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  31 December 2007

Before I wrap up 2007, I have several old but interesting additions to post from the past year. On April 26 of this year, the UGS (The Union Guilde des Scénaristes) presented its first "Jacques Prevert Script Prize" to the best French original and adapted screenplays of 2006 according to a jury led by Vincent. Since a good script is essential to make a good film, the UGS is determined to restore the screenplay to its rightful position at the heart of the filmmaking industry in France and French-speaking countries, highlighting its importance at the economic, cultural and media levels. Following in the footsteps of Catherine Deneuve, Vincent also became this year's honorary president of Writers Days sponsored by the UGS  The event took place during the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in May. When co-president Jerome Soubeyrand made the proposal, Vincent accepted immediately, feeling very honored to defend the importance of the screenplay. In an interview with magazine Le Film Francais, he was asked why he participated in these events. He replied that it gave him the opportunity to meet with French scriptwriters and join their fight to be recognized for their contribution. He added that in France, a script takes up 1% of a film's budget against 14% in the United States. He believes Americans have high respect for screenwriters as well as for producers and directors. Here's a photo from the Cannes event:

Gaston Kaboré, Zoé Félix, Pavel Lounguine, Renato Berta, Vincent Perez (in the hat), Etgar Keret, Claude Lanzmann,
Jérôme Soubeyran, Julie Delpy, Philippe Bastard de Crisnay, Sara Forestier, Manuel Alduy et Ken Burns.

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Through its foundation, Swiss watch manufacturer Zenith and AVEC (Association for Life and Hope Against Cancer) hosted a charity event on February 5, 2007 at the Château de Versailles. Among the 750 guests were Vincent along with wife Karine and stepdaughter Roxane Depardieu. The photo on the right shows Vincent with Zenith president Thierry Nataf. The evening began with a recital followed by a visit to the Royal Apartments and finally dinner in the Galerie des Batailles.

In a 2004 interview with La Revue Masculin, Vincent answered these quick questions, a bit like James Lipton (Inside the Actor's Studio).

  • The principal feature of your character? Curiosity.
  • The quality you prefer in a man? Uprightness.
  • The quality you prefer in a woman? Honesty.
  • A happy reverie? Hearing my children play the piano in our country house or having dinner with friends around the kitchen table.
  • A historical figure? Mozart.
  • A hero of today? Muhammad Ali.
  • A bedside book? Seul dans Berlin by Hans Fallada.
  • A film you love? American Beauty.
  • A song that stays with you? "No, woman, no cry" by Bob Marley.
  • World city? New York.
  • Holiday place? Corsica.
  • Parisien bar? L'Avenue.
  • Preferred dish? Des Penne alla rabiata, tres al dente!
  • Preferred drink? Wine.
  • A perfume? Any Guerlain, Mouchoir, in particular.
  • Clothing? Jeans.
  • Object? Camera.

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There are some video interviews from the past year that you might want to check out. The first one is with Soluble Dans L'air dated May 10th from TV5 in France. The video is about 12 minutes and features an interview with Vincent on the Left Bank with host Olivier Philippe. Vincent discusses his films but also does a segment with illustrator Tiburce Oger on their comic book La Fôret.  On May 3rd Vincent was on the TV show  La Méthode Cauet  and a couple short videos feature some backstage footage. He was on the show again on October 4th, but I have no video or photos. You may remember Vincent was on Cauet's radio show  times back in 2003. And the last video is from LCI on TF1 dated October 11th which was done in conjunction with the premiere of Si j'étais toi. It's a short video and shows him at his laptop fielding questions from the Internet.

  28 December 2007

Arn - The Knight Templar achieved the biggest opening ever for a Swedish film when it was unwrapped on Christmas Day. In its first two days, the picture pulled in 160,310 admissions with a gross of $2,240,000 from 207 screens.  It will be some time before audiences outside the Nordic Region will get a chance to see it. The international version, a combination of the current film and the sequel, will not be released until next year, but has already been sold to ten countries, among them Russia, China and Brazil. Svensk and sales agent Telepool will continue to market the film at Berlin and Cannes. Commenting on the opening box office figures, producer Valdemar Bergendahl told Variety: “It is fantastic. We had expected high figures, but this exceeds our expectations.” The Swedish reviews ranged from positive to negative with the majority falling somewhere in-between. Bergendal said: “It was expected. But I’m happy with all the copy that has been written about the film. It has shown what great interest there is in it.” The film's premiere took place in both Skara and Stockholm the week before Christmas but Vincent did not attend either event. If you follow this link, you can view a program from Swedish TV on the making of the film, which includes a few of Vincent's scenes as well as a brief interview with him in English!

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If you've noticed Vincent's name in the news these days, it's because ex-girlfriend Carla Bruni has been making headlines as the new love interest of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who divorced his wife in October. Earlier this month the couple were spotted at Disneyland Paris with the French press reporting that obviously this very public appearance was supposedly an announcement that they are together. Sporting dark sunglasses and holding hands, Sarkozy and Bruni were last spotted arriving in Luxor, Egypt for a private visit, staying at the Winter Palace. Carla was born into a wealthy Italian family, but grew up in France from the age of five and later attended boarding school in Switzerland. She eventually returned to Paris to study art and architecture, but left school at 19 to become a model full-time. In 1997, Carla quit the world of fashion, and has since devoted herself to music. She was previously married to philosophy professor Raphaël Enthoven and has a six-year-old son named Aurélien. She dated Vincent in 1994 and he has continued to maintain a close relationship with both her and her actress sister, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi. In 2002, Carla's debut album "Quelqu'un m'a dit", was released in Europe to great success. Her second album, "No Promises" containing poems by Yeats, Emily Dickinson, Auden, Dorothy Parker, Walter de la Mare, and Christina Rosetti, set to music, was released in January 2007. In conjunction with this CD release, four videos were also created by none other than Vincent. You can view these exclusive videos at Carla's web site. Explaining her choice of men, Carla once said, "The one thing all the men I've dated have in common is a strong feminine side. I find feminine men very virile and macho men very fragile." Her list of past lovers also includes Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton.

According to W magazine,  by February 1995 the romance between Vincent and Carla was over and with the release of Queen Margot, Vincent was "flooded with fan mail from his adorers in the U.S." Apparently, it didn't take long before he and Karine were becoming more than friends as seen on the cover of the January 16, 1995 issue of Voici magazine. His first publicized romance was with actress Jacqueline Bisset. The two had met in 1989 on the set of La Maison de Jade and quickly became lovers, though Ms. Bisset was almost 20 years older. At the time he was quoted as saying, "I've rarely met a woman like her. I love women in the 40s. They make me feel more sure of myself."  Between her film-acting tips and words of support, Vincent claims that she helped him a lot with a real generosity. He says, "She made me discover Bergman's actresses, American movies, the American way of working... And for the first time I realized that light can transmit certain emotions. She changed my vision of light." Ms. Bisset continues her film career today at 63 years old. She has never married and has been quoted as saying, "marriage takes the romance out of a relationship."  I recently came across these new photos of the gorgeous couple at several premieres and the Academy Awards. I don't know if she's ever gone under the knife, but amazingly, she's hardly changed over the years and is still a beauty today.

  25 December 2007

Today Arn - The Knight Templar, the most expensive Scandinavian production ever, will premiere in Sweden, with the Norwegian premiere set for Boxing Day. The ambitious project had a total budget of over 32 million  and entails not one but two films, with the other film, called "Arn - The Kingdom at the End of the Road", scheduled to premiere in late 2008. The material will also be used for a six-part TV series that will be aired on Sweden's TV4 in 2009. Vincent's scenes as Brother Guilbert are in the first film when he plays mentor to the  young Arn, who is raised in a monastery during the second half of the 12th century. The epic is directed by Danish director Peter Flinth and is based on the bestselling Crusades trilogy of novels by Swedish author Jan Guillou. Though the books have been bestsellers in Scandinavia and several other European countries including Germany, it remains to be seen whether the cinema-going public is ready for a Crusades epic so shortly after the lukewarm reception of Ridley Scott's "Kingdom of Heaven", in which heartthrob Orlando Bloom was sent off to the Holy Land. However, the yarn of Arn comes with a very different angle and the unusual combination of the cold and damp northern reaches of Europe and the scouring heat of the Holy Land. Besides Joakim Nätterqvist and Sofia Helin as the lead stars, the film's cast includes some of the Skarsgård acting clan, including father Stellan as Birger Brosa, son Gustaf as Knut Eriksson with his brothers Valter and Bill playing his sons. Further talent on board includes Bibi Andersson, Jakob Cedergren, Simon Callow, Steven Waddington and Michael Nyqvist. The film will be released in Sweden on 205 screens with  the Norwegian release on around 70 screens, while the Danish and Finnish premieres are scheduled for January 11 and January 22, 2008 respectively.

  16 November 2007

On November 10th Vincent took his family to Disyneyland Paris to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Here are some photos taken that day at the premiere of "Enchanted".

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It has come to my attention that there are some unscrupulous folks out there who apparently think it's perfectly okay to "plunder" The Vincent Perez Archives to make videos using this web site's photos, hundreds of which I have purchased and taken the time to scan, edit and post over the past eight years. Though I actually despise the idea of having to mark photos with "The Vincent Perez Archives", it is imperative that I continue to do so, because these unprincipled individuals are just too lazy and/or cheap to get their own photos!

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Gala Magazine recently met with Vincent and I have posted this interview (in French - if anyone would like to attempt a translation, that would be lovely!) I have a few snippets that I can share with you. The gist of the article was how his wife Karine is the centerpiece of his life. He comments on how he has become dissatisfied with the French cinema and if he returns, it will be for roles that excite him. That may account for his decision to sign onto Russian film Apocalypse Code and the Swedish film Arn. Vincent admits that about three years ago he felt a little lost and unhappy, and after taking some advice from good friend, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, he began to discover his own truth. He claims to be a recluse which, frankly, I find hard to believe. Karine helps to give his life stability with her wonderful organization of family affairs. They parent four children - Roxane (daughter of Gerard Depardieu) is now fifteen, Iman is eight, and twins Pablo and Tess, are about to turn five this month. He believes he has a true relationship with each of them. Though Roxane is very close to her mother, she has been helpful to her stepfather by offering her drawing talents, specifically with his comic book. The children's activities take up much of their time - piano, swimming, dance, horsemanship. When he's free, he shares the chauffeuring. He describes the six months away from the family while he was in Canada filming Si j'étais toi as difficult. When asked about the success of his marriage, he replies that it is necessary to want to remain together and to know how to preserve this desire. He also believes it helps that Karine was his best friend before they married. He finds being spouse and best friend are both different and complementary and there lies the answer. I'll second that from my own personal experience.

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Karine was recently featured in Elle magazine. Apparently she and two friends, sisters Marie and Juliette from Switzerland, have decided to share their talent and create a venture, which helps to organize parties and other festive events. The trio are based in the beautiful Saint Honore District in Luc Besson's production building. FYI, Karine's sister Virginie is married to Besson, who also owns the Italian canteen Ante Prima, located in the same building. Marie has a background in interior design, Juliette is an artist, and Karine, daughter of a Sengalese diplomat, is both an actress and screenwriter. Together they have formed "Link" meaning bond, a word which suits them very well. As fête consultants, they stress ambiance and abundance. When asked whether working together as intimate friends imposes problems, the three burst out laughing - "Quite to the contrary!" You have to wonder where Karine finds all this time considering she has four children to raise as well. Very remarkable.

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I came across this caricature of Vincent by Gérard Eleouët. I think it's somewhat harsh and the double image makes me feel like I'm going a bit cross-eyed. What do you think?

  05 November 2007

The DVD of Apocalypse Code was released in Russia on October 25, 2007, just weeks after its premiere. The Moscow Times gave it a negative review with "While billed as the local version of the James Bond franchise, the film has none of that series' sense of comedy and also fails to create any sense of emotional engagement." According to Variety, critical reaction to the film has been distinctly downbeat, generating little word-of-mouth for promotional purposes. The $15.5 million production budget and  the $3.5 million spent on its advertising campaign are at the top end for the local industry. Unless international sales are spectacular, the film will suffer financially. Opening weekend drew in $3.6 million in Russia and CIS, including Ukraine, where it was screened in 656 theatres by distributor Karo Prokat. CODE follows a FSB (KGB successor organization) colonel, a lithe thirties female operative who crosses the world frantically to prevent terrorists from detonating nuclear bombs in four capitals. Her main opponent turns out to be a Franco-Arabic banker, played by our favorite thespian. On November 6th, Vincent and his wife attended the film's premiere in Paris during the Russian Film Festival.


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