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A David Lynch-like World for Xavier Dolan; Helmer Adapting “Tom a la ferme”

“Homosexuals learn to lie before they learn to love,” is a line of spoken dialogue that may find its way into Xavier Dolan’s next project. Moments before he launches Laurence Anyways on the Croisette, Xavier Dolan is already thinking about what lies ahead and among the many projects percolating in the French-Canadian auteur’s head is Tom à la ferme (which translates as Tom at the Farm) which is based on playwright Michel Marc Bouchard’s piece that Dolan caught last year. It’s appears to be heavy dramatic stuff filled with psychological warfare, jealousy, deceit and as the Bouchard mentions, is part of a troubled universe that evokes David Lynch. The play is traveling abroad and is currently playing in Mexico and will be shown in Toronto and France in the fall. La Presse reports that the film is at the early, financing stages and won’t necessarily be his next film.

Gist: Tom, a young advertising, modern and urban province went to the funeral of his lover died in a road accident. It is on a dairy farm and isolated he meets for the first time the mother of the deceased. She has no idea who he is or what he lived with his son. Tom discovers the different reality made ​​by one who is gone: that of a man in love with a woman named Ellen. Not to disappoint his mother, the brother of the late Tom forced, by threats and blows, to participate in the charade. Tom in search of exorcism of her mourning becomes strangely fascinated by what makes him undergo Francis.

Worth Noting: The talented Dolan recently expressed, in the local media, his disappointment for not being included in the Main Competition. This will be the second time Dolan will be presenting a film in the Un Certain Regard section – his first film was shown in the Directors’ Fortnight. Which basically tells us: your time will come Xavier.

Do We Care?: After his brilliant debut and strong sophomore feature, we look forward to his 2 plus hour opus and judging from the interview with the playwrights below (sorry French only) this might be a heavier project than anything in his current filmography.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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