The French had their first good laugh in ages last night as a low budget film by veteran director Jean-Paul Gauloises-Bout-Filtre swept the board at the 84th Academy Awards, winning five of the ten categories for which it had been nominated.
The film, ‘Hollywood disparaît en haut son propre cul’, was originally devised to inject a slightly less pompous note at last year’s Cannes Festival, but to the amazement of the entire French film industry, American and British observers swallowed the whole conceit hook, line et sinker.
‘You would think that a culture which could come up with something as cutting as ‘The Producers’ would find our tatty piece of homage mildly amusing,’ said Bout-Filtre today, ‘but they just loved it for all the wrong reasons.
‘First, we did it in black and white, which as everyone knows is shite, or merde as we say in France. Then, because English speakers are so merde at languages, we got round the whole problem of subtitles by making it a silent film, which is even more merde. Why did Hollywood introduce talkies in the 1920s and Technicolor in the 1930s? Parce que the alternatives were, how you say, ah oui, merde, that’s why mon ami.’
The director went on to say how only Anglo-Saxon sentimentalists would take a film with a performing dog as its star to their hearts, before describing how a full five-hour documentary version of the making of the film was breaking box office records in France.
‘The documentary version is more the excruciating length that French filmgoers like,’ said Bout-Filtre. ‘We really ratchet up the satire with readings of Proust and Voltaire and with the Oscars ceremony acted out in mime by white-faced clowns. No, of course we don’t take all that existential merde seriously.’
‘But vraiment, it shows the struggle for survival both in making the film and that of the star in his role as, if you will, a fight against a sea of agonising pain, waves crashing down like les chou-fleurs falling down from a great height onto your plate, when you do not even like chou-fleurs. C’est terrible. Or is it? Per’aps it is just one big pipi-take. C’est pour vous to decide, mon ami, while I shrug this huge amount of cash all the way à la banque.’