In London, the “Rendez-Vous” with French Cinema” provided a feast for film fans, and an opportunity to promote movies from across the Channel.
Populaire is set in the 1950s and tells the story of a secretary who enters a typing competition. The director, Régis Roinsard, said.“Making a feature is a real marathon. Preparation takes six months, there’s all the writing, you have to be strong, you almost have to go into physical training, and the film was sort of a mirror of my experience. It’s a film about a challenge and because it was my first feature and it was a big film, it was quite demanding as a shoot.”
UniFrance Films is the organisation which promotes French film outside France. Jean-Paul Salomé from UniFrance Films said, “I think French cinema still resists the purely Hollywood model. I’m not talking about American film, but about mainstream American cinema which is pure entertainment which relies on blockbusters and box office receipts. Even independent American cinema is in difficulty today. Whereas we make cinema but with a certain amount of reflection, films which aren’t simply video games. We step away from the mainstream and that becomes complicated for everyone.”
In the House (Dans La Maison) is a thriller staring Kristin Scott Thomas. She said, “I think basically in France the French film world is very much a world rather than an industry – people consider themselves to be artists when they make films.
Thérèse Desqueyroux stars Audrey Tautou as a woman trapped in an arranged marriage. The actress said, “I adore love stories, I adore comedies too but I also love tougher films which offer something else, a reflection, something a little more intellectual, but which is still exciting.”