After a four-year shoot over three continents, Jonathan Nossiter imagined a project even more original, probing, funny, and thrilling as his famous feature length documentary, “Mondovino”: 10 one hour films, in other words one 10 hour movie. This Balzacian fresco across the world of wine reveals new issues at stake for the heroes of the wine world approached in the feature film, as well as showing us new landscapes and characters: the Montille family, Michel Rolland, Albert du Villaine, guardian of the mythical Romanee Conti, Jean-Michel Cazes, called “Bordeuax’s Mufti,” Bill Harlan, the American emblem of cowboy power in the wine world, and Pablo Farfan, a beet and broccoli grower close to the Bolivian frontier.
Nossiter’s weapons are simply a mini-DV camera, an acerbic sense of humor, and the attitude of a filmmaker not making a documentary but a serial thriller. The “Mondovino” series investigates the financial and political issues at stake in the wine business, and reveals the passions and inspirations that this divine drink provokes amongst both the most powerful and most humble people.
Jonathan Nossiter is more than anything a well-known director of features such as “Sunday” (Grand Prix at Sundance), as well as “Signs & Wonders” with Charlotte Rampling, but he was originally trained as a sommelier. This training allowed him to plunge deep into this world that is so passionate for the magic potion. Nossiter humorously takes on the role of Astérix, the Gallic warrior of famous cartoon, resisting in a war against the Roman armies and Caesar himself. Astérix and his neighbors always vanquish their foes thanks to their magic motion made by their village druid, Panoramix. Could good wine be this magic potion?
Episode 1: Where Is Astérix?
A portrait of Aniane, a village in Languedoc, in conflict with itself and with the New World. A French serial with Brazilian pepper.
Episode 2: The Magic Potion
An intimate portrait of a family of Bourguogne, the Montille family.
Episode 3: Rome Wasn’t Built in One Day
A fresco of Californian power and its relationship with Mexican migrant workers.
Episode 4: Pax Panoramix
A battle between terrorists and political/economic activists. Should you resist or should you collaborate?
Episode 5: La Via Appia
Robert Parker’s influence.
Episode 6: Que vademus?
A meditation on eternal youth and maturity: what would have happened if Gombrowicz had been drinking wine?
Episode 7: All Roads Lead to Rome
A psycholanalysis of wine grapes.
Episode 8: Crossing the Rubicon
Plots and intrigues in big Tuscany families.
Episode 9: Et tu Brute?
Betrayal, redemption, globalization…the Italian way.
Episode 10: Veni, vidi, vendidi
Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina…the future of our wine heritage?
Jonathan Nossiter has directed five feature films. The most recent is, “Rio Sex Comedy” (2010) starring Charlotte Rampling, Bill Pullman, Irène Jacob and Fisher Stevens.
“Mondovino”, a human comedy set in the wine world, was nominated for the Palme D’Or in Cannes in 2004 (one of only three documentaries ever nominated in the history of the festival) and was released in over 40 countries. A 10 part series derived from the feature, which he also directed and produced, had its world premiere at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2006. “Mondovino; the Series” was released on DVD by Diaphana in France in 2006 and has come out in numerous countries including in the US via Kimstin Video in 2009.
He co-wrote (with James Lasdun) and directed “Signs & Wonders” (2000), a psychological thriller set in Greece, produced by MK2 and Nick Wechsler, with Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgard. It was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 2000 Berlin Film festival.
“Sunday”… read more