Hitler in Hollywood

A provocative and intermittently amusing mockumentary from Belgian helmer Frederic Sojcher.

With:
With: Maria de Medeiros, Micheline Presle, Wim Willaert, Hans Meyer, Tonie Marshall, Josiane Stoleru, Manoel de Oliveira. (French, English, Portuguese dialogue)

The battle between the Hollywood juggernaut and indigenous filmmaking for dominance of Europe’s cinemas lies at the heart of the provocative and intermittently amusing mockumentary “Hitler in Hollywood,” from Belgian helmer Frederic Sojcher. Portuguese-born, Paris-based actress-director Maria de Medeiros winningly plays a camp version of herself as a documaker who discovers evidence of a conspiracy while working on a biopic of iconic French star Micheline Presle. Packed with cameo appearances by celebrities in settings such as the Cannes Film Festival, this playful Karlovy Vary Fipresci winner should brighten pan-European smallscreens after niche theatrical and fest runs.

When Micheline reveals that one of her favorite directors is now-unknown Luis Aramcheck (Hans Meyer), it leads Maria and her amorous cameraman, Thomas (Wim Willaert), on an increasingly dangerous course through the archives of national film and security organizations and the homes of private collectors. Helmer Sojcher also satirizes the means of production, using camera tricks that make the kookily costumed Maria appear in vivid color while others seem almost monochrome. Not-to-be-missed end credits include a parade of Euro auteurs, including centenarian Manoel de Oliveira, discussing the demise of the European film industry.

Hitler in Hollywood

Belgium-France-Italy

Production: A Saga Film/Polaris Film Prod. & Finance/Intelfilm/RTBF production with the support of the Centre du Cinema and de L'Audiovisuel de la Communaute Francaise de Belgique et des Teledistributeurs Wallons, Regions Wallonne et de Bruxelles Capitale Motion Investment Group, Pole Image de Liege, Baya Prods., Banque Populaire Images 10, Arte/Cofinova, CineCinema, Media de l'Union Europeenne, la Direction generale des Affaires culturelles de la Province de Hainaut, de l'asbl Hainaut Cinema et du Batch. (International sales: Wide, Paris.) Produced by Hubert Toint, Jean-Jacques Neira, Christophe Mazodier, Mario Mazzarotto. Directed by Frederic Sojcher. Screenplay, Renaud Andris, Lionel Samain.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W, DV-to-35mm), Carlo Varini; editor, Ewin Ryckaert; music, Vladimir Cosma; production designers, Frederic Delrue, Francoise Joset; costume designer, Monic Parelle. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 7, 2010. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Maria de Medeiros, Micheline Presle, Wim Willaert, Hans Meyer, Tonie Marshall, Josiane Stoleru, Manoel de Oliveira. (French, English, Portuguese dialogue)

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