Palm Pictures Scrubs "Clean" Rights in North America and Caribbean
by Brian Brooks
North American and Caribbean rights to Olivier Assayas' latest feature, "Clean" has been acquired by Palm Pictures, the company announced Tuesday. Palm, which released Assayas' previous film, "demonlover," plans an autumn 2005 theatrical release, followed by a DVD release on the Palm Pictures label in 2006. David Koh, head of acquisitions & production at the New York-based distributor negotiated the deal along with Joy Wong of The Works on behalf of producers Edouard Weil, Niv Fichman and Xavier Marchand.
"Clean," which premiered at the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival and screened in the gala section of this year's Toronto International Film Festival, stars Maggie Cheung as Emily Wang, a woman struggling with drug addiction. Cheung's role earned her the best actress award at Cannes in May.
According to a Palm announcement, the film "is a story about reconciliation and new beginnings that takes place in Canada, Paris and London. When her fading rock-star husband Lee overdoses on drugs, Emily finds herself abandoned by her friends and family. Custody of her young son Jay (James Dennis) is granted to Lee's parents, Albrecht (Nick Nolte) and Rosemary (Martha Henry). Albrecht, however, sensitive to Emily's plight, demands that she change her life before re-establishing a relationship with Jay. Motivated by that reality, Emily moves to Paris to kick drugs, find a job, and get her life back on track. Beatrice Dalle also appears in the film with music by David Roback, Tricky, and Brian Eno."
"We are big fans of Olivier Assayas's work and look forward to bringing his latest film to a wider audience in the U.S.," commented Koh in a release. "This is a very sensitive and emotional story about an individual's struggle that stays with you for a long time. We are honored to work with Olivier on his new picture." The director's past credits include "Irma Vep," "Late August," "Early September," and "demonlover."
Current and recent Palm Pictures releases include Ondi Timoner's Sundance grand jury prize-winner, "DiG!" and Christoffer Boe's Camera d'Or winner, "Reconstruction." Upcoming slated films include Kiyoshi Kurosawa's "Bright Future," Lou Ye's "Purple Butterfly," and Takeshi Kitano's "Dolls." Palm Pictures was founded in 1998 by Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famer, Chris Blackwell.