Venice fest serves up these French-kissed offerings

Venice Daily Spotlight: French Cinema 2012

IN COMPETITION
Dormant Beauty
Marco Bellocchio (Italy/France)Intl. sales: Celluloid Dreams
A woman in a vegetative state is the focus of a struggle between rival factions in Italian society. Isabelle Huppert stars.
The Fifth Season
Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth (Belgium/Netherlands/France) Intl. sales: Films Boutique.
Haunting tale about a mysterious calamity that breaks the natural cycle.
Lines of Wellington
Valeria Sarmiento (Portugal/France)Intl. sales: Alfama Films
French troops invade Portugal in 1810, throwing the locals’ lives into turmoil; with Catherine Deneuve, John Malkovich.
Paradise: Faith
Ulrich Seidl (Austria/France/Germany) Intl. sales: Coproduction Office
The second chapter in Seidl’s “Paradise” trilogy examines religious devotion and marital conflict.
Passion
Brian De Palma (France/Germany) Intl. sales: Wild Bunch, SBS Prods.
Erotic thriller in which two female biz execs fight for supremacy. Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace star.
Something in the Air
Olivier Assayas (France) Intl. sales: MK2
Coming-of-ager in which a student gets swept up in 1970s political fervor.
Superstar
Xavier Giannoli (France/Belgium) Intl. sales: Wild Bunch
A complete nobody wakes one morning to find that he’s become a celebrity, but he doesn’t know why.

OUT OF COMPETITION
Cherchez Hortense
Pascal Bonitzer (France) Intl. sales: SBS Prods.
Kristin Scott Thomas plays a wife who persuades her husband to solicit a visa for an immigrant from his bureaucrat dad.
Gebo and the Shadow
Manoel De Oliveira (Portugal/France) Intl. sales: Pyramide Intl.
A patriarch sacrifices himself for his son. Stars Claudia Cardinale, Jeanne Moreau.
El Impenetrable
Daniele Incalcaterra, Fausta Quattrini (Argentina/France) Intl. sales: Doc & Film Intl.
Docu follows the director’s attempts to set up a national park in Paraguay.
Lullaby to My Father
Amos Gitai (Israel/France/Switzerland) Intl. sales: Agav Films
Story of Gitai’s father, a student at Bauhaus, who was imprisoned by the Nazis and later traveled to Palestine.
The Man Who Laughs
Jean-Pierre Ameris (France/Czech Rep.) Intl. sales: EuropaCorp
Gerard Depardieu toplines Victor Hugo adaptation by the scribe of “Amelie.”
The Tightrope
Simon Brook (France/Italy) Intl. sales: Films Distribution
Portrait of theater director Peter Brook by his son

HORIZON
Gli Equilibristi
Ivano De Matteo (Italy/France) Intl. sales: Rodeo Drive, Babe Films
A man’s perfect life is torn apart when his wife discovers he’s been unfaithful.
Leones
Jazmin Lopez (Argentina/France/Netherlands) Intl. sales: Premium Films
The line between reality and fantasy blurs for characters wandering in a forest.
Tango Libre
Frederic Fonteyne (Belgium/France/Lux.) Intl. sales: Films Distribution
Drama about a prison guard who is attracted to a woman, the wife of not one prisoner, but two.
Three Sisters
Wang Bing (France/China) Intl. sales: Album Prods.
A peasant family ekes out a harsh existence in a Chinese mountain village.
Yema
Djamila Sahraoui (Algeria/France) Intl. sales: Neon Prods.
Algerian civil war seen through the eyes of a grieving mother, whose two sons fought on opposing sides.

VENICE DAYS
Crawl
Herve Lasgouttes (France) Intl. sales: Premium Films
Feature debut turns on a troubled young man who falls in love with a dedicated swimmer.
Heritage — The Inheritance
Hiam Abbass (France/Israel/Turkey) Intl. sales: Films Distribution
Hidden conflicts arise as a Palestinian family gathers for a wedding.
Keep Smiling
Rusudan Chkonia (France/Georgia/Lux.) Intl. sales: Doc & Film Intl.
Several Georgian mothers are tricked into appearing in a phony beauty contest.
Kinshasa Kids
Marc-Henri Wajnberg (Belgium/France) Intl. sales: MK2
A Congolese boy living on the streets of Kinshasa decides to form a rap band.
Pinocchio
Enzo d’Alo (Italy/France/Belgium/Lux.) Intl. sales: Rezo Films
Toon update of the Carlo Collodi classic
Queen of Montreuil
Solveig Anspach (France) Intl. sales: Films Distribution
Comedy centering on a director trying to get over the death of her husband.

Spotlight: French Cinema 2012
Venice fest serves up these French-kissed offerings | Solid haul of Gaul’s gold | Babe maintains producer’s ties to motherland

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