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Zabladowski
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Choristes, Les (2004)
28. Mar 2004 at 23:01
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Les Choristes is a new film released last week in France. It stars Gérard Jugnot, who was Monsieur Batignole and a host of boys.

Since I can't read French, I can't provide a good plot summary but here's some of what Variety had to say about the film...... "A relentlessly heartwarming addition to the annals of One-Teacher-Can-Make-a-Difference pics, "Les Choristes" takes place during one semester at a boy's boarding school-cum-reformatory in small-town France, circa 1949. No stereotype is left unheralded and no heartstring left untugged...."

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Some pictures from the site. I don't have identifications yet.
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« Last Edit: 04. Jul 2008 at 17:34 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Les Choristes (2004)
Reply #1 - 28. Mar 2004 at 23:11
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Oh, this is definitely my kind of movie!   Grin

It looks like Sir J is on another searching expedition.  Smiley

Love,
Sir J
  
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Re: Les Choristes (2004)
Reply #2 - 29. Mar 2004 at 10:19
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Ooops!  Thanks Zab,

I made a profile for this movie about a month ago but didn't get around to starting a thread for it. Silly me.

Another one of those..  'I really want to see this one', movies.
« Last Edit: 04. Jul 2008 at 17:34 by Zabladowski »  
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Re: Les Choristes (2004)
Reply #3 - 29. Mar 2004 at 20:50
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Wow, I didn't think to look in our database for it  Shocked Embarrassed

I'm hoping this film will play in Montreal this year. It has enough "big names" attached to it that it's bound to travel.
  
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Re: Les Choristes (2004)
Reply #4 - 19. Jul 2004 at 15:09
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French cinema on song again

Boys and girls are queuing to join local choirs after seeing this year’s smash hit homegrown movie.

Hugh Schofield reports from Paris

France has discovered a passion for choral singing thanks to a new film which looks set to take over from Amelie as the latest export success for Gallic nostalgia-chic.

A first feature for director Christophe Barratier, Les Choristes – The Choirboys, in English – has been the smash hit of the year in France, with ticket sales of 6.7 million that outstrip even the latest Harry Potter production. The sound-track, featuring a dozen songs performed in cherubic mass-treble, is topping the album charts with some 500,000 copies sold.

Across the country choir-masters have been inundated by applications from boys and girls who say their lives have been changed by the music, while Jean-Baptiste Maunier – the angelic 13-year-old from Lyon who is the film’s leading voice – has become an overnight star.

“The film has made choral singing fashionable. It has succeeding in winning over young people who had no previous musical culture,” says Jean-François Duchamp, president of the Federation of Petits Chanteurs, which comprises more than 100 church and cathedral choirs.

Starring one of France’s most popular actors, Gerard Jugnot, as Clement Mathieu, a humble music teacher who uses singing to redeem the lost souls at an authoritarian reform school in post-war France, Les Choristes is a re-make of a little-known 1945 French film called La Cage Aux Rossignols or The Cage Of Nightingales.

When Mathieu arrives at the Fond de L’Etang [Bottom Of The Pond] school in 1949, the boys – many of them war orphans – are running riot under the brutal but ineffective rule of the vile headmaster Rachin. Gradually Mathieu wins their trust, and, by showing what they can achieve together in a choir, brings a new spirit into their lives. One of his pupils, Maunier, eventually wins a scholarship to a conservatoire.

Various explanations have been adduced for the film’s remarkable success – its total lack of sex and violence, its setting in a long-vanished land of short trousers and simpler values, the hopeful message it offers for children in today’s more troubled times – all of which should carry Les Choristes to new success abroad.

“Our first soundings are excellent, and we are counting on a new Amelie ,” says Natalie Villette of the international department of Pathé Distribution, which has sold the film to scores of countries round the world. It comes out in Britain in January, and in the US at the end of this year (though presumably under a name other than The Choirboys, which was a violent 1979 cop pic set in Los Angeles, from a novel by Joseph Wambaugh).

“There is a real magic. It appeals to every generation – children, the 15-to-25s, and older people with memories of the era. And just like with Amelie, you come out feeling good,” she says. Amelie, which came out in 2001, was about the adventures of a whimsical young woman in an air-brushed Paris and became the biggest French film export of all time.

Above all, it is the singing that has captured the imagination in France, and though some choral professionals are sniffy about the commercial nature of Bruno Coulais’s score, all are delighted by the publicity given to a pastime which they say has been in steady but unreported growth for several years. “Each June I audition around 50 eight-year-olds, and normally when I ask them to sing a song they know they give me Frères Jacques or something like that. This year nearly every single one sang me a song from Les Choristes. That is how popular it is,” says François Polgar, who heads the choir of Sainte-Croix de Neuilly outside Paris.

France used to have a tradition of choir schools attached to cathedrals, much as Britain has, but the link was brutally cut in the revolution and it is only in the post-war era that it has been revived. In the past 20 years, a nationwide network of non-religious choirs has also been built up with the help of regional cultural funding, with the result that there are now some 25,000 choirs singing a repertoire that includes jazz, variety and – increasingly – gospel.

According to Thierry Thi bault, artistic director of the À Coeur Joie confederation of choirs, there has been a gradual increase of applications to choirs over several years, in which the sudden rush that followed the release of Les Choristes will prove to be a strong but temporary blip.

“Personally I do not think the film was a masterpiece,” says Thibault, who in August is directing the international Choralies 2004 festival at Vaison-la-Romaine.

“But I am delighted that it has brought choral singing out of the restrictive image it had of being purely religious. It was too closely tied to the church, but the film showed a whole other side.”

As for the reasons why, in an age dominated by pop music, television and sport, so many children should feel the pull of the conductor’s baton, Thi bault is in no doubt.

“Today we live in a civilisation that isolates. Internet, Gameboys, television – they create activities that are in essence solitary.

“But man needs company. And to sing in a choir, all that you need to bring along is yourself.”

18 July 2004
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while searching for info i came across a french site dedicated to a variety of child stars.

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« Last Edit: 19. Jul 2004 at 21:35 by Sir Jacob »  
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Zabladowski
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Re: Les Choristes (2004)
Reply #5 - 19. Jul 2004 at 19:37
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News from Montreal.....

The smash French box office hit Les Choristes has been selected as the closing night film of the 28th edition of the Montréal World Film Festival, August 26 – September 6. A charming, upbeat film that captivated audiences in France, drawing more than 6,700,000 entries and making it the hit of the year, Les Choristes will be screened at the closing awards gala on September 6.

Les Choristes is the heart warming story of an unemployed music teacher hired as the supervisor of a correctional school who changes the lives of the students through the "magic of song," overcoming the repressive regime of the disciplinarian headmaster.

Directed by Christophe Barratier, the film stars Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Jacques Perrin and Jean-Baptiste Maunier. It is distributed by Vivafilm and will open commercially in Québec in the fall.

"The festival will close on a high note with Les Choristes, a film that charmed us and will enchant all Québec this autumn," predicted Guy Gagnon and Patrick Roy of Vivafilm. "The film is not only the biggest success of the year in France, but a work of quality we are proud to present at the closing ceremony."
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IMDB also says Miramax will be distributing in the US. Who knows when, but it looks like that video with English subtitles will eventually be readily available.  Smiley
  
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Re: Les Choristes (2004)
Reply #6 - 19. Jul 2004 at 21:34
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I'm glad you brought this one up again, apple.  I'm really anxious to see it!

It's good that it's been such a success at the theaters, because that makes me think it will make its way across the ocean someday.  I noticed that the dvd (Region 2, or course) will be released in France on October 24th of this year, but I couldn't find anything that said that it would be English subtitled.  I'm counting on that being the case, anyway.  Thanks for the update about Miramax handling it for USA distribution.  Maybe I'll wait for their version to come out.   Grin

I did get the cd a few weeks ago, and it's marvelous. Smiley

Did I mention that I love hearing boys sing in French?   Wink

Love,
Sir J
  
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