3 years after Abdellatif Kechiche’s Intermezzo, a film screened at Cannes but never released in theaters since, another French feature film is currently in a deadlock situation, due to a different director-producer.
While the Cannes selection is about to be unveiled tomorrow, a major and unmissable moment of the cinema year, some film lovers are still wondering if we will one day be able to see this film which caused so much talk on the day of its presentation in competition. at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019: Mektoub My Love Intermezzo by Abdellatif Kechiche.
3 years after this memorable screening of the Cannes Film Festival, it is clear that the film remains invisible. No release planned on the horizon, due to a dispute between its director and its producers-distributors. Rumors of a new editing had circulated, but for more than a year, no more news of the film, nor of its precise legal situation.
Mektoub My Love: finally a close release for Intermezzo, the controversial sequel to Kechiche’s film?
For the record, this film is an interlude between Mektoub My Love Canto Uno and Canto Due, presented from the beginning as a diptych, and follows Amin and his friends to meet Marie, a young Parisian student, while the end of the summer is approaching.
The new Doillon in a deadlock situation
As echoed by Les Cahiers du cinema in their March and April 2022 issues, another French film is currently in a situation of “blocking” (or from a film said “unfinished“) between a filmmaker and his production, thus preventing its theatrical release. This is the latest feature film by Jacques Doillon, CE2.
As its name suggests, the film focuses on young schoolchildren, a feature film that marked the filmmaker’s reunion with the theme of childhood, a theme he has often explored throughout his career. The film had been presented in preview at the Angoulême Festival, in August 2021, during a special session in the presence of Brigitte Macron. CE2 currently remains without a release date.
Director Jacques Doillon and his producer Bruno Pésery both spoke, each in turn, revealing a different net around the film. In a long interview granted to the magazine Les Cahiers du cinema, on the occasion of the release of several of his previous films, Jacques Doillon first explained that he had no more news from his producer or his distributor:
“After assembly [de CE2]the producer [Bruno Pésery] expressed his satisfaction, but a few days later, I received an e-mail authoritatively pointing out to me all that needed to be cut or modified. I don’t really know what made him change his mind, but I told him that the changes he proposed didn’t suit me, that they didn’t do the film any good.“, can we read in the March issue of the magazine of cinema.
Since I started filming, it’s the first time I’ve been asked to modify an edit. I remained inflexible.
“Since I started filming, it’s the first time I’ve been asked to modify an edit. I remained inflexible. The film was nevertheless shown in Angoulême, continues the director in the columns of the magazine, in the version that suits me, it was well received there, and I thought it was going to create an opening, but I no longer had news, neither from the distributor, nor from the producer, nor from the press officer. CE2 was selected in Rotterdam without me being informed or knowing what assembly was presented.”
In the latest issue of Cahiers du Cinéma, producer Bruno Pésery wrote a long response, published in the Readers’ Mail section, giving his version of the film’s situation.
Referring to the sequel to the filmmaker’s interview (to be found in full in the March issue), the producer writes: “Jacques regrets an era (“before“) where the scenario read, “once it was launched, it (the film) was no longer a subject of discussion“. A time when “the cost, the date, the actors decided, I no longer saw anyone. It was appalling (…), but with an extremely happy terror because I was completely trusted“. That Jacques experienced similar situations is a certainty, but that had less to do with the time than with the circumstances or the ecosystem in which many of his projects took place. He will never agree and prefers since twenty-three years change producer with each film.”
Wanting to reconnect with the conditions of “before”, by pushing back any discussion a little precise on the script or by retiring in his Norman room to mount “his film” is not open to criticism in itself.
“Wanting to reconnect with the conditions of”before“, pushing back any somewhat precise discussion of the script or retiring to his Norman room to go up”his film” cannot be criticized in itself. I even accepted it because the trust was still there and few things, in the relationship to an author, must be contradicted a priori. But, no offense to Jacques, the time has come when the film has again become “a topic of discussion“, not at the end of the editing as he experienced it and reports it, but with the presentation of his first version. (…)”
According to the producer, not a “blockage”, but an “unfinished” film
“His refusal to dialogue did not result in the film being”blocked“but that it remains, sixteen months after the end of filming, unfinished, in the sense that it refuses to offer a new version that we know how to accept. (…)”
“Such a situation is a defeat for each party, the director and his producer, whose joint responsibility, “before“As today, it remains to share the same vision of a project to bring it together with the most asserted ambition until its revelation to a hoped-for large audience. (…)”.
What future for the visibility of this film given this difference? Could an exit be considered later?
The synopsis of CE2: In a schoolyard. Kevin: It’s because I think you’re beautiful…beautiful like a princess…that’s why. So you kiss me and that way you’re my girlfriend and I don’t steal your snack anymore. Claire: but I don’t want to (kiss you)! Kevin (amused): Seriously? And then he tries to force her to kiss him on the mouth, she struggles. He lifts her dress and begins to touch her panties. Claire panics, she screams, Kevin stops touching and worries, despite the noise of recess. He leaves, not without threatening her. Kevin: you will see if you report…
The cast of the film brings together Roxane Barazzuol, Cyril Sader, Madeline Knoll Relot, Nora Hamzawi, Alexis Manenti, Doully…
Cannes 2017: “Rodin is an immense sensuality”
For the record, the last feature film released in theaters is Rodin, with Vincent Lindon, presented in competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.