36th Precinct (2004) - News Poster

(2004)

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MR 73

MR 73
PARIS -- MR 73 is the third in a trilogy of police thrillers that Olivier Marchal began in 2002 with Gangsters and followed up two years later with Department 36. It also is far and away the darkest of the three movies. While its resolutely dour tone and downbeat ending might deter younger spectators, the convincing portrayal of a cop at the end of his tether should pay off handsomely with mature audiences in many territories.

The announcement that serial killer Charles Subra (Philippe Nahon) is to be released early for good behavior unleashes old demons for his arresting officer Louis Schneider (Daniel Auteuil) at a time when he is struggling to cope with more recent demons -- among them deep pangs of guilt incurred when his wife suffered debilitating Brain Damage in a car crash while he was enjoying a fling with his police colleague Marie (Catherine Marchal).

Complicating matters, a new spate of killings -- clearly the work of another serial killer -- has broken out. Meanwhile, Justine (Olivia Bonamy), the daughter of one of Subra's victims 25 years earlier, writes to Subra in prison and then makes contact with Louis.

As a police detective, Louis is not so much hard-bitten as chewed up and spat out. He is first seen slumped drunk in a bus that he then proceeds to hijack for the hell of it. Asked by a psychiatrist whether he believes in God, he replies that the deity "is a son of a bitch, and one day I'm going to kill him." He's rarely without a bottle close at hand, and it always appears to be three days since his last shave. He inflames relations with his superior Kovalski (Francis Renaud) by joining the investigation into the latest killings, then he assaults him.

In an opening title, Marchal informs spectators that the film is based on a true story. The director, an ex-cop, has hinted that the movie is a transposition of events that caused him to leave the police 15 years ago. But the story of MR 73 is best seen simply as a peg on which Marchal hangs his depiction of a burned-out cop, superbly assisted by Auteuil.

The weakness of the plotting is more than compensated by the strength of the performances and the splendor of the visuals. Rarely has the Mediterranean port of Marseille, where the action is set, appeared so bleak onscreen. The sun is banished to the margins in a succession of night scenes, murky interiors and washed-out colors that provide a fitting setting for a world without redemption.

Marchal arguably overplays the religious connotations (his CV includes a spell spent at a Jesuit school), and the movie's resolution -- in which a Manurhin MR 73 handgun plays a key role -- is too pat. But for all its faults, MR 73 is a powerful piece of filmmaking that marks out its director as a distinctive voice making a personal statement about the more troubling aspects of crime and punishment.

MR 73

LGM Films, Gaumont, TF1 Films Production, Medusa Film

Sales agent: Gaumont

Credits:

Screenwriter-director: Olivier Marchal

Producers: Cyril Colbeau-Justin, Jean-Baptiste Dupont, Franck Chorot

Executive producer: David Giordano

Director of photography: Denis Rouden

Production designer: Ambre Sansonetti

Costume designer: Marie-Laure Lasson

Music: Bruno Coulais

Editor: Raphaele Urtin

Cast:

Louis Schneider: Daniel Auteuil

Justine: Olivia Bonamy

Marie Angeli: Catherine Marchal

Kovalski: Francis Renaud

Mateo: Gerald Laroche

Jumbo: Guy Lecluyse

Subra: Philippe Nahon

Running time -- 124 minutes

No MPAA rating

Campbell's number up for Par's '36'

Martin Campbell is attached to direct Paramount Pictures' 36, a remake of the 2004 French-language thriller 36 quai des orfevres. Author-screenwriter Richard Price has been tapped to do a rewrite.

The story revolves around two detectives who try to solve a series of armored car robberies in the hopes of landing a promotion promised to whoever catches the perpetrators.

Robert De Niro, who is producing the project through his Tribeca Films banner, had been attached to star. But sources said that Price will pen an overhaul of Dean Georgaris' screenplay and reimagine the two detectives in their 30s.

Campbell, whose credits include The Legend of Zorro and The Mask of Zorro, most recently helmed Sony/MGM's international hit Casino Royale. He is prepping 20th Century Fox's thriller Unstoppable.

The New Zealand-born director is repped by CAA and attorney Walter Teller.

Price, whose screenwriting credits include Freedomland and Mad Dog and Glory, also is a best-selling author who has penned such novels as Clockers and The Wanderers.

He is handled by CAA.

Gaumont profit drops for year

Gaumont profit drops for year
PARIS -- French cinema group Gaumont posted full-year 2005 results Tuesday, unveiling an 18% hike in revenue from the previous year to €100.2 million ($119.2 million) along with a 21.7% drop in net profit to €7.2 million ($8.5 million). The group attributed the mixed results to the hit-or-miss nature of its film slate. The strong theatrical performances of Palais Royale!, a comedy inspired by Europe's royals (2.7 million admissions), and Je vous trouve tres beau (You Are So Beautiful), about a French farmer who seeks a Romanian girl to replace his dead wife (2.3 million entries since January), were weighed down by a pair of expensive flops -- Eric Lartigau's Un ticket pour l'espace (A Ticket to Outer Space) and Eric Valli's La Piste (The Trail), the company said. Brisk video sales of Alain Berberian's The Corsica File, starring Jean Reno and Christian Clavier, and 36 Quai des Orfevres, starring Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu, helped profits, while catalog sales grew 31.7% to €47.7 million ($56.7 million).

Gaumont profit drops for year

Gaumont profit drops for year
PARIS -- French cinema group Gaumont posted full-year 2005 results Tuesday, unveiling an 18% hike in revenue from the previous year to €100.2 million ($119.2 million) along with a 21.7% drop in net profit to €7.2 million ($8.5 million). The group attributed the mixed results to the hit-or-miss nature of its film slate. The strong theatrical performances of Palais Royale!, a comedy inspired by Europe's royals (2.7 million admissions), and Je vous trouve tres beau (You Are So Beautiful), about a French farmer who seeks a Romanian girl to replace his dead wife (2.3 million entries since January), were weighed down by a pair of expensive flops -- Eric Lartigau's Un ticket pour l'espace (A Ticket to Outer Space) and Eric Valli's La Piste (The Trail), the company said. Brisk video sales of Alain Berberian's The Corsica File, starring Jean Reno and Christian Clavier, and 36 Quai des Orfevres, starring Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu, helped profits, while catalog sales grew 31.7% to €47.7 million ($56.7 million).

Gaumont profits drops for year

Gaumont profits drops for year
PARIS -- French cinema group Gaumont posted full-year 2005 results Tuesday, unveiling an 18% hike in revenue from the previous year to €100.2 million ($119.2 million) along with a 21.7% drop in net profit to €7.2 million ($8.5 million). The group attributed the mixed results to the hit-or-miss nature of its film slate. The strong theatrical performances of Palais Royale!, a comedy inspired by Europe's royals (2.7 million admissions), and Je vous trouve tres beau (You Are So Beautiful), about a French farmer who seeks a Romanian girl to replace his dead wife (2.3 million entries since January), were weighed down by a pair of expensive flops -- Eric Lartigau's Un ticket pour l'espace (A Ticket to Outer Space) and Eric Valli's La Piste (The Trail), the company said. Brisk video sales of Alain Berberian's The Corsica File, starring Jean Reno and Christian Clavier, and 36 Quai des Orfevres, starring Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu, helped profits, while catalog sales grew 31.7% to €47.7 million ($56.7 million).

Gaumont profits drops for year

Gaumont profits drops for year
PARIS -- French cinema group Gaumont posted full-year 2005 results Tuesday, unveiling an 18% hike in revenue from the previous year to €100.2 million ($119.2 million) along with a 21.7% drop in net profit to €7.2 million ($8.5 million). The group attributed the mixed results to the hit-or-miss nature of its film slate. The strong theatrical performances of Palais Royale!, a comedy inspired by Europe's royals (2.7 million admissions), and Je vous trouve tres beau (You Are So Beautiful), about a French farmer who seeks a Romanian girl to replace his dead wife (2.3 million entries since January), were weighed down by a pair of expensive flops -- Eric Lartigau's Un ticket pour l'espace (A Ticket to Outer Space) and Eric Valli's La Piste (The Trail), the company said. Brisk video sales of Alain Berberian's The Corsica File, starring Jean Reno and Christian Clavier, and 36 Quai des Orfevres, starring Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu, helped profits, while catalog sales grew 31.7% to €47.7 million ($56.7 million).

Arresting viewing: French keep police shows on top

PARIS -- An insatiable appetite for detective and cop dramas in France has local broadcasters gearing up to present a police-heavy program roster this fall. With the new lineups ready to unwrap later this month, sources say that the healthy French appetite for cop shows will strongly influence schedules. Canal Plus, which has steered clear of commissioning cop series to this point, will air Engrenages (Spirals), its first-ever French police drama. The series will focus on flaws in the French judicial system. And market leader TF1, which reserves primetime slots on Mondays and Thursdays for police action, has roped in feature film director Olivier Marchal (36 Quai des Orfevres) to conceptualize a new police miniseries tentatively titled Flic, to be produced by GMT Prods. and producer Francois Engenger. Shooting is set to begin later this year.

Gaumont revenue jumps 25% in first half

Gaumont revenue jumps 25% in first half
PARIS -- French cinema group Gaumont on Wednesday posted a 25% increase in revenue to €46.2 million (55.8 million) for the first half of 2005. The company's income increased 47% year-on-year to €5.3 million ($6.4 million). The group, which has suffered losses in recent years with the poor boxoffice performance of some releases and a drop in attendance at its theaters, attributed the improved results to the DVD releases of cop thriller 36 Quai des Orfevres, starring Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil, and The Corsican File, an espionage drama toplined by Jean Reno and Christian Clavier. International sales of the thriller Empire of Wolves, directed by Chris Nahon, also boosted revenue.

Gaumont posts increased net profit

PARIS -- French cinema group Gaumont posted improved full-year 2004 results Monday, with revenue rising 26% over the previous year to €88.6 million ($117.3 million) and a net profit of €9.7 million ($12.8 million), compared with €2.8 million in 2003. The group attributed the improved results to the success of two films it released last year and a healthy increase in French film admissions, which benefited the turnover of its EuroPalaces chain of cinema halls. Alain Berberian's The Corsica File, starring Jean Reno and Christian Clavier, registered 2.6 million entries, while Olivier Marchal's cop thriller, 36 Quai des Orfevres, starring Daniel Auteuil and Gerard Depardieu, attracted two million entries last year. Consolidated profit for its EuroPalaces cinemas rose to €16.6 million ($21.9 million) compared with €3.9 million in 2003, on revenues of €407.7 million ($539.8 million) against a year-earlier €380 million, Gaumont said in a statement.

Long list of Cesar noms for 'Engagement'

Long list of Cesar noms for 'Engagement'
PARIS -- Jean-Pierre Jeunet's World War I saga, A Very Long Engagement, swept up 12 nominations on Monday for the Cesar Awards, France's top film honors, including best film, best director, and best actress for Audrey Tautou. Les Choristes, France's contender for a foreign-language Oscar nomination, and 36 Quai des Orfevres, the police thriller starring Gerard Depardieu and Daniel Auteuil, each nabbed eight nominations. Choristes and 36 Quai will vie with Jeunet's film and two relatively small-budget French productions - teenage drama L'Esquive (The Dodging), directed by Tunisian-born Abdellatif Kechiche, which earned five nominations, and Arnaud Desplechin's Rois et Reine (Kings and Queen), about the parallel lives of two ex-lovers, which secured seven noms.

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