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Probably *not* coming to a cinema near you

The EU is a bit pleased with itself as some films it has part funded are airing at the Cannes Film Festival, and rather thrilling they all sound too:

Here are some 'highlights':

Auf der Anderen Seite by Fatih Akin (MEDIA support €70,139) - Six characters seek forgiveness and reconciliation between Germany and Turkey. I wonder if they succeed, or whether that is for AdAS II?

La Soledad by Jaime Rosales (€50,000) - In Madrid the destinies of four women meet. Gosh, that sets the pulse racing.

Garage by Lenny Abrahamson (€23,857) – A small town misfit working in an Irish petrol station, comically searches for love, acceptance and the best place to display the motor oil. Oh dear, that sounds 'wacky'.

La question humaine by Nicolas Klotz (€25,000) - A human resource manager in a multinational who is losing his mind is told by his manager to psychologically assess the company's general manager. And they get a full 90 minutes or so out of this?

Tout est pardonné by Mia Hansen-Løve (€37,498) – When an Austrian couple move to Paris with their young daughter the family splits. Twelve years later, the daughter goes to see her drug addict father in Paris. And this was only 53% as worthy as the film at the top?

What, no films about ennui among Bulgarian turnip pickers? I suspect that none of these will be challenging for inclusion in the list of highest grossing films of all time.

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:41 pm

So the makers of Spiderman 3 can relax?  

Blogger Mr Eugenides said... 1:05 pm

I hate to lower the tone, but unless the destinies of the four women in La Soledad meet in a locker room, I won't be watching.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:07 pm

V - I think you might be right there.

Mr E - Understandable...  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:20 pm

Mr C, Had you been watching and paying attention, you would have noted that the song about Bulgarian turnip pickers came third in the Eurovision contest the other night. Once the harvest is in, they will have enough funds to make the film.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:29 pm

Nomad - Thank you for the clarification. I was otherwise occupied Saturday night and missed the contest.  

Blogger Newmania said... 4:00 pm

Did you know there is a complex set of rules about the basis on which government funding can be given to films . Boris wrote about it ages ago . It has to be a national culture film as opposed to a commercial film...well thats the idea .
You can imagine the knots you can get tied up in trying to sort that out . I suppose that means that any tendency to sell or be watched would be frowned upon. Phew ..thats alright then.
I wonder if an exciting day in the life of Croydonian would make a good film ? Then , knowing the answer is no , I stop wondering. Not unless he was bitten by a radioactive tortoise and developed heightened abilities to eat tasty bits of lettuce and hide.

Haven`t seen Verity about for a while  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:05 pm

They sound like rather good superpowers, so I would be quite happy to acquire those. The real issue would be whether I would use my powers for good or evil....  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:27 pm

Newmania, I made an appearance a couple of days ago with a clever quip.

Currently, I am busy writing a movie about a French movie star who smokes a lot. Can you imagine what her clothes smell like? This is set five years in the future, when the French government and the EU has banned the sale of cigarettes. She has to travel by train to Hungary where there is a gang of cigarette bootleggers.

We see her coming out of the bank in Paris (an opportunity for product placement here,with the bank's logo)wearing large sunglasses and stuffing wadges of cash into her purse.

She hails a cab and says, as she climbs in, "Gare du Nord!" or whatever gare is a departure gare for Hungary.

We see her on the train. When it crosses the border into Italy or whatever, she takes out a cigarette and lights it. She smokes the rest of the way to Hungary, looking out the window sullenly, with an air of mystery.

In the station in Budapest, a man, obviously with a fine eye for a smoking woman, says, "Cigarettes?" She regards him in silence for a moment, then gives a slight nod.

We see her standing in the doorway of an extremely smokey,ill-lit room. A lot of louche looking men are sitting around a table smoking. The ashtrays are brimming over. There are cigarette cartons stacked up to the ceiling. The place is a positive fire hazard.

She surveys the scene sulkily and coolly.

I'm not too sure where to go with the plot at this point. It could go either way, frankly. She should probably get hit by a tram when she stops in the middle of a busy street to light a cigarette. I was wondering if anyone knows where I could take this outline to get EU funding for this very strong anti-smoking statement. As Newmania has mentioned the nationalist angle as being important to the funding, I thought we could have lots of shots of the TGV shooting along the track.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 4:44 pm

I've seen that film, without sub titles, but there wasn't a lot of dialogue. Jean-Louis Trintignant, Nadine Verdier, Alain Robbe-Grillet.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:14 pm

You mean it's already been made? Ca ne fait rien, because the French have been making the same movie since the 1940s.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 5:27 pm

Absolutely, it's the smoke and light camera work that's irresistible, watchable for hours if in black and white.

The Curzon had comfy seats for that kind of dazed looking.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:47 pm

HG - I was wondering if I should introduce a wacky element, though. Gerard Depardieu as the inept,comical gang leader? He has French "comical" overacting down to a fine art. Gosh, I just don't know ...  

Blogger James Higham said... 5:48 pm

Thanks for that, Mr C - it was about as interesting as my bottom. I have an interesting bottom.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 7:18 pm

JH, Verity has proposed a fund raising film idea; it has been refined already to conformity with many criteria that Mr C has set out for us; the 'wacky' element for clumsy gangsters was about to be introduced. Is your bottom to be part of the planning for this money making proposal?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 7:55 pm

HG - I don't know why James's bottom should not be featured as naked bottoms are very nouvelle vague. I'm not quite sure how the scenario would work, but you may have some ideas. We might also consult James on the best use of his interesting bottom.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 8:17 pm

Verity, Lilith has just posted a naked male bottom on her blog; I don't know whose it is but it is not in black and white and seems to me to be veering off into Bergmann.

In Tous Les Matins du Mond there is the nb of Depardieu's son, but that is in colour too. The b&w ness of this project is essential in symbolizing ashes, dust, hopelessness, the romantic negativity of cigarette smoking.

Also the train is going to have to turn right for Hungary; left to Italy goes to Greece - where there is, however, a lot of white marble, black shadow, bare statues etc. Are you determined on Hungary, considering now James has offered his element to the scenario?
I don't mind turning left if you don't.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:56 pm

HG - as long as it's in the physical, as opposed to the philosophical sense, I am fine with turning left.

I love the phrase "romantic negativity of cigarette smoking"! It could almost have been uttered by Jean-Paul Sartre, so we are on the right track for a euro-grant.

The way I see James's bottom fitting into this is, while the train is speeding through France and Italy (although, I dunno; don't you think Italy is a bit overdone? Wouldn't an ex-USSR country be more reflective of today's EU?) - anyway, as the TVG (for French euros)speeds through Europe, we could see various vignettes ot today's exciting and peaceful, non-smoking EU. You know, a family of immigrant gypsies creeping along a hedgerow; English football supporters wearing Union Jack t-shirts; a couple of uniformed French children straggling on their way to school; (here is the role for James's bottom) in a small hotel, through an open window, a naked man lying face down, having a nap in the heat. We see the reflections on the star's sunglasses as she smokes, idly taking in these scenes as the TVG (French government, please note) races down the tracks.

I am open to any revisions.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:23 pm

PS - I felt including James's bottom gets us through the de rigueur gratuitous nudity.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 9:46 pm

Are they all smoking Verity? If not they can't be there. We're losing the nouvelle vagueishness with the hedgerows and schoolchildren. Schoolchildren and smoking are to do with bike sheds, back of. And I don't want to go there.

Also is there too much action? Enough the leaning back in the seat, the sun glasses reflection of coils of smoke, the countryside slipping past in futuristic, linear irresolution (grey, white and black, naturally). Then we only need one actress, lots of cigarettes and their smoke, and a bottom for verisimilitude of style. It could be on hoardings as the train pulls into Budapest, or wherever we're going, and the only piece of dialogue, indeed written word thus acting as its own subtitle, will be the strap line.

Nearly there, all we need is a word or two.

Shall we put in for say 175,000 euros?
I'm going to have to sleep on the strap line but it's lurking at the edge of consciousness.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:50 pm

Splendid work ladies.  

Blogger Reliapundit said... 9:59 pm

iow: this is another form of "state sponsored terror." heh.

my fellow americans might find this innerestin'...  

Blogger Nick Drew said... 10:01 pm

À Bout de Souffle, surely?

Oh ...  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:09 pm

Brilliant revision, HG, and I am fine with every word. The naked bottom on the hoarding as we draw into Budapest - my instinct tells me we've got to go Eastern Europe to make this funding-viable - station is simply dazzling. Not that James's bottom is dazzling, although it may be, for all we know.

I realise it's late where you are and you need some creative sleep, but I can't wait until I get up tomorrow morrow and see your revision.

"Then we only need one actress, lots of cigarettes and their smoke, and a bottom for verisimilitude of style." Hmmm. I think we need the louche smoking men in the cigarette-stacked room. They don't need to have speaking roles. We may still need Gerald Depardieu to mug for the camera, although he doesn't need a speaking role, either. Muggingwise, Depardieu is le roi.

So the whole movie could be done without a word being spoken!

(You are absolutely right about the gypsies, lager louts, etc. I strayed.)  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 6:40 am

Ladies, I would not presume to interlope in such brilliant co-operative screen-writing; however, may I plead for the inclusion of Catherine Deneuve, even as a sloe-eyed ciggie sales girl at the station if she cannot have the starring role, plus, say, Charles Aznavour singing the title song in his inimitable way: "Eeet's a long way to peeck a turnip, eeet's a long way etc etc...", failing which, Gilbert Becaud would do.

On a minor point of scripting continuity, given where this thread started, should you not perhaps be heading for Sofia rather than Budapest?  

Blogger Mr Eugenides said... 9:53 am

Perhaps we could get Daniel Auteuil to play a local halfwit, if he can master the Hungarian accent?

Or perhaps Prague Tory could fill in? ;-)  

Blogger Newmania said... 11:50 am

Darn it missed this ..briliant Verity and HG loved it  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 12:10 pm

HG - Where are you? I can't finish this without you! The euros await!  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 1:01 pm

We have a cornucopia , Verity, for the word to appear beneath the bottom on the poster; the word we choose will set the tone for our kind of screen play, you will agree.

Turn to entry 388, Pungency, of your Thesaurus, if you will, second para., Tobacco.

From the top - latakia, perique (I like these, they are international wors, and pretty with it);Blend (with whom?); Maccaboy (!)Or we could have the 4 words that follow: plug quid fid twist (I thought without punctuation, I'm not sure what these mean but together? somebody does.) I reject cavendish shag as too obvious. Stinker is povert-stricken. Butt stubb fag-end so dull. Dudeen and churchwarden caught my eye, not sure why.

I leave the Vb for you to consider but my favourite is 'take a pinch'.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:02 pm

HG - We haven't discussed a title. May I suggest "L'Anomie"? Or even "Au bout de l'anomie". (It's probably l'anonyme in French; my dictionary doesn't have it. Croydonian will know.)

No to Catherine Deneuve, who is wrong from every conceivable point of view. We may go with an unknown Hungarian. The only professional is Depardieu who has agreed to mug for free for the good of the European film industry. Even James's bottom is making its debut.

For background music, I was thinking, perhaps, of something by Michel le Grand for irony. (I noticed we didn't have enough irony.)

Plse let me have your notes and revisions and I await your strapline. What do you think we should ask for? Would 70 Gs be too much?  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:09 pm

Hmmm, HG ... I think actually having tobacco or tobacco derivatives in the title may not be subtle enough for EU film industry unwilling taxpayer funding. I think we should seek something more oblique. If you don't like Anomie,which actually I think is quite good, we could think again.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 1:12 pm

Anonymat, apparently.

Although anomie is probably used in the sociological sense in French too.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 1:13 pm

Your titles are go unless the French for 'take a pinch' is particularly fine. Might someone say? That is if you agree on the strap choice Verity?

The louche, cigarette smoking men are a must, yes. No words, just leers as our heroine smokes past them (there is a famous photograph of a beautiful American girl walking past a group of leering smoking men could be talismanically referred to perhaps?)

I had proposed 175,000 euros (they never give the full sum requested), but if you think less? Who do we apply to Mr C?  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 1:22 pm

As I'm leaving for France till Monday, I may have a final set of proposals for then; proceed as agreed though, Verity, and be executive on anything outstanding, if anyone offers the dosh.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 1:27 pm

Would you mind waiting till Monday? I'm in a radio silent zone till then.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 1:54 pm

Verity - My Ms Deneuve suggestion is hereby withdrawn. Anonymat means anonimity, and if that fits, then fine. If not, how about Le Neant, which means nothingness. If you require background mood music, Aznavour's Et Maintenant might do, particularly the lines: et maintenant que vais-je faire; vers quel neant glissera ma vie? The EU purse holders may recognise a French song and allocate extra points for a foreign team who has actually heard of any of them!Please excuse the absence of the accents.

PS: If you really do need a Franch title for cigarette smokers you will hardly do better than Les Gauloises!  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:03 pm

Hmmm, HG, I fear that your strap "take a pinch" is a little light-hearted and double-entendrish for such a serious social statement. However, if you are really keen on it, we can go with it. We could do it in heavy typeface to lend it gravity. You might have a couple of alternative straps by Monday.

Aiming for 175,000 euros is fine with me, especially as we're not paying anyone.

Yes, I'll be happy to wait until Monday for us to wrap up the proposal.

Nomad - Aznavour is too expected. We have already decided on Michel le Grand. Besides, I thought 'Et Maintenant'was Gilbert Becaud? Anyway, we're not using him either.

We're wrapping the project on Monday.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 3:57 pm

Verity: Yes, I think you are right, it was Becaud. Bon chance. Rien va plus!

Time for bed.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:15 pm

Actually, HG - for a title, Anomie Profunde might be Gaulishly pretentious and get us extra points.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:59 pm

Anonymat appears to mean anonymity.

I wrote anomie.  

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