Global SVOD service MUBI has acquired all rights to the U.S., U.K. and Ireland on veteran French auteur Philippe Garrel’s “Lover for a Day” which world premiered in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight last week, sharing the SACD prize from France’s Writers, Directors and Composers Guild with Clare Denis’ “Let the Sunshine In.”
Having driven into all rights acquisitions and theatrical releases of movies from the 2016 Berlin and Cannes festivals, MUBI will open “Lover For a Day” in theaters in the U.S., U.K. and Ireland before an exclusive streaming premiere on its site.
Produced by Said Ben Said’s SBS Films, whose credits include Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle,” and Arte France, “Lovers For a Day” was sold by SBS Distribution. Ben Said produces with Michel Merkt.
The third and final installment in Garrel’s trilogy of love which took in 2013’s “Jealousy” and 2015’s “In the Shadow of Women,” both also produced by SBS, “Lover For a Day” is another black-and-white Paris-set examination of love. It turns on a young woman, Jeanne (Esther Garrel), who moves back into her father’s tiny flat after apparently being thrown out by her boyfriend to discover her father, Gilles (Eric Caravaca), is living with a new girlfriend, Ariane (Louise Chevilotte) who’s her very same age of 23. Rivals for her father’s attention, they soon become friends, as a voiceover notes, however, the inevitable breakup awaiting Gilles and Ariane.
“Lover for a Day” marks the first film in which Esther Garrel (“Call Me By Your Name”), the director’s daughter, has a leading role in one of her father’s movies. Variety wrote that it also initiates a double ambition: “To further deepen the director’s ongoing Freudian analysis of female characters launched with ‘Jealousy,’ while also starting to explore a new continent, female pleasure.”
Luis Buñuel’s regular writing scribe Jean-Claude Carrière figures among the film’s four screenwriters. Garrel, Caroline Dermas (“L’Indomptée”) and French director Jean Pialat’s former partner Arlene Langmann (“A Nos Amours”) complete a quartet of screenwriters “whose collective insights result in a beautiful complexity,” Variety’s review ran.
In a statement, MUBI described “Lover for a Day” as a “multidimensional, elegant exploration of love, lust and fidelity.”
SBS Distribution’s Sarah Borsh-Jacobson brokered the acquisitions deal with MUBI’s Bobby Allen, MUBI VP, content.
Said Allen: “We are long-time, passionate admirers of Garrel and could not be more thrilled to be releasing his latest work of art.”
He added: “As beautiful and complex as it is relatable and sincere, we are confident that this film, with its themes of love and fidelity, will resonate with audiences in both the U.S. and U.K.”
Borch-Jacobsen added: “We are thrilled to start working with MUBI on Philippe Garrel’s film.”
MUBI offers a carefully curated site of just 30 streamed films at any one time. “MUBI believes everyone should be watching great cinema, not just searching for it,” MUBI said in a statement Tuesday.
Its films range from festival hits to cult titles and classics. MUBI’s first stateside release was “Baden Baden” in November 2016. It also released last month Juho Kuosmanen’s “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki,” a Cannes Un Certain Regard winner, in both the U.S. and U.K.