Written and directed by a 21-year-old actress, this impressionistic portrait of two sisters and a brother (ages 7, 8, and 9) has evoked, for the great filmmaker Chris Marker, "a new New Wave of which 1/2 Price would be the Breathless." Pressed to explain this comparison, he recalls how, with Agnes Varda and others, he'd emerged from his first viewing of Godard's film: "Later, when we compared our memories, what struck us was that we'd been talking faster and louder than usual, as though something had just happened to us, something urgent, something we had to tell about right away. The main thing we wanted to say was, we've just seen something we've never before seen onscreen! Since then, I've seen many magnificent, moving, innovative films, but this feeling of freshness and urgency I've never felt again until 1/2 Price. I've seen, we've all seen, lots of kids in movies, sometimes brilliant ones, and filmed brilliantly. But even brilliant people can't forget to be adults, and to film kids, in a way, from a distance. During the glory days of militant cinema, I once explained to my worker-comrades that real movies about their condition were ones they'd have to make themselves, just as real movies about penguins would only be convincing the day when a penguin learned to use a camera. Well, here we are: thanks to DV, the penguins have seized control, and the'wildlife' aspect of Isild's movie (and my friends know that coming from me this is a huge compliment) allows us to see what we've never seen before: children as they are among themselves, without any adult, even a well-meaning one, looking on."
Isild Le Besco was born in 1982. A well known and critically acclaimed actress in France, she has worked in front of the camera since the age of eight. Her credits in shorts include Les vacances (1997) and La puce (1999) both directed by Emmanuelle Bercot., Her feature credits include Les filles ne savent pas nager (Girls Can't Swim, Anne-Sophie Birot, 2000), La repentie (Repentant; Laetitia Masson, 2002), Adolphe (Benoît Jacquot, 2002), Le cout de la vie (The Cost of Living, Phillippe Le Guay, 2003), and Quelqu'un vous aime (Emmanuelle Bercot, 2003). Le Besco was twice nominated in the Best Female Newcomer category of the Césars, in 2000 for Sade (Benoît Jacquot) and in 2001 for Roberto Succo (Cedric Kahn). Her performance in Sade earned her a Lumiere award in the same category. She has two sisters and two brothers, one of whom, Jowan, was the director of photography on 1/2 Price, her first film as a director. Her scenario for 1/2 Price was named Best Screenplay - Junior at the Festival du Film de Paris in 2000 and the completed film won the Special Jury Prize at the Festival d'Angers last fall.