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  • DANNY IN THE SKY

    Drama, 2001, 35 mm, 88 min., color,
    French with English subtitles
    OR English dubbed version

    The world premiere of DANNY IN THE SKY takes place in Montreal at the Imperial Theater, October 26th 2001. The distributor Cinéma Libre then releases the film in 14 Famous Players theaters in Montreal and in Quebec City, and in the rest of Canada in Spring 2001 (Cineplex Carlton in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary,...)

    DANNY IN THE SKY was bought by TV channels Super Écran, The Movie Network, Showcase and Bravo. The video rights were taken by Picture This! Entertainment for the United States, by ProFunMedia for Germany, Austria and German speaking Switzerland, and by WE & Co/Optimale in France. Specialized satellite gay british and italian TV also bought it.



    Trailers :

    Canadian (5,5 Mo)

    U.S.A. (youtube)



    Distribution :

    Québec : Castor & Pollux
    Canada : Castor & Pollux
    United-States : Picture This! Entertainment
    France : WE & Co/Optimale
    German speaking countries : ProfunMedia



    Synopsis :

    Danny is a young man looking for love, the son of a gay dad and a top model mom who died of an overdose when he was still young. He wants to become part of a society that values luxury, glamour and appearances above all, by becoming a model, despite his dad who's dead set against it. His first forays in the world of fashion dramatically change his vision of things and he abandons everything. He embarks on a quest to find his real identity, taking modeling to its extreme by becoming a stripper. He finds the love he was looking for on the set of a porno shoot, with Karine, a photographer who's as voyeuristic as he is exhibitionnist. But destiny soon catches up with him...



    A word from the director :

    Danny is a good looking kid on a quest for love and identity in a world where looks and performance – even sexual – are most valued, where one must succeed at all costs, regardless of those crushed on the way. For today’s young people, the word is “ extreme ”.

    Since the 80’s, the male body has been stripped naked and sold as a sexual object, in movies, advertisement and even videoclips. Danny plays the part, like most kids. He wears designer clothes, follows the latest trends, tattooes his body… He wants to be as glamourous as the stars on TV. Yet, modeling breeds contempt : it is still considered “ feminine work”, and, moreover, the prejudice that male models are gay still prevails - even though the majority of them are straight.

    Danny must go beyond his superficiality to build an inner life and connect with deeply buried childhood emotions : find someone to look at him for who he is, to love him. His encounter with Karine, a photographer, makes it possible.

    Danny, is a bit of a 2001 version of Voltaire’s Candide : he remains open to all and everyone no matter what misfortune he suffers, using it to his advantage in the end. But in a world where only the strongest survives, Danny's naïvety can only bring a tragic end...

    - Denis Langlois.




    Cast : (click on the links for photos and bios)

    Danny : Thierry Pepin
    Karine : Véronique Jenkins
    Greg : Jessie Beaulieu
    Jonathan : Daniel Lortie
    Sophie : Caroline Portelance
    Danny's father : Éric Cabana



    Credits :

    Director : Denis Langlois
    Script : Denis Langlois, Bertrand Lachance
    Producer : Bertrand Lachance, Denis Langlois
    Image : Stefan Ivanov
    Art direction: Christian Legaré
    Costumes : Corinne Montpetit
    Sound : Martyne Morin
    Editing : Natacha Dufaux
    Sound design : Sylvie Masse
    Music : Symon Wayland, Peter Xirogiannis, Phil York (Finite Records)
    Mix : Michel Descombes, Réjean Juteau



    Music :

    Original music :
    Symon Wayland, Peter Xirogiannis, Phil York (Finite Records)

    Additional music : DJ Mutante

    Other music :
    QRN
    Mateo Murphy
    Les Jardiniers
    Luc Raymond & Orazio Fantini
    Huggy House & J-Cue
    Mark Anthony & Alain Vinet
    Hadji & Lmo



    Designers :

    Caroline Portelance wears Christian Chenail for MUSE

    Barbara Ulrich wears JEAN AIROLDI

    Jessie Beaulieu wears / the cowboy costumes by RENAUD BÉLANGER

    Éric Cabana wears MARCEL DÉNOMMÉ

    Danny's mom wears MARIE SAINT-PIERRE

    The BABA MODE collection by Fong for C'EST PAS GRAVE

    TURBULENCE

    SHAN

    THIS AIN'T KANSAS

    PRIAPE JEANS

    LÉTIGA



    Reviews :

    2002/05/31: EYE (Toronto), Adam Nayman

    "...a French-Canadian Zoolander played straight... Danny just wants to be famous like Boogie Night's Dirk Diggler... tortured, perfectly-lit... director Denis Langlois has given the project an almost impossibly glossy sheen..."


    2002/05/31: Toronto Sun, Derek Tse

    "... the French-Canadian equivalent of Showgirls... Tres sleazy... (it) shows that... Canada can pump out the camp classics with the best of them."


    2002/05/31: Globe and Mail (Toronto), Stephen Cole

    " ... professionally shot and not badly acted ... a Quebec film about beautiful young people who lose their way in the mirrored hallways of the fashion world. "


    2002/05/31: NOW (Toronto), Sarah Liss

    "Danny in the Sky offers a lotta eye candy and a few revelations ... an examination of sexual identity and the outward manifestations of queerness... Artfully shot."


    2002/05/13: Inside Out Film Festival

    " Danny in the Sky is most striking for its gentle blurring of the outward signs that traditionally, perhaps stereotypically, point to queerness. Its presentation of a straight man through the eyes of a gay sensibility at once enforces and questions the great divide between various male sexualities.

    Danny (Thierry Pepin) wants to be a glamorous model, just like his late mother who took the infant Danny on fashion shoots with her. After her fatal overdose, Danny was brought up by his gay father. Now in his late teens, he finds himself faced with a world that expects him to be gay: He's a gorgeous model (eventually a stripper); he displays his body with ease and comfort (the camera-and the audience-lusts after him); he even has a gay father. How could it be otherwise?

    Recognizing that sexuality and its manifestations are not set in stone, director Denis Langlois (L'Escorte) plays with some of our notions of how we go about presenting our sexuality to the world. Immersed in a gay world, Danny struggles to express himself-to his father, to the woman he loves and, most importantly, to himself. "


    2002/05/02: Xtra (Toronto), Gordon Bowness

    "... you have to see it to believe it... the straight title character tries to prove his manhood by becoming a runway model. When his gay father finds out, Danny is thrown out of the house and spirals down into a world of drugs, go-go dancing and hustling. The lap-dancing reconciliation scene is mad. Only in Quebec."

    2002/05/02: Toronto Star

    "Beautifully shot"

    2002/02/12: SÉQUENCES - Julie Tremblay


    "Let's point out the absolutely convincing performance by Thierry Pepin, a non professional, like most of the actors in the film - with the exception of Éric Cabana, the father, who is excellent. A physical drama that (...) brings to the screen a rare sensuality."

    2002/01/01: Quotes from newspapers, magazines and TV

    "... sex-appeal...hip soundtrack...urban attitude... There are a thousand and one excuses to gawk at a 19-year-old hunk and Danny in the Sky uses them all... "- Geneviève Royer, THE GAZETTE

    "... the main conflict - between Danny and his father - doesn't really fit the mainstream hetero mode, except maybe in that American Beauty way..."- Joanne Latimer, MIRROR

    "... a cautionnary tale about a society obsessed with youthful sex-appeal..." - Brendan Kelly, THE GAZETTE

    "...fast, sexy, raw and hard...an undeniable authenticity..." - Yves Lafontaine, FUGUES

    "... a cool film" - Catherine Perrin, LE SEPTIEME

    "...DANNY IN THE SKY is worth seeing for the questions it raises... Strong questions with troubled and troubling answers, not for those who would want safe answers that won't challenge the way they think... tight and fast treatment and editing... each seconds count... - Michel Joanny-Furtin, ETRE

    "... a topical issue... in a world where looks matter more every day, the filmmaker's questions are not without interest..." - Patrick Gauthier, JOURNAL DE MONTREAL

    "... Danny in the Sky is a pertinent film... young, dynamic, rousing... The characters are real people, each looking for his identity and his happiness... the images are colorful, lively and sexy... Danny in the Sky is worth seeing were it only to better understand today's youth and knock down some age-old prejudices... - Evelyne Bergeron, L'ARGENTEUIL

    "... Danny in the Sky takes you on a night out in a certain underground Montreal night life... For his first appearance on the big screen, Thierry Pepin manages to make us believe in his character... - Denise Martel, JOURNAL DE QUÉBEC

    "... all the actors and actresses are gorgeous...a seducing touch of energy..." - Sylvain Prevate, ECHOS VEDETTES

    "... The quest for identity of a sex god... a sexy young straight guy who attracts men as well as women..." - Steeve Laprise, CONVERGENCES

    "...Entertaining...Thierry Pepin is one of the most fascinating and seductive face in the history of our showbusiness.. - Michel Girouard, ALLO VEDETTES

    "... Thierry Pepin... Promising !... " - Lise Giguère, LE LUNDI


    2001/11/25: Critic - Dimitri Katadotis, Hour

    "Langlois has a feel for the social content of his stories. There is no Quebec director that I know of who treats the vicissitudes of modern, mainstream gay life with Langlois's acuity and candour. Because Langlois is something of a small " m " maverick, working on the outskirts of the industry with his regular collaborator, producer an co-scripwriter Bertrand Lachance, his movies have a freshness, a directness. Langlois's latest, Danny in the Sky, represents a step up for the director. It's a bigger budget project with higher production values and slick cinematography courtesy of Stefan Ivanov (whose credits include Rodrigue Jean's gritty Full Blast and idiosyncratic Chilean auteur Raoul Ruiz's Généalogies d'un crime). With clothes provided by a slew of Quebec designers and a bumping soundtrack featuring cuts from such techno heroes as DJ Mutante, Les Jardiniers, Luc Raymond and Alain Vinet, to name a few, the film is a showcase for local talent. What Danny does offer (...) is some insight into the slippery nature of sexuality and masculinity. Though feminized by being an object of adoration, a commodity whose body is for sale, Danny learns to forge his own identity. It's such insights that keep me interested in Langlois's work. He has an angle."


    2001/10/26: Critic - Geneviève Royer, The Gazette

    "...sex-appeal... hip soundtrack... urban attitude..."


    2001/10/25: Critic - Joanne Latimer, The Mirror

    " ...wonderfully measured Caroline Portelance as Sophie... "


    2001/10/25: Critic - Yves Lafontaine, Fugues

    "Moral tale, this second feature by Denis Langlois (L 'Escorte) is like the universe of the kids it depicts : fast, sexy, raw and hard. Danny's role and the roles of most characters in the movie are held by young actors appearing for the first time on the big screen (except for Éric Cabana, in a composition role in which he is very much right on) . Their acting is unequal, but they give the film an undeniable authenticity which serves it."



    Festivals and other projections :

    U.S.A. / Festivals / aux É.-U. : New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Austin

    Austin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, 2003

    Q Cinema - Fort Worth Gay & Lesbian Int'l Film Festival, 2003

    Washington D.C., The Reel Affirmations Festival, June 6th 2003, 7:00 PM, Lincoln Theater

    New York, New Festival, June 12th 2003, 8:00 PM, New School Theater

    Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Festival, July 15th 2003, 5:00 PM & July 20th, 9:30 PM, Ritz 5.

    Various international festivals / Festivals internationaux divers : Prague Manila, Istambul, Budapest, Torino (Italy), Mexico, Kerala, Bruxelles

    Febio Festi 2004, Prague, Palce Cinemas, Hall 4, 21h45, SOLD OUT

    Pride International, Manila, 21 au 28 august/août 2004, Cream Theager (Tanghalang Manuel Cone), 27 august/août, 4:00 PM.

    Out in Istambul, First Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Turkey, Oct. 1-6 2004

    9th Gay & Lesbian Film festival of Budapest, 1-4 July, 2004, Thursday, July 1st at 10:00 PM & Friday July 2nd at 6 PM

    Torino 18e Festival internazionale di film con tematiche, April 18-19 2003, Teatro Nuovo

    Mix Mexico Festival, May 8-24 2003

    Thiruvananthapuram : 7e International Film Festival of Kerala (India)
    Le 2 avril 2002 / April 2nd, 2002

    Bruxelles (Belgique) / Brussels (Belgium) : Festival du Film Indépendant de Bruxelles
    Le 9 novembre 2002 / November 9th 2002
    Centre culturel Jacques Franck, 22h / 10 PM

    Canadian TVs/ Télés canadiennes : Indigo, Super-Écran, The Movie Network

    The film is showing on Indigo (pay per view) from November 8th through December 2002, on Super-Écran starting January 3rd 2003 and on The Movie Network (dubbed in English) starting January 25rd /

    Le film joue au Canal Indigo (télé à la carte) du 8 novembre à la fin décembre 2002, à Super-Écran à compter du 3 janvier 2003 et sur The Movie Network à compter du 25 janvier.

    Germany : Commercial release / Allemagne : sortie commerciale

    Germany: various Theaters - limited release, May-June 2003

    Germany : Various festivals / Allemagne : Festivals divers : Berlin, Hamburg, Münich, Frankfurt, Cologne : Verzaubert Film Festival

    München: 21 Nov. 2002, 10:45 PM, at the Cinema

    Frankfurt : 23 Nov. 2002, 10:45 PM, at the Turm-Palast 1

    Köln (Cologne): 28 Nov. 2002, 8:30 PM, at the Residenz 1

    Berlin: 5 Dec. 2002, 8:45 PM, at the Hakesche Höfe 1

    Hamburg: 9 Dec. 2002, 8:30 PM, at the Grindel 3

    Canada : Festivals divers / Various Festivals : Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto

    Ottawa : Making Scenes Festival
    Bytown Cinema
    September 15th, 2002 / 15 septembre 2002

    Vancouver (Canada) : 14th Queer Film + Video Festival
    Cinemark Tinseltown, 88 West Pender Street, 3rd Floor
    August 11th, 202, at 9:30 PM / 11 août 2002, à 21h30

    Calgary : Fairy Tales Film Festival
    The Uptown
    June 13th, 2002 - 9:30 PM

    Toronto : Festival Inside/Out
    Cumberland Cinemas, 159 Cumberland Avenue
    20 mai 2002 à 19h00 / May 20th, 2002, 7 PM

    Toronto : Commercial release / sortie commerciale : Carlton - Cineplex Odeon

    20 Carlton St., Toronto, Ontario M5B 2H5 (416) 598-2309
    Starts May 31th, 2002

    Berlin FilmFestival-Marché du film/Film Market : CinémaX Studio 15

    9 février 2002, 15h30 / February 9th 2002, 3:30 PM


    Montréal- Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québécois : Cinémathèque Québécoise - Salle Claude-Jutra
    335, boul. de Maisonneuve Est
    17 février 2002, à 21h00 / February 17th 2002, 9 PM


    Québec :

    Le film prenait l'affiche à l'automne 2001 dans 14 cinémas Famous Players & Guzzo
    / The film was released Fall 2001 in 14 Famous Players & Guzzo theaters




    Photos :

    Click to go to the actors galleries



    Click to enlarge the photos of the film



    Click to enlarge the photos of the Premiere





    Diary :

    Before production :

    June 1st 2K:
    After 4 years of writing and rewriting (CALQ, Harold Greenberg Fund, Téléfilm Canada, Sodec), the script is completed. We went from comedy, to an English project, to a bilingual one, we had a version almost all shot in video with Karine as a student filmmaker, to this final more dramatic version...

    All this with the same basic idea: a 19 years old naive Danny going through an identity crisis, a young man who communicates his emotional needs through his body. We switched the story around, from a quest for a father he had never met to a quest for fatherly affection, at the center of the narrative.

    The financing is almost completed. So far, we have : Canada Council for the Arts, TVs: Super-Ecran and Movie Network, the distributor Cinema Libre, 3 refusals from Telefilm Canada, and the independant sector at Sodec after trying three times (the committees decision process makes all the difference: new people each time you represent your project: more chances to fall upon a jury with similar sensibilities to what your project is about).

    We'll go into preproduction soon.

    June 6th 2K:
    We've started distributing the flyer : we're trying ot find models and/or strippers for the 2nd or 3rd roles, or just extras.

    June 29, 2000 :
    We're waiting for Telefilm Canada's answer for tomorromw, the 30th, at 5 PM, by fax!... It's the last investor we're missing. All the others said yes. Of course, they only have 2,5 million dollars left, so there's little chance they'll have enough for us and the big projects...

    July 14 2000 :
    As we thought: Telefilm Canada said no. I've learned that only 3 projects got approved, Les Boys III and Karmina II being two of them. Welcome to the land of subsidised sequels... Not to worry, we'll managed. We're finishing the casting for the lead roles in our new offices we're inaugurating on Sunday. We met fantastic actors, the right look and talented. We'll have a hard choice to make. I love casting. The script come to life !

    August 22, 2000 :
    We've completed the cast) ! I'm very happy with our choices, actors who are close to the characters, very naturalistic ! We're advancing on the conceptualization of the image too, with the director of photography. The financing must be retouched and we'll be ready to go at full speed. There's too many American and series being shot right now, so we have to postponed the beginning of the shoot because we cannot put a good crew together: everybody is busy making money right now !

    September 22, 2000 :
    At last, we have a crew, great people who correspond to the type of project we're doing (little money...), experienced and all (see the crew) ! We can let go of production and concentrat on creation: final casting, storyboarding, dialogues rewriting...

    Location scouting are going well: we found a great house for Danny, that will tell a part of Danny's life just by seing it : very design and a bit cold... No wonder he has the problems he has with his dad...
    Shooting in five weeks...


    During production :

    October 31st
    We started shooting. Rough start for me with the flu and all (it hit me when I saw snow two days before the first day of shooting): no voice after one day!... The schedule is so tight because of the small budget that we're rushing like I've never rushed before on a film. But the crew is so profesionnal that we manage to do it all. The sun came up for the first day: the snow has vanished. It's a beautiful autumn day, with golden leaves and all...

    Here's an image of Danny going to college, doesn't he look happy ?...

    Friday, November 3rd
    Saw the first rushes. Stefan (the director of photography) is incredible: the film will have a great cinematography. The cast of beginners is giving exactly what we wanted: natural acting. They're young, they're beautiful, and they're heading for trouble...

    to be continued...


    IMAGES DIARY
      Finally, I'd rather show you the polaroids of the film, instead of telling you all the details of the shoot : CLICK TO ENLARGE

      Danny and Jonathan wait at the lobby of designer BABA MODE
      Danny meets Karine, a photographer at the model agency VISAGES : Karine is all shook up Danny took Jonathan under his wing. He's gonna try to teach him good manners and polish him up a little...
      Jonathan's new look
      But I didn't present you Sophie, Danny's girlfriend ; she's a model, she likes the color pink...
      Sometimes, they go swim together...
      Danny swims like a dolphin

      But everything gets complicated between the three of them : during a model contest, Jonathan starts taking too much space, we can see Danny is not happy... il est un peu drogué aussi...
      Danny leaves everything and ends up with Greg's
      Greg is a weird guy, he's a stripper. Those two are made to become buddies : two exhibitionnists !
      Danny devient danseur nu: showtime!

      Eh ! I forgot to talk about Danny's father : he won't like Danny's new circle of friends (he didn't want him to become a model already...)
      I won't tell you the whole story, but Danny also leaves the stripper milieu, and ends up doing... guess what...
      football?
      No! Danny does porno... And that's where he finds back the love of his life, Karine (we haven't seen her in a while, but Danny had never forgotten her...) Love strikes !...

      A match made in heaven : she's a voyeur, he's an exhibitionnist. Let's hope it will last...




      Post-production :

      POSTPRODUCTION NOTES

      Picture editing took 9 weeks, with Natacha Dufaux as editor, on Lightworks at Main Film, Kinescopage of video images done at Main Film on computer screen, the results are not perfect : variation in the duration of the shots, but good visual quality. Sound editing : with Sylvie Masse and her team doing effects, ambiances, dialogues, music, it could all be done in 4 weeks.

      We're very proud of the music : with 10 000 $ in all, we got 45 minutes of music from local DJs and groups, plus the original score composed by Finite Records, three guys working as a team. Their music fits with the rest (Drum’n bass, guitar...). It was their first film score, we sat side by side until I got what I wanted.

      For the mix, we got a great deal with Covitec ; because we had been dumped from Studio 119 for a miniseries that would use it for a longer period than us, they gave us Studio 131, for the same price, a better studio with one of the best mixer in town, Michel Descombes !

      As for the lab... The blow up of reel 5 had to be redone three times, with timers and neg inspectors changing every time, because of the summer holiday season. And becauase Covitec was bought out by Technicolor, they now send 16 mm to be processed in New York, which causes additional delays! Everything must be double checked with them, and one must always fight for quality!

      FILM'S RELEASE

      There we are... With Cinéma Libre, we know the release strategy will be done in collaboration with us. But every details must be supervised, because each department is doing their own stuff and don't communicate well with the other: Festival, Marketing and Communications : the lack of coordination has caused a few mishaps already.

      It looks like local festivals are not responding to the film, but some of them got the submission too late, as for the others, who knows: we're not part of the local little group of very mediatised directors : Denis Chouinard, André Turpin, etc...

      Good news though : Famous Players says yes, for 5 theaters to start with ! Cineplex Odeon has seen the film too and really likes it, as do everybody from the film industry ; only praises coming from that side. We might even get more theaters for the release.

      We're working on the poster. It will be done by Cybergeneration, who also have a branch that deals with music, Disktrick of Montreal, who will do a CD; that's a good marketing tool to convince Theater owners and Musique Plus - the videoclip TV station -, to be a sponsor. Thierry (Danny) has just gotten a huge contract in New York, photographed by Bruce Weber, that could help with the specialized press relation (fashion, youth...)

      CONCLUSION

      Ouf ! Casting and preproduction in August 2000 and the delivery of an answer print in July 2001 : I've never done a film so quickly ! I still can't believe it ! And how's my personal life doing ?...

      Release: October 26th ...