Thierry Lhermitte and Patrick Timsit Set for US Premiere of ADDRESS UNKNOWN at FIAF, Now thru 4/24
The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York's premiere French cultural center, is thrilled to welcome French film and theater icons Thierry Lhermitte (The French Minister, The Dinner Game) and Patrick Timsit (Pédale douce) for the U.S. Premiere of Address Unknown (Inconnu à cette adresse). Adapted for the stage by Michèle Levy-Bram and directed by Delphine de Malherbe, Address Unknown will be presented tonight, April 23 and Thursday, April 24 at FIAF's Florence Gould Hall.
In this riveting production, Timsit and Lhermitte star as two long-time friends, a Jewish art dealer living in San Francisco, and his former business partner in Germany, torn apart on the eve of World War II. Told entirely through letters, this moving story of friendship and betrayal is based on Kressmann Taylor's masterpiece Address Unknown.
First published in 1938, Address Unknown became an international literary sensation and is credited with exposing, early on, the dangers of Nazism to the American public. Reissued in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, the novel was translated into 20 languages, with the French version selling 600,000 copies. This adaptation of Address Unknown premiered at Paris's Théâtre Antoine in 2012 to great critical acclaim, running for two years and winning the prestigious Globes de Cristal Award.
In French with English supertitles.
About Thierry Lhermitte: Born in Paris on November 24, 1952, Lhermitte began his career as one of the founding members of the renowned comedy troupe Le Splendid, along with Patrice Leconte, Josiane Balasko, and Michel Blanc.
After his film debut in Bertrand Blier's 1974 Going Places (Les valseuses) and a supporting role in Bertrand Tavernier's 1975 Que la fête commence..., Lhermitte joined his Le Splendid colleagues, co-writing and acting in Leconte's Les bronzés (1978). A farcical satire about a group of French tourists vacationing in Africa, the film proved phenomenally popular in France, inspiring a sequel the next year and a dedicated cult following.
Lhermitte subsequently starred in a number of comedies, including Les hommes prefèrent les grosses (1981) with Balasko, Jean-Loup Hubert's L'année prochaine...si tout va bien (1981) with Isabelle Adjani, and Blier's La femme de mon pote (1983). He maintained a prolific work schedule throughout the '80s and '90s, continuing to play the romantic lead in comedies of every possible variety for a diverse array of directors. Lhermitte also continued to collaborate with his Le Splendid colleagues, starring in Leconte's 1993 Tango as a man intent on murdering his wife after she leaves him, and alongside Balasko in Grosse fatigue, a comedy that featured Michel Blanc both directing and acting in a double role.
In 1998, Lhermitte starred in Francis Veber's The Dinner Game (Le dîner de cons). One of the most popular films to be released in France in years, it was a phenomenal hit with critics and audiences alike. In addition to acting, Lhermitte has continued to work as a screenwriter and producer. In 1994, he wrote, produced, and starred in the children's comedy Un indien dans la ville; three years later, he served as the associate producer for its American remake, Jungle 2 Jungle. Most recently, Lhermitte has been seen on American screens in Bertrand Tavernier's 2013 comedy The French Minister (Quai d'Orsay).
About Patrick Timsit: Every actor inherently leads multiple lives. Patrick Timsit leads at least three: one as a one-man show, one in cinema, and one in theater. It was Timsit's memorable role as Michou in Coline Serreau's 1992 film La crise that garnered him a César nomination for Best Supporting Actor and became a stepping stone to his success in film. This was followed by starring roles in Hervé Palud's 1994 breakout hit Un indien dans la ville, and the following year, Gabriel Aghion's Pédale douce, which was nominated for César Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actor.
Between 1996 and 1997, Timsit broadened his range with three dramatic roles, in Francis Girod's Passage à l'acte, Véra Belmont's Marquise, and Alain Corneau's film noir, Le cousin, alongside Alain Chabat. Timsit received another César nomination for Best Actor for his role in Le cousin. He soon returned to comedy with Alain Berberian's Paparazzis, which he co-wrote. In 2000, Timsit appeared in Richard Berry's first film, L'art (délicat) de la seduction. He co-wrote, produced, and starred in the box-office hit Quasimodo d'el Paris, followed by Quelqu'un de bien and L'Américain, both of which he also wrote and produced.
On television, Patrick Timsit played the role of Henri Désiré Landru, a French serial killer and real-life Bluebeard, directed by Pierre Boutron for France 2. In 2005, he co-starred in L'emmerdeur with Richard Berry at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint Martin. The play ran to great success for nearly two years in Paris before being adapted for the screen by Francis Veber. The film adaptation featured the same dynamic duo.
From 2007 to 2009, Timsit's The One Man Stand-Up Show had a highly successful run in Paris (the Cigale, the Théâtre de la Gaité Montparnasse and the Olympia), followed by a national tour.
In 2012, Timsit performed alongsideThierry Lhermitte in a moving stage adaptation of Address Unknown by Kressmann Taylor at the Théâtre Antoine. Always eclectic, he also played the hysterical corporal in Alain Chabat's film Le marsupilami. That fall, Timsit portrayed Austrian novelist Stephan Zweig alongside Elsa Zylberstein at the Théâtre Antoine in Les derniers jours de Stephan Zweig.
About FIAF: The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is New York's premiere French cultural and language center. FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. www.fiaf.org
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