SIBERIA, MY SALINGER YEAR, SAINT-NARCISSE, and More at Montreal Nouveau 2020
As parts of Québec have been put back in the pandemic red zone, thereby closing cinemas for at least 28 days (that's not ominous), the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma has moved (most of) its programming online, running October 7th - 31st. While we may not be able to enjoy the shared cinema experience, the online format has the advantage of being available to the entire nation of Canada (sorry people elsewhere!) And like other festivals, a reduction in quantity does not mean a reduction in quality.
First, there's Siberia, Abel Ferrera's latest opus with his cinematic stand-in Willem Dafoe; these two have such a wonderful director-actor relationship, I'm always excited to see where it will take them. There's also the North American premeire of the latest Sion Sono film (I'm convinced this man never sleeps), Red Post on Escher Street, a story about film extras getting their revenge. Atlantis, which won the Orizzonti Prize at Venice Film Festival; This is Not A Burial, It's a Resurrection, winner of a Special Jury Prize at Sundance; and Topside, which won a special jury prize at SXSW.
And more! A special restoration of Dennis Hooper's Out of the Blue, and a documentary about another great filmmaker, Wim Wenders: Desperado. To The Moon, selected from Telluride, an homage to that elusive satellite above us; the latest from the Greek New Wave, Apples, by Lanthimos protegé Christos Nikou; the latest from Canadian auteur Bruce LaBruce, Saint-Narcisse; and from another great Canadian (Québecois) director, Phillipe Falardeau, My Salinger Year, about the reclusive American author, will close the festival.
There's also a plethora of shorts (and I always say, watch at least one shorts programme at every festival, not only for the joy of the form, but to discover the great new talents), programming for kids, talks and masterclasses. More details in the press release below, and a link to the FNC website. Tickets and bundles are on sale now.
International Competition: Louve d’or presented by Québecor
Aimed at introducing audiences to the emerging voices of worldwide cinema, the Festival’s flagship section highlights the unique perspectives of the artists who will shape tomorrow’s new cinema. The 10 films in the running for the Louve d’or include a number of titles that stood out on the international festival circuit this past year: ATLANTIS, Valentyn Vasyanovych (Ukraine); BAD ROADS, Natalya Vorozhbit (Ukraine); THE CLOUD IN HER ROOM, Zheng Lu Xinyuan (China, Hong Kong); DESTERRO, Maria Clara Escobar (Brazil, Portugal, Argentina); ÊXTASE, Moara Passoni (Brazil, United States); KILL IT AND LEAVE THIS TOWN, Marius Wilczynski (Poland); SERVANTS, Ivan Ostrochovsky (Slovakia, Romania, Czech Republic, Ireland); THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE SEVEN SONGS, Pushpendra Singh (India); THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT’S A RESURRECTION, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho, Italy, South Africa); and TOPSIDE, Logan George and Celine Held (United States).
"The closing of movie theaters and the postponement of many Quebec film releases have unfortunately shaken up both their schedule and the announced selection of the festival. While affected by the current circumstances, the National Competition section is nonetheless proud of its strong and highly original titles, fully anchored in the most important fights or open towards pure freedom." - claims Zoé Protat, director of programming at the Festival du nouveau cinéma.
Festival-goers will be able to discover the following premieres: THERE ARE NO FALSE UNDERTAKINGS, Olivier Godin (Quebec/Canada); SIN LA HABANA, Kaveh Nabatian (Quebec/Canada, Cuba); VIOLATION, Dusty Mancinelli and Madeleine Sims-Fewer (Ontario/Canada) and JUDY VERSUS CAPITALISM, Mike Hoolboom (Ontario/Canada).
Top international names usually compose this selection and 2020 will be no exception here! Here are the titles offered to the audience: CONFERENCE, Ivan Tverdovskiy (Russia, Estonia, U.K., Italy); THERE IS NO EVIL, Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran, Germany, Czech Republic), Golden Bear winner at Berlin; UNDINE, Christian Petzold (Germany, France), which bagged Paula Beer the best actress award at Berlin; UPPERCASE PRINT, Radu Jude (Romania); and the documentary WIM WENDERS, DESPERADO, Campino and Eric Friedler (Germany).
With the Temps Ø selection, the public will be able to discover several avant-garde feature films. The different titles include: the french anti-racist comedy TOUT SIMPLEMENT NOIR, by Jean-Pascal Zadi and John Wax. The film stars rapper JoeyStarr and Mathieu Kassovitz. Also in selection: the highly anticipated SIBERIA, Abel Ferrara (Italy, Germany, Mexico); THE BOOK OF VISION, Carlo S. Hintermann (Italy, U.K., Belgium); CAUGHT IN THE NET, Vít Klusák and Barbora Chalupova (Czech Republic, Slovakia); SHELL AND JOINT, Isamu Hirabayashi (Japan), THALASSO and THE KIDNAPPING OF MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ, Guillaume Nicloux (France); RED POST ON ESCHER STREET, Sion Sono (Japan); THE TREMOR, Balaji Vembu Chelli (India);
Les nouveaux alchimistes
Made by artists from varied backgrounds, the films in this section stand out for their boldness and originality. Dedicated to formal exploration, new approaches and experimentation, this year’s lineup consists of eight boundary-pushing features: the monumental DAU. NATASHA, Ilya Khrzhanovsky and Jekaterina Oertel (Germany, Ukraine, U.K., Russia); KHAMSIN, Grégoire Orio and Grégoire Couvert (France, Lebanon); LAST AND FIRST MEN, Jóhann Jóhannsson (Iceland); LÚA VERMELLA, Lois Patiño (Spain); MAGGIE’S FARM, James Benning (United States); NIGHT HAS COME, Peter Van Goethem (Belgium); THE REPUBLICS, Huw Wahl (U.K.); and TO THE MOON, Tadhg O’Sullivan (Ireland).
A section that showcases remarkable lives as it probes the current state of affairs. From Brazil to Vietnam, Argentina to Greece, the lineup includes socially engaged works that highlight uniquely subjective experiences and views that shake up the status quo. Available through video-on-demand, the 11 features in this year’s Panorama are: A YELLOW ANIMAL, Felipe Bragança (Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique); APPLES, Christos Nikou (Greece, Poland, Slovenia); COCOON, Leonie Krippendorff (Germany); DROWSY CITY, Dung Luong Dinh (Vietnam); LA HIJA DE UN LADRÓN, Belén Funes (Spain); MAMÁ, MAMÁ, MAMÁ, Sol Berruezo Pichon-Rivière (Argentina); MOVING ON, Yoon Dan-Bi (South Korea); OASIS, Ivan Ikic (Serbia, Slovenia, Netherlands, France); SI C’ÉTAIT DE L’AMOUR, Patric Chiha (France); SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS, Lisa Rovner (U.K.); and WISDOM TOOTH, Liang Ming (China).
Special presentations and events
Initially scheduled to hit theaters and act as the closing title of the Festival, the latest feature by Philippe Falardeau, a prominent regular at the FNC, will symbolically close this special edition on October 17 with MY SALINGER YEAR which will be available online for 24 hours. Screened during the opening night of this year's Berlinale, the film stars Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley, Douglas Booth, Colm Feore and Théodore Pellerin.
Another highly anticipated title is SAINT-NARCISSE, directed by Bruce LaBruce, which was presented at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. The enfant terrible of Canadian queer cinema promises to surprise moviegoers once again.
The Rendez-vous #Cinémad’ici presented by Quebecor
To mark the 50th anniversary of the October Crisis, Quebecor, presenting partner of the FNC, will offer, in collaboration with Éléphant: mémoire du Cinéma québécois, the restored versions of two outstanding works retracing the events of October 1970: LES ORDRES by Michel Brault, on Friday October 16, and OCTOBRE by Pierre Falardeau, on Saturday October 10. The Rendez-vous #Cinémad’ici presented by Quebecor will be free and online.
With over 88 short films from 30 countries, the selection will showcase both established and emerging filmmakers whose work stood out over the last year on the festival circuit. The program includes FILIPIÑANA by Rafael Manuel Mendoza, winner of this year’s Silver Bear at the Berlin Festival; PLACES by Lithuanian director Vytautas Katlus, shown at the Venice Festival; this year’s best short film winner at Locarno, RED ANINSRI; OR, TIPTOEING ON THE STILL TREMBLING BERLIN WALL by Thailand’s Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke; and SUN DOG by Dorian Jespers, winner of best short film at Rotterdam. Several FNC standbys will also be back, including Marie Losier with WHICH IS WITCH?; Bertrand Mandico with THE RETURN OF TRAGEDY; Rainer Kohlberger with THERE MUST BE SOME KIND OF WAY OUT OF HERE; THE END OF SUFFERING (A PROPOSAL) by Jacqueline Lentzou, focus of an FNC Spotlight in 2018; and THE UNSEEN RIVER by Vietnamese director Phạm Ngọc Lân, who returns to the FNC after winning the Loup argenté in 2019.
Audiences can also discover the excellence of national talents with films such as ANISHKA by Vincent Toi, COMME UNE COMÈTE by Ariane Louis-Seize and POINT AND LINE TO PLANE by Sofia Bohdanowicz fresh from this year’s TIFF, as well as BENJAMIN, BENNY, BEN by Paul Shkordoff (Cannes label 2020) and AUGUST 22, THIS YEAR by Graham Foy (Critics’ Week and NYFF).
Even kids get their own program specially designed just for them ! P’tits Loups will be taking place online with three short-film programs available to everyone across the country. Two programs are aimed at kids aged 3 and over, while the third will be suitable for kids 10 and over. Please note that, once again, part of the short-film lineup will be competitive, and the Prix des P’tits loups will be awarded by a jury made up of young movie buffs aged 8 to 12.
This year for the first time, the Grande Kermesse des P’tits Loups is moving its playground online to the Facebook group FNC P’tits Loups. From Saturday, October 10 at 9 am till Sunday, October 11 at 5 pm: four free workshops with artists Ian Langhor, Marianne Dubuc and Isabelle Guimond and the Namaste workshops will accompany a program of short films for kids. Perfect for a weekend with the family!
Talks, discussions and master classes
Master class by Philippe Falardeau, presented by DGC
A well-established director and screenwriter whose Monsieur Lazhar (2011) received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, Philippe Falardeau shoots in both French and English and is today one of the most recognized and respected Quebec filmmakers on the planet. During this master class, moderated by director/producer Daniel Roby with the participation of director Tristan Dubois, Falardeau will discuss his career and share his vision of today’s film industry online on Friday, October 16 at 11 am. This master class is presented by the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC/GCR) as part of the DGC Visionaries events.
Uri and Michelle Kranot master class
Animation virtuosi MICHELLE and URI KRANOT, whose approach transcends traditional animation to fuse painting, drawing and new technologies into contemporary experiences, will host a virtual master class on Saturday October 17 at 10:00 am. Their work is characterized by its poetic sensibility and fragmented narratives that straddle past and present, fact and fiction. Audience can also appreciate their mastery in THE HANGMAN AT HOME - VR, part of the FNC EXPLORE competition and freshly awarded the Grand Jury Prize for best VR immersive work at the 77th Venice Biennale.
Making its North American premiere, MOTTO LIVE, a performance inspired by the interactive experience Motto.io, will be broadcast live from Vincent Morisset’s studio and a handful of streets in Montreal’s Petite-Patrie neighbourhood. Actress Marie Brassard and author Sean Michaels will narrate. Composed of thousands of tiny videos, Motto.io moves fluidly between documentary and fiction, incorporating participants’ lo-fi, unstaged footage into its own emotional narrative. Neither book nor film, it’s a mind-bending ghost story that takes shape through people’s unique perspectives on the world. MOTTO LIVE is an AATOAA production based on the work Motto.io, created by AATOAA and produced by the NFB. Free event upon registration.