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THE FRENCH TOUCH, a beautiful book on the talents of the French cinema – Review

Once is not custom, you talk about THE FRENCH TOUCH, a beautiful book which for the first time to honour all the trades of the French film industry.

The Cannes film Festival is not the only cinematic event of the month of May in 2018. Since May 2, is also available in the library of THE FRENCH TOUCH, which, paying tribute to the 50 portraits of the success story of French cinema, whose qualities are recognized in the world. The authors are Anne Bourgeois, Vice-President of the event Paris Images Cinema – the Industry of Dreams , that we interviewed, and Damien Paccellieri. The latter is the director of the publishing house, The Editions of the Screens, co-editor of the book, with the CNC (Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée). They were accompanied by photographer Laurent Koffel.

The origin of this work, the finding in 2016 by the authors, vainly looking for a French book to offer to a delegation of invited koreans to the Industry of the Dream, that there was no book valuing the trades in the shadow of the French cinema. Wearied by a french bashing that has become too regular and strong to their address book of technicians was formed in the 18 years existence of the Festival, the authors have decided to embark on the adventure.

Rather than make a film, they would have preferred a book, because they believe in the power of the sensuous object of the literary, that one can consult repeatedly. They have chosen to approach their work in terms of interviews and portraits, highlighting the forty occupations that are involved from A to Z in a film, as well as many personalities who are successful in the international. Six partners have believed in their project and have assisted in the funding : Orange Studio, the CNC, Unifrance, Film, France, Cofiloisirs , and The Ficam. Anne Bourgeois ensures that their partners left them totally free, with no pressure, since the choice of portraits for up to the writing and the final model.

Because what seems to have seduced all the participants, it is the desire of the authors to recognize for the first time at a transversal level, all the talents of the French cinema. The authors of THE FRENCH TOUCH, wanted to write a beautiful story that is respectful of all, in the form of a tribute to their passion and excellence. Thus, they have sought a hundred participants, but some have declined when others were not necessarily available or did not see the interest to be included in the book. The authors wished to respect the parity but in the end, only 17 women are the subject of portraits, because in some trades, such as those related to her, women are not yet sufficiently present. The personalities were interviewed in the presence of the photographer by the two authors, who have written the portrait, which they have to translate the summary in English. Because the book, a real tool of soft power, has not for vocation to remain French, but to be read abroad.

THE FRENCH TOUCH is a nice book, very interesting, which provides a positive and realistic of which is the strength of the French cinema of today.

The authors have built their book into 7 chapters, in reference to the 7th art, and highlight both companies and personalities, for which the authors are sometimes fun to describe with an adjective identifying them rather well found. The Founders correspond to the base of the film industry, the Builders are great for production companies or funding and Inventors the technical know-how. Then the Goldsmiths, namely technicians for which the authors are acknowledging that you have a lot of affection, and that contributes itself to the aesthetic of a film (backdrops, lighting, sound, music, costumes, editing). Then come those that the authors call the Magicians (writers, directors, actors, designers, stuntmen…) and then the Scouts, who put on the path of the globalization of cinema (schools, agents, etc.). And finally the Ambassadors, who shine on the international distribution of artistic excellence French.

Then, we found THE FRENCH TOUCH truly exciting, even if it was a little less sensitive to the interviews, most anticipated, with the leaders of institutions. Similarly, some choices or absences of personalities who count in the cinematic landscape of French may seem surprising. What is significant is that the book is flipped through at the whim and desires, to discover such a profession or such a personality. You learn a lot of things in this world of the shadow and the below films, as well on the side of financing, the role of the Market of the film or certain Festivals, as that of lawyers. The issues and the future of cinema is covered in the portraits of the schools and their leaders, such as the FEMISfilm school or Goblinsschool of the image.

THE FRENCH TOUCH is not the impasse on the sensitive issues, namely the questions in the business world about the sustainability of public financing and television channels. Or the emergence of platforms, such as Netflix, and new forms of cinema, such as VR (Virtual Reality), mentioned bluntly. The authors have elsewhere in the pipes, to the project of making a documentary on ” the VR to the French “. It obviously takes a lot of pleasure to see among the portraits, the essential Luc Besson, Vincent Cassel, Gabriel Yared , or Julie Delpy, who have actually proven in the United States. But it is discovered mostly persons more discreet, working in trades, finally, little known to the general public or critics. We have so enjoyed spending briskly Jean-Paul Mugel – The adventurer of her – to Anne Seibel -production Designer of the imaginary – through the producer, Charles Gillibert – The Flamboyant-, or Juliette Welfling – Editor of Emotions.

Despite a price of 39 €, which we hope, will be a non-starter not the low-budget movie-goers, THE FRENCH TOUCH is a nice book, very interesting, which provides a positive and realistic of which is the strength of the French cinema of today.

THE FRENCH TOUCH, Anne Bourgeois and Damien Paccellieri , published by CNC – Editions of the Screens.

297 pages, € 39. In bookshops from May 2, 2018.

Sylvie-Noelle

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