Icarus Films distribution pack with Distrib Films continues to pay dividends for those enjoy French-language imports, but find them few and far between.
The latest to get a domestic DVD push is French filmmaker Philippe Garrel’s In the Shadow of Women. It will be available on Aug. 8.
This tale of infidelity made its film debut at Cannes in May of 2015 and then moved into competition at various international festival — racking up awards and critical raves — before getting a modest domestic arthouse run in January of last year. The ARR for that break is a long-in-the-tooth 571 days, ticket sales were a solid $50,291 … and then back to the festival circuit.
Unless you just happened to be in the right place at the right time, the chances of catching Garrel’s In the Shadow of Women were slim and done … that is until Icarus Films DVD announcement.
Filmed in black and white (and on location in Paris), we are introduced to Pierre (Stanislas Merhar — Almayer's Folly, Iris in Bloom, The Turn of Winter, etc.), a documentary filmmaker who is currently working on a film about the French Resistance during World War II. His wife, Manon (played by Clotilde Courau — La Vie en Rose, Modern Love, Eva & Leon), acts as his production assistant.
While during research on his film, he ends up at the archives and there he meets Elisabeth (Lena Paugam — Sophie's Misfortunes) and the two immediately hit it off … he thinks nothing of having an affair with her. He’s a filmmaker and she is young and available … c'est la vie!
When the self-centered Pierre discovers that Manon is also having an affair, it is as if the earth has opened up and the apocalypse is upon us! Or, rather the apocalypse is upon him — think: meltdown … how could she betray ME?!
Garrel spins his tale of love and loss that leads us to the third act and the pitiful Pierre having to come to grips with the double-standard that he has set up for himself. Pauvre pauvre Pierre!
In the Shadow of Women is presented in French with English titles.