Well, whatever next? Now even the French can no longer stomach their own bleak and angst-ridden art-house cinema

“So great has the [ French ] public’s aversion to art-house cinema become that one distributor has warned that the very French species of the cinéphile [ ‘art house cinema’ fan ]… is becoming extinct. France’s 2006 box-office takings show that after years of decline as the public waited in vain for a new Jean Renoir or Louis Malle to appear, art house audiences are now in freefall. Le Monde has warned of a “catastrophe”, independent producers and distributors are haemorrhaging funds and even highbrow cinema magazines are struggling. The public has seemingly lost trust in the nation’s critics who are seen as cossetted in a celluloid ivory tower, too pally with film-makers and too quick to recommend the same old bleak, over-intellectualised musings – while snubbing popular hits such as Amélie. Even French cinema’s biggest names are facing meltdown.”