Thursday, 3 March 2011
As part of its First Look program, from 5 to 16 May the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will present On Tour (Tournée), the award-winning feature film from French writer, actor and director Mathieu Amalric.
A heady look at the world of New Burlesque, On Tour tells the story of Joachim, a former television producer who has moved from France to America to escape all the problems of his old life. Re-invented as an entrepreneurial showman, he returns to France with a team of brilliant burlesque performers for what feels like the biggest gamble of his life. But with burnt bridges still smouldering, it's the long way around for Joachim.
Starring Amalric in the role of Joachim, On Tour features a dazzling cast of America's leading New Burlesque performers - Mimi Le Meaux, Kitten on the Keys, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz and Evie Lovelle - who combine English and American musical hall traditions with the art of striptease. The film also features Roky Roulette, known for his unique ability to perform a striptease on a pogo stick.
Taking out the Best Director Award and the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, On Tour was co-written by Amalric and reveals his "fascination for producers, their folly and their bravery."
While the film features a colourful parade of burlesque performances played out against a soundtrack of sleazy tunes, the cast members bring a refreshing realism to their roles, and allow the cultural differences between America and France to be explored.
"I admit that the narrative stunt of bringing these American girls to France saved me from a certain ordinariness, that's for sure," says Amalric. "Everything suddenly became interesting, fresh. We shared mutual fantasies, we exchanged our territories."
Best known for his on screen performances in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) and the James Bond film Quantum of Solace (2008), Amalric began his acting career in his late teens. His profile grew after winning a Cesar Award in 1997 for his role in the French film My Sex Life...or How I Got Into an Argument. He made his directorial debut the same year with the film Mange Ta Soupe.
ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson says, "An actor of immense talent and presence, Mathieu Amalric has been delighting ACMI audiences for years and his latest effort is no exception. His performance on screen and his work behind the camera are equally impressive - a must see for fans of contemporary French cinema."
"A hugely energetic and appealing film, with a saucy wit and melancholy caught on the fly" - Tim Robey, The Telegraph (UK)
"A loose, entertaining jaunt" - Xan Brooks, The Guardian
"A road movie of sorts that follows its own idiosyncratic itinerary, On Tour offers a warts-and-all portrait of the showbiz lifestyle and yet still manages to be tremendously sensuous and at times transcendent." - Jason Wood, Little White Lies
The First Look season of On Tour will screen at ACMI in Melbourne from Thursday 5 to Monday 16 May, 2011. For program information and session times please visit http://www.acmi.net.au/ closer to the date.
Mathieu Amalric, 111 mins, France, 2010, 35mm, French with English subtitles. Source: Aztec International Entertainment. Courtesy: Aztec International Entertainment.
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