New technology makes old Paris come alive

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CANNES — Eric Rohmer is using digital technology to shoot his latest film, a $6 million love story set during the French Revolution called “The Lady and the Duke.”

The French director is co-producing the film with Pathe Images, with Pathe Intl. handling sales. It is being produced by Francoise Etchegaray.

“Duke” is based on the memoirs of Grace Elliott, an Englishwoman who lived in Paris at the time of the Revolution and was the Duke of Orleans’ mistress. Newcomer Lucy Russell is playing the female lead, with Jean Claude Dreyfus as the Duke.

In its fourth week of shooting at the high-tech Duboi studios, the film is entirely studio made.

The use of digital technology is a surprise departure for the 80-year-old Rohmer, who decided that no real-life location could adequately represent Paris at the time of the Revolution and so is using artwork based on drawings from the period as a backdrop.

Rohmer said the film would be a “pioneer in its genre,” showing that technology can be used “not only for the spectacular effects in sci-fi, horror and disaster movies, but also more subtly but no less effficiently, in the service of art and history.”

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