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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Cloclo film trailer creates buzz

It looks as though so-called biopics are going to be putting plenty of bums on seats at cinemas over the coming year.

Already there's word out that Meryl Streep is in the running for yet another Oscar nomination for her portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady".

Similarly "My week with Marilyn" starring Michelle Williams has been getting rave reviews with the actress also tipped for a possible gong nomination for "capturing the magnetism and vulnerability of Marilyn Monroe."

Then there's "the role of a lifetime" (IndieWire's Melissa Silverstein)for Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh in her portrayal of Burmese opposition leader and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in "The Lady".

Yeoh might not get any nods from Hollywood's direction, but film critics have been largely enthusiastic and the director, Frenchman Luc Besson, has also been praised for "crafting a masterpiece in the gentle telling of a wife and mother who is forced to balance her love for her country against her love for her family." (Working Author's Summer J. Holliday)

All well and good, but where's French cinema (apart from Besson of course) in all of this apparent "biopic trend"?

Well the answer will be revealed on March 14.

That's the release date set for the long-awaited "Cloclo", a film that takes as its title the nickname of an icon of French popular music, the late Claude François.

As far as critics who've already seen a trailer for the film are concerned, director Florent Emilio Siri has made an inspired choice in casting 31-year-old Belgian actor Jérémie Rénier to play the lead role.

Jérémie Rénier is Claude François (screenshot from Cloclo trailer)

The physical resemblance, as TF1 news reported, is "staggering" and, as the national daily Le Figaro wrote it looks as though Rénier has made the role his own - and not just in terms of looking like François.

"I asked for a lengthy preparation period before shooting began," Rénier told the paper.

"I couldn't sing, dance or play the drums, so I had a lot to learn," he continued.

'I also worked a lot on my breathing and exercised. In total it took four months of intense preparation - every day."

The result will be on general release in France just days after the 34th anniversary of François' death.

For those who can't wait, here's the trailer - just to whet your appetite followed by a (rather poorly recorded although there are others available on YouTube that cannot be embedded) clip of François singing one of his biggest hits "Alexandrie Alexandra".

As Radio France Internationale says in its biography of the singer, François was "the undisputed icon of French kitsch" and his songs remain timeless and popular.

Most of his hits in France were French renditions or adaptations of songs that had already been hits in English abroad, but he also co-wrote and recorded the original of what would become one of the standards of popular music throughout the world, "Comme d'habitude" or "My Way" in English.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The best french singer ever!

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