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Interview: Anne Fontaine (The Innocents)

I sat down with Anne Fontaine shortly after her latest film, The Innocents (formerly “Agnus Dei”) premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The increasingly prolific auteur discusses her busy schedule and the impetus for making a somber period drama juxtaposing religion and atrocities of war. Fontaine discusses visual inspirations for the film, citing several artists as well as Alain Cavlier’s 1986 film Therese as assisting in the creation of ambience with DP Caroline Champetier. Additionally, she discusses her working relationship with screenwriter Pascal Bonitzer, with whom she reunites on this feature, as well as the importance of casting, with ingénue Lou De Laage receiving praise as well as Agata Kulesza, and Vincent Macaigne, who she casts against type. Music Box Films released The Innocents on July 1st.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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