Festival film: Grosse Fatigue

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The Independent Culture
Grosse Fatigue, one of the odder gems in the London Film Festival, is the perfect festival film; indeed, it starts at Cannes, where an unsavoury individual by the name of 'Michel Blanc' runs amok on the Cote d'Azure. This sleazebag turns out to be the spitting image of the real Michel Blanc, the little bald actor from Monsieur Hire and Tenue de Soiree. Grosse Fatigue is based on the conceit that every famous actor has his unwanted double.

Directed by Blanc and scripted by Bertrand Blier, that black farceur of French cinema, the film is a sort of surreal Gallic version of The Player, with a throng of stars sending themselves up good-naturedly. This year's LFF is the strongest for some time, with the usual big American previews but also many low-profile films which - like Grosse Fatigue - may never open in the UK. Watch out for Clerks, an offbeat independent American comedy about a bored convenience store clerk; two rare early shorts from the late, great John Cassavetes; Ryaba My Chicken, Andrei Konchalovsky's broad folk comedy set in capitalist Russia; and Through the Olive Trees, a gentle meditation on film-making from the leading Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Booking opens to the public on 27 October (details 071 928 3232)