Friday, December 05, 2008

Agathe Cléry....

A new film came out a couple of days ago here in France, called 'Agathe Cléry' by Etienne Chatiliez, starring Valérie Lemercier. The subtitle of the film says 'Elle est blanche, elle est raciste, et elle va devenir noire.'

It's a comedy about a deeply racist woman who works for a cosmetics company which specializes in products for pale skin. She finds out she is suffering from a rare disease of the adrenal glands which makes her skin turn dark. She tries to commit suicide and fails, and then tries to regain her old life. She loses her job and suffers racism firsthand, and through various humiliations and injustices, soon sees the 'other side' of the story. Should be interesting, a comedy about racism.

You won't see advance reviews in Le Monde, Libération, les Cahiers du Cinéma, or Les Inrockuptibles. The producer of the film, Charles Gassot, has banned the aforementioned publications from attending any of the advance screenings, saying that the film has been too long in production and too expensive to make to let the likes of journalists from these publications pan it before it even gets a fighting chance in the theaters.

Apparently this is a common theme at the moment with producers in France, who say it's the general audience who should decide what gets panned and how, not journalists, particularly those who don't 'do' comedies, or whatever genre the particular film is.

So, I guess you pay your money and you take your chance, which can only go one of two ways for the box offices takings.

But I wonder how a film like this would be received in the States...


Isabelle said...

I like this teaser a lot!
But the reviews for this movie on France 2 and M6 were not particularly good...
They said that this film was far from being as good as "La vie est un long fleuve tranquille" and "Tatie Danielle", 2 other films by Etienne Chatiliez that were big hits here.
Have you seen them?

BTW, I'm new to your blog, and I like it a lot :)

The Duchess said...

Hi Isabelle! It will be interesting to see how the film does this weekend. I haven't seen the other two films by Chatiliez that you mentioned, but I've heard good things about 'La vie est un long fleuve tranquille'.
Thanks for reading!

La Belette Rouge said...

I would be interested in seeing it and yet I wouldn't expect much from it. It is an interesting concept. I think this film would never be made in the states.

P.s. I am adding you to my blog roll if it is okay. I'd love to be on yours.:-)

Betty C. said...

Well I would say it looks just totally un-P.C., although it's hard to judge from a trailer. I find the whole idea offensive, comedy or not.

You might want to take a look at what I posted today on La France Profonde. We may be on the same wavelength here, although on totally different topics.