Festival du Nouveau Cinema: Reygadas, Franco, Ozon, Vinterberg, Larrain, Mungiu and Sarah Polley Headline 41st Edition

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Montreal’s Festival Du Nouveau Cinema (10.10 – 10.21) announced their line-up today for their 41st edition and among the smorgasbord of subtitle offerings dating back to this year’s Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Venice and TIFF editions, we’re knee-deep in avant-garde world cinema from the established auteurs Assayas, Vinterberg, Ozon, Sang-Soo, Joao Pedro Rodriguez, Larrain, Loach, Reygadas, Ghobadi, Mungiu and Miguel Gomes. Heavy on offerings from Quebec and France, the fest also manages to offer a stellar snapshot of the up-and-comers from all corners of the globe. Among the notable titles in the (Competition category) International Selection we’ve got Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves, Ursula Meier’s Sister, Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s Francine (which received its theatrical release earlier this month) and Rodrigo Plá’s La Demora. Loaded in Cannes items, the Special Presentations is the fest’s A-list selections (see filmmakers named above) and the one pic that manages to stick out from the rest is Jean-Paul Jaud’s All of Us Guinea Pigs Now? – a investigative docu that takes aim at Monsanto. In the more ballsy section Temp Zero we find Maja Milos’ CLIP, Kirsten Sheridan’s Dollhouse, and Koji Wakamatsu’s Millennial Rapture and the fest serves up several U.S. indies: Jared Moshe Deadman’s Burden, Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours, Debbie Lum’s Seeking Asian Female and SXSW preemed Sean Baker’s Starlet. You’ll find the complete press release below:

Opening and Closing Films

The world premiere of Small Blind (La Mise à l’aveugle) by Simon Galiero (Quebec/Canada) will open the 41st edition of the FNC on Wednesday, October 10, at the Théâtre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts. Galiero’s second feature after Nuages sur la ville, which won the Focus Grand Prize at the 2009 FNC, Small Blind is the story of Denise (Micheline Bernard), who in her new life as a recently divorced retiree, succumbs to her love of gambling. The film’s director and crew (Micheline Bernard, Louis Sincenne, Pierre-Luc Brillant, Christine Beaulieu and Julien Poulin) will be in attendance to introduce the film to the public.

On Saturday, October 20, actress/director Noémie Lvovsky’s film Camille Rewinds (Camille Redouble) (France) will close the Festival, presented with the support of the French General Consulate in Quebec. This critically acclaimed comedy won the SACD Award (Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques) during the Directors’ Fortnight at the last Cannes Festival and the Variety Piazza Grande Award at the 65th Locarno International Film Festival. Camille Rewinds takes a lighthearted, quirky look at the passage of time. One night, 40-year-old Camille (Noémie Lvovsky), recently separated from Éric, is transported 25 years into the past and rediscovers life as a teenager with her parents, her friends and Éric.

International Selection: Louve d’Or presented by Québecor

Every year, the International Selection takes a fresh look at independent production throughout the world by focusing on the first, second or third works by still largely unrecognized filmmakers. This year, 18 films are in competition for the Louve d’Or presented by Québecor and the accompanying $15,000 cash prize. The films are: Blackbird, Jason Buxton (Canada); Blancanieves, Pablo Berger (Spain/France); Boy Eating the Bird’s Food, Ektoras Lygizos (Greece); Catimini, Nathalie St-Pierre (Quebec/Canada); Deadman’s Burden, Jared Moshe (United States); La Demora, Rodrigo Plá (Mexico/Uruguay/France); Djeca, enfants de Sarajevo, Aida Begic (Bosnia-Herzegovina/Germany/France/Turkey); L’Enfant d’en haut, Ursula Meier (France/Switzerland); Francine, Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky (Canada/United States); Ici et là-bas (Aquí y allá), Antonio Méndez Esparza (United States/Spain/Mexico); Loving, Slawomir Fabicki (Poland); Our Little Differences (Die Feinen Unterschiede), Sylvie Michel (Germany); Rengaine, Rachid Djaïdani (France); The Shine of Day (Der Glanz Des Tages), Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel (Austria); Sudoeste, Eduardo Nunes (Brazil); La Tête la première, Amelie Van Elmbt (Belgium/France); Un Mois en Thailande (O Luna in Thailanda), Paul Negoescu (Romania); Une Famille respectable (Yek Khanévadéh-e Mohtaram), Massoud Bakhshi (Iran).

Special Presentation

This section brings together the best productions of the year and the biggest names in international cinema. This year, the Special Presentation list is made up of 24 highly anticipated films: A Liar’s Autobiography – The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson and Ben Timlett (UK); À perdre la raison, Joachim Lafosse (Belgium/Luxembourg/France/Switzerland); Après Mai, Olivier Assayas (France); Au-Delà des collines (Dupa Dealuri), Cristian Mungiu (Romania); Casting By, Tom Donahue (United States); La Chasse (Jagten), Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark); Dans la maison, François Ozon (France); Fragments of Kubelka, Martina Kudlácek (Austria); In Another Country (Da-Reun Na-Ra-E-Suh), Hong Sang-Soo (South Korea); Insurgence, Groupe d’action en cinéma Épopée (Quebec/Canada); Lacan Palestine, Mike Hoolboom (Canada/Palestine/Israel); The Last Time I Saw Macao (A Ultima Vez Que Vi Macau), João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra Da Mata (Portugal/France); Le Magasin des suicides, Patrice Leconte (France/Canada/Belgium); Midnight’s Children, Deepa Mehta (Canada/Sri Lanka); NO, Pablo Larrain (Chile/United States); Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidl (Austria/Germany/France); The Angel’s Share (La Part des anges), Ken Loach (Great Britain/France/Belgium/Italy); Post Tenebras Lux, Carlos Reygadas (Mexico/France/Germany/Netherlands); Rhino Season, Bahman Ghobadi (Irak/Turkey); The Rolling Stones: Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965, Mick Gochanour and Peter Whitehead (UK/United States); Tabou (Tabu), Miguel Gomes (Portugal/Germany/Brazil/France); All of Us Guinea-Pigs Now? (Tous Cobayes?), Jean-Paul Jaud (France); Three Sisters (Trois Soeurs), Wang Bing (France/Hong Kong); Vous n’avez encore rien vu, Alain Resnais (France).

International Panorama

A fascinating series of current cinematic works that offer audiences a glimpse into the world around us. This year, the International Panorama section includes 30 films: After Lucia (Despues de Lucia), Michel Franco (Mexico); Aglaja, Krisztina Deak (Poland/Romania); Arraianos, Eloy Enciso (Spain); Baikonur, Veit Herlmer (Kazakhstan/Germany/Russia); The Bella Vista, Alicia Cano (Uruguay/Germany); Blue Meridian, Sofie Benoot (Belgium); Les Chevaux de Dieu, Nabil Ayouch (Morocco/France/Belgium); The Color of the Chameleon (La Couleur du Caméléon), Emil Christov (Bulgaria); Crossing Boundaries (Grenzgänger), Florian Flicker (Austria); The End (Al Nihaya), Hicham Lasri (Morocco); Good Luck, Sweetheart (Boa sorte, meu amor), Daniel Aragão (Brazil); Inori, Pedro González-Rubio (Japan); It Looks Pretty from a Distance (Z Daleka Widok Jest Piekny), Anka Sasnal and Wilhelm Sasnal (Poland); Mold (Küf), Ali Aydin (Turkey/Germany); Museum Hours, Jem Cohen (Austria/United States); My Land, Nabil Ayouch (France/Morocco); Naked Harbour (Vuosaari), Aku Louhimies (Finland/Austria/Russia); Neighbouring Sounds (O Sim Ao Redor), Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil); Noor, Çagla Zencirci & Guillaume Giovanetti (France/Pakistan); L’œil de l’astronome, Stan Neumann (France); Orléans, Virgil Vernier (France); Pasolini’s Last Words, Cathy Lee Crane (United States/Italy); Peaches Does Herself, Peaches (Germany); Room 514, Sharon Bar-Ziv (Israel); Seeking Asian Female, Debbie Lum (United States); Speechless (Wu Yan), Simon Chung (Honk Kong); Starlet, Sean Baker (United States); Still Life (Stilleben), Sebastian Meise (Austria); Taboor, Vahid Vakilifar, (Iran); Un Monde sans femmes, Guillaume Brac (France).

Focus presented by Air France

A big celebration of home-grown cinema! These are independent works from Quebec and Canada, engaged and visionary, each of them a fantastic viewing experience. Screenings of this impressive selection will begin on Thursday, October 11, with the sci-fi film Mars & Avril by Martin Villeneuve (Quebec/Canada) in the opening spot. The following titles are in competition for the Focus Grand Prize presented by Air France ($5,000 in cash and $2,500 in plane tickets): Boredom, Albert Nerenberg (Quebec/Canada); La Cicatrice, Jimmy Larouche (Quebec/Canada); Two Days and a Half (Deux jours et demi), Pablo Diconca (Quebec/Canada); The First Winter, Ryan McKenna (Canada); Joy! Portrait of a Nun (Joie! Portrait d’une nonne), Joe Balass (Quebec/Canada), Laylou, Philippe Lesage (Quebec/Canada); Stories we Tell, Sarah Polley (Quebec/Canada); Le Torrent, Simon Lavoie (Quebec/Canada); Tower, Kazik Radwanski (Canada) and Uncontrollable, Eugene Garcia (Quebec/Canada).

The out-of-competition films are: Alphée des étoiles, Hugo Latulippe (Quebec/Canada); Buzkashi!, Najeeb Mirza (Quebec/Canada); Fernando Arrabal-Grand rectum-Université de foulosophie, François Ara Gourd et Hugo Samson (Quebec/Canada); Jews and Money (Les Juifs et l’argent), Lewis Cohen (Quebec/Canada); Mars & Avril, Martin Villeneuve (Quebec/Canada); Tango’s Revenge (La Revanche du tango), Francine Pelletier (Quebec/Canada) and Un Nuage dans un verre d’eau, Srinath C. Samarasinghe (Quebec/Canada/France).

Temps Ø

With its usual wide-ranging lens, Temps Ø is once again a source of amazing finds, mysterious works and true gems. Opening the section on October 11 will be Brandon Cronenberg’s much awaited Antiviral, a sick and contagious debut that was voted Best Canadian First Film at TIFF. Directly before the screening, there will be a live performance by Montreal visual artist Ouananiche of his video/music work Ana. Adolescence is a perennial subject for films, and is here dealt with in three often in-your-face but emotionally resonant films. The one by far the most likely to stir up controversy, and winner of the grand prize at the Rotterdam Festival, is Clip by Serbian director Maja Milos, who will honour us with her presence. Reminiscent of Larry Clark’s films, it features 14- and 15-year-old girls with nothing but sex on their minds. Kirsten Sheridan’s Dollhouse, here getting its Canadian premiere, is a portrait of a group of young people with too much energy to burn who, over the course of a single night, invade a home and trash it. Another approach to adolescence, this time in the form of a mysticism-tinged Western, is Los Salvajes by Argentina’s Alejandro Fadel, in which five teenagers escape from prison to head out in search of the “Godfather.” For a change of pace, the poetic Dark Side of The Sun follows kids who are overly sensitive to UV rays and have to live by night. Director Carlo Shalom Hintermann will be in Montreal for the film’s North American premiere. The Legend of Kaspar Hauser by Italian director Davide Manuli, a bizarre film where cult figure Vincent Gallo plays the characters of sheriff and dealer, gets its Canadian premiere at the Festival. The soundtrack by Vitalic is like a jolt of energy the morning after a rave. Speaking of raves, if there’s one to see it’s the Chemical Brothers in The Chemical Brothers: Don’t think by Adam Smith. The screening will be a full-on musical and cinematic experience led by the high priests of techno and shot at Japan’s Fuji Rock Festival in 2011. Since Temps Ø is also about hilarity, we present the North American premiere of the winner of the Un Certain Regard special jury prize at Cannes — Le Grand Soir by crazy Belgian duo Gustave de Kervern and Benoît Delépine, and starring Benoît Poelvoorde as Europe’s oldest crust punk and his salesman brother, played by Albert Dupontel. By far the best sports comedy around, Ole Endresen’s King Curling is the story of a curling champion whose mental issues force him to get out of the game. And from Asia, an astonishing new film by Japan’s Sono Sion, who last year brought us his Guilty of Romance. Land of Hope, a fictional take on the Fukushima disaster, is a departure from his usual style. Koji Wakamatsu’s contemplative work The Millennial Rapture is an adaptation of Kenji Nakagami’s bestselling book A Thousand Years of Pleasure. Outrage Beyond by Takeshi Kitano is the sequel to his famous Outrage and takes us back into the violent world of the yakuzas. Director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, the king of suggestive horror, brings us Penance (Shokusai), the story of a mother’s revenge and five difficult women. Last but not least, the Canadian premiere of an animated film that will appeal as much to grownups as to kids with its Kubrick and Miyazazi influences: Wolf Chidren by Mamoru Hosoda.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, editor-in-chief and film critic at IONCINEMA.com (founded in 2000). Eric splits his time between his home base in Montreal, NYC, and is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. Top Films From Contemporary Film Auteurs: Almodóvar (Talk to Her), Coen Bros. (Fargo), Dardennes (La Promesse), Haneke (Caché), Hsiao-Hsien (Three Times), Kar-wai (In the Mood for Love), Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry), Lynch (Mulholland Dr.), Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho), von Trier (Breaking the Waves)