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Sylvain White's First Film Since 'The Losers' - Dark French Thriller 'Miserere' - Now Available in N. America

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 17, 2014 at 3:20PM

It's said to be quite dark and macabre, and one of author Jean-Christophe's best and most disturbing thrillers, that involves human scientific experiments, deformations, cursed religious effigies, and more.
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La marque des anges

Sylvain White's latest - his first film since "The Losers" in 2010 - an adaptation of French author Jean-Christophe Grangé’s thriller "Miserere," opened in France a year ago, but, as of today, has no USA theatrical distributor, and seemingly no interest here in the States. So, as I said in previous posts, the likelihood of a USA theatrical release is probably slim. 

Although I long hoped that, at least, maybe DVD or VOD availability would be possible.

It would be great if there were a company with the resources, interested in picking up films like this, to release - whether on DVD or on VOD - here in the USA. We write about so many of them but we get to see so very few of them. In 2014, given available and accessible technology, foreign films like a lot of those we profile on this site, really should be within reach, no matter where in the world you live - especially where broadband internet access is the rule, and not the exception.

Here's a description of the project which is titled "La marque des anges" ("The Mark of Angels"):

Paris. A choir master is found mysteriously murdered in a church, his eardrums blown out. Investigating is homicide Police Commander LIONEL KASDAN, just-retired but desperate to come back to action. Kasdan teams with Interpol Captain FRANK SALEK, a short-tempered younger cop. Together, they try to uncover the secrets of an international organization and crack this unusual case, leading to the captain’s childhood and a dark secret from his past.

It's said to be quite dark and macabre, and one of author Jean-Christophe's best and most disturbing thrillers, that involves human scientific experiments, deformations, cursed religious effigies, and the like.

In Sylvain White's adaptation, Gérard Depardieu plays the veteran cop, and French rapper-turned-actor Joeystarr is the short-tempered younger cop.

From the looks of it, comparisons to films like "Seven" will probably happen.

Thierry Lhermitte, Belgian actress Helena Noguerra, and Swiss actress Marthe Keller round out what appears to be a rather strong cast.

Produced by Stéphane Sperry for Liaison Films, the all-French production of "Miserere" was made for €15m (or about $20 million), with backing from Pathé Films, as well as pre-sales by Canal + and Ciné+.

The film was shot mostly in Paris, and a few locations in Belgium as well.

It's good to see Sylvain getting behind the camera for another feature film again, after 4 years.

You should know that, while a North American theatrical release isn't likely, the film is available on home video platforms, here in the USA and Canada. I was informed today that it's streaming on Netflix but only for Canadian Netflix customers. Although it's although available on Region 1 DVD (which will play on USA DVD players) for USA audiences.

Amazon's USA website currently has it for sale via resellers (and with English subtitles); although it's a bit pricey at $39.99. So you can pick up a copy there, if you can't wait to see it, or, as I expect, it'll likely be made available on Netflix USA soon enough, or will be on Amazon Video streaming, or DVD/Blu-ray at a cheaper price.

I'll hold for now, and wait to see where it lands eventually.

While we wait, as a refresher, check out its trailer (which isn't subtitled; although you'll find an English translation transcript underneath), as well as a poster:


Here's the trailer translation transcript, if you want to follow along as you watch it above.

LIONEL

40 years of my life hunting down criminals and suddenly nothing.

LIONEL

Did they pierce his eardrums?

CORONER

More than just the eardrums, the entire ear was destroyed.

V.O.

Why don’t you let the police handle all of this?

LIONEL

I can’t help it.

FRANK

Frank Salek from Interpol and you are?

LIONEL

Lionel Kasdan, BRI.

FRANK

The French police has no age cap, huh?

FRANK

The list comes from a group that kidnaps orphans around the world.

LIONEL

Well, that’s already two dead from your list.

FRANK

And why would I bother working with a retiree like you?

LIONEL

Because you look like you’d fuck up when you’re working alone.

WOMAN

Frank, I swear they won’t miss you.

UNKNOWN

It’s my investigation not theirs.

FRANK

That thing he had me hold … Too much violence, man. We have to stop these guys.

LIONEL

[unintelligible]

PRIEST

The concert can begin.

CHOIR SINGING.

LIONEL

I found myself powerless, unable to do anything.

FRANK

I need real, concrete answers.

WOMAN

You realize you may never catch them.

FRANK

What’s important is that I start looking, otherwise I’m dead.

PRIEST

The concert can begin.

And here's the film's poster:

This article is related to: Sylvain White, Joey Starr


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