Dave Barry, of all people, links to this delightful news report of a surprising French legal judgement to the effect that a very French film indeed, called A Very Long Engagement, is not actually French.
The film was made with the help of state funds from France’s National Centre for Cinematography. In its decision, the court said that 2003 Productions was a Trojan horse, a company founded by Warner Bros. “to benefit from financial help even though [the fund] is reserved for the European cinematographic industry.”
So, a Trojan film. Sneaky people, those Trojans.
Jeunet is known in North America as the filmmaker behind 1997’s Alien Resurrection and 2001’s Amélie.
A man with previous, perpetrating popular movies.
French actress Audrey Tautou, who played the title role in Amélie, also stars in A Very Long Engagement.
And we all know that Amélie was so good it is not even put in the foreign language racks at Blockbuster. That was not a French film either. It was a film.
“This film, which tells a French story, adapted from a French novel, filmed entirely in France, in French, with the participation of more than 2,000 French people, over thirty French actors and actresses and about 500 French technicians for 18 months, is suddenly no longer considered a French film!” 2003 Productions said in a press release.
The good news is that, assuming I understand this petit contretemps (if contretemps is a girl that should be petite) correctly, this means that this movie will not be getting French government money. Which is nice. This being the case, I feel sure that I speak for us all here at samizdata.net when I say that there ought not to be any French films at all.
Yes, that assumption is correct. Here is confirmation of that, from comingsoon.net, which they got from Variety:
A Paris court has ruled that director Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement is really a Hollywood movie, and therefore not sufficiently French to qualify for public subsidies …
If foreigners, British foreigners especially, continue buying up French real estate maybe it will eventually be decided that France is not French either.