By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

FAR RIGHT-WING AND NATIONALIST FRENCH POLITICIAN JEAN-MARIE LE PEN’S COMMENTS A DISGRACE TO FRANCE AND THE INTOUCHABLES; HARVEY WEINSTEIN DENOUNCES LE PEN’S STATEMENTS AS ‘REPULSIVE’ AND ‘BIGOTED’

New York, NY – March 1, 2012 – During a recent television appearance on France 3’s National French Journal, founder and former president of France’s National Front party Jean-Marie Le Pen, as no surprise to the French who’ve witnessed his past tirades, disgraces France by making this analogy comparing the country’s socially progressive current state to the circumstances in the film THE INTOUCHABLES. Le Pen is notorious for advocating that France be a closed community, and he sees this film as a representation of the progression that France is making – which he is vitally against.

“France is like this handicapped person stuck in this wheelchair, and we are going to have to wait for the help of these suburb youngsters and the immigration in general. I don’t subscribe to this point of view. It’s a movie, a novel. And we have to take it that way and not like an example for the future. It would be a disaster if France would find itself in the same situation as this poor handicapped person,” said Le Pen.

THE INTOUCHABLES directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano chose to inspire audiences with this film and its true story by uncovering the philosophy that race, religion and class do not separate people and that they have nothing to do with the humanity of people and their potential for friendship and love.

The Weinstein Company Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein denounced Le Pen’s statement.

“It’s not a surprise to hear such an intolerant statement from the man who founded and was president of the extreme-right, xenophobic, racist National Front party. Le Pen made a repulsive statement, representing a bigoted world view. And right now, Jean-Marie’s daughter, Marine Le Pen, is running for president of France as the leader of the National Front party — and she is fourth in the polls with almost 16% of the population intending to vote for her. That’s frightening to me, and I think it’s important to speak up and speak out against Le Pen and his ideas. That’s why I’m proud to bring THE INTOUCHABLES to American audiences. This movie is based on a true story, and it’s a funny, extremely entertaining illustration of how simple human connection trounces socioeconomic, religious and racial divides. “

THE INTOUCHABLES tells the true story of a wealthy, physically disabled risk taker, the picture of established French nobility, who lost his wife in an accident and whose world is turned upside down when he hires a young, good-humored, black Muslim ex-con as his caretaker. Their bond proves the power and omniscience that love and friendship can hold over all social and economic differences. It is the 2nd highest grossing film of all time in both France and Germany and will be released in the U.S. by TWC on May 25. It premieres tonight in New York at Rendez-Vous with French Cinema’s Opening Night at Alice Tully Hall.

JEAN-MARIE LE PEN’S NATIONAL FRENCH JOURNAL INTERVIEW (January 29, 2012)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7qQRNAAQvY

REACTIONS TO JEAN-MARIE LE PEN’S NATIONAL FRENCH JOURNAL INTERVIEW
http://leplus.nouvelobs.com/contribution/313678-comment-jean-marie-le-pen-attaque-intouchables-et-les-immigres.html

http://www.dailyactu.com/politique/jean-marie-le-pen-video-le-pen-critique-violemment-le-film-intouchables-7373.html

ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes.  TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio’s history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius’s THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay’s UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH.

Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I’M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH’S KEY; and SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D. Currently in release are MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE ARTIST; THE IRON LADY; CORIOLANUS; W.E.; and UNDEFEATED. Upcoming releases include BULLY and THE INTOUCHABLES. Recently wrapped was SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, and currently in production is DJANGO UNCHAINED.

TWC is also active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production and current President of Television Meryl Poster, with credits including the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series Project Runway, spin-off series Project Accessory and Project Runway All Stars, the VH1 reality series Mob Wives, and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency which also received a Peabody Award. The company is currently in pre-production on the martial-arts epic Marco Polo for Starz as well as production on the second season of Mob Wives and the newest installment in the series’ franchise Mob Wives Chicago. TWC additionally has 17 series in different stages of development, including The Nanny Diaries, being adapted for ABC by Amy Sherman Palladino (Gilmore Girls).

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“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook