Getting in an early swing at a Cannes Competition title, Kino Lorber has acquired Bruno Dumont’s comedy Slack Bay. The company has taken all North American rights to the film, which stars Juliette Binoche, Fabrice Luchini and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi. This is Dumont’s third film (see trailer above) to premiere in Competition at Cannes after twice winning the Grand Prix with Humanité and Flanders. World sales are handled by Memento Films International.
Kino Lorber has had a long relationship with Dumont, beginning with drama Life Of Jesus and through to Humanité, Flanders and Camille Claudel 1915. After 2015’s L’il Quinquin, a comedic murder-mystery comedy that marked a lighter-themed departure for the helmer, Slack Bay continues the trend. It’s also one of the films that was most buzzed about before the Official Selection was announced last week.
The story is set in the summer of 1910 on the Channel coast, where several tourists have vanished. Infamous inspectors Machin and Malfoy soon realize that the epicenter of these mysterious disappearances must be Slack Bay, the unique site where the Slack River and the sea join at high tide. A small community of fishermen and oyster farmers live there. Among them, a curious family has surfaced: renown ferrymen the Bréforts, led by a patriarch nicknamed “The Eternal,” who rules as best as he can his prankster sons, including the impetuous Ma Loute, (the film’s French title).
Towering high above the bay stands the Van Peteghems’ mansion. Every summer, this bourgeois family — degenerate and decadent from inbreeding — stagnates in the villa, though in their leisure hours, they also commingle with ordinary folk, including Ma Loute and the other Bréforts. Over the course of five days, a peculiar love story between Ma Loute and the young and mischievous Billie Van Peteghem will begin, and confusion and mystification will descend on both families, shaking their convictions and ways of life to their foundations.