Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Woody Allen Reveals Cast of His Next Film Woody Allen Reveals Cast of His Next Film Teasing More Toronto Reveals: How the Festival Landed Opener 'Demolition' and that Secret Michael Moore Doc Teasing More Toronto Reveals: How the Festival Landed Opener 'Demolition' and that Secret Michael Moore Doc The Surprisingly Complicated Legacy of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' The Surprisingly Complicated Legacy of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' Robert Pattinson Follows Harmony Korine to Miami for Revenge Thriller 'The Trap' Robert Pattinson Follows Harmony Korine to Miami for Revenge Thriller 'The Trap' Weinstein Co. and Radius Figure Out Hybrid Amazon Release Plan for Fassbender's 'Macbeth' Weinstein Co. and Radius Figure Out Hybrid Amazon Release Plan for Fassbender's 'Macbeth' Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers

COLCOA 2012 Opening Night, From New "My Way' to 'A Trip to the Moon' and 'Breathless'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 17, 2012 at 1:10PM

Opening night at the City of Lights City of Angels French film week at the Directors Guild always features sweet champagne and pastries, a mediocre French movie that the French consider to be the kind of commercial film American distributors should embrace but never do...
1
'My Way'
'My Way'

Opening night at the City of Lights City of Angels French film week at the Directors Guild always features sweet champagne and pastries, a mediocre French movie that the French consider to be the kind of commercial film American distributors should embrace but never do, and a raft of dull celebratory speeches about how much the French and the Americans adore each other.

For the 16th year of COLCOA, "the second-largest French film festival in the world," reminded DGA rep Michael Mann, everyone was still basking in "The Artist" Oscar glow. The fest will screen 34 features and 21 shorts to some 19,000 attendees, ten of them North American premieres; one-third already have U.S. distributors, including must-sees "Polisse" and "Farewell My Queen." In this case, WGA rep and Francophile Howard Rodman gave a delightful and heartfelt speech about his amour fou, French Cinema (pasted below).

The movie, Florent Emilio-Siri's "My Way," a dull two-and-a-half hour biopic about French pop star and songwriter Claude "Cloclo" Francois (Jeremie Renier), is exactly the sort of biopic that plays best to the local fans who adored the star in the first place (he sold 65 million records); Francois is a stranger stateside. I was fascinated by how much each country routinely remakes each other's best pop songs; Frank Sinatra took "Comme D'habitude" from Francois and turned it into "My Way," one of the best-known songs in the world and the most often played at funerals. The song was also covered by the likes of Paul Anka, Elvis Presley, Nina Simone and Sid Vicious.

Here's the THR review, and Rodman:

This year the COLCOA classics series will celebrate several extraordinary films that belong not just to French film history but to the world: the restored colored version of Georges Méliès’ still-astounding "A Trip to the Moon," which those of you who saw "Hugo" may fondly recall;  1975’s "Le Sauvage," which we in the States of course retitled "Call Me Savage," written and directed Jean-Paul Rappeneau with Yves Montand and Catherine Deneuve (followed by an discussion about the enduring legacy of Yves Montand); and, finally, a selection of writer/director Alexander Payne:  "Hôtel du Nord," from 1938, written by Jean Aurenche and Henri Jeanson and directed by Marcel Carné.

And to continue to see to it that the French cinema lives on in America, not merely in our lives, but in the lives of our children, COLCOA will present, for the fifth year in a row, its educational program in association with ELMA. Some 3,500 students from 70 high schools and film schools will discover French films and meet French filmmakers during the coming week.  It’s my fond hope that among those students, there will be a few who will find their lives as significantly and wonderfully warped by French cinema as mine has.

This article is related to: Foreign, On the Town, Guest Blogger, Festivals, Festivals


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.