Emmanuel Mouret

Discussion and info on people in film, ranging from directors to actors to cinematographers to writers.

Moderator: DarkImbecile

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Emmanuel Mouret

#1 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:15 pm

Image

Promène-toi donc tout nu! (1999) student film
Laissons Lucie faire! (2000)
Vénus et Fleur (2004)
Changement d'adresse (2006) R2 CineFile UK DVD [As Change of Address] (English subs)
Un baiser s'il vous plaît (2007) R1 MusicBox DVD [As Shall We Kiss?] (English subs) / available to rent streaming on Amazon et al (English subs)
Fais-moi plaisir! (2009) R4 Australian DVD [As Please, Please Me!] (English subs)
L'art d'aimer (2011) R4 Australian DVD [As the Art of Love] (English subs)
Une autre vie (2013)
Caprice (2015)
Mademoiselle de Joncquières (2018)

Note: While there are limited options for most of these films in terms of commercial releases for non-French speakers, ALL of these films are circulating with English subs on back channels

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#2 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:16 pm

A little less than a month ago I wrote a glowing writeup of Caprice and wondered if Mouret’s other films held similar pleasures. Having now seen all of them, let me tell you, do they ever. Here is a major modern filmmaker completely unknown to me until now for one very good reason: almost none of these movies are available commercially with English subs. For many of you, this post will be a long defense for a lot movies you won’t be able to see. Not since discovering the 60s output of Michel Deville a year or two back have I been so thoroughly gobsmacked at how such an important and vital director could be completely sidelined from the conversation because someone somewhere deemed him unworthy of wider exposure beyond France. I will not mince words: Having now discovered Emmanuel Mouret, his almost total absence from the American home video market is a direct offense to anyone who cares about movies.

Mouret, like many great auteurs, can be enjoyed piecemeal but is understood best within the totality of his works. Having now seen all of his circulating films, I have discovered a sensitive, insightful, witty, lowkey, and above all else pleasant filmmaker. Mouret’s movies, most of which star himself, a lovable nice guy with a non-threatening hangdog face and demeanor, are focused on and concerned with the fundamental decency of people. I think the word “humanist” gets thrown around a lot, sometimes at directors I’m not convinced merit it, but Mouret’s treatment of his subjects is one of invested moral weight and optimism. This is never necessary to make a great film or be a great filmmaker, and indeed many if not most directors I love do not share this concern. But Mouret is giving us a body of work that stands with something like Friday Night Lights in showing us a blueprint of how people should interact with each other. And he does so by showing them fail, make mistakes, be unlikable at times— ie, be human. This isn’t a Mary Sue-fest. Mouret’s characters are often infuriating, frustrating, arrogant, selfish, and so on. But they are also caring, intelligent, concerned with not harming each other, and fundamentally decent in the end. Even when they’re not, as in Un baiser s'il vous plaît, the impetus for wrong is borne from a misguided desire to do no harm. In times of great cynicism and negativity, here is a filmography comprised of reinforcing everything you’d want to be true about fellow humans, and doing so without saccharine simplicity.

Here is the quintessential Mouret joke, and one that encompasses his worldview as seen in his films: In Fais-moi plaisir!, Mouret enters a hi-tech elevator and an electronic voice asks him which floor he wants. He replies in a variety of ways, but the automated voice does not follow his instructions and the elevator remains motionless. Eventually he thinks to add “S’il vous plaît” to his floor request. The doors shut and he’s on his way.

What follows is a walk-through all of his circulating films as of this writing, with discussion of recurring motifs and stylistic approaches. I see Mouret has a period piece coming out this fall— here’s hoping it makes it over to this side of the ocean… maybe by the time it comes out, a few more of you will be able to join me in praise for this underseen auteur!


Image

Promène-toi donc tout nu! (1999)
Eric Rohmer and Woody Allen are often discussed in relation to Mouret, and while I think the latter’s influence is obvious and fair, the Rohmer comparison is a bit thin and surface-level. That said, this is easily his most Rohmer-ian work. Completed as his student thesis, this comedy follows Mouret in the first of many starring roles as he debates whether to accept an offer to live with his longterm girlfriend. To settle the debate, a friend sets him up in a “trial” relationship with another girl. This is pretty silly narratively, but Mouret establishes his tone early in showcasing his offkilter and subtle comic voice and willingness to portray himself as pathetic, as in the excruciating scene late in the film wherein Mouret fails to take a hint when asking a character out on a date. Mouret’s early films find him focused on youthful laidback endeavors, and more than Rohmer I think here and in Venus et Fleur the obvious touchstone is actually early Jacques Rozier. This movie is rough around the edges and not particularly accomplished, but it and the two features that follow show Mouret struggling with his approach before arriving on the voice he’ll find with Changement d'adresse.


Image

Laissons Lucie faire! (2000)
Male wish fulfillment is another common theme of Mouret’s work. But Mouret isn’t interested in indulging or chastising the practice. Rather, he finds great interest in exploring how the perceived reality of what we want meshes with the actual reality of the desired. This is explored most fully in Caprice, but the seeds are planted all the way back in this, Mouret’s first feature-length film. No doubt one of the fringe benefits of being a writer/director/lead is casting someone like Marie Gillain (memorable as the lover-nee-daughter from Le bossu) as your devoted girlfriend. But beyond the boilerplate beautiful girl shacked up with schlub framework, Mouret tweaks numerous boyhood fantasies: Mouret’s protagonist wants to be a policeman, but finds himself instead given the task of secret agent instead. Mouret’s “interview” for the position is classic understated Mouret comic energy, as he belabors to explain how he signed up for the life-changing position as an afterthought. However, far from any boy’s fantasy of how being a secret agent with a hot girlfriend would look, Mouret’s character is too nice to be mean, halfheartedly pursuing an affair with an American girl with hilarious ineptness that underlines his complete unsuitability as a spy. Mouret addresses the impossibility of these fantasies by showing how they play out in an adult reality.

Mouret’s concern with the fundamental honesty and goodness of his characters is also in play here, as Gillain’s character goes to hear a pop psychologist speak and becomes concerned that she is not both friend and lover with her boyfriend. She decides that honesty is the key to this missing friendship, and she mindlessly confesses an indiscretion to Mouret while in bed with such flippancy that he can’t even object to the fact that she kissed someone else. Later, complications ensue when Gillain doubts the honesty of Mouret, forcing Mouret to lie so as to form a false-truth to placate her. It’s a complicated approach to honesty, but one that is fundamentally true to how interpersonal relationships work: some lies are necessary, and the telling of them is not necessarily a dishonest act.

The film lacks the visual accomplishment of later Mouret films. Indeed, it looks like any mid-90s American indie. But the script’s subtle humor has a way of worming into the brain in memory. I find myself thinking back to a lot of the gags here and laughing more now than I did while watching the movie, as they’re time-release jokes that hide the punchline and move on, like when Mouret calls in a bomb threat and two airline stewardesses calmly debate whether such a call counts as “serious”!


Image

Vénus et Fleur (2004)
Fleur, a young woman crashing at her uncle’s Marseilles pad, meets Venus, a Russian woman who came out to see a boyfriend who didn’t want to see her, and thus forms a quick friendship. Venus is boy-crazy and far more open than Fleur, and there is an obvious and persistent aching in Fleur’s eyes towards the Russian girl. This is an atypical film for Mouret, a little too Rozier-y for its own good, and it stands uneasily with the rest of Mouret’s films. That said, it is quite a good movie. Mouret gives the two girls a beach-prowl scene that is remarkable for allowing the beautiful women at the center of it to absolutely strike out with every attempt to engage the male populace at the beach— we’ve seen this scene in countless teen movies, but reversing the genders and mocking the men instead of lampooning the girls making the play makes for an inspired and progressive comic sequence. Some of the rebuffs are as hilarious as they are unlikely! Eventually a boy pops up, and it becomes unclear whether Fleur’s response to Venus is one of envy for the boy or, uh, envy for the boy. But again, Fleur refuses to act against Venus, even when she merits it of her own actions, and Mouret shows virtue rewarded in the end. There is something quite satisfying about the endings in Mouret’s films— they are all (save Une autre vie, which has its own baggage) happy in a way that is always earned by the moral self-directed behavior of the protagonists.


Image

Changement d'adresse (2006)
And here we go. The inconsistency of approaches to his material ends here for Mouret, as this is the first of his films to fully exhibit his style and approach. Here we first get the Mouret color palette of pastels and muted earth tones that will make his films so warm, and in an increasingly orange and teal world, so welcome. And here we also get Frédérique Bel, Mouret’s greatest muse, as Mouret’s daffy roommate and inevitable love interest. Bel will go on to star in the next three Mouret films after this and she is the perfect fit for Mouret’s style and approach— impetuous, aggressive, self-serious but blissfully so. She’s the ultimate foil to Mouret, and they each bring out the best in each other.

Mouret stars in the first of his many teacher/instructor roles as a french horn tutor who falls for his utterly disinterested but beautiful student. The depths to which he cluelessly pursues her are sweet in the same way Bel, who tricks Mouret into being her roommate, is sweet in her pursuit of an oblivious customer at her job who she has fallen in love with. That these two are meant for each other is obvious. But the path there is anything but. Mouret and the student go on a romantic vacation and just as he’s going to go in for the kiss, her purse is stolen and rescued by a random man on the street. He immediately starts eyeing her and Mouret is too meek and accommodating to stop what happens next in one of the most inspired extended comic set-ups and pay-offs in recent memory.

There is perhaps less to say about this film because it encompasses everything I want to say about Mouret elsewhere. It is the most Mouret of the Mouret movies, and if you could only see one, this should be it. That it’s not one you can see if you don’t speak French or have access to back channels is part of the problem here, folks!

EDIT: Good news, this was released with English subs in the UK! And the DVD is going for about eight pounds as of this writing. Go buy it!


Image

Un baiser s'il vous plaît (2007)
Mouret’s characters love storytelling and flashbacks are a regular occurrence. But here is an entire feature built around the structure of a story being told, and for once the frame ends up more impactful than the story being presented. A man and a woman share dinner and he goes in for a kiss, only to be rebuffed by the woman. Each has a partner already, and a kiss would only complicate things. Sure, the man argues, but it was just going to be an innocent kiss. The woman disagrees and over drinks and several location shifts tells the man a long story about some friends she knew and how a kiss changed everything. The question then becomes, will or won’t this framework couple kiss, and will or won’t it have an impact. I will not spoil the outcome, since it goes to the heart of the film’s ultimate argument, but I will say the film answers the question fairly, honestly, and unexpectedly. The interplay between the two would-be kissers is a powerful and moving romantic movie in miniature. The main story being told apart from them, however, has some complications…

Virginie Ledoyen and Emmanuel Mouret are the couple at the heart of the main cautionary tale, best friends who become lovers even though Ledoyen is married. There is a big problem here, and I don’t mean the infidelity: Ledoyen and Mouret have zero chemistry together. Late in the film Frédérique Bel pops up as Ledoyen’s friend and even though I know Ledoyen is a much bigger star and that’s why she’s top-lining, boy should the roles have been reversed. Mouret is at least aware of the awkwardness of their pairing and uses the lack of spark to make their romantic interludes look like alien encounters, complete with the least-sexy breast fondling ever seen outside of a doctor’s office. Once the two realize their passion (?) is too much to contain, they devise a plan to absolve them of guilt: They’ll induce Ledoyen’s husband to cheat, he’ll be happy with his lover and they can continue guilt-free. Needless to say, despite their intentions being ostensibly good, these behaviors backfire pretty spectacularly. As I’ve said elsewhere, Mouret is concerned with moral choices and while he sympathizes with the couple who made this one, he rejects them making the choice for someone else.

Seeing as how this is the only Mouret film available with English subs in America, this one probably stands the best chance of being seen by those who’ve never seen a Mouret movie. So, is it representative? Yes, but while it has some funny moments it lacks much of the inspired humor of Mouret at his best, and there are some significant flaws in play. In terms of Mouret’s moral concerns and his aesthetic approach, however, the film is highly representative.


Image

Fais-moi plaisir! (2009)
And now for something completely different. Mouret goes full on Frank Tashlin / Jerry Lewis in this broad, laugh out loud hilarious romp, which is by far Mouret’s funniest, wildest, and most unexpected film. A comic variation on Eyes Wide Shut, Mouret is sent out into the night by his girlfriend Frédérique Bel to meet up with a woman he “inadvertently” picked up in a cafe. This woman turns out to be the daughter of the President of France, and she has inexplicably fallen deeply in love with Mouret. What follows is one physical comedy setpiece after another as Mouret is foisted into a hoity-toity party and proceeds to do his absolute worst fitting in. There is an extended sight gag involving a curtain that is miraculous in how long Mouret manages to wring complications out of it. Mouret’s attempts to bed the president’s daughter are foisted enough times that it doesn’t take long to realize this is an infidelity comedy in the spirit of A Guide for the Married Man, in that Mouret is never actually going to cheat on Bel.

Eventually the action moves through the night to the home of friendly maid Déborah François and here we get the single funniest moment in the entire movie via one of the best visual jokes I’ve ever seen, a sight gag worthy of Lubitsch (Don’t ruin if you haven’t seen it):
SpoilerShow
Mouret looks up while waiting for François and sees an unknown, farm girl-looking young woman in a nightgown getting a glass of water. She exits. Soon three more unknown young women enter the room and get a glass of water. I hope you didn’t unspoiler this without seeing it first, because the absolute brilliance of the gag is in the initially unexplained nature and the beautiful knowledge on Mouret’s part that going from one to three is somehow the key to making it a perfect visual joke. I’m not exaggerating, this is a Lubitsch Touch-level perfect visual joke.
So, it’s funny as hell, but what is the point? Well, obviously, based on the ending, Mouret is playing again with ideas of moral characters and self-justification. Mouret is fascinated by the excuses we make for each other and ourselves to justify the means to an end, and here the irony is so pitch-perfect that it could be read as trite. I don’t think so, though, as it’s literally the perfect ending for this material. Mouret tips his hand in the last scene by giving us an unnecessary shot that in many ways ruins the wickedness of the finale while reinforcing that he would rather depict his characters in joy than in sorrow, even if it undercuts the bite of his joke.


Image

L'art d'aimer (2011)
A collection of vignettes— some interwoven, some freestanding— exploring various scenarios of romantic entanglement. The film plays like a ragtag soldering of ideas too small to use for a feature-length narrative, but the drollness of the film’s bite-size stories has its charm. The film highlights the effects of directness, both in its use and its absence, in relationships. In the most memorable segment, a couple goes through self-inflicted torture after one partner admits to wanting to sleep with a third party. By the end of it, no one cheats yet through some ironic snowballing both think the other has because neither can bear to tell the truth of how they feel. The frustration of how another feels is used for more outwardly comic ends in the funniest storyline, in which bachelor François Cluzet endlessly tries to read the mixed signals of his next door neighbor Frédérique Bel, who vacillates between red and green so much that she quite aptly describes herself as a traffic light at one point. As ever, the fundamental decency of the characters, even in sketches like this, shines through in their actions and deeds.

Mouret is showing us characters desperate to be heard and connect, but often letting themselves or expectations of themselves get in the way of what they want or think they want. Mouret knows and has shown throughout his filmography that people need to find the impetus within to succeed and thrive. The film’s most eyebrow-raising segment highlights the perils of trying to manipulate a third party’s feelings to fit what you perceive they “should” be, as one character is essentially raped by a stranger in order to make the woman he has a crush on feel better. And yet, Mouret cannot punish the woman who orchestrates this beyond the man falling out of her life, because he would rather show how the unwitting man and woman, who repulse each other in “real” life, have formed a connection of their own choosing as a result nonetheless. It’s an uncomfortable line to walk, but it’s also a tradition dating back to Shakespeare. Mouret doesn’t flippantly employ this kind of deception, especially since, again, this lack of directness is Mouret’s primary angle of approach into the familiar world of movie romance.


Image

Une autre vie (2013)
The sole misstep Mouret has made a director— it reminded me of Lukas Moodysson’s Mammoth, in that it’s a mediocre film from a director who should either succeed or fail wildly, not sit on his hands like this. Painfully in the Serious Mode, this is Mouret’s only straight drama, humorless in a way that never feels natural to the material or filmmaker. French rapper JoeyStarr is an alarm repairman who starts dating a professional pianist, much to the chagrin of both her brother and his live-in girlfriend Virginie Ledoyen. Ledoyen’s character highlights much of what is wrong with the film, as her character is ostensibly in the right but the film foolishly paints her as an antagonist and sets up some unfair and ill-observed class-based lobs at her that are utterly tone-deaf. I don’t think Woody Allen knows any more about working class folks than Mouret does, but at least his Small Time Crooks came up with a novel way to find laughs in their perceived poor taste. Here Ledoyen is a one-note conniving bitch, whose attempts at conversation are to ask her boyfriend to check out her new jeans— that’s the worst we can do here? Ledoyen feels off because her character is antithetical to Mouret’s overall approach to people, and it is no surprise in the third act when she turns out to be redeemed by her “sacrifices,” because Mouret cannot sustain distain for his characters. And that’s fine, but this kind of melodrama doesn’t work if the worst someone can say about the romance at the center, namely the dude’s already taken and that eventually the money differences will take a toll, is completely accurate.

JoeyStarr, in a rare non-Mouret starring male perf (indeed, if one counts his brief cameo in Venus et Fleur, this is the only movie he’s directed but not starred in), is too inert and passive here, even for a Mouret protagonist. I was not familiar at all with his work as a musician, but I suspected throughout that his on-stage persona went in the other direction into bombast and he was overcompensating to be Serious. A visit to YouTube afterwards showed I was 100% correct. There is one brief moment in the film that works and it hints at a better film we’ll never get: JoeyStarr, having precious little to offer the highly cultured object of his affection, brings her a homemade plastic-wrapped sandwich to enjoy. What a sweet and unexpected act that is! Where is the character that did that for the rest of this movie, though? Jasmine Trinca is fine in the thankless role of the pianist, but in Mouret’s filmography of strong female characters, her indistinguishability is another red check.

The central problem here is obvious, and I feel like Wallace Shawn in Melinda and Melinda: this material would be better served by being a comedy! And what’s worse, because Mouret exhibits no desires to punish or be cruel in the way that Allen veered with Interiors, the drama (or what passes as drama) here is too inert to sustain itself. I think the lack of conventional external complications in Mouret’s films is one of his finest achievements— the internal actions and moral drives of the characters drive their changes, not outside villains. This is a hard kind of low-key conflict to do well in any medium, but especially film. It is, however, more easily achieved via comedy because the laughs and smiles bolster the investment needed to sustain it to feature-length. And it’s just not here without it. Not a terrible film, but a mistake nonetheless.


Image

Caprice (2015)
Here’s my write-up of the film that started me down this rabbit hole
domino harvey wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:48 am
Caprice (Emmanuel Mouret) The best fake Woody Allen film since Mr Jealousy-- and hey, the writer/director/star looks a lot like Carlos Jacott too! It's my understanding that the Allen comparison gets trotted out a lot for Mouret's films, but while this is the only one I've seen, it more than earns that rep. In a bit of wish fulfillment, Mouret's schoolteacher finds himself dating glamorous actress Virginie Efira while inexplicably also drawing the amorous attention of Anaïs Demoustier's propinquity booster. This could be another dumb Manic Pixie Dream Girl movie, and in some regards it fits the bill, but I thought Mouret exhibited some real warmth in how he paints all of his characters and explained the logic for why two beautiful women throw themselves at our hangdog protagonist. The conceit that Mouret's character responds to everything, regardless of intensity, with emotional flatness is a curious one, and it leaves a false impression of passivity. While the narrative and characters are right from Allen's playbook, the players are all far from the neurotics that populate Allen's work. Indeed, I liked how emotionally healthy, if that's the word, everyone is (or pretends to be), and how characters make logical choices that go against where the narrative seems to be headed because, despite the fantasy of going to see your favorite actress perform and somehow getting to date her, the film doesn't really entertain much additional conventional romantic movie folly. As such, the ending to this film surprised me-- it's a conventionally happy ending, but not the one I expected. But it is earned because the film demonizes no one, and was sneakily leading us to where it ends in plain sight the entire time. The film is also beautifully shot and glowing with constant warm tones, giving the whole film an eternally autumnal look fitting the action of the story-- more than anything, I am in love with how this film is lit! I don't know if Caprice is available with English subs commercially anywhere in the world, but it's worth a look if you can see it and understand it. I am definitely curious to see if Mouret's other works exhibit similar pleasures!
Looking back on the film in context with the rest of his work, there’s certainly more to say here for what I believe to be Mouret’s greatest film. For starters, I think Caprice, like Laissons Lucie faire!, is deeply interested in tweaking male wish fulfillment fantasies. Here he doesn’t criticize but rather examines the logical outcome to one coming true: Let’s say you somehow do get a date with that beautiful and famous actress. What next? What happens when it doesn’t fall apart, when the fantasy becomes reality and you live with the constant specter of it ending because a dream has to end? The self-destructive inner anxiety of Mouret’s character here is fascinating because it asks questions more interesting than a lesser film would be bothered with— it examines the reality of the seemingly unreal, and finds a form of peace for its participants.

The way the film tackles the La ronde world of its four main characters is also of note. After Mouret’s infidelity, Virginie Efira and Mouret’s best pal Laurent Stocker draw inevitably closer and indeed seem to be a superior fit. But Mouret is playing with our notions of how romantic comedies usually work. Having just sat through Curtiz’s Four’s a Crowd, one of the nth examples of Hollywood doing the trading partners farce, the traditional screwball comedy is indistinguishable in its structure from the narrative here. And yet Mouret isn’t interested in the easy or the conventional, even though the ending is hardly radical. Rather, it is true and honest to the situation as presented and the characters as we know them. Morally only Mouret’s character sins, and he pays for a time both personally via his ostracizing and more importantly via the impact it has on Efira and Anaïs Demoustier. This isn’t the protagonist getting off easy, though. Rather, Mouret values so highly the impact we have on others in our quest to be who we are and live a moral life that the biggest damage we can do is not to ourselves but others. Mouret’s character is punished then just by their absence from his life, but by the hurt he causes them. And that hurt is worse than any pain inflicted on himself for one who lives not with others but for others.


IN SUMMATION
If you want to get started and have the ability to do so: Changement d'adresse is the most summative Mouret film; Fais-moi plaisir! is the funniest; but Caprice is my favorite. After that, watch the rest at your own leisure, though you can probably skip Une autre vie!

User avatar
swo17
Posts: 13646
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#3 Post by swo17 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:12 pm

Coincidentally, I watched Caprice last night on your original recommendation and found it about as delightful as promised. Someone should make this their avatar: Image

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 12000
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#4 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:40 am

Hell yes. I adore Changement d'adresse and Un baiser s'il vous plaît but haven't seen any of his others because of some of the sourcing issues you mention above. Will need to remedy that. I have the Philadelphia Film Festival to thank for the former and pretty decent U.S. arthouse distribution to thank for the latter, but never went hunting for his filmography for myself, so thanks for the tips!

User avatar
Colpeper
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#5 Post by Colpeper » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:26 pm

Indeed, thankyou Dom. My appetite is truly whetted, but given that only Une autre vie looks available on BRD at present (apparently without English subs too), it will have to remain unsated for now.

Nevertheless, there was one unusual thing I noticed when watching the English subtitled teaser trailer for Caprice. The screen displays the title as Caprices, which was presumably the intended title when the trailer was assembled before release.

It makes a subtle difference, as my first impression from the release title alone was that it would also be the name of a character (which it is), whereas the pre-release / working title suggests a mood or theme. Can't think of any other instances of a title being changed between teaser and release and, despite the arguably minimal nature of the change, I thought it was striking.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#6 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:42 pm

L'art d'aimer also has a German Blu-ray with French audio or German dub, but no English subs. I wish Cohen, which has released quite a few recent French films, would pick up Caprice, as it deserves a Blu-Ray release for everyone to enjoy.

I noticed the Caprice title change too a few weeks back when I was sending the trailer to someone, though I found an interview with Mouret from before the film's production referring to it in the singular as well. I suspect whoever made the teaser trailer made a mistake and thought it was supposed to be "caprices," as the singular form isn't a word in French, or perhaps it was an intentional choice for the teaser, especially since the uploader uses the correct singular title. Strange though!

Rupert Pupkin
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 9:34 am

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#7 Post by Rupert Pupkin » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:13 pm

I'm looking desperately since years for my favorite Emmanuel Mouret (I really like this cineast, and he would be a nice addition to the Criterion collection) :

If I had two choose 2 favorite this would be "Un Baiser s'il vous plaît" (because it's the most "unusual" Emmanuel Mouret movies) and Virginie Ledoyen as a French biologist is as sexiest as EVER... :oops: - I remember that it came out at the same time than "Match Point", and you can see that there are perhaps some reminiscence between the two movies (not the plot but the use of cameras, editing, shots, and especially painting in various rooms (appartment, etc...) to "match" with the unconscious mood of the character.
I happened to find it on blu-ray...........in Mexico. I didn't try to buy it (too expensive). Perhaps it has been released in another country on blu-ray since I had grabbed a couple of years ago a Blu-Ray rip which didn't look like an HDTV transfer (no TV channel logo; original theatrical ratio)... but where has this been released? :-k

EDIT: ](*,) I should have "tempered" (with a coefficient régulateur) my comments about Virgin Ledoyen, since the Mexico Blu-Ray is now at 99 $ at : https://www.amazon.com.mx/Besame-por-fa ... B01N7MJXL0
by the way it's a 1080i transfer not 1080p24. So I guess, since apparently it's out of print, my BR rip will do... while waiting for (I hope [-o< ) another Blu-Ray release...

my other favorite is "Changement d'adresse". I happened to have a massive crush for Fanny Valette to the point that I bought a slasher in the mountain on blu-ray (I don't remember its title - but the "mountain" part was better than Cliffhanger)- I really would like to get this one on blu-ray! so if someone find it in some country (this won't be France, that - that is sure), I'll came back here. Please do the same...
This is the best movie of E.Mouret in terms of balance, comedy, "la louse" (aka loose)- very clever (I like so much the use of Danny Brillant (used to be a ringard singer in France with "Suzette" in the mid 80's but he is just perfect for the role) and the "râteau" scene under the rain is priceless. Not to mention another Miss Météo (although I had a massive crush for Louise Bourgoin (sorry that makes a lot of crush, but they happened generally one after one other...)
I remember they use the same kind of photo (Emmanuel Mouret and Fanny Valette, both reading (Fanny wearing glasses) like in François Truffaut "Domicile Conjugal" (the funny thing is that this artwork is the DVD- now upcoming on blu-ray Ingmar Bergmann "Scenes from a marriage" - but that's not the same atmosphere (altough I was really pleased to rewatch the whole series of Scenes from a marriage)

I like E.Mouret first movie : like Woody Allen he use to play with his "improbable" physique (a bit of Fernandel, a bit of....Sean Connery for the torso pilosity)- the Pierre Etaix influence is already obvious in his first movie.
The second one "Fleur..." (where he just did a cameo) I like it a lot - it's the more "Rohmerien" - apparently, from the dialogue, the photography, etc..
really his first movies are worth getting..

this makes me think that we completely "lost" Pierre Salvadori in France who did some AMAZING movies, so funny and so sweet (even "Cible Emouvante" with Jean Rochefort and Marie Trintignant got his remake with the nonless lovely Emily Blunt... but the remake barely reach "Cible Emouvante").
I remember how he got bashes by the French press (télérama, les cahiers du cinéma) for "Hors de prix" (which I like a lot - and which turned out to have been released in the US on blu-ray - I bought it), but recently his movie "De vrais mensonges" again with Audrey Tautou and Sami Bouajila (just perfect) is such a charm in terms of dialogue, timing, a perfect slowburn movie.
We need a Cohen blu-ray box set of P.Salvadori too like they did for Benoit Jacquot.

The funny thing is that in France they only released on Blu-Ray one E.Mouret movie because Joey Starr was acting in this movie. (I suppose the same happened for "Caprice" because of the Mrs.Efira thing (although I much much much mucho mungo more for Anaïs Demoustier)

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#8 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:24 am

I'm not sure what rights look like for these films, but they'd naturally fall into three chronological categories ripe for box sets, should one of these boutique labels decide they'd like to branch out beyond deluxe editions of horror movies that used to be bundled in packs of 50 by Mill Creek. It's ridiculous that Caprice never even played commercially in the states outside of film fests and campus screenings-- how much could the American rights possibly be? Can I buy them?

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 12000
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#9 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:43 am

I would contribute financially to the first ever Criterionforum.org box set if someone wanted to get a Kickstarter going. I am not joking at all, actually. A Mouret set with English subs with our forum's logo on the rear would be delightful.

UHD only, though. \:D/

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#10 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:54 pm

Doing some research, it looks like Caprice was briefly available for American streaming with English subtitles on Amazon et al in early 2016, which is likely where the HD rip that's circulating came from. The film was part of a promotion for an "online" film festival headed by Nicolas Winding Refn (!), with the idea being that everyone at home could watch the films by renting them simultaneously with the judges. Unfortunately it's no longer streaming legally anywhere

If someone knows how I can contact the rights holders of Caprice, I'd gladly do some legwork in at least finding out how much such a venture would cost.

As far as I can tell, the 4500+ words I penned above is the most ever written about Mouret in English. I plan to import the French-language book of interviews with him that was recently released, which I believe is as of now the only book focused on Mouret-- it seems like even in his native country it's slim pickings. While I'm hesitant to start writing any book-length project again, I think Mouret is an auteur with a clear authorial focus that lends itself to an in-depth examination and I'm tempted to start work on a longer study, but that no one in an English-speaking country can even see most of these films makes me suspect I'd have a hard time finding anyone to put it out...

Calvin
Posts: 1281
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:12 am

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#11 Post by Calvin » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:00 pm

International sales of Caprice appear to be managed by Kinology

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#12 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:18 pm

Thanks for the tip, Calvin! I was able to reach out and can confirm the American rights are available and the rights-holders willing. But I'm way out of my element here on negotiating rights-- if anyone reading this has experience in licensing movies for home media release, please PM me for some much-needed guidance

User avatar
soundchaser
No longer chasing skirts
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:32 am

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#13 Post by soundchaser » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:29 pm

Well, this would be exciting! Count me in as among those who'd donate to a crowdfunding campaign to make it happen.

User avatar
Mungo
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:22 am

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#14 Post by Mungo » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:35 pm

Not to distract from Caprice, but Mouret's next film, Mademoiselle de Joncquières, a romantic drama set in the 1700s, is set to release September 5 in French theaters according to IMDB. There doesn't seem to be a trailer online, nor much English-language documentation of the film's existence beyond IMDB and a couple older articles, but there is a French governmental BTS short on YouTube about the shooting of the film at a historical chateau. Included is a short interview with Mouret, who describes the movie as being inspired by or based on a segment of the Diderot novel Jacques The Fatalist entitled "The Tale of Madame de la Pommeraye and the Marquis of Les Arcis."

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29058
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Emmanuel Mouret

#15 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:11 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:18 pm
Thanks for the tip, Calvin! I was able to reach out and can confirm the American rights are available and the rights-holders willing. But I'm way out of my element here on negotiating rights-- if anyone reading this has experience in licensing movies for home media release, please PM me for some much-needed guidance
Still need help with this. If you are a home media professional and would like to be paid for helping out with some advice, please feel free to send me a quote for what you'd charge to consult with me briefly about this-- not looking to disrespect anyone's business, but also not quite a business myself so not sure what the protocol is here!

And thanks everyone for the encouragement so far!

Post Reply