Music Of The Day: Les Rivières Pourpres

Les Rivières Pourpres is title track of the eponymous French thriller known in English parts of the world as The Crimson Rivers. Based on a novel by Jean-Christophe Grangé (The Stone Council) and directed by Mathieu Kassovitz (Babylon A.D.), the film is amazing, a perfect blend of action, intrigue, suspense and visual style. I could seriously watch the the film several times in a row and this is no small part due to Bruno Coulais’ wonderful score. The visuals of the above video are pretty dumb and useless, but hey it’s the sound that counts.

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Movie Of The Day: The Stone Council (2006)

Since his first novel’s release in 1994, ex-reporter Jean-Christophe Grangé has taken the position of France’s top thriller writer. His novels always feature tortured characters, graphic depictions of violence and an intrigue bordering on the supernatural. His success has naturally been translated several times in film, with The Stone Council (original title Le Concile De Pierre), his third novel and most supernatural-minded work, being his third book adapted for the silver screen after The Crimson Rivers and Empire Of Wolves.

The Stone Council follows Laura Siprien, an interpreter in French and Russian who goes to Mongolia and adopts a little baby boy, Liu-San. Everything’s fine until a few days before the child’s seventh birthday, when strange events start to happen. Laura and her son seem to share the same nightmares night after night, a strange unexplainable mark appears on Liu-San’s chest and Liu-San starts to chant in an old dialect he’s never learned while sleeping. While attempting to learn more about what’s going on, Laura falls victim to countless hallucinations and is followed by a string of brutal murders.

Directed by Guillaume Nicloux (the A Private Affair/Hanging Offense aka That Woman/The Key trilogy), the adaptation was co-penned by Nicloux and Stéphane Cabel (Brotherhood of The Wolf). It stars Monica Bellucci (Shoot ‘Em Up), Catherine Deneuve (Dancer In The Dark), Moritz Bleibtreu (Speed Racer) and Sami Bouajila (The Siege) among others. Subtitled trailer and review after the jump. Continue reading

Did Jean Reno have a heart attack?

According to reports, 60 year old French actor Jean Reno suffered from a heart attack while vacationing at singer Johnny Hallyday’s home in St Bart’s with his wife Zofia. Reno went on to be airlifted to an ICU in nearby Fort-de-France. Thankfully, Reno was discharged from the hospital at 9 PM last night and is now fine. Reno’s publicist doesn’t seem to think so however, and has denied the incident:

‘He is vacationing in the Caribbean and went to a local hospital as a precaution for some discomfort he was feeling due to heartburn and gastroenteritis.

‘It was definitely was not a heart attack. He is fine and healthy and enjoying the rest of his vacation travelling in the Caribbean.

‘I think he was just enjoying vacation and probably ate a little too much spicy Caribbean food.’

Whatever, we’re just glad he’s OK. Jean Reno (born Juan Moreno), one of France’s most popular actors is probably best known to international audiences for his titular role in Luc Besson’s Léon: The Professional, and through his American movies, which include Mission:Impossible, Godzilla, Ronin, Just Visiting, Rollerball, Hotel Rwanda, The Da Vinci Code, Flyboys and the Pink Panther remake series. Many of his French movies are worth checking out including (but not limited to) The Crimson Rivers, The Visitors and Wasabi.

Fun Fact: Mr Reno and myself attended the same high school!

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