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Kevin

Can't agree with this

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Interesting news report on the new Olympics film from
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20080128/ ... 7cb_1.html
PARIS (Hollywood Reporter) - Six months before the Beijing Olympic Games get under way, Europe is about to catch a slightly different Olympic fever. "Asterix and the Olympic Games" hits screens across the Continent this week in what is thought to be the biggest print total ever for a European release, an Olympian 6,000 prints.

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On its home turf, the French comic strip adaptation will have close to 1,000 prints in circulation as of January 30. Russia will have about 900, with more than 500 prints in the German circuit and nearly as many in both Spain and Italy.

Mimicking the Olympic motto of "faster, higher, stronger," the third instalment in the "Asterix" franchise has racked up superlatives since its inception. With a production budget of EUR78 million ($113 million), it is the most expensive French movie ever made. The six-month shoot in Spain's new Ciudad de la Luz studio complex was followed by lengthy postproduction to complete no fewer than 1,300 shots with special effects.

"Asterix and the Olympic Games" is adapted from the celebrated comic strips written by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo about a band of uppity Gauls who refuse to bend to the Roman invaders, and whose resistance is helped by a strength-giving magic potion. In this outing, they travel to Olympia to compete in the Games and win the hand of a Greek princess.

Clovis Cornillac takes over the title role, replacing Christian Clavier, who starred in the first two big-screen adaptations, while Gerard Depardieu dons the fat suit again to reprise the role of sidekick Obelix. Alain Delon, Benoit Poelvoorde, Jamel Debbouze and a host of Gallic stars join the fray.

MULTINATIONAL APPEAL

The producers have gone to great lengths to assure wide appeal in the core countries where Asterix is popular, enlisting Spain's Santiago Segura (writer/director/star of the "Torrente" series), hugely popular German comedy actor-director Michael "Bully" Herbig and Italian comics Paolo Kessisoglu and Luca Bizzarri.

Guest star appearances include soccer legend Zinedine Zidane, ex-Formula One champ Michael Schumacher, tennis ace Amelie Mauresmo and basketball wizard Tony Parker. Wrestling colossus Nathan Jones adds a bit of menace.

"The film was conceived from the start as a European one, with European stars," said co-writer and co-director Thomas Langmann, who admitted that the vast undertaking is "a bit of a crazy gamble."

Langmann's La Petite Reine produced the film with Pathe. Germany's Constantin and Spain's TriPictures served as co-producing partners.

With so much at stake, Pathe has embarked on an unprecedented marketing campaign for a Gallic film, spending about EUR4 million ($5.8 million) in France on a blaze of publicity that includes 15,000 billboards countrywide.

Langmann said the idea is to release the film in a U.S.-style wave of marketing, cross-promotion and licensed spinoffs. "McDonald's across the whole of Europe is involved, as are Nestle and Volkswagen. There are three books linked to the film, a comic strip, toys, video games -- it represents a lot of money," he said.

The two previous live-action adaptations, both produced by Pathe, were huge hits. "Asterix and Obelix versus Caesar," directed by Claude Zidi, drew 8.9 million admissions in France in 1999. Alain Chabat's follow-up, "Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra," sold almost 14.3 million tickets in 2002.

The third "Asterix" arrives after a year in which several ambitious French movies flopped badly.

Just as Asterix and his Gallic cohorts held out against the Romans, Anglo-Saxon markets remain stubbornly resistant to the comic strip and its movie adaptations. Pathe U.K. is planning to release "Asterix and the Olympic Games" on just three prints at a later date. "They'll have trouble even placing those," one U.K. distributor dealing in French fare predicted.

"The comic strip isn't popular in Anglo-Saxon countries," Langmann said. "It's a different culture."
Now I have a big issue with the statement "Anglo-Saxon markets remain stubbornly resistant to the comic strip and its movie adaptations". Yes it may be true for the films (most foreign language films struggle in English speaking territories) but no-way is it true for the comic books. Come on Mr Langmann, the English translations are hugely popular and successful. You do a disservice to English speaking Asterix fans with your comments I think.

Furienna

Beitrag: #Beitrag Furienna »

I wish I could agree with you. But the great European comics seem to have a hard time with hitting it big in the anglosaxon world, especially in the US. I remember about four years ago, when I used to be a member of a Harry Potter forum. In the "Other topics" section, there was a thread about bothTintin and Asterix, and it still wasn't a big thread, even though it was about two great comics. And the Americans over at that forum just complained about how "Tintin in Congo" was so racistic. I mean, what the heck? It's not racistic, just a bit dated, and even it was racistic, try some other Tintin albums, darn it! But nah, they wouldn't do it. This was what first made me worry about this site. And some months later, I was banned from it because I as a conservative couldn't agree with the liberal moderators when it came to politics. That whole thing made me very depressed, and it actually turned me off the whole Harry Potter phenomenon for a while.

And I don't know why something like Harry Potter is so popular in the US, when Tintin and Asterix aren't. I mean, they're all European works. Maybe it's just because HP is Brittish, and thus is written in English, which also is the American mother tongue, while Tintin and Asterix comes from the French-speaking countries of Belgium and France. But I know that over here in Sweden, Tintin and Asterix are just a big as in the rest of Europe. Iznogoud hasn't hit it big here though, although I like that comics too.
Zuletzt geändert von Furienna am 24. März 2008 13:39, insgesamt 12-mal geändert.

invisifan

Beitrag: #Beitrag invisifan »

Kevin hat geschrieben:Now I have a big issue with the statement "Anglo-Saxon markets remain stubbornly resistant to the comic strip and its movie adaptations". Yes it may be true for the films (most foreign language films struggle in English speaking territories) but no-way is it true for the comic books. Come on Mr Langmann, the English translations are hugely popular and successful. You do a disservice to English speaking Asterix fans with your comments I think.
Personally what I find highly insulting is the automatic assumption that in international terms English==American. While it may be true that Asterix is not as popular in English-speaking countries as in some countries of mainland Europe, he is still popular in Britain, India, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The U.S. market is really the only one that has no interest, but because of its influence that equates (particularly in the minds of Americans & non-Anglophones) to rejection by English-speakers in general.
Furienna hat geschrieben:I don't know why something like Harry Potter is so popular in the US, when Tintin and Asterix aren't. I mean, they're all European works. Maybe it's because HP is Brittish, and thus is written in English, which also is the American mother tongue, while Tintin and Asterix comes from the French-speaking countries of Belgium and France. But I know that over here in Sweden, Tintin and Asterix are just a big as in the rest of Europe. Iznogoud hasn't hit it big here though, although I like that comics too.
Americans are incredibly hypersensitive to the whole concept of racism. -- it's a very deeply rooted problem in American society. Despite that, they are exceedingly self-centric -- the average American knows essentially nothing about history or geography, let alone politics beyond the U.S. borders (and to be honest, surprisingly litte about the U.S. as well). If its original language wasn't English most Americans will never consider it.

Furienna

Beitrag: #Beitrag Furienna »

Yeah, that's how it seems. While we in Sweden are used to enjoy culture from other countries, the Americans come across as very self-centred.

Christine

Beitrag: #Beitrag Christine »

"Americans are highly sensitive to racism. " I must admit that I am not very pleased with the film "Asterix and the Indians". It seems to me that the Indians were not treated very fairly (fight between druid and Indian wiseman, for instance). So, I'm glad nobody watched this particular film there !


I have read recently an omnibus of Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyles. I was taken aback by some racist remarks, mostly about Indians. Same for Jules Verne : in "5 weeks in a balloon" - or whatever the title is in English-, Africans are described in a way that would lead somebody to the tribunals nowadays. And both Conan Doyles and Jules Verne also wrote other novels where Black people, especially Black American, are smart and likeable.

It was a period when colonialist prejudices were deeply imprinted.