Cinema Guild Gets Corneau's "Fear and Trembling"
by Eugene Hernandez
The Cinema Guild has acquired U.S. rights to Alain Corneau's "Fear and Trembling" and will release the movie this fall, the company announced Tuesday. The film, described as "a darkly humorous tale of East meets West," stars Sylvie Testud and is an adaptation of Amélie Nothomb's novel. It was named to indieWIRE's list of the top 20 Undistributed Films of 2003.
Testud won the César for best actress for her role as a young French woman who returns to Japan's business world. The film won a jury mention and a best actress award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival last year and also screened at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
In the article highlighting the film as one of the best of last year, indieWIRE wrote, "'Fear and Trembling' is the tale of a young Belgian woman who works as a translator for a huge Tokyo corporation. Along with sharp writing, the film is immensely helped by the surprisingly shrewd comic talents of French actress Sylvie Testud. 'Fear and Trembling' is like a smarter, more surreal version of "Office Space" for the art-house crowd. The culture clashes and humiliations that Testud suffers here range from touching to hilarious (and sometimes both)."
"'Fear and Trembling' is an entertaining and deliciously subversive social drama. With deft direction and shades of absurdist humor, it shows us what happens when East meets West in one of the world's most contentious environments: the office," said The Cinema Guild's Philip Hobel in a statement. "Mr. Corneau is a great director and we are thrilled to be working with him on the release of this truly original and daring new film."
Hobel and Ryan Krivoshey, Director of Feature Distribution for The Cinema Guild negotiated the deal with Carole Baraton for Wild Bunch.
Corneau is known for his work on such films as "Série Noire" (1979), "Fort Saganne" (1984), and "All the Mornings of the World" (1991). Upcoming for The Cinema Guild is Per Fly's "The Inheritance." Recent releases include Agust Gudmundsson's "The Seagull's Laughter," Aviva Slesin's "Secret Lives" and Robert Connolly's "The Bank."