Controversial Frenchfilmmaker Jean-Claude Brisseau is at work on what promises to be his mostcontentious feature yet.
Late last year, Brisseau wasfound guilty of sexually harassing two young actresses auditioning for roles inhis feature, Choses Secretes(2002). Now, in The Exterminating Angels, being sold by Rezo, he deals indramatised form with events close to those that landed him in court.
The film, shot before thecourt case, is about an ageing filmmaker preparing a new film. During casting,he tries to understand what motivates his young actresses - and whatgives them pleasure. "But by getting too close to their fire, he hasn't sensedthe (exterminating) angels are coming."
In court, Brisseau was finedand given a suspended prison sentence. However, he was found innocent of mostof the charges against him. The veteran filmmaker has continued to defend hisworking methods. "These erotic auditions are indispensable...They allow me to findout qualities and problems with their bodies and their acting," he has stated.
Producer Giles Sacuto of TSProductions has dismissed suggestions that The Exterminating Angels is likely to stirup yet more controversy. "Certainly, it has autobiographical things but it'salso about cinema and what it means to be a filmmaker."
The Exterminating Angels, starring Marousia Dubruil, is currently inpost-production and will be ready for Cannes, where it will be vying for a slotin official selection. Rezo will be handling the French release.
Here in Berlin, Rezo is also introducing buyers to Made In Paris, the latestfeature from Pascal Bonitzer (Small Cuts) andcontinuing with pre-sales on Eric Rohmer's next feature, The Romance OfAstrea And Celadon. Deals have already been closed with Bim (Italy),Alta (Spain), and Artificial Eye (UK).