The ” French Touch ” makes its cinema – Forbes France

Tahar Rahim in Hollywood movie |
series She came to me USA

A mix of tradition and originality, with a touch of daring, French cinema in all its diversity of production, asserts new assets internationally.

It all started a few hundred meters from Central Park where actor Tahar Rahim immersed himself in New York for the needs of the romantic comedy “She Came to Me” alongside Anne Hathaway, Joanna Kulig and Matthew Broderick. His character of a writer lacking inspiration whose sentimental life will nourish creativity, fits perfectly with the image of seducer in the collective American imagination. It’s another French, the composer Alexandre Desplat – already two Oscars on the clock – who will be in charge of the creation of the original music for the film. Both, in the wake of talents like Marion Cotillard and Omar Sy, have already started their journey to Hollywood… we are tearing them apart. For the actor revealed in 2009 in “A prophet” by Jacques Audiard, from the city of Belfort where he was immersed in social diversity, borders are only a matter of cultural conditioning: ” The crossbreeding of my acting career clearly comes from these origins. My DNA is multicultural. »He specifies to the newspaper Les Echos. Recognized professional, he is able to shoot for all registers and for all screens, but also to engage in roles which require a form of self-sacrifice: Tahar Rahim will lose 17 kilos to endorse the fate of Mohamedou Ould Slahi (” Designated guilty ”), Mauritanian delivered by his country to the United States and who spent fourteen in Guantanamo without charges or trial.

As for French women, it is as a director that the actress Julie delpy embodies the “French touch”. Based in Los Angeles for twenty-eight years, all has not been easy for this atypical artist. Even if his film “Two Days in Paris” is one of the best-selling French feature films in the world, it regularly struggles to find funding but also distributors ready to support its crazy and feminist filmography. Because if the French inspire their neighbors across the Atlantic, they sometimes find it difficult to comply with the demands of a very codified industry, when French cinema retains an “aristocratic” approach to the profession of filmmaker where profitability remains taboo. Thus, rare are the directors like Luc Besson with his genre cinema or even Bertrand tavernier, to have succeeded in establishing itself in the United States, the leading investors in world cinema (58% of investments in world production in 2009). Let us recall that with a feature film production which holds 92% of the market share in its territory, the USA achieve 63% of its revenues on the international market while in Europe, American films represent 60% of the market in theaters.

An almost providential windfall for all professions in this industry, including that of a composer like Alexandre Desplat, now as famous at 53 as a Maurice Jarre or a Michel legrand. His collection of trophies already well supplied, from the Bafta to the Golden Globe through a Grammy Award, without forgetting three Césars won in 2006, 2011 and 2013 for the films of Jacques Audiard, propelled him as leader of the “french touch ”in Hollywood. Another subject of national pride, the French animated film which is popular with Pixar and Dreamworks.

For proof the Minions, an army of trolls, unable to align two sentences in the same language, in the service of evil and of Gru straight out of French studios and produced by Americans who have become superstars: “AWith the Minions, we avoided the first degree, to sink into clichés. We bring an irreverent side. »Explains to the microphone of France Info the director and animator Pierre Coffin, also known for having co-signed the production of the trilogy ” Moi, moche et méchant ”. While French animated films did not always draw crowds to cinemas long considered to be mere entertainment for children, the success of “Kirikou and the Witch” by Michel Ocelot will serve as a springboard for many vocations: a sector that employs 7,500 people today.

The air of platforms

palme d'or director Julia Ducournau
Streaming platforms benefit French cinema / Julia Ducournau

With the rise of streaming platforms which must meet the ever-pressing need for new series, we are also witnessing a paradigm shift that benefits French cinema but also a new generation. Spotted for their feature film, directors like Julia ducournau (Palme d’or of the festival for “ Titane ” 2021) or the Franco-Turkish Deniz Gamze Ergüven (“Mustang”) are now courted by the trays of American platforms (Apple TV, HBO, etc.) to join the much sought-after circle of female directors of American series. ” There aren’t really any rules with platforms. They don’t represent all theaters, and there are other theaters that are going to have a harder time, but they are an incredible distribution lever. Take the example of ” Grave ” by Julia Ducournau presented at Cannes in 2020 and which was sold all over the world thanks to the platforms. As an independent producer, that would have been unattainable for me. explains Julie Gayet, founder of “Rouge International”. With the change of hands of financial power, there remains the question of the survival of auteur cinema, lost between the entertainment films that fill theaters, and the generalization of series. ” To continue to have this diversity in the rooms which is a French specificity, it is a little more complicated. »Emphasizes the producer. Today, if French cinema is looking for itself, jostled by these new rules of the game, it is also an opportunity for the entire profession to tap into its inventiveness and its freedom to reinvent itself. For the young producer Sophie Mas based in the United States (Call Me by Your Name, Ad Astra,…): “Getting out of your country is a stimulating adventure. Exile develops creativity, obstacles create opportunities. ” The French exception must cross new borders …

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The ” French Touch ” makes its cinema – Forbes France