News From Planet Mars | Des nouvelles de la planete Mars | 2016 Seattle International Film Festival
France | 2016 | 101 minutes | Dominik Moll
Belgian comic actor Francois Damiens stars as a beleaguered father whose eccentric, possibly psychotic houseguest sends his humdrum life spinning wildly out of control in an offbeat tale from director Dominik Moll (With a Friend Like Harry).
Into every life some rain must fall; for Philippe Mars, it must be like a hurricane has hit. Divorced, he tries to remain friendly with his ex-wife, a successful TV reporter, and be a good father. When his children come to visit, he's surprised to discover his son has become a zealous vegetarian, while his daughter has morphed into a hypercritical overachiever; neither take the time to acknowledge his impending 49th birthday. Meanwhile, Philippe's artistic sister has started exhibiting sexually explicit, oversized paintings of their parents. Then there is the matter of his work colleague Jerome, who could be described charitably as eccentric and also happens to carry a meat cleaver in his knapsack, caressing its blade to calm himself when stressed. It is during one such moment that Philippe falls victim to a Van Gogh-like accident, leading to Jerome losing his job and eventually appearing at Philippe's home seeking forgiveness. And that's when events start to go from bad to insane. Reuniting with Gilles Marchand, his co-writer on With a Friend Like Harry, director Dominik Moll's new film is an offbeat psycho-bromance in which the common foibles of domestic life hatch into a comic cuckoo's nest of lunacy.
Born to a German father and a French mother in 1962, Dominik Moll studied film at the City College of New York and the French National Film School. His first feature, Intimite, was released in 1994, followed by With a Friend Like Harry (2000), which won several Cesar awards in France and played in competition in Cannes.
Sponsored by Alliance Française de Seattle, French American Cultural Society, French Immersion School of Washington, The French American School of Puget Sound, TV5MONDE
Director: Dominik Moll
Principal Cast: François Damiens, Vincent Macaigne, Veerle Baetens, Jeanne Guittet, Tom Rivoire
Premier Status: US Premiere