French film critics crown Love Affair(s) their winner

Association of French Film Critics president Philippe Rouyer and director Emmanuel Mouret with his prize for Love Affair(s)
Association of French Film Critics president Philippe Rouyer and director Emmanuel Mouret with his prize for Love Affair(s)

08/03/2021 – Emmanuel Mouret’s feature film walks away with the title of Best French Film of 2020, while Aurel’s Josep is named Best First Film

The Association of French Film Critics has announced its champions for 2020. The accolade of Best French Film of the Year went to Love Affair(s) by Emmanuel Mouret, which sees the movie continuing a winning streak which began with Cannes’ 2020 Official Selection label and has since been bolstered by the 2021 Lumières award for Best Film, as well as 13 nominations for this year’s César awards, the victors of which will be announced on 12 March. Notably starring Camélia Jordana, Nils Schneider, Vincent Macaigne, Jeanna Thiam, Guillaume Gouix, Émilie Dequenne and Julia Piaton, this Moby Dick Films production which was distributed in France in September of last year, courtesy of Pyramide, is sold worldwide by Elle Driver.

The award for Best First French Film, meanwhile, was won by an animated film also bearing Cannes’ 2020 Official Selection stamp of approval: Josep by Aurel. Produced by Les Films d’Ici Méditerranée in co-production with France 3 Cinéma, Spanish group Imagic Telecom and film studios Les Films du Poisson Rouge, Lunanime (Belgium), Promenons nous dans les bois, Tchak, Les Fées Spéciales and Effecto, this trophy for Josep joins an already impressive horde (European Film Award for Best Animated Film, two Lumières awards and the Louis-Delluc Prize for Best First Film). Released in France back in the autumn, courtesy of Sophie Dulac Distribution, the feature film is sold by The Party Films Sales. Continue reading “French film critics crown Love Affair(s) their winner”

Dardenne Brothers Give Emotional Speech at Lumière Festival in France

Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne spoke while accepting a lifetime achievement award in Lyon, just as France rolls out a nightly curfew.

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne gave a rousing speech at the Lumière Festival in Lyon on Friday before accepting the event’s lifetime achievement award. They were welcomed to the stage by Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux (who also runs the Lyon event) and actress Emilie Dequenne, the star of the pair’s 1999 film “Rosetta.” The filmmaking brothers, whose last film was the 2019 Cannes selection “Young Ahmed,” spoke candidly about coronavirus and inequality at a masterclass earlier as part of the festival.

“Few things have changed in the 20 years since we made ‘Rosetta’ [the brothers’ first of two Cannes Palme d’Ors]. The coronavirus is not responsible for everything, and there are still so many inequalities in the world. They are right to fight,” Luc Dardenne said. Along with “Rosetta,” about a young woman struggling to hold down a job in a broken world, the brothers also earned Cannes’ top prize in 2005 with “L’enfant.”

“Being excluded from the world of work, of production, of consumption, of the human community, creates a feeling of humiliation, of worthlessness, of not existing. That’s what ‘Rosetta’ was about and it’s still true today — that solitude, it’s a question of human dignity,” Luc Dardenne said.

In stressing that the concerns of “Rosetta” remain relevant today, Luc also said, “There’s a responsibility that comes with being a filmmaker. Of course we like it when people like our film, but it’s even better they can become Rosetta, share her distress, become her. If a film can make someone who is locked up inside their own pre-conceived notions become someone else, and if this feeling stays with them, that’s what we want to achieve.”

Luc Dardenne also went on to explain how they formally achieved the societal intentions of the film which, like the majority of their body of work, employs a neorealist style to paint a picture of the working class in France. “In many of our films, there’s this notion of belonging. Rosetta has no place in society, she doesn’t know where she belongs. So when directing, we try and find a place for her. We put the camera in ‘the wrong place’” he said. “So that the character isn’t obvious to the viewer. If you feel you’re losing the character, you’re more interested.”


Source: Dardenne Brothers Give Emotional Speech at Lumière Festival in France | IndieWire

Coronavirus: Why so many people are dying in Belgium

Belgium believes its high Covid-19 mortality rate is down to more rigorous counting of cases.

That rate, unlike the total number of fatalities, is a measure of the number of deaths in relation to the size of population.

President Donald Trump pointed to a graph recently, displaying Belgium at the top and the US in seventh place, as a result of the number of deaths relative to population size.

President Donald Trump listens beside a chart showing daily mortality cases during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2020

He was suggesting the US was handling the pandemic more effectively.

Belgium has a population of 11.5 million. That means 66 people in every 100,000 have died from Covid-19. In the US, with a population of around 330 million, it’s 19 in every 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

But those figures are “faulty comparisons” that have been “abused”, argues Prof Steven Van Gucht, a Belgian virologist and government spokesman.

“That’s the difference between public health science and political motivation,” he explains. “That’s purely inspired by showing how good you are doing, and it’s wrong. We are actually reporting in a more correct way.”

What’s different about Belgium?

Belgian officials say they are counting in a way that no other country in the world is currently doing: counting deaths in hospitals and care homes, but including deaths in care homes that are suspected, not confirmed, as Covid-19 cases. Continue reading “Coronavirus: Why so many people are dying in Belgium”