"FRUITS DE MER" Directed by Hala Matar & Produced by Nicole Disson
A frazzled adulteress played by Parisian beauty Zoë Le Ber wakes up in the familiar surroundings of Bar Chateau Marmont, only to find herself trapped in a prank at the hands of her restaurant-owner lover, Fred, played by veteran actor C. Thomas Howell. “It’s about the power dynamics between a couple,” explains the writer and director of Fruits de Mer, Hala Matar. “I wanted to make a noir satire about a restaurateur who tried to dominate his mistress by taking over her possessions, leaving her no choice but to go back to her husband in her lover’s suit.”
Mercilessly teased by the smirks and disregard from a group of serenading male counterparts, including The Wire’s James Ransone, who masters a full-blooded rendition of jazz standard “My Funny Valentine,” the complicit protagonist has been stripped out of her frilly vintage Nina Ricci piece. “The dress is forensic evidence of what happened the night before, without it she's naked, hence powerless,” says 29-year-old Bahraini transplant Matar, who has amassed a list of impressive collaborations including Streetcar, a short film starring Chloë Sevigny, and a follow-up effort, Desire, with Johnny Knoxville, Matthew Gray Gubler and Sophie Kennedy Clark. Also included in the film's roster of fledgling talents are actress-cum-producer Nicole Disson and Palo Alto cinematographer Autumn Durald, as well as Californian punk pioneers Tuxedomoon, who fittingly score a puckish soundtrack.