Say What?


on audiovisual and literary translation, subtitling, and the French & American film industries

The Césars

With all the hullabaloo over the Oscars and its many and varied (seasonal) predecessors, I’ve been wondering about the French Césars, and if they carry the same weight domestically.

A relative newcomer awards ceremony, appearing on the scene just prior to the Oscars’ 50th, the Césars seem more a merit-oriented ceremony (imagine that!) that not only honors the best work of peers from the prior year, but also encourages new talents and nourrishes the industry.

Some interesting factoids:   François Truffaut’s The Last Métro, 1980, swept the 6th year of the ceremony, then the following year Diva nabbed the most, competiting as a first film.  By that time, actress Nathalie Baye had already won two Césars.

This year, it’s a kind of catchup, the way foreign distributions occur, with Avatar pitted against Slumdog, Milk, Gran Torino, and Michael Handke’s White Ribbon.  And into this heavyweight pack J’ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother) is also competing, a tour-de-force from writer/director/star, 20-year old about a young gay man’s relationship with his mother.

I had been advised that press reports could or would appear by now (and haven’t), more conclusive proof that it’s simply an awards ceremony – how radical!

Filed under: divers, French film industry, , , , , , , , , , ,

Avatar followup: article in Le Monde

For those of you who saw my interview last summer with John Kochman of Unifrance USA, I thought you might be interested in this article in which Pierre Morel talks about his tilt toward the American market.

This is also related to my year-end roundup/post about industry avatars, onscreen and off.  Also interesting to read about Morel’s future projects in the U.S.

Filed under: French film industry, US film industry, , ,

Sundance, back in the saddle

I’ve never been, but, having applied several times to their annual Screenwriting Workshops, and gotten the kindest rejections, I’m quite partial to the Sundance Film Festival.  And from what I’ve read, looks like things have gotten back to basics, in the best possible way for the quarter-century plus old fest.

The kinds of titles and content which sold quickly (and at somewhat a record pace, at least compared to recent seasons) don’t seem terribly indie, innovative or genuinely unusual.  But the distribution vehicles definitely seem to be evolving, with youtube getting in on the game, along with several new players.  If anyone actually reads my blog, they (I hope) would see I tend toward optimism, so I think all in all, it sounds like it was a good year.

Filed under: US film industry, VOD,