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Arsene Lupin - Preview

Preview by: Jack Foley

HOLLYWOOD is having to look over its shoulder more and more given the abundance of talent that is unveiling itself in world cinema.

Japan, Hong Kong, Spain and France have delivered some of the most breathtaking films of recent years and their output shows no sign of diminishing.

France, especially, has delivered some modern classics in recent years, such as Amelie, A Very Long Engagement and The Chorus (to name but three).

But there is plenty to look forward to in the works, with Arsene Lupin leading the pack as evidence of the country's continuing confidence in its movie-making ability.

The film is being billed as 'an unusual mix of costume drama, martial arts and computer-generated imagery' and has already proved a box office smash in its homeland.

Based on the 1924 novel by Maurice Leblanc, the film stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Romain Duris as, respectively, an immortal countess-cum-jewellery thief and a gentleman thief who is also adept at magic.


It has earned a number of rave reviews in France, with the website, advising that if you 'indulge in this two hour fantasy of this rakish burglar in an exquisitely imagined Paris and Normandy, you will come away entertained, amused and delighted'.

Speaking about the resurgence in French cinema, the film's co-star, Kristin Scott Thomas, recently told BBC World Service's The Ticket programme that Arsene Lupin is typical of a new approach to film-making in France, inspired by the success of films like Amelie.

"I think it's very exciting, because for a long time in France 'commercial' was a dirty word," she commented. "Now it's OK to make a lot of money with the films that you're making."

The actress went on to say that she feels French directors have begun making a wide variety of films now that they feel they 'don't have to reply to the American market so much'.

As a result, there is more for audiences to choose from and enjoy, without feeling they are merely playing catch-up to Hollywood.

"We're far more independent really, so we are able to make all sorts of different films - from very small, intimate problems to fantastic, all-singing, all-dancing things like Arsene Lupin," she concluded.

The film is due for a UK release later this year.


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