OFFICER AND A SPY (J'ACCUSE) winning three awards out of its 12 nominations. The Polish director was not there to collect any of the prizes. He announced on Thursday that he would not attend the ceremony because he feared a "public lynching" from protestors. The film's first award of the night was for best costume designer, but the winner, Pascaline Chavanne, was not present to collect her trophy. The entire cast (including Vincent) and production team has shunned the event over criticism aimed at their director. Polanski was named best director and was also given the award for best adapted screenplay along with Robert Harris, the British novelist. "Very few" people applauded Polanski's best director award, said Le Monde and some stars walked out.

Ben Croll of Variety wrote the following article today entitled "Think Cinema’s Vincent Perez on Exploring Why We Create Art". Here are some extracts:

In 2018, Swiss actor-director Vincent Perez teamed up with the Cinémathèque Suisse, the country’s premiere film archive, to launch a heritage film festival in the actor’s hometown of Lausanne. For its first edition, the event ran under the title r7al – the Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne – and was rebranded Think Cinema Lausanne the following year.

Vincent's explanation: "We wanted to put something forward for our English-speaking friends, Whereas Re7 spoke more to Francophones, we wanted a name that really said everything. Something that would explain our mission, that would be simple and direct. We're beginning to really understand what makes our festival unique. Our identity is becoming more and more clear... "Nobody asks us to make art. We do so because we want to, and we want to because we need to. So we're interested in those questions, in asking why we tell stories, and then exploring the answers with our guests... Nobody is here to promote anything, and there's no competition. That changes the nature of the conversations, of the questions the audiences ask and the answers the filmmakers give. We’re interested in curating a selection of films that can track social transformations in the way they treat a shared subject. Love stories from the 1950s treated their female characters very differently than love stories from the 1970s… [So] we thought it was interesting to have an overview of that evolution. Society liberated itself from certain dogmas, and the cinema mirrors those changes... The festival is growing. The baby we cradled on our laps is now beginning to walk all on its own. Maybe it's no longer a baby. [laughing] Now it's a toddler."

This article is from Suddenlink Communications:

Last year, Think Cinema welcomed 10,000 attendees over the course of four days, marking a 33% increase in attendance from its inaugural edition. As the festival prepares its third go-round, founder and president Vincent Perez anticipates a similar rise. Whatever the final number may be, it’s safe to say many of those attendees will spring from Lausanne’s student population. More than 40,000 young adults live and study in the lakefront city, which houses several top Swiss schools.

Since its inception in 2018, Think Cinema has not only targeted that young population, but has actively partnered with a number of the city’s top educational institutions, as well as cultural outposts like Cinematheque Suisse and the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature. This year anew, the festival will host masterclasses at Lausanne’s university of art and design, ECAL, and screenings at the school jazz and contemporary music, EJMA, venues that have become key parts of this young event’s identity.

"The tone of the festival is very laidback and cool," says Perez. "(And though we attract well known figures), proximity is very important. The goal is to bring everyone together, to make the public participants in the events. The rooms at ECAL and EJMA aren’t always very big, which keeps things intimate and convivial. It gives the whole thing a familial air."

Those close pedagogical ties have also shaped the festival's programming mandate. "We want to collect these ideas and then to transmit them to our audience," Perez explains. "Our job is to share and to mediate. When someone goes to one of our conferences, they should leave knowing more about cinema."

Think Cinema will launch a new component this year, introducing a competition for aspiring screenwriters that will award the winner a development grant to finish writing their script. As Perez sees it, the new initiative is an outgrowth of the festival’s very identity.

"We believe in cycles," he explains. "We transmit and remount classic films on the big screen, and organize conferences with a young public. And among those students might be a future filmmaker."

"When I was 18, I received a grant that allowed me to travel to France to study," adds the actor and director. "That changed my life. It gave me a career. So this is a way to consider the future part of this cycle, to find new talent and to assist them as well."



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