Audrey Tautou

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Posted by motoman 04/16/2009 @ 10:13

Tags : audrey tautou, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Biopic breathes new life into Coco Chanel story - CNN
In "Coco Avant Chanel," French actress Audrey Tautou plays Coco Chanel, founder of the iconic Parisien haute couture house, Chanel. Already uncannily similar in looks, Tautou's strong performance breathes life into Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel,...
Audrey Tautou has high praise for Coco Chanel - The Fourth Down
Audrey Tautou is of the opinion that Coco Chanel gave women freedom. Tautou, the French actress who plays the legendary designer in new film Coco Avant Chanel, says the designer was a huge inspiration because she broke down barriers that had held back...
Movies That Bring Tears to Your Eyes - San Francisco Chronicle
I've seen it so many times that, while the class watched the movie, I went next door and watched a Audrey Tautou movie, then came back in for the last 20 minutes . . . and it still did it to me. It did it to me just now, watching this clip on youtube....
Power of the short statement - Financial Times
It follows the recent launch of Chanel No 5's internet film starring Audrey Tautou about two beautifully-dressed strangers who fall in love on the Orient Express, which was preceded by Chanel's celluloid outing with Nicole Kidman, as well as the Tod's...
Chanel No.5's Newest Commercial Set Aboard the Venice Simplon ... - Luxury Travel Magazine
In the film, acclaimed French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet brings to life the romantic and seductive meeting of a man (model Travis Davenporte) and a woman (French actress Audrey Tautou, the newly appointed face of Chanel No.5) while aboard the VSOE....
It Works For Us - New York Times
By KARIN NELSON COCO CHANEL, who is the subject of a new French biopic starring Audrey Tautou, had an aversion to frills. “A woman is always overdressed and never sufficiently elegant,” she once said of turn-of-the-century fashion, which favored...
REVIEW REWIND: 'Da Vinci Code' has cracks - The Daily News Online
As played by longtime Howard favorite Tom Hanks and French actress Audrey Tautou, Robert and Sophie proceed from one problem to the next with such speed and ease, it's as if they're high-school kids on a scavenger hunt, looking for a stop sign and a No...
4 months of work behind 2-minute ad for Chanel - Toronto Star
These include Ridley Scott and Carole Bouquet, Baz Luhrmann and Nicole Kidman – she was widely reported to have been paid millions – and now Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Audrey Tautou, who worked together on Amélie, a 2001 movie that charmed the world and...

Audrey Tautou

Audrey Justine Tautou (French pronunciation: ; born 9 August, either in 1976 or 1978) is a French film actress, known to worldwide audiences for playing the title character in the award-winning 2001 French film Amélie and Sophie Neveu in the 2006 thriller The Da Vinci Code.

Tautou was born in the Puy-de-Dôme département of Auvergne, and was raised in Montluçon in nearby Allier, Auvergne. Her father is a dental surgeon and her mother is a teacher. After the premiere of the film Amélie (for which she received phenomenal amounts of paparazzi and press coverage) she travelled to the jungles of Indonesia to help with the preservation of a monkey sanctuary. Tautou showed an interest in comedy at an early age and started her acting lessons at the Cours Florent. This theatrical institution is highly prestigious and she is one of several famous actors to have passed through its doors (others including Muriel Robin, Daniel Auteuil and Guillaume Canet). After graduating she went on to star in some of French cinema's biggest and most famous films.

Tautou has said that Meryl Streep, Paul Newman, Juliette Lewis, Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore are her acting idols. In 1998, Tautou participated in a Star Search-like competition sponsored by Canal+ called "Jeunes Premiers" (The Young Debut) and won Best Young Actress at the 9th Béziers Festival of Young Actors. Then, she came to the attention of Tonie Marshall, who gave her a role in the César-winning Venus Beauty Institute (1999, aka Vénus beauté (institut)). In 2000 , she won the Prix Suzanne Bianchetti as her country's most promising young film actress.

Already well-known in France for her work in Venus Beauty Institute, in 2001 Tautou rose to international fame for her performance as the eccentric lead in the romantic comedy Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie). In June 2004 she was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). She accepted the invitation and is still a member as of 1 September, 2006.

In 2005, Tautou worked in her first full Hollywood production, opposite Tom Hanks, in the film version of Dan Brown's best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, directed by Ron Howard and released in May 2006. She acted alongside Gad Elmaleh in Pierre Salvadori's Hors de prix, released 13 December, 2006. Tautou says she still considers France her base, and plans to pursue a career predominantly there rather than crossing over to the United States. As she told Stevie Wong of The Straits Times, "I am, at the end of the day, a French actress. I am not saying I will never shoot an English-language movie again, but my home, my community, my career is rooted in France. I would never move to Los Angeles".

Tautou starred with Guillaume Canet (best known for his role in the film adaptation of The Beach) in Claude Berri's Ensemble, c'est tout in 2007, an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Anna Gavalda.

Tautou is next to star in the upcoming biopic of fashion designer Coco Chanel. Filming is set to start in Paris on 15 September, 2008, and will released in France April 22, 2009. The project is titled Coco avant Chanel, and is directed by Anne Fontaine. The script of the new movie is partially based on Edmonde Charles-Roux’s book “L’Irrégulière” (”The Non-Conformist”). As part of promoting the new Coco Chanel bio film in May 2008, Tautou was named as the next spokesmodel for Chanel No. 5, replacing Nicole Kidman. She will be directed in the advertisement by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, with whom she worked on Amélie and A Very Long Engagement. The advertisement will be released in 2009 to coincide with the film's release.

Her favourite authors are Victor Hugo, Oscar Wilde, Paul Auster, and Timothy Zahn; and her favourite poets are Charles Baudelaire and Tristan Tzara.

Tautou takes pictures of each reporter who interviews her and keeps them in a scrapbook. In France, many consider her as the "typical Occitan Auvergnate". She was brought up attending church, though she has now stated that she is "not officially" a Catholic.

The Brand New song "Tautou", from the album Déjà Entendu is named after her.

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The Da Vinci Code (film)

The da vinci code.jpg

The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 feature film directed by Ron Howard, which is based on the bestselling 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. It was one of the most anticipated films of 2006, and was previewed at the opening night of the Cannes Film Festival on May 17, 2006. The Da Vinci Code then entered major release in many other countries on May 18, 2006 and was released in the United States by Columbia Pictures on May 19, 2006.

Because of some controversial interpretations and factual inaccuracies of Christian history in both the book and movie, they were criticized by the Roman Catholic Church. Some bishops urged members to boycott the film. Many of the early showings were accompanied by protesters outside the movie theaters, and early critical reviews were decidedly mixed. However, in its opening weekend, the film earned over US$79 million worldwide, second only to the opening of 2005's Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. It is the second highest grossing movie of 2006 worldwide—having reached US$758,239,851 as of November 2, 2006, making it both Tom Hanks' and Ron Howard's most successful film. The film's soundtrack, composed by Hans Zimmer, was nominated for the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

A man revealed to be Jacques Saunière is pursued by a mysterious hooded character known as Silas through the Grand Gallery in the Louvre. Silas demands the location of the Priory's clef de voûte or "keystone." Under threat of death, Saunière finally confesses the keystone is kept in the sacristy of Church of Saint-Sulpice, "beneath the Rose." Silas thanks him, and then shoots him in the stomach.

Meanwhile, American symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), who is in Paris as an AUP guest lecturer on Symbols and the sacred feminine, is contacted by the French police, and summoned to the Louvre to view the crime scene. He discovers the dying Saunière had created an intricate display using black light ink and his own body and blood. Captain Bezu Fache (Jean Reno) asks him for his interpretation of the puzzling scene.

Silas calls a mysterious man known as The Teacher, revealing that he has killed all four protectors of the keystone and that all confirmed the same location. He dons a metal cilice on his thigh and proceeds to flagellate himself with a whip for the sins of murder. Facilitated by Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, Silas then travels to Saint-Sulpice and is admitted by an elderly nun; left alone, he excavates beneath the floor of the church to find a stone saying only JOB 38:11. He confronts the nun, who quotes the passage: "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further." Realizing that he has been deceived, Silas is enraged and kills the nun.

Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), a cryptologist with the French police, enters the Louvre as well and slips Langdon a message which leads him to go to the men's room. There, Sophie meets him and tells him that he is being tracked, a GPS tracking dot has been (unknown by him) slipped into his jacket and that he is a primary suspect in the murder case because of a line of text found by the corpse (P.S. find Robert Langdon). Sophie however, believes that Saunière, who is revealed to be her grandfather, wanted to pass a hidden message on to her, and that he had wanted to bring Langdon into the equation so that he could help her crack the code.

Having bought some time by removing the tracking device, the pair begin exploring the Louvre, finding more anagram messages that Saunière had left behind. Many of these relate to Leonardo Da Vinci's art, and the pair find a key with a Fleur-de-lis behind Madonna of the Rocks.

Pursued by the French Police and cut off from the United States Embassy, the pair escape to the Bois de Boulogne where Langdon closely inspects the key. He notices an inscription on the side -- an address. The address directs them to the Depository Bank of Zurich where the key is used for a safety deposit box.

In the bank, they find Saunière's deposit box and open it using the 10 digit Fibonacci numbers in order (1123581321). Inside the box, they find a rosewood container, which contains a cryptex: a cylindrical container with five alphabetical dials which must be arranged in the correct sequence to spell out a 5-letter code word, in order to open and access the parchment message inside. Using force to open the cryptex would break a vial of vinegar inside, which would dissolve the parchment and destroy the message.

Unfortunately, the police are called by a security guard and they are forced to leave. The bank manager, Andre Vernet, assists them in escaping by taking them as passengers in an armoured truck to escape the routine checks of the police. In the back of the truck Langdon and Neveu have a lengthy discussion about the cryptex and Neveu says that her grandfather often played games with her involving cryptexes. Langdon says that the cryptex might hold valuable information or another clue about what they are trying to discover. Eventually, they come to a sudden stop and Vernet forces them at gunpoint to give him the cryptex. Langdon tricks Vernet and disarms him and he and Sophie escape.

Langdon suggests that they visit his friend, Leigh Teabing (Sir Ian McKellen), for assistance to opening the cryptex. Leigh Teabing turns out to be an enthusiastic seeker of the Holy Grail, which he believes is not actually a cup but instead Mary Magdalene, the wife of Christ, who was driven away because Jesus's followers didn't want to follow a woman after their leader was killed. Mary was pregnant at the time, and Teabing tells Sophie that a secret society was formed to protect the descendants of Jesus. Jacques Saunière was believed to be a part of this society and Teabing suspects that he was training Sophie to join it also. Silas, meanwhile, breaks into Teabing's mansion and attempts to steal the cryptex. Teabing uses his cane to knock Silas out and they escape again, taking the butler, Remy Jean, and Silas with them. The group escapes in Teabing's plane.

It is revealed that Remy Jean is actually a follower of The Teacher as well, however he is killed by the mysterious man after freeing Silas. Silas is attacked by the police and, in the ensuing gunfire, accidentally shoots Bishop Manuel Aringarosa. In his grief, Silas dies in police-assisted suicide and Aringarosa is taken to the hospital, as well as being arrested by Fache for betraying him. As Langdon gets closer to solving the mystery, he is betrayed by Teabing, who is revealed to be The Teacher. Teabing explained that he wanted to find Mary Magdalene's remains to prove he was correct about the Holy Grail and threatens to shoot Sophie if Langdon does not crack the code. Langdon responds by throwing the cryptex into the air. Teabing runs to catch it, but cannot, and it hits the ground. The vial of vinegar breaks and apparently spreads onto the document, destroying it. Teabing is arrested, however it is revealed that Langdon had cracked the code ('Apple') and removed the clue from the cryptex before throwing it at Teabing. Using the clue, they travel to a Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland where Magdalene's remains had previously been hidden. There, they meet other members of the secret organization that protected her. It is revealed that Sophie is actually Magdalene's descendant and therefore is the current living descendant of Jesus Christ. They vow to keep her safe. Langdon and Sophie part ways shortly after.

At his hotel, Langdon accidentally cuts himself and the line of blood on the sink reminds him of the Rose Line. He follows the Rose Line and finds the location of the Holy Grail, buried under the pyramid in the Louvre. Langdon then kneels above Mary Magdalene's tomb as the Templar Knights did before him.

The film rights were purchased from Dan Brown for $6,000,000. Filming had been scheduled to start in May 2005; however, some delays caused filming to begin on June 30, 2005.

Permission to film on the premises was granted to the film by the Louvre (although, since the crew was not permitted to shine light on the Mona Lisa, a replica was used instead, whilst the film crew used the Mona Lisa's chamber as a storage room), while Westminster Abbey denied the use of its premises, as did Saint-Sulpice. The Westminster Abbey scenes were instead filmed at Lincoln Cathedral and Winchester Cathedral, both belonging to the Church of England.

Due to the denial of a location permit for Saint-Sulpice the entire scene had to be recreated virtually by Rainmaker U.K and though the set had been partially built, the co-ordinates were centimeters out from what the compositors had expected and so the entire process was extremely difficult to complete.

Lincoln reportedly received £100,000 in exchange for the right to film there, with filming there occurring between 15 and 19 August 2005, mainly within the cloisters of the cathedral. The Cathedral's bell "Great Tom", which strikes the hour, was silent for the first time since World War II during that time. Although it remained a closed set, protesters led by the 61-year-old Roman Catholic nun Sister Mary Michael from Our Lady's Community of Peace and Mercy in Lincoln demonstrated against the filming, spending 12 hours praying on her knees outside the cathedral in protest against what she sees as the blasphemous use of a holy place to film a book which she considers to contain heresy.

Meanwhile Winchester answered criticism by using its location fee to fund an exhibition, lecture series and campaign to debunk the book. The scenes for the Pope's summer residence, Castel Gandolfo were filmed on location at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire.

Filming also took place elsewhere in the UK (London, including the concert hall in the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, the Temple Church, and Burghley House), Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland and in France and Germany.

The filmmakers also shot many of the internal scenes at Pinewood Studios: the film's opening sequence was filmed in the cavernous Albert R. Broccoli's 007 Stage at Pinewood Shepperton, where the interior of the Louvre was recreated, away from the priceless paintings in the actual museum in France.

In the film's opening sequence, Robert Langdon, played by Tom Hanks, is taken by French police to the Louvre, where a dead body has been discovered. David White of Altered States FX, a prosthetics and special makeup effects company which is based at London's Shepperton Studios was tasked with creating a naked photo-realistic silicone body for the scene. (Lighting effects, however, were utilized to obscure the body's genitalia, a technique also used on television programmes such as NCIS).

Pinewood's state-of-the-art Underwater Stage was used to film underwater sequences. The stage opened in 2005 after four years of planning and development. The water in the tank is filtered using an ultraviolet system which creates crystal clear water, and the water is maintained at 30°C (87°F) to create a comfortable environment to work in for both cast and crew. Since the tank does not use much chlorine due to its optical properties, it must always be drained and refilled after several days.

Alternate versions of Paul Bettany's nude flagellation scenes were shot, in which he wears a black loincloth. Clips of these versions appear in the History Channel's "Opus Dei Unveiled" documentary, aired in summer 2006.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, in a documentary called "The Da Vinci Code: A Masterful Deception," urged unspecified legal action against the makers of the film. "Those who blaspheme Christ and get away with it are exploiting the Christian readiness to forgive and to love even those who insult us. There are some other religions which if you insult their founder they will not be just talking. They will make it painfully clear to you," Arinze said. He was formerly Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican.

Stating that it does not intend to organize any boycotts, Opus Dei (the Catholic organization that is featured prominently in the novel and the film) released a statement on February 14, 2006 asking Sony Pictures to consider editing the soon-to-be-released film based on the bestseller, so that it would not contain references that it felt might be hurtful to Catholics. The statement also said Brown’s book offers a "deformed" image of the church and that Opus Dei will use the opportunity of the movie’s release to educate about the church.

According to a statement by Manuel Sánchez Hurtado, Opus Dei Press Office Rome, in contrast to Sony Corporation’s published "Code of Conduct" the company has announced that the film will not include such a disclaimer.

During a preview for movie critics in Cannes, the main climax of the film, when Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) discloses to Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) that she is "without a doubt" the "last living descendant of Jesus Christ," was met with thunderous laughter. Nearing the end of the screening, the conclusion of the movie was met with boos instead of the usual applause.

The National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH) has expressed concern about Silas' character giving people with albinism a bad name. However, the filmmakers did not change his appearance. See also evil albino.

Although the Da Vinci code was passed by Chinese censors, it was abruptly removed from public view in Mainland China, by order of the Chinese government, after "a remarkable run in China, grossing over $13 million". No explanation was given. Its last screening was made on 9 June 2006.

The biggest cinema in the Faroe Islands, Havnar Bio, decided to boycott the film, effectively blocking it from the other smaller cinemas, who rely on second-hand films from this source, because it seems to be blasphemous in their point of view. Havnar Bio is privately owned, and their decision is based on their own private opinion.

A private initiative by the individual Herluf Sørensen has arranged the movie to be played, despite the boycott by Havnar bio. The movie opened at the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands on the 5 June 2006.

The Philippine Alliance Against Pornography (PAAP) appealed to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to stop the showing of The Da Vinci Code in the Philippines. They branded the film as "the most pornographic and blasphemous film in history" and also requested the help of Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and other religious groups to stop the showing of the film. In addition, they compared Dan Brown to Adolf Hitler.

However, Cecille Guidote Alvarez, Philippine Presidential Adviser on Culture and the Arts, said Malacañang will not interfere in controversy about the film and leaves the decision to the Movie and Television Classification Board's (MTRCB) rating. Eventually, MTRCB decided to give The Da Vinci Code an R-18 rating (restricted to those 18 years of age and over) despite PAAP's opposition for showing it.

Christian groups in this mostly Buddhist country protested the film and called for it to be banned. On May 16, 2006, the Thai Censorship Committee issued a ruling that the film would be shown, but that the last 10 minutes would be cut. Also, some Thai subtitles were to be edited to change their meaning and passages from the Bible would also be quoted at the beginning and end of the film.

However, the following day, Sony Pictures appealed the ruling, saying it would pull the film if the decision to cut it was not reversed. The censorship panel then voted 6-5 that the film could be shown uncut, but that a disclaimer would precede and follow the film, saying it was a work of fiction. This last-minute decision caused the premiere, opening-day showing of the movie to be delayed or cancelled in some provincial theatres as the updated film reels were shipped from Bangkok.

The National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) wrote to Information, Communications and the Arts Minister to register their "strongest objection" to the release of the film and requested that it be banned. The Media Development Authority, however, passed the unedited version of the movie, albeit with an NC16 rating, a restriction for children below the age of 16.

The film was banned outright in Samoa after church leaders watching a pre-release showing filed a complaint to film censors.

There was a huge outcry in many states by the Christian minorities to ban the film from screening in India for the perceived anti-Christian message. This issue had even brought the minister responsible to view the film along with the senior Catholic representatives.

In the end, the movie was allowed to release without any cuts but with an A (Adults Only) certification from the Central Board for Film Certification and a 15-second Disclaimer added at the end stating that the movie was purely a tale of fiction. However the movie was delayed by a week by which time the grey market was flooded with pirated copies of the movie.

The screening of the film Da Vinci Code has been banned in Punjab, Goa, Nagaland, Meghalaya , Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Later, the Andhra Pradesh High Court quashed the State Government's order banning the screening of the film in the state. The Indian censor board however had cleared the movie for release on Friday, 2 June. The Supreme Court of India also rejected petitions calling for a ban on the film, saying the plot which suggested Jesus was married was fictional and not offensive.

The court case brought against Dan Brown by Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent, the authors of the non-fiction book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, has added to the film's publicity.

A cross-promotion also appeared on The Amazing Race 9, where one team earned a trip to the movie's premiere in Hollywood, California. The prize was awarded to the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop bearing two parchments and demonstrating that, when combined, they revealed a picture of Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man and a coded message; the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop did show the message and were awarded the prize.

To limit exposure in the age of blogs and constant leaks, both Sony and Imagine Entertainment, decided to forgo test screenings, a form of market research usually considered critical to fine-tuning a picture. According to the studio representative, the strategy is to preserve a climate of mystery and excitement around the movie, despite the fact that anyone who is interested probably already knows the plot through having already read the book. Even theater owners saw the 2 1/2 hour film only 5 days before the film festival, which by exhibition standards is as last minute as it gets.

As part of the lead up to the movie, various encrypted clues are being placed in movie trailers and interviews. In mid-April, two such clues appeared in the Da Vinci Code interviews on Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, as highlighted letters in the names of interviewees.

In February, Sony, in cooperation with Grace Hill Media, launched The Da Vinci Dialogue (aka The Da Vinci Challenge), a fairly comprehensive web site which is intended to defuse Christian opposition to the movie. The site mixes some mild criticisms with movie promotional material.

Several of the changes made in the film, notably those of Langdon's views on the subject, appear to be intended to counterpoint or soften some of the viewpoints expressed in the novel.

There have been protesters at several movie theaters across the United States on opening weekend protesting the themes of the film, citing it as blasphemy and claiming that it shames both the Catholic Church, and Jesus Christ himself. More than 200 protesters also turned out in Athens, Greece to protest the film's release shortly before opening day. In Manila the movie was banned from all theaters and the set by the local MTRCB as an R18 movie for the Philippines. In Pittsburgh, protesters also showed up at a special screening of the film the day before its widespread release. Protests also occurred at the filming sites, but only a monk and a nun stood in a quiet protest at the Cannes premiere. In Chennai, India, the film was banned for a two month period to appease local Christian and Muslim groups.

The Da Vinci Code received generally poor reviews from critics. The film received a 25% rating on the site Rotten Tomatoes, an especially low score for a heavily promoted blockbuster film. The critics' consensus as gathered by Rotten Tomatoes is: "What makes Dan Brown's novel a best seller is evidently not present in this dull and bloated movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code. The film was poorly received at the Cannes Film Festival, where it debuted.

Director Ron Howard noted that the overwhelmingly negative reviews were "frustrating" to him.

Although many critics gave mostly negative reviews of the film, critics of both sides acknowledged and praised the strong performances of Ian McKellen as well as Paul Bettany.

The film went on to receive a Razzie Nomination for Worst Director (Ron Howard). On the "Worst Movies of 2006" episode of the television show Ebert & Roeper (January 13, 2007), guest critic Michael Phillips (sitting in for the recovering Roger Ebert) listed the film at #2.

A spoof of the movie, The Norman Rockwell Code, was released the same day as the movie itself.

Despite the protests and good pre-release reviews, the film still opened with an estimated $79 million in box office sales on its opening day, averaging $7764 per screen. During its opening weekend, moviegoers spent an estimated $77 million in America, and $224 million worldwide, according to Sony Pictures. The Da Vinci Code is the best domestic opening for both Tom Hanks and Ron Howard.

It also enjoyed the 3rd biggest opening weekend for the year to date (after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and X-Men: The Last Stand, and the second biggest worldwide opening weekend ever, just behind 2005's Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.) This has led some critics, particularly in the UK, to moot the idea of the 'critic-proof film'.

On ComingSoon.Net, a story dated April 12, 2007 stated that The Hollywood Reporter announced that screenwriter Akiva Goldsman was commissioned to adapt Angels & Demons (a Dan Brown novel published before The Da Vinci Code), into a film script. Ron Howard is directing the movie, with Tom Hanks reprising his role as Robert Langdon.

All DVD sets include an introduction from director Ron Howard, ten featurettes, and other bonus features.

In Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Latin America (DVD region code 4), the two disc set also included an extended edition of the film, including over twenty-five minutes of extra footage, bringing the running time to almost three hours.

In Hong Kong and Korea (Region 3), the extended cut was also released on DVD in a two-disc set. Two gift sets were also released, with working cryptex replica, replica journal, and more. The French and Spanish Region 2 disc also received a special gift set.

On April 28, 2009 a 2-disc Blu-Ray edition of the Extended Version of the film will be released in North America.

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Amélie

Amelie poster.jpg

Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (English: Amélie, literally The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain) is a 2001 French film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou. Written by Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, the film is a whimsical and somewhat idealised depiction of contemporary Parisian life, set in Montmartre. It tells the story of a shy waitress who decides to change the lives of those around her for the better, while struggling with her own isolation.

Amélie Poulain was a girl who grew up isolated from other children. Raphaël, her taciturn, antisocial ex-Army doctor father, mistakenly believes that she suffers from a heart condition (a mistake resulting from the increase in her heartbeat caused by the rare thrill of physical contact with her father, who only ever touches her during medical check-ups). Her mother Amandine, a neurotic schoolteacher with shaky nerves, sees to Amélie's education. Amandine dies when Amélie is young, the victim of a freak accident involving a suicidal Québécoise woman who throws herself off the top of Notre Dame Cathedral and lands on Amélie's mother. Raphaël withdraws even further as a result, and devotes his life to building a rather eccentric shrine in the garden to Amandine's memory, which houses her ashes. Left to amuse herself, Amélie develops an unusually active imagination.

As a young woman, Amélie is a waitress in a small Montmartre café, The Two Windmills, run by a former circus performer. The café is staffed and frequented by a gang of eccentrics. By age 23, life for Amélie is simple; having spurned romantic relationships following a few failed efforts, she has devoted herself to simple pleasures, such as dipping her hand into sacks of grain, cracking crème brûlée with a teaspoon, skipping stones across St. Martin's Canal, trying to guess how many couples in Paris are having an orgasm at one moment ("Fifteen!", she correctly informs the camera), and letting her imagination roam free.

Her life begins to change on the day Princess Diana dies. Shocked upon hearing the news of Diana's death on television, Amélie drops her perfume bottle cap, knocking loose a bathroom wall tile. Behind the loose tile she finds an old metal box of childhood memorabilia hidden by a boy who lived in her apartment decades earlier. Fascinated by this find, she resolves to track down the now adult man who placed it there and return it to him, making a deal with herself in the process: if she finds him and it makes him happy, she will devote her life to bringing happiness to others.

Amélie meets her reclusive neighbour, Raymond Dufayel, a painter who continually repaints Luncheon of the Boating Party (Le Déjeuner des canotiers) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He is known as 'the Glass Man' because of his brittle bone condition. With his help, she tracks down the former occupant, and places the box in a phone booth, ringing the number as he passes to lure him there. Upon opening the box, the man, moved to tears, has an epiphany as long-forgotten childhood memories come flooding back. She trails him to a nearby bar and observes him secretly. On seeing the positive effect she had on him, she resolves from that moment on to do good in the lives of others.

Amélie becomes a secret matchmaker and guardian angel, executing complex, but hidden schemes that impact the lives of those around her with subtle, arm's length manipulation, leading to several sub-plots and episodes. She escorts a blind man to the Metro station, giving him a rich description of the street scenes he passes. She persuades her father to follow his dream of touring the world by stealing his garden gnome and having an air-hostess friend send pictures of it from all over the world. She matches a co-worker with one of the customers in the bar. She convinces the unhappy concierge of her building that the husband who abandoned her had in fact sent her a final love letter just before his death. She supports Lucien, the young man who works for Mr. Collignon, the bullying owner of the neighbourhood greengrocer. By playing practical jokes on Collignon she undermines his confidence until he questions his own sanity.

However, while she is looking after others, Mr Dufayel is observing her and begins a conversation with her about his painting. He has repeatedly painted the same piece because he cannot quite capture the excluded look of the girl drinking a glass of water. They repeatedly discuss the meaning of this character and although it is never explicitly said, she comes to represent Amélie and her lonely life. Through their discussions Amélie is forced to examine her own life and her attraction to a stranger, a quirky young man who collects the discarded photographs of strangers from passport photo booths, with whom she has never spoken. When she accidentally bumps into him a second time and realizes she is smitten, she is fortunate to be on the scene to pick up his photo album when he drops it in the street. She discovers his name is Nino Quincampoix, and she plays a cat and mouse game with him around Paris before eventually anonymously returning his treasured album; however, she is too shy to actually approach him, and almost loses hope when, having finally attempted to orchestrate a proper meeting, she misinterprets events when he enters into a conversation with one of her co-workers. It takes Raymond Dufayel's insightful friendship to give her the courage to overcome her shyness and finally meet with Nino, and the two begin a relationship.

In his commentary on the DVD edition, Jeunet explains that he originally wrote the role of Amélie for the British actress Emily Watson; in the original draft, Amélie's father was an Englishman living in London. However, Watson's French was not strong, and when she became unavailable to shoot the film, owing to a conflict with the filming of Gosford Park, Jeunet rewrote the screenplay for a French actress. Audrey Tautou was the first actress he auditioned.

The filmmakers made use of computer-generated imagery and a digital intermediate.

The studio scenes were filmed in the Coloneum Studio in Cologne (Germany).

The film was released in France, Belgium, and French-speaking western Switzerland in April 2001, with subsequent screenings at various film festivals followed by releases around the world. It received limited releases in North America, the UK and Australasia later in 2001.

The film was a critical and commercial success, but it was attacked by critic Serge Kaganski of les Inrockuptibles for its depiction of a largely unrealistic and picturesque vision of contemporary French society, a postcard universe of a bygone France with few ethnic minorities. If the director was trying to create an idyllic vision of a perfect Paris, Kaganski argued, he seemed to think that it was necessary to remove nearly all black people from the scene in order to do so. Jeunet dismissed such criticism by pointing out both that the photo collection contains pictures of many different people from numerous ethnic backgrounds, and that Jamel Debbouze, who plays Lucien, is of Moroccan descent.

Cannes Film Festival selector Gilles Jacob described Amélie as "uninteresting", and therefore it was not screened at the festival, although the version he viewed was an early cut without music. The absence of Amélie at the festival caused something of a controversy because of the warm welcome by the French media and audience in contrast with the reaction of the selector.

In 2001 it won several awards at the European Film Awards, including the Best Film award.

It also won the People's Choice award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Crystal Globe Award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Entertainment Weekly named the film poster one of the best on its list of the top 25 film posters in the past 25 years. It also named Amélie setting up a wild goose chase for her beloved Nino all through Paris as #9 on its list of top 25 Romantic Gestures.

The soundtrack to Amélie was composed by Yann Tiersen.

In the English subtitled version, the concierge, Madeleine Wallace, is renamed Madeleine Wells in order to maintain a joke in the screenplay: in the original French, she mentions that she is destined to cry because her name is Madeleine, and goes on to refer to the French expression "pleurer comme une Madeleine" (a reference to the tears cried by Mary Magdalen). Her surname, Wallace, is compared with the Wallace fountains of Paris, continuing the crying theme. The English version retains the mention of Mary Magdalen but alters the joke with the surname, as the phrase "to well up" means to cry. In the English subtitled version, the concierge, Madeleine Wallace, remarks that her husband ran off to Panama. However, in the original French version, her husband runs off to the Pampas.

In the Region 1 English subtitled DVD when Amélie orders Nino to look at 'page 51' of his scrapbook, the subtitle erroneously reads 'Page St.', likely due to the OCR process for conversion. This mistake does not appear on U.S. television sets programmed to display closed captioning.

In the Region 1 English subtitles, Amélie says "But I hate it in old movies, when drivers don't watch the road"; but the French dialogue in fact means "But I hate it in old American films when the drivers don't watch the road." This distinction, however, remains in the Region 2 English subtitling.

The film has inspired many lesser-recognized works in the years following its release. Lasses's Monuments novel contains a reference to Amélie. The 2006 film Paris, je t'aime features a picture of Amélie's mischievous smile in the short film Porte de Choisy. In this short film, a man enters a beauty salon attempting to sell beauty products. The owner of the shop wants the man to give hairstyling a try, and one of the noticeable hairstyles was Tautou's Amélie.

Amélie's scheme involving her father's garden gnome is an example of the "travelling gnome prank", which is based on real life occurrences since the 1980s, and also appeared in the British soap opera Coronation Street. Some journalists have regarded Amélie as the inspiration for more recent cases of the prank. The Traveling Gnome has also inspired the Travelocity "Roaming Gnome" commercials.

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Dan Brown

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Dan Brown (born June 22, 1964) is an American author of thriller fiction, best known for the 2003 bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Code and the 2000 bestselling novel, Angels & Demons.

Brown is interested in cryptography, keys, and codes, which are a recurring theme in his stories. Currently his novels have been translated into more than 40 languages.

Brown states on his website that his books are not anti-Christian, as he is a Christian himself, and says of his book The Da Vinci Code that it is simply "an entertaining story that promotes spiritual discussion and debate" and suggests that the book may be used "as a positive catalyst for introspection and exploration of our faith".

While in Los Angeles, Brown joined the National Academy of Songwriters, and participated in many of its events. It was there that he met Blythe Newlon, a woman 12 years his senior, who was the Academy's Director of Artist Development. Though not officially part of her job, she took on the seemingly unusual task of helping to promote Brown's projects; she wrote press releases, set up promotional events, and put him in contact with individuals who could be helpful to his career. She and Brown also developed a personal relationship, though this was not known to all of their associates until 1993, when Brown moved back to New Hampshire, and it was learned that Blythe would accompany him. They married in 1997, at Pea Porridge Pond, a location near North Conway, New Hampshire.

In 1993, Brown released the self-titled CD Dan Brown, which included songs such as "976-Love" and "If You Believe in Love".

In 1994, while on holiday in Tahiti, he read Sidney Sheldon's novel The Doomsday Conspiracy, and decided that he could do better. He started work on Digital Fortress, and also co-wrote a humour book with his wife, 187 Men to Avoid: A Guide for the Romantically Frustrated Woman, under the pseudonym "Danielle Brown" (one of the 187 items in the book was "Men who write self-help books for women"). The book's author profile reads, "Danielle Brown currently lives in New England: teaching school, writing books, and avoiding men." The copyright is attributed to Dan Brown.

In 1996, Brown quit teaching to become a full-time writer. Digital Fortress was published in 1998. His wife, Blythe, did much of the book's promotion, writing press releases, booking Brown on talk shows, and setting up press interviews. A few months later, Brown and his wife released The Bald Book, another humor book. It was officially credited to his wife, though a representative of the publisher said that it was primarily written by Brown.

Brown's fourth novel, The Da Vinci Code, became a runaway bestseller, going to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list during its first week of release in 2003. It is now credited with being one of the most popular books of all time, with 60.5 million copies sold worldwide as of 2006. Its success has helped push sales of Brown's earlier books. In 2004, all four of his novels were on the New York Times list in the same week, and in 2005, he made Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of the year. Forbes magazine placed Brown at #12 on their 2005 "Celebrity 100" list, and estimated his annual income at US$76.5 million. The Times estimated his income from 'Da Vinci Code' sales as $250 million.

Characters in Brown's books are often named after real people in his life. Robert Langdon is named after John Langdon, the artist who created the ambigrams used for the Angels & Demons CD and novel. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca is named after "On A Claire Day" cartoonist friend Carla Ventresca. In the Vatican Archives, Langdon recalls a wedding of two people named Dick and Connie, which are the names of his parents. Robert Langdon's editor Jonas Faukman, is named after Brown's real life editor Jason Kaufman. Brown also said that characters were based on a New Hampshire librarian, and a French teacher at Exeter, Andre Vernet.

In interviews, Brown has said that his wife is an art historian and painter. When they met, she was the Director of Artistic Development at the National Academy for Songwriters in Los Angeles. During the 2006 lawsuit over alleged copyright infringement in The Da Vinci Code, information was introduced at trial which showed that Blythe did indeed do a great deal of research for the book. In one article, she was described as "chief researcher".

In 2006, Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code was released as a film by Columbia Pictures, with director Ron Howard; the film starred Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou as Sophie Neveu and Sir Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing. It was considered one of the most anticipated films of the year, and was used to launch the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, though it received overall poor reviews. It was later listed as one of the worst films of 2006, but also the second highest grossing film of the year, pulling in $750 million USD worldwide. The next film, Angels & Demons, is due for release on May 15, 2009, with Howard and Hanks returning.

Brown was listed as one of the executive producers of the film The Da Vinci Code, and also created additional codes for the film. One of his songs, "Phiano", which Brown wrote and performed, was listed as part of the film's soundtrack.

In the film, Brown and his wife can be seen in the background of one of the early booksigning scenes.

In August 2005, Brown won a court case in New York against author Lewis Perdue over charges of plagiarism, on the basis of claimed similarity between The Da Vinci Code and his novels, The Da Vinci Legacy (1983) and Daughter of God (2000). Judge George Daniels said, in part: "A reasonable average lay observer would not conclude that The Da Vinci Code is substantially similar to Daughter of God".

On March 28, 2007, Brown's publisher, Random House, won an appeal copyright infringement case brought by authors Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh. The Court of Appeal of England and Wales rejected the efforts from two authors, who claimed that Brown stole their ideas for his novel The Da Vinci Code. Baigent and Leigh, who wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail in 1982, argued that Brown stole significant elements from their book. Both are based on a theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene married and had a child and that the bloodline continues to this day. Baigent and Leigh are liable for paying legal expenses of nearly $6 million USD. Brown even alluded to the two authors' names in his book. Leigh Teabing, a lead character in both the novel and the film, anagrammatically derives his last name from Baigent's, while using Leigh's name verbatim. A contributing factor for the outcome of the case is that these authors presented their work as nonfiction. Fiction writers often draw upon nonfiction resources for content research.

Brown's new novel, The Solomon Key, will reportedly take place in Washington D.C., and feature the secret society of the Freemasons. It is also believed that Robert Langdon will return. Brown's promotional website states that puzzles hidden in the book jacket of The Da Vinci Code, including two references to the Kryptos sculpture at CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, give hints about the novel's story. This repeats a theme from some of Brown's earlier work. For example, a puzzle at the end of the book Deception Point decrypts to the message, "The Da Vinci Code will surface." On February 12, 2009, Ron Howard reported to ETonline from the movie set of Angels and Demons that Brown has completed his third book featuring Langdon. No release date for the book had been set at the time of the interview.

Brown has stated that he has ideas for about 12 future books featuring Robert Langdon.

Much criticism centers on Brown's claim found in the preface to The Da Vinci Code that the novel is based on fact in relation to Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion and that "all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in novel are accurate".

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God Is Great and I'm Not

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God Is Great and I'm Not (French: Dieu est grand, je suis toute petite) is a light romantic comedy directed by Pascale Bailly starring Audrey Tautou and Edouard Baer. It was released in 2001, following Tautou's international success in Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain.

The film begins with Michèle's first journal entry, "I am 20 years old, and I have ruined my life!" This is just one of the many journal entry titles that are flashed before every particular scene in the film. Michèle had just recently broken up with her boyfriend so she meets up with some of her friends at a café. It is there that she meets the charming veterinarian François. Though Michèle has a promising modeling career, she feels that something, or someone, is missing in her life. François quickly fills this void, and Michèle feels partially whole. She first claims that she is Catholic but is dissatisfied with the results of praying and worshipping. By recommendation, she begins to follow Buddhism through meditation and use of elaborate costume jewelry. Eventually, she discovers that François is Jewish; however, he does not practice his faith. Throughout the film, she immerses herself in Judaism, following traditions such as the Sabbath. François breaks up with her by telling her "your touch sickens me", after accusing her of lying. He then engages in several other affairs but fails to ever marry. She attempts to date a few men but does not create any true connections. Finally, at a wedding of their friend Valérie, Francois has broken up with yet another woman and claims to desire her. The movie ends with the famous line, "...to be continued" leaving viewers curious about their future.

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Dirty Pretty Things (film)

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Dirty Pretty Things (2002) is a movie directed by Stephen Frears and written by Steven Knight, a drama about two illegal immigrants in London. It was produced by the Celador Films production company.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and won a British Independent Film Award for "Best Independent British Film" in 2003.

Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a Nigerian who drives a cab in London during the day and mans the front desk of a hotel by night — chewing khat (a stimulant) to keep awake. Formerly a doctor in Africa, he is pressed into giving medical aid to other poor immigrants — including fellow cab drivers with venereal diseases.

Okwe shares an apartment with Senay (Audrey Tautou), a Turkish woman who works as a maid in the same hotel. The two immigrants form a hesitant friendship, but their situation becomes untenable when immigration police begin to pursue her. She quits the hotel and takes a job in a clothing sweatshop, where the owner forces her, a virgin, to perform oral sex upon him under threat of reporting her. After initially enduring this humiliation, she bites his genitals and flees both the factory and her apartment — taking refuge in a morgue with a friend of Okwe's.

The manager of the hotel, Juan (Sergi López), runs an illegal operation at the hotel where immigrants sell a kidney in exchange for passports with new identities. Learning of Okwe's past as a doctor, he pressures him to harvest kidneys, but he refuses.

In desperation, Senay agrees to exchange a kidney for a passport. Juan forces her to have sex with him before permitting her to undergo the operation. Upon learning of Senay's plan, Okwe tells Juan that he will perform the operation to ensure her safety. However, Okwe and Senay actually drug Juan, harvest his kidney, and sell it to Juan's contact — having also obtained their new passports from Juan.

The film ends with Senay and Okwe in the airport. Although they have fallen in love over the course of their trials, he must return to his young daughter in Nigeria (where his wife had been killed and he had been wrongly accused of the murder) and she leaves to start a new life in New York City.

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Chanel

Coco Chanel  early years.

Chanel S.A., commonly known as Chanel (IPA: /ʃə.ˈnɛɫ/), is a Parisian fashion house created by Coco Chanel. Specializing in luxury goods (haute couture, ready-to-wear, handbags, perfumery, and cosmetics among others), the Chanel label has become one of the most recognized names in luxury and haute couture fashion. According to Forbes, the privately held House of Chanel is jointly owned by Alain Wertheimer and Gerard Wertheimer who are the grandsons of the early (1924) Chanel partner Pierre Wertheimer.

The main rivals of la Maison de Chanel include Christian Dior and the LVMH group. The company has had many high-profile celebrities as spokesmodels, including Catherine Deneuve (1970s Chanel No.5 spokesmodel), Nicole Kidman (early 2000s Chanel No. 5 spokesmodel), Audrey Tautou (current Chanel No.5 spokesmodel), and most famously, Marilyn Monroe (1950s Chanel No. 5 spokesmodel) pictured splashing herself with a bottle of Chanel No. 5. The image is certainly the most famous of all Chanel advertisements, and continues to be one of the most popular advertisement photos in the history of marketing, used in countless biographies, and still selling in large quantities as a poster and art piece using Marilyn Monroe as the model..

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel heralded new designs and revolutionized the fashion industry by going "back to basics", incorporating elegance, class, and originality.Under her tight reign from 1909-1971, Coco Chanel held the title as ‘Chief Designer’ until her death on January 10, 1971.

In 1909, Gabrielle Chanel opened a shop on the ground floor of the Balsan's apartment in Paris - the beginnings of what would later become one of the greatest fashion empires in the world. The Balsan home was a meeting place of the hunting elite of France and the gentlemen brought their fashionable mistresses along, giving Coco the opportunity to sell the women decorated hats. During this time Coco Chanel struck up a relationship with Arthur Capel, a member of the Balsan men's group.

He saw a businesswoman in Coco and helped her acquire her location at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris by 1910. There was already a couture shop in the building, and so Coco was not allowed in her lease to produce couture dresses. In 1913, Chanel introduced women's sportswear at her new boutique in Deauville and Biarritz, France. She detested the fashions of women who came to these resort towns. Chanel's designs tended to be simple rather than opulent in look (common haute couture fashion of the Belle Époque). World War I affected fashion. Coal was scarce and women were doing the factory jobs that men had held prior to the war; they needed warm clothing that would stand up to working conditions. Chanel fossella's designs from this era were affected by the new idea of women's sports. During World War I, Coco opened another larger shop on Rue de Cambon in front of the Hôtel Ritz Paris. Here she sold flannel blazers, straight linen skirts, sailor tops, long jersey sweaters and skirt-jackets.Her fashion became known in 1915 throughout France for its simplicity. In the years 1915 and 1917, Harper's Bazaar mentioned that Chanel's name was "on the list of every buyer." Her boutique at 31 Rue Cambon previewed simple day dress-and-coat ensembles and black evening dresses in lace or jet-embroidered tulle (she also piled cushions of feathers, fur and metallic fabrics on the sofas in the gray and amber salons).

Coco Chanel established her reputation as a meticulous fashion couturier. Following the fashion trends of the 1920s, Chanel produced beaded dresses. The suit in two or three pieces created in 1920 remains a modern fashion look. The suit was advocated as the "new uniform for afternoon and evening as far back as 1915." 1921 saw the introduction of her first perfume Chanel No. 5. Earnest Beaux created the fragrance for Coco and she named it after her lucky number 5. The fragrance was a success. The signature scent was a result of her belief in superstitions. She was scheduled to show her collection on the fifth day of the fifth month. Coco informed Harper's Bazaar, "simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance", in 1923.

Parfums Chanel was founded in 1924 by Pierre Wertheimer to produce and sell perfumes and beauty products. Theophile Bader (founder of the successful French department store Galeries Lafayette) introduced Coco to Wertheimer. Wertheimer retained 70% of Parfums Chanel, while Bader retained 20%, and Coco a modest 10%. Coco was forced to operate her couture business apart from Parfums Chanel. In 1924, Coco also introduced her first costume jewelry which were a pair of pearl earrings, one black, one white. Along with the success of her haute couture business, Coco expanded her "social desirability and her personal legend." A new love interest in her life was the Duke of Westminster. She introduced her signature cardigan jacket in 1925 and in 1926, the ‘little black dress,' and a tweed, inspired by visits to Scotland. Soon, Coco operated a boutique near the renowned Louvre.

As the couture Chanel and Parfums Chanel gained success, business relations between Coco and Pierre were sour. She resented the partnership with Pierre Wertheimer and believed she deserved more than 10% of the profits, and believed that the Wertheimers were exploiting her talents for their own personal gain. Wertheimer reminded Coco that he had funded her venture, and that he had made her a wealthy woman.

Coco hired René de Chambrun as her attorney for renegotiating the terms with the Wertheimers. but this failed. The youngest model she hired was a teenager from her area, Meredith Annaline.

Evening couture dresses from Chanel evolved into an enlongated feminine style. Summer dresses have contrasting scintillating touches (e.g. rhinestone straps and silver eyelets). Coco a line for petite women in 1937. Throughout the 1930s, Elsa Schiaparelli was competing more strongly with the House of Chanel, but this was only a short term rivalry. Chanel premiered an exhibition of jewelry in 1932 dedicated to the diamond. Several of the pieces, including the "Comet" and "Fountain" necklaces were re-introduced by Chanel in 1993. When World War II began in 1939, Coco Chanel retired and moved into the Hôtel Ritz Paris with her new beau, Nazi officer Hans Gunther von Dincklage. Only her parfums and accessories were sold in her existing boutiques.

When France fell under the control of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany in 1940, the Nazis made the Ritz their French headquarters. Pierre Wertheimer and his family fled to the United States in 1940, and before Coco could take control of Parfums Chanel, Wertheimer made an "Aryan proxy" for the company. Rumors spread that Coco was on good terms with the Germans. Chanel biographer Edmonde Charles-Roux states that German intelligence sent her to "visit Winston Churchill as a part of a secret peace mission. Coco Chanel was arrested immediately after the liberation of France and charged with abetting the Germans, but Churchill intervened on her behalf and she was released." When France was liberated after the fall of the Nazi Empire, many French people meted out punishments to French women who were believed to have collaborated with the Nazis. Coco Chanel was without a doubt a target after the rumors, and so she fled to Switzerland.

In Coco's absence, Pierre Wertheimer returned to Paris to control Wertheimer family holdings. Out of spite, Coco created her own collection of perfumes. Wertheimer felt his legal rights were infringed, but he wanted to avoid a legal battle and settled with Coco by giving her $400,000 USD, 2% royalty from all Chanel products, and gave her limited rights to sell her own perfumes in Switzerland. Coco stopped making perfumes after the agreement. She sold the complete rights to her name to the Wertheimers for Perfumes Chanel, in exchange for a monthly stipend. The stipend supported her and her friend, von Dincklage.

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel died on January 10, 1971 at the age of 87. She was still "designing, still working" at the time of her death. Leadership of the company was handed down to Yvonne Dudel, Jean Cazaubon and Philippe Guibourge. The House continued average success, and Jacques Wetheimer bought the entire House of Chanel. Critics stated that during his leadership, he never paid much attention to the company as he was more interested in horse breeding. In 1974, the House of Chanel launched Cristalle eau de toilette, which was designed when Coco Chanel was alive. 1978 saw the launch of the first non-couture, prêt-à-porter line and worldwide distribution of accessories.

Alain Wertheimer, Jacques son, took over in 1974. Back in the U.S., Chanel No.5 was seen as a passe perfume. Alain revamped Chanel No.5 sales by reducing the number of outlets carrying the fragrance from 18,000 to 12,000. He removed the perfume from drugstore shelves, and invested millions of dollars in advertisement for Chanel cosmetics. This ensured a greater sense of scarcity and exclusivity for No.5, and sales rocketed back up as demand for the fragrance increased. Looking for a designer who could bring the label to new heights, he persuaded Karl Lagerfeld to end his contract with fashion house Chloé.

In 1981, Chanel launched a new eau de toilette for men, Antaeus. In 1983, Lagerfeld took over as chief designer for Chanel. He changed Chanel's fashion lines from the old lines to shorter cuts and eye capturing designs. During the 1980s, more than 40 Chanel boutiques were opened up worldwide. By the end of the 1980s, these boutiques sold goods ranging from $200-per-ounce perfume, $225 USD ballerina slippers to $11,000 USD dresses and $2,000 USD leather handbags. Rights to Chanel cosmetics and fragrances were held by Chanel only and not shared with other beauty producers and distributors. As Lagerfeld took charge as chief designer, other designers and marketers for Chanel worked on keeping the classic Chanel look to maintain the Chanel legend. Chanel marketer Jean Hoehn explained, "We introduce a new fragrance every 10 years, not every three minutes like many competitors. We don't confuse the consumer. With Chanel, people know what to expect. And they keep coming back to us, at all ages, as they enter and leave the market." The launch of a new fragrance in honor of the late Coco Chanel, Coco, in 1984 maintained success in the perfumery business with Chanel. In 1986, the House of Chanel struck a deal with watchmakers and in 1987, the first Chanel watch made its debut. By the end of the decade, Alain moved the offices to New York City.

By 1996, Chanel bought gunmaker Holland & Holland. It attempted to revamp the guns maker but did not succeed. 1996 also greeted the launch of Allure fragrance and due to its immense popularity, a men's version, Allure Homme was launched in 1998. Better success came with the purchase of Eres (a renowned swimwear label). The House of Chanel launched its first skin care line, PRÉCISION in 1999. That same year, Chanel launched a new travel collection, and under a license contract with Luxottica, introduced a line of sunglasses and eyeglass frames.

While Alain Wertheimer remained chairman of Chanel, CEO and President Françoise Montenay was to bring Chanel into the 21st century. 2000 saw the launch of the first unisex watch by Chanel, the J12, a style whose clean cuts and fusion of masculine and feminine elements formed a revolutionary watch, and a supposed cult-following in certain circles. In 2001, Bell & Ross was purchased (a watchmaker). The same year, Chanel boutiques offering only selections of accessories were opened in the United States.

To please its younger followers, Chanel introduced Coco Mademoiselle and an "In-Between Wear" in 2003. That same year saw such an immense popularity of Chanel haute couture that the company founded a second shop on rue Cambon. Continuing an influence in the Asian market, the House of Chanel opened a new 2,400 Square feet boutique in Hong Kong and paid nearly $50 million USD for a building in the classy and upscale shopping district of Ginza in Tokyo, Japan.

Coco Chanel revolutionized haute couture fashion by replacing the traditional corseted silhouette with the comfort of simple suits and long, lean dresses. The years of the 1920s and 1930s will best be remembered as the era of Coco whose simpler lines of women's couture led to the popular "flat-chested" look of the 1920s. Her clothing was relaxed and changed the way women dressed for outdoor leisure. Coco omitted corsets, liberating women and creating more comfort. Contemporary Fashion states, "She dressed the modern woman in clothes for a lifestyle." Coco is credited for making jersey (a soft elasticated knit used for undegarments) a new fashion fabric. Her jersey dresses in navy and gray were cut to flatter the figure rather than to emphasize and distort the natural body shape. These dresses were highly popular by wealthy women, and so she extended her range with them being manufactored by Rodier. Chanel also incorporated ideas from male wardrobe into her designs.

She had numerous other major successes that changed the fashion industry, including the ever popular Chanel suit, composed of a knee-length skirt and trim, boxy jacket, traditionally made of woven wool with black sewing trim and gold buttons, worn with large costume-pearl necklaces. The hem of the suit is weighted down with a chain. Wealthy women around the world began to flock to her 31 Rue Cambon boutique to commission couture outfits from her. The House of Chanel became an icon of elegance and from then on, the name "Chanel" became synonymous with elegance, wealth, and elitism, as well as the ultimate sign of French high class. After the phenomenal success of her perfume, Chanel No. 5, Coco Chanel's fashions became even more well-known and were purchased by the high flyers of London and Paris society alike. The financial gain from the fragrance also helped her company during difficult years.

Overall, Chanel has touched many American and European fashion designers for her pioneering search for originality and simple perfection. They "continue to re-inforce her concept of uncomplicated classics that inspire many contemporary designers' ready-to-wear collections -- a homage to Chanel's essential modernist styling and her legacy to the world of fashion.

Chanel is also known for its quilted fabric and leather which also has a "secret" quilting pattern sewn at the back to keep the material strong. It was inspired by the jackets of jockeys. This material is used for clothing and accessories alike. The Luxury Line, introduced in 2006 featuring a metal chain embedded in the leather, was one of the most desired bags of the moment. Chanel still is popular because it mixes the trends of today with the class and simplicity it had when it first opened. The brand is currently headed by German-born designer Karl Lagerfeld, who also designs for the House of Fendi, as well as his namesake label.

The signature Chanel logotype is an interlocking double-C (one facing forwards the other facing backwards). Originally it was not a logo that Coco Chanel came up with. The logo was given to her by the Chateau de Cremat in Nice. The logotype was not trademarked until the opening of the first Chanel stores.

Chanel is currently dealing with illegal use of the double-C logotype on cheaper goods, especially counterfeit handbags. Countries said to be producing great numbers of counterfeit Chanel handbags are Vietnam, Korea, and China. An authentic Chanel handbag retails from around $1,500 USD, while a counterfeit usually costs around $100 USD, creating a demand for the signature style at a cheaper price. All authentic Chanel handbags are serialized, beginning in the 1990s.

Chanel operates over 200 Chanel boutiques worldwide. The locations are found in upscale shopping districts, upscale department stores and malls, and inside major airports.

Creative Director at Chanel Jacques Helleu followed Coco Chanel's credo, having designed the first Chanel watch named 'Premiere' in 1987. The first model of the Chanel J12 watches line was introduced in 2000.

In 2005, Chanel designers introduced the J12 line into the area of Fine Jewelry timepieces - they developed the jewelry watch that was equipped with the tourbillion. Chanel asked experienced Swiss watchmakers to develop the exclusive 'CHANEL O5-T.1' movement.

In 2006, the line was joined by Chanel J12 Haute Joaillerie set with 597 baguette-cut diamonds, followed by the creation of the Chanel J12 Tourbillon Haute Joaillerie. In 2007, Chanel launched its first J12 GMT model.

In 2008, Chanel initiated the partnership with Audemars Piguet, having developed the 'J12 calibre 3125', equipped with an innovative automatic movement - CHANEL AP - 3125, the fusion of the AP 3120 movement and Chanel 'J12' ceramic.

Chanel launched a new advertising film that cast Nicole Kidman as the new face of Chanel No. 5. It was produced by Baz Luhrmann, the director of Moulin Rouge and Romeo+Juliet, and was shot on location in Sydney. Kidman takes on the role of the most famous woman in the world while Brazilian model/actor Rodrigo Santoro plays a struggling writer in love with Kidman. The commercial lasts three minutes, and reportedly took many months of pre- and post-production. It cost about €26 million ($46 million), making No. 5 The Film one of the most expensive advertisements in history.

Audrey Tautou, French actress and star of the film The Da Vinci Code (2006), replaced Kidman as spokesmodel for the No.5 fragrance.

British actress Keira Knightley, current model of the Coco Mademoiselle fragrance, starred as the young Coco Chanel in a short advertisement film for the fragrance directed by the English film director Joe Wright.

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Source : Wikipedia