Europeans (Ewan McGregor and Penelope Cruz) Save the World

by Anthony Kaufman
December 19, 2005 5:38 AM
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Variety and The Hollywood Reporter haven't covered it; even Screen Daily doesn't know about it. But Nilo Garcia's "United We Stand," a new European-made political blockbuster starring Ewan McGregor and Penelope Cruz, is about to take the world by storm. Set in the year 2020, the films begins as the U.S. has declared war on China -- "a development long expected by international analysts," according to a synopsis on the film's website.

A special undercover emergency team -- composed of five highly trained individuals only known as the English, the French, the German, the Italian and the Spanish -- join together "to resolve the international crisis before it's too late and disarm the two superpowers without resorting to brute force."

"The power of the United States is a thing of the past," claims the French Task Force agent. "How can you go around like John Wayne in a globalized world, where anything you do affects everything and everyone? In the networked world that we live in, the European model is fated to win."

"Through international espionage, hi-tech sabotage and after many ups and downs, the Task Force comes close to achieving its aim," according to the synopsis. "But when victory is within their sight, the mission apparently fails. How will Europe resolve the international crisis?"

Sounds good, huh? Too bad it's an art project by "European con-artists" Eva and Franco Mattes. Currently showing at the Postmasters gallery in New York City, the global ad campaign for the fictional movie is a whimsical look at movie marketing, globalization, and the current political landscape. According to the artists' website, "the streets of Berlin, Brussels, Barcelona, Bangalore and New York have been plastered with thousands of posters of this fake movie, in the first stage of a long-term communication strategy that began in late 2005. . . . Full page 'United We Stand' ads have been spotted all over Europe, in magazines devoted to art, youth culture and life styles."

And if the project gains enough momentum, who knows, maybe Ewan and Penelope will actually get the film greenlit. I, for one, would pay to see it.

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