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Glitter! Jérémie Rénier Lands Pop Star Biopic ‘Cloclo’

After last year’s elegant Gainsbourg from Joan Sfar, France is giving us yet another musical biopic of a vintage pop star. The upcoming Cloclo, about pop singer Claude François, started shooting on Monday, for a planned 2012 release. In the 60s Claude François turned France upside down with his love for glitter, insane outfits and catchy tunes that made him one of the most successful French singers of all time, even after his sudden death in 1978, at the age of 39.

After last year’s elegant Gainsbourg from Joan Sfar, France is giving us yet another musical biopic of a vintage pop star. The upcoming Cloclo, about pop singer Claude François, started shooting on Monday, for a planned 2012 release. In the 60s Claude François turned France upside down with his love for glitter, insane outfits and catchy tunes that made him one of the most successful French singers of all time, even after his sudden death in 1978, at the age of 39.

Gist: A former student of Eric Rohmer’s, helmet Florient Emilio Siri actually started his career shooting glossy music videos for France’s finest hip hop artists before turning to action-packed flicks such as The Nest (2002) and Hostages (2005) starring Bruce Willis. Cloclo will be his sixth directorial effort and mark a definite turn in his career. The biopic will follow the kitsch song-writer as he rises to fame against his father’s hopes while also presenting him as a prolific businessman, branding himself and many French talents through the record label he created, La Flèche.

To play the part, producers Cyril Colbeau-Justin and Jean-Baptiste Dupont found an incredible doppelganger in Jérémie Renier of Dardenne brothers fame with La Promesse and The Child. No stranger to kitsch, he was seen recently in François Ozon’s latest comedy, Potiche, in which he plays a bourgeois boy turned socialist. His vintage hair-cut and slightly in-the-closet character should make for an easy transition to his role in Cloclo. The first promotional image for the film says it all:

Jérémie Rénier Cloclo

The rest of the cast is an interesting mix of famous faces and newcomers, including Benoit Magimel, (seen recently in Siri’s last film Intimate Enemies) and Ana Girardot, who was discovered in Lights Out in Cannes 2010. Unfortunately we don’t yet know who will have to honor to portray “Cloclo’s Claudettes”, his flashy all-girls backing band that became a cultural phenomenon.

Worth Noting: This biopic is actually the second film about “Cloclo”, in 2004, the writer Yann Moix directed Podium, starring Belgium’s Benoit Poelvoorde (famous for his break-through role in Man Bites Dog and who we’ll see in Anne Fontaine’s My Worst Nightmare) a Claude François lookalike touring the country and hoping for glory.

Do We Care?: Comparatively to Podium, this biopic appears more straight-forward and really confirms France’s new found love for dusty subject matters that will certainly attract fans from the glory days. Also, as the singer is only famous in the United States for English-language covers of his song “Comme d’Habitude” (covered as “My Way” by the likes of Paul Anka, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Sid Vicious), it is unlikely that the film will find a market here despite a likely European success. In a wtf clip we found on youtube, here he is with a young Jodie Foster. 

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