ScreenDaily’s weekly round up of the local and independent openings in key markets this week.
Documentary Le Syndrome Du Titanic did brisk business on its first day. A treatise on consumption, the environment and the state of the world, Nicolas Hulot’s film was released by Mars Distribution. It clocked up an impressive 18,145 admissions from 178 screens on Wednesday to take the second slot at the box office just behind the Fame reboot.
Victor, a comedy from Thomas Gilou, took third place on Wednesday with 13,410 admissions on 309 screens. From TFM Distribution, the film stars Pierre Richard, Lambert Wilson and Clementine Célarie. Richard plays an octogenarian who is put up for adoption by his neighbor.
Dramatic-comedy Mere Et Filles boasts a strong female cast including Catherine Deneuve, Marina Hands and Marie-Josee Croze. Directed by Julie Lopes-Curval, the film tells the story of a strained relationship between mother and her daughter. It took 10,823 admissions on 144 screens on Wednesday. It was released by Bac Films.
Warp Films and Verve Pictures give Shane Meadows’ latest project Le Donk & Scor-Say-Zee a limited release from October 9. The UK mockumentary, made in just five days, follows a world-beaten roadie and a young rapper in their attempt to open a concert for Northern band Artic Monkeys.
UK-Romania-Hungary co-production Katalin Varga also gets a limited release, through arthouse distributor Artificial Eye. Peter Strickland’s period thriller stars Hilda Peter in the title role, as a woman on the run.
Dogwoof Pictures has the US documentary The Vanishing Of The Bees, which examines the ecological impact that could result from the dramatic decline in bee populations around the globe.
Austrian film-maker Marko Doringer’s documentary Mein Halbes Leben is released through Movienet on 18 screens across Germany. Doringer’s humorous and illuminating look at life after turning 30 years old won the best documentary prize at the Achtung Berlin! festival and will open the Neubrandenburg/documentART festival on October 17.
Alexander Hahn’s Midsummer Madness finally reaches German cinemas with Barnsteiner opening the film in ten major cities. The anarchic comedy, which was shot in Latvia and Lithuania in summer 2006, stars Tobias Moretti, Dominique Pinon, Maria de Medeiros and Orlando Wells.
3L Filmverleih gives a nationwide launch to Ludi Boeken’s Unter Bauern – Retter In Der Nacht. The Second World War drama, based on the memoirs of Magda Spiegel whose family were hidden from the Nazis by farmers in the Münsterland, had its world premiere in August in an open-air performance on Locarno’s Piazza Grande.
Berlin-based distributor 3Rosen has booked Roger Spottiswoode’s The Children of Huang Shi into cinemas throughout Germany. The German-Australian-Chinese co-production had its premiere in North Rhine-Westphalia, where all of the VFX shots were handled by Das Werk in Düsseldorf. Spottiswoode and his DoP Xiaoding Zhao also spent five weeks at the facility working on the colour correction and title designs.
The buzz surrounding Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar’s historical drama Agora has been building up to a frenzy ahead of its release this weekend through Fox International. Without a doubt the biggest Spanish film of the year and certainly the most expensive at $74m. Agora stars Rachel Weisz as ancient philosopher Hypatia who tries to explain how the sun’s movements relate to the earth, while around her the Christians do battle with the Pagans and Jews. Also starring are Max Minghella as the slave Davos and Oscar Isaac as the prefect Orestes, both of whom are in love with Hypatia. Amenabar’s previous film The Sea Inside, starring Javier Bardem as a paraplegic, picked up an Oscar and took a very impressive $29m in Spain.
UK director Duncan Jones won the best new feature prize at Edinburgh for his directorial debut Moon, starring Sam Rockwell, which will get its Spanish release through SPRI having taken a respectable $1.5m in the UK. Rockwell plays an astronaut living on the moon with the assistance of a computer, voiced by Kevin Spacey.
Multi-award-winning French director Cedric Klapisch’s romantic comedy Paris, starring Juliette Binoche, will be release by local outfit Vertigo in Spain, having already taken $22m worldwide. The drama revolves around Pierre (Romain Duris), a professional dancer with a serious heart condition left to watch the world around him from his balcony while being looked after by his sister, Elise (Binoche).