Watch out, cult movie! 30 years after its release, It happened near you is coming out in theaters in a restored 4K version thanks to L’Atelier Distribution. This film, unfeasible today, revealed Benoît Poelvoorde to the eyes of the general public!
Released in theaters on November 4, 1992, It happened near you celebrates its 30th anniversary with a great release in cinemas, enhanced by a 4K restoration!
This feature film, which very quickly rose to the rank of cult film, is constructed in the form of a mockumentary.
A team of journalists follow Ben, a killer who attacks the elderly and the middle class. Little by little the journalists will take part in the crimes of Ben, camped by an exceptional Benoît Poelvoorde.
Originally, It happened near you is the graduation film of Rémy Belvaux, then a student at INSAS, a French-speaking Brussels film school. The filmmaker wants to stage a parody of the famous TV show Striptease.
The work lasts 50 minutes, Rémy Belvaux sticking to the duration of the show. To allow a theatrical release, the filmmaker (assisted in the production by André Bonzel and Benoît Poelvoorde) will shoot new sequences so that the film lasts 1 hour and 32 minutes.
It Happened Near You had the effect of a real shock wave when it was presented at Cannes in May 1992, then when it was released in November of the same year. Trash, cynical, violent and very raw, the film does not hesitate to go very far in black and acid humor!
Between rapes, murders and infanticides, It happened near you has been controversial for its representation of violence. In this sense, these sequences have been cut in certain international versions, including the one intended for the USA, in order to circumvent censorship.
In addition, on the original poster of the feature film, we could see a pacifier above a puddle of blood, with Ben overlooking the scene armed with his pistol. (picture above)
For the release in 1992, the French poster, designed by Pascal Le Brun, opted for a denture instead of a pacifier so as not to be banned for those under 18. For the release in 2022, the poster was not censored and we find this macabre detail.
With a very small budget, the film is shot in black and white on 16mm film. Many actors participate voluntarily in the project, including Benoît Poelvoorde’s mother and grandparents.
In addition, It happened near you is the first with Benoît Poelvoorde as headliner. The latter was absolutely not destined for an acting career at the time.
“Thanks to the talent, audacity and inventiveness of its authors, the book goes beyond the laws of the genre to offer a lively reflection on the representation of violence in cinema”wrote the magazine Positif in 1992.
Highly noticed at film festivals, the feature film won the SACD prize, the international critics prize and the special youth prize at Cannes 1992. “It was the biggest take-off I have known. Immediate support. There were many Tartuffes to shout that the limits of good taste had been crossed, but it was marginal.
With his eloquence and charm, Poelvoorde put journalists in his pocket.
With his eloquence and charm, Poelvoorde put journalists in his pocket. He even left with my secretary, Coralie, whom he later married.”explained Jean Roy, delegate general of the Semaine de la critique in 1992, interviewed by Télérama.
The film will be a historic triumph in Belgium and in most of the 27 countries where its authors screened it. “It’s the only movie I know where everyone worked for free and still got a percentage”, pointed out Benoît Poelvoorde mischievously. In France, it will attract more than 500,000 spectators in theaters.
It’s the only film I know where everyone worked for free and still got a percentage.
It happened near you therefore launched the career of the Belgian comedian. Unfortunately, co-director Rémy Belvaux will not have the same fate as his friend. After working for a long time in advertising, he killed himself by throwing himself under a train in 2006. He was 39 years old.
As for the 3rd director, André Bonzel, he returned to anonymity after the success of the film, which was the trigger for the end of a beautiful friendship between these 3 crazy artists.