Worth the wait

Lelouch's 'Amours' in works for 40 years

Claude Lelouch's 43rd film has been in the making for decades.

"It's a film I've wanted to make my whole life," the French helmer said of "Ces amours la." "It took me 40 years to write it. I always knew I'd make this movie."

Lelouch began making "Amours" in 1969, and he has shot footage for the project on each of the 42 films he has made during that span. Les Film du Kiosque has come on board to produce and confirmed the project Sunday.

Audrey Dana ("Roman de gare") will play the lead role in the story about the five great love affairs in one woman's life.

The main character recalls her former lovers — two Frenchmen, two Americans and a German — in flashback. French pop star Raphael, in his first acting role, will play one of the lovers. The film features actors dead and alive because many of the talent in Lelouch's films have since died. Co-stars include Salome Lelouch, Dominique Pinon, Anouk Aimee, Judith Magre and Christine Citti.

"Ces amours la," which translates to "these loves here," spans the life of its lead character from 1940-60 and includes a prologue telling the story of her parents and an epilogue about her children.

The film also chronicles the evolution of cinema, with opening sequences shot as a black-and-white silent film, followed by the introduction of sound, then color.

The film will be shot on a budget of $10 million, not including the €25 million producers estimate was spent during the course of the decades-long shoot.

So why finish the film now after 40 years?

"I'm over 70 years old, and if I wait too long, then I might not be able to make the movie," Lelouch said. "Now is the right time." (partialdiff)