By: Kristy Puchko
With 30 years of filmmaking under his belt, acclaimed indie auteur Gus Van Sant has cemented his reputation as a challenging filmmaker willing to tackle tricky topics from gay rights (Milk) to school violence (Elephant) and fracking (The Promised Land.) Now, he’s working to raise up new daring filmmakers, shepherding the release of Xavier Dolan‘s third feature Laurence Anyways.
Canadian writer, director, and brooding leading man Xavier Dolan has been poised for an American breakthrough for a while now. With Van Sant as a sort of mentor in maneuvering the treacherous terrain of marketing movies in America, Laurence Anyways could prove his tipping point. The romantic drama has already won the Queer Palm at Cannes as well as Best Canadian Feature Film at TIFF and will hit more festivals before coming to theaters in the U.S.
Starring Melvil Poupaud and Suzanne Clément, Laurence Anyways centers on a French teacher and his loving fiancée and how the two deal when the former confesses he is a transsexual, and wants to live his life as a woman. Check out its trailer below:
Dolan broke through internationally in 2009, with the semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama I Killed My Mother. The film, like its follow-upHeartbeats was written, directed and starred Dolan. Both went on to win honors at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and earned a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Césars, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards. Much like the early work of Van Sant, Dolan’s films focus on LGBT protagonists. He recounts the influence of Van Sant’s work on his own in the press release:
“One of the first encounters I had with a more sophisticated cinema was My Own Private Idaho. It was the first time I had a sense of what cinema could be or should be made of: Freedom, honesty and intimacy. For me to be endorsed by Gus Van Sant is like telling an 8-year old that Batman is his uncle.”
For his part, Van Sant declares, “As an admirer of Xavier’s work, it’s my pleasure to join him for his first major US release, Laurence Anyways. It’s a beautiful film that proves Xavier is one of the most promising young filmmakers working today.”
Laurence Anyways will open in 2013.
Source: Cinema Blend