Music Of The Day: XY

XY is the latest music video fom French rapper Kery James. What’s so special about it then? Simply that it was directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, director of such films as Gothika, the underrated Babylon A.D., and several French movies.

Costing around 88000 dollars, the video shows two guys burning a body in the forest, and through backwards storytelling explains how they got there. As for the song, it pretty much says what’s happening on screen.

I wasn’t convinced at first but then felt that the video grew more and more effective as it went on. I still don’t think it’s great, but mostly because I don’t really like the song and I still prefer that awesome Levi’s Onion Peel commercial in terms of backwards storytelling. But what do you think of this music video?

Fun Fact: Kery James apparently drew inspiration from films such as 21 Grams and Crash when writing the song

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R.I.P. : Guillaume Depardieu (1971-2008), Françoise Seigner (1928-2008) & Ken Ogata (1937-2008)

It’s a very morbid day as not one but two important figures of the French acting world passed away of unnatural causes.

Most tragic is undoubtedly the 37 year old Guillaume Depardieu, son of the internationally-known Gérard Depardieu (Babylon A.D.), who died today, October 13th, of a sudden pneumonia attack due to a virus caught a few days ago in Romania on the set of the thriller L’Enfant D’Icare (literally Icarus’ Child). Winner of a César acting award (the French equivalent of the Oscars) for the 1995 comedy Les Apprentis (literally The Apprentices) and nominated twice before, this is unbelievably not the only incredibly tragic event of Guillaume Depardieu’s short life.

Indeed the troubled, formerly drug-addicted actor had many run-ins with the the law and several stints in prison but most sad is the traffic accident he was involved in in 1995. A suitcase which had fallen from a car caused him to fall from his motorcycle and badly damage his right knee. He was immediately operated on but things didn’t go very well and an infection settled in, forcing him to have his right leg amputated in 2003.

He however didn’t let that stop him and resumed his acting career, at the same time creating the Guillaume Depardieu Foundation for nosomical infections. He was last seen on the big screen in the acclaimed dramas Versailles and On War, both shown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Having played over forty roles, some of his best-known films are the 1991’s All The Mornings Of The Wold and 1999’s Pola X. He was also a recipient of the prestigious Jean Gabin Award.

Guillaume Depardieu is survived by his father, his mother the actress Elisabeth Guignot (Jean De Florette), his sister the actress Julie Depardieu (Rush Hour 3), his half-sister Roxane, his half-brother Jean and his daughter Louise. He will posthumously appear in a couple of forthcoming films and no word on what will happen to L’Enfant D’Icare.

Today also marks the death of 80 year old Françoise Seigner, of pancreatic cancer. The acclaimed actress, aunt of actresses Emmanuelle (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly) and Mathilde (Harry, He’s Here To Help/With A Friend Like Harry…), best known for her contributions to the theater nevertheless acted in a few films, most famously 1970’s The Wild Child and most recently the 2005 Agatha Christie adaptation By The Pricking Of My Thumbs.

One must also not forget celebrated 71 year old Japanese actor Ken Ogata, who died on October 5th of liver cancer. The award-winning performer is best-known for such films as The Pillow Book, Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters and several collaborations with late director Shohei Imamura, including one of the segments of 11’09”01: September 11 and the 1983 Golden Palm winner Ballad Of Narayama. He is survived by his two actor sons Kanta (The Samurai I Loved) and Naoto (The Deep Red).

Trio of French films win the week in France

French cinema proved its strength this past week in its home country by taking over the whole top 3. The latest Golden Palm winner, The Class (original title Entre Les Murs) rushed to the top, while another new release, Paris 36 (original title Faubourg 36) took the second spot. The third place was filled by the comedy Let It Rain (original title Parlez-Moi De La Pluie) in its second week of release (check it out at the New York Film Festival on October 10th). The British musical Mamma Mia! came it at number four and the first American film, The Forbidden Kingdom, got fifth place.

Full top 20 with number of moviegoers after the jump. Continue reading

The Return Of Xander Cage?!

Action star Vin Diesel (read why you should give his latest movie Babylon A.D. a second chance here) definitely has comeback on his mind. After returning for the fourth Fast & Furious movie and stating his confidence in making the Riddick sequels, Vin is currently in talks to return to his third franchise in xXx 3: The Return Of Xander Cage. The film will be directed by original helmer Rob Cohen (The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor).

The question now is, how will this sequel work? In the 2005 flop xXx: State Of The Union, also known as xXx²: The Next Level, which didn’t feature Vin’s involvement, Xander Cage was revealed to have been (SPOILER ALERT) killed during his Bora Bora holiday at the end of the first film. I’m sure they’ll figure something out so the actual real question is: are you excited for xXx 3 with Vin Diesel? Ice Cube cameo anyone?

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Old dude gets adopted in new French comedy

In Victor, a new French comedy that starts shooting on September 22nd, 74 year old funnyman Pierre Richard (La Chèvre, literal translation The Goat) will portray an old, lonely man thrown out of his home by the landlord, who puts a classified ad in the paper asking for a loving, welcoming family to take him in.

The film will be directed by Thomas Gilou (Would I Lie To You? 1 & 2) and is adapted from a book by Michèle Fitoussi. Also starring in the film are Lambert Wilson (Babylon A.D. a film to which you should give a second chance, see here) and César winning youngster Sara Forestier (Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer), pictured below.

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Give Babylon A.D. a second chance, watch the “real version”

I saw Babylon A.D. today, and while I won’t write a full review of it at this time, I do have a few things I want to say. Babylon A.D. has been a pet project for acclaimed French director Mathieu Kassovitz (Gothika) for many years, with him being a huge fan of Maurice Georges Dantec’s source novel Babylon Babies. The film had a very troubled shoot and was delayed from its original release date in early 2008. Ultimately, most people had already dismissed the film before it was released, and the final nail in its coffin was when both Kassovitz and lead actor Vin Diesel (Find Me Guilty) trashed the film before its American release. Here’s the catch though: they were talking about the Fox version of the film.

Yes, there are two versions of Babylon A.D., one which runs 90 minutes and is distributed by 20th Century-Fox in the US, Canada, UK and some other countries, and another by Studio Canal, which doesn’t mention Fox at all and lasts 11 minutes more. Now this doesn’t mean that Fox simply cut out 11 minutes from the film and released it…they actually cut out much more, and replaced it with footage that isn’t in the longer version. I haven’t seen the Fox version, but I’ve read about it and can thus tell you that Fox basically removed significant parts of plot development and replaced them with action scenes that are completely absent from the Studio Canal version… Fox changed the beginning, Fox changed the ending, Fox changed the dialogues, Fox changed everything.

Rest of the article after the jump Continue reading

Fourth Fast And Furious to be an “interquel” (also trailer)

While doing press for his new sci-fi/action movie Babylon A.D., actor Vin Diesel told NBC’s Seth Goldman that  Fast & Furious, the fourth movie in the fast car franchise, will actually take place before 2 Fast 2 Furious, making it the second entry in the series, chronologically speaking.

In related news, the movie, which is directed by The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift helmer Justin Lin and features the first movie’s quartet of stars (Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster), had its trailer premiere last week, and it looks to be quite a fun ride. At any rate it surely seems to be a whole lot better than 2006’s Tokyo Drift, the only Fast And Furious movie I’ve seen. Also, the fact that the awesomely hot Jordana Brewster is back pretty much guarantees awesomeness. Well, enough about me, what do you think?

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