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02 March 2020

The third edition of the Rencontres du 7e art Lausanne has been canceled.

On Monday evening, the organizers of the Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne took the decision to cancel its 3rd edition, scheduled for March 4 to 8.

"The current context linked to the Coronavirus epidemic in Switzerland and the inherent uncertainty in this situation does not allow the 7th Art Lausanne Meetings to take place in good conditions", explained the persons responsible for the Meetings in a press release.

It is obviously a blow for the festival created and embodied by Vincent Perez, who was counting on this 3rd edition to anchor it even more deeply in the soil of Lausanne. Nearly 50 screenings of heritage films were planned, as well as a dozen conferences at the EJMA and public meetings with about fifty personalities, including Isabella Rosselini, Roland Joffé, Cédric Klapisch, Bertrand Blier, Anaïs Demoustier, Niels Schneider, etc.

The Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne had a budget of 1 million francs and had gathered 10,000 film lovers last year.

"Despite the respect of the limit of 1000 spectators decreed to date as a measure by the Federal Council, it has also become impossible to logistically ensure optimal reception and security for the public as well as for the guests", announced yesterday evening festival. And Vincent Perez to clarify. "Despite all our efforts to maintain this new edition, which promised to be magnificent, it is our responsibility to guarantee the quality to which we all aspire within the Meetings. I would like to thank all of our partners who are following us in this difficult decision, as well as the teams and volunteers for their wonderful work."

The festival hopes to be able to communicate as soon as possible postponement of this third edition. All ticket holders will be able to refund their tickets.

28 February 2020

The César Awards were held this evening with Roman Polanski's film AN OFFICER AND A SPY (J'ACCUSE) winning three awards out of its 12 nominations. The Polish director was not there to collect any of the prizes. He announced on Thursday that he would not attend the ceremony because he feared a "public lynching" from protestors. The film's first award of the night was for best costume designer, but the winner, Pascaline Chavanne, was not present to collect her trophy. The entire cast (including Vincent) and production team has shunned the event over criticism aimed at their director. Polanski was named best director and was also given the award for best adapted screenplay along with Robert Harris, the British novelist. "Very few" people applauded Polanski's best director award, said Le Monde and some stars walked out.

Ben Croll of Variety wrote the following article today entitled "Think Cinema’s Vincent Perez on Exploring Why We Create Art". Here are some extracts:

In 2018, Swiss actor-director Vincent Perez teamed up with the Cinémathèque Suisse, the country’s premiere film archive, to launch a heritage film festival in the actor’s hometown of Lausanne. For its first edition, the event ran under the title r7al – the Rencontres 7e Art Lausanne – and was rebranded Think Cinema Lausanne the following year.

Vincent's explanation: "We wanted to put something forward for our English-speaking friends, Whereas Re7 spoke more to Francophones, we wanted a name that really said everything. Something that would explain our mission, that would be simple and direct. We're beginning to really understand what makes our festival unique. Our identity is becoming more and more clear... "Nobody asks us to make art. We do so because we want to, and we want to because we need to. So we're interested in those questions, in asking why we tell stories, and then exploring the answers with our guests... Nobody is here to promote anything, and there's no competition. That changes the nature of the conversations, of the questions the audiences ask and the answers the filmmakers give. We’re interested in curating a selection of films that can track social transformations in the way they treat a shared subject. Love stories from the 1950s treated their female characters very differently than love stories from the 1970s… [So] we thought it was interesting to have an overview of that evolution. Society liberated itself from certain dogmas, and the cinema mirrors those changes... The festival is growing. The baby we cradled on our laps is now beginning to walk all on its own. Maybe it's no longer a baby. [laughing] Now it's a toddler."

This article is from Suddenlink Communications:

Last year, Think Cinema welcomed 10,000 attendees over the course of four days, marking a 33% increase in attendance from its inaugural edition. As the festival prepares its third go-round, founder and president Vincent Perez anticipates a similar rise. Whatever the final number may be, it’s safe to say many of those attendees will spring from Lausanne’s student population. More than 40,000 young adults live and study in the lakefront city, which houses several top Swiss schools.

Since its inception in 2018, Think Cinema has not only targeted that young population, but has actively partnered with a number of the city’s top educational institutions, as well as cultural outposts like Cinematheque Suisse and the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature. This year anew, the festival will host masterclasses at Lausanne’s university of art and design, ECAL, and screenings at the school jazz and contemporary music, EJMA, venues that have become key parts of this young event’s identity.

"The tone of the festival is very laidback and cool," says Perez. "(And though we attract well known figures), proximity is very important. The goal is to bring everyone together, to make the public participants in the events. The rooms at ECAL and EJMA aren’t always very big, which keeps things intimate and convivial. It gives the whole thing a familial air."

Those close pedagogical ties have also shaped the festival's programming mandate. "We want to collect these ideas and then to transmit them to our audience," Perez explains. "Our job is to share and to mediate. When someone goes to one of our conferences, they should leave knowing more about cinema."

Think Cinema will launch a new component this year, introducing a competition for aspiring screenwriters that will award the winner a development grant to finish writing their script. As Perez sees it, the new initiative is an outgrowth of the festival’s very identity.

"We believe in cycles," he explains. "We transmit and remount classic films on the big screen, and organize conferences with a young public. And among those students might be a future filmmaker."

"When I was 18, I received a grant that allowed me to travel to France to study," adds the actor and director. "That changed my life. It gave me a career. So this is a way to consider the future part of this cycle, to find new talent and to assist them as well."

20 February 2020

On Sunday Vincent spent the day at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, an art school in the Montparnasse district of Paris. He is currently working on the preparation of a photo book on models and muses. For almost five hours, he photographed with talent and professionalism. Other sessions are planned, as well as an exhibition of his photos at the Academy.

Back in Vevey, Switzerland, this week, Vincent met with Karine Vasarino and did some podcasts with rts.ch. One of his quotes is "Today I'm exactly where I wanted to be". The statue you see in some of these photos is Charlie Chaplin, one of Vincent's heroes from his childhood.

Actor Pierce Brosnan (one handsome dude!) has joined the list of guests at this year's Rencontres du 7e Art Lausanne. He will meet the public and present his 1999 thriller, "The Thomas Crown Affair" on March 8 at the Capitole Cinema. You may remember that the 66-year-old Irish-American actor took on the role of James Bond between 1995 and 2002. However, I particularly loved his comical performance (not his singing!) in both "Mamma Mia!" films.

On the last Wednesday of each month "T" magazine and the Beau-Rivage Palace have organized "Le Temps de l'inspiration". In the form of an intimate interview with a special theme, the event features a personality from the creative field. Guest of the day this week was Vincent.

 
18 February 2020

Last Friday Swiss paper Le Matin ran a February 11th interview in Lausanne with Vincent regarding the bad press director Roman Polanski is presently receiving. The interview took place before the announcement of the collective resignation of the management of the César Awards. Vincent, who has done two films with Polanski and has known him for thirty years, agreed to give journalist Laurent Flückiger  his opinion on the matter. Here are his comments:

"All these resurgent cases date more or less from the same period after the assassination of Sharon Tate. They re-appear in the press when films are released. I spoke with Roman and he barely remembered the person we were talking about." [Valentine Monnier has accused Polanski of having sexually assaulted her in 1975 in his chalet in Gstaad.]

"He didn't kill anyone," Vincent continues. "He did bullshit, yes, but he asked for forgiveness. He went to jail. He was persecuted all his life because he fled from American justice. He is a man who is 86 years old today. After forty years, I tell myself that it is time to forgive him. His victim, Samantha Geimer, raped at 13 years old in 1977, has been telling everyone to leave Roman Polanski alone for twenty years. " [Samantha Geimer indeed reaffirmed in her memoir that she had forgiven the director.]

Vincent concludes with, "It is a situation that saddens me. It's hard for his children. When you really know the facts, you tell yourself that maybe it's time to leave it alone. He has paid enough."
 

12 February 2020

More news on next month's Rencontres du 7e art in Switzerland. Other films to be screened include Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" (la-di-da...), Blake Edwards' "Breakfast at Tiffany's", Jane Campion's "The Piano" (lovely Michael Nyman soundtrack), and Elia  Kazan's "On the Waterfront", which is featured on this year's poster. A homage to Marlon Brando is also planned. I am an ardent fan of Brando and have watched almost all of his films. I actually saw "Last Tango in Paris" when I was in Paris in 1972 and I keep the tango music on my i-phone.

I came across a few more photos taken at the "Rouje" boutique opening in Paris last September. It appears that an artist was hired to draw some of their guests.

When Vincent travels to Switzerland, one of his favorite men's clothing stores is Scabal. In the first three photos, he poses with Eric Becker, head of Scabal Geneva. Great motto - "A passion for cloth". These photos were taken over the past two years.

 
11 February 2020

The 3rd edition of the Rencontres du 7e art will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland, from March 4-8. The theme this year will be love on the big screen featuring 49 films such as "Casablanca", my husband's favorite! This cinema event was created by Vincent in 2018 in collaboration with the Swiss Cinémathèque. Many guests will be present to talk about the creative process and the production process of the making of films. Isabella Rosselini will present in particular "Blue Velvet" by David Lynch. Love that film! An evening tribute will also be devoted to film director and writer Bertrand Blier. Vincent reports, "We are so happy to have him. He's a huge poet." Among the many guests are Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Patrice Leconte,  Irène Jacob, Valeria Golino, Rossy de Palma, Danièle Thompson, Pascal Greggory, Elsa Zylberstein, and Marie Gillain. You may notice that many of these guests have co-starred with Vincent.

 
08 February 2020

CYRANO DE BERGERAC is getting a 30th Anniversary Blu-ray special edition courtesy of BFI. The DVD, which includes special features, will be released on February 24, 2020. Humorous and touching in equal measure, the film is a spectacular and vibrant adaptation of Edmond Rostand's classic novel. Depardieu has never been better than as the swaggering scribe, his performance enriched by the vigorous direction of Jean-Paul Rappeneau and lavish period design. The film's cast also includes Vincent and Anne Brochet. The synopsis reads: Cyrano, a swashbuckling hero with a gift for verse - and a prominent proboscis - is madly in love with the most beautiful woman in Paris. Deterred though by his feelings of physical inadequacy, he instead uses his poetic skills to support another hapless suitor. But will the object of their affection realize who she’s really falling for?

Yesterday Vincent was a guest on Radio Vostok based in Geneva, Switzerland. Among the topics discussed was the link between contemporary art and cinema. You can listen to the French interview at this link.

Also from Switzerland is a 23-minute video interview with Vincent from the rts.ch archives. It is dated April 13, 1992, almost 28 years ago. So young and innocent!

 
22 January 2020

Film director Roman Polanski has swept the nomination list for the 45th César awards for French cinema, sparking outrage. Polanski's film "An Officer and a Spy", or "J'accuse" in French, received 12 nominations at the awards, which are the French equivalent of the Oscars. This is the second Polanski film that Vincent has starred in. Alain Terzian, the head of the Césars, defended Polanski's nominations, arguing that the body "should not take moral positions" in giving awards. The film is about the Dreyfus affair, a political scandal in France in the late 1800s which saw a French Jewish army officer wrongly convicted of spying. In September, the film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. This is not the first time the Césars have faced controversy because of Polanski. In 2017, he was picked to head the award's jury, but stepped down after the move sparked outrage.

According to the BBC, for now it seems quite unlikely that the movie will be shown in the UK, either in movie theatres or on television. Nor will it illuminate screens in the United States. So dangerous is the potential backlash of collaborating with Polanski that no British or American distributor will risk showing the movie, which opened to great acclaim and box-office success in France, though some protests have occurred there too.

 
 

For previous news & photos, visit the following pages:

2019:  January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September-December

2018:  January/February, March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October-December

2017:  January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September, October, November/December

2016:  January, February, March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October, November/December

2015:  January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, November/December

2014:  January/February, March, April, May, June/July, August, September, October, November, December

2013: January/February, March/April, May, June, July/August, September/October, November/December

2012: January/February, March/April, May/June, July, August, September/October, November, December

2011: January/February, March/April, May, June, July/August, September/October, November/December

2010: January/February, March/April, May, June-August, September, October/November, December

2009: January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, November/December

2008: January-April, May-September, October-December

2007: January-March, April/May, June/July, September/October, November/December

2006: January-May, Summer, September/October, November/December

2005: January/February, March/April, May-August. September-December

2004: January/February, March/April, May ,  June , July/August , September , October , November , December  

2003: January , February , March , April , May , June , July , August , September , October , November/December

2002: January , February , March/April , May , Summer , September , October , November/December

2001: January/February March/April, May/June, July/August September/October , November/December

2000:  January/February,  March , April , May , June , Summer , September , October , November , December

1999:  Summer, September/October, November/December

 

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