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Festival du Nouveau Cinema

by Archives October 7, 2008

Detroit Metal City

It’s the classic tale: boy leaves home to head to the big city in pursuit of his dream, to become a “trendy-yet-serious” pop singer. He gets a trendy apartment and takes some trendy courses. Just when everything is going trendily well, he gets packaged into the role of a not-so-trendy death metal god. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
In the Japanese comedy Detroit Metal City, Negeshi-kun doesn’t like being Sir Krauser. He’d rather be playing Swedish pop for cute girls like Aikawa-san. But instead, he’s thrilling writhing souls with his “castration fantasy extreme masochist costume” (and the Engrish gets better as the film goes on).
His motto “no music, no dream” seems lost until his fluffy aspirations take a deeper turn.
Full of guttural roars and soft songs, the light-hearted feature has the type of wacky fun that only Japan seems able to pull off.
Shot in a cheesy yet candy-coated style, this comedy gets you laughing hard but at some points wondering: how does a culture that seems so interested in the randomness of life manage to have such a long attention span?

Detroit Metal City plays Friday, Oct. 10 at Cinema Imperial.
– Michael Connors

A Sentimental Capitalism

The subject of director Olivier Asselin’s (La Liberté d’une Statue) new film is as original as it is relevant: a broker (Alex Bisping) bets that he can increase the value of anything, and two friends challenge him to register a marginal artist at the stock exchange.
Meanwhile, Fernande Bouvier (Lucille Fluet) dreams of art and love while living in bohemian Paris. But her idealism is shattered when she moves to the world’s financial epicentre, New York City. While becoming the Big Apple’s most prized stock, Bouvier learns firsthand how Wall Street often generates money by simply stirring wind. Set almost 80 years in the past, the actuality of it all will no doubt make viewers reflect on their own financial problems.
“Stocks quotations are love’s measure,” the broker tells Bouvier. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” she replies.
All this is true until Fernande Bouvier Inc. goes on unlimited strike. The company collapses, dragging many others down with it. Soon enough, it’s the market crash of 1929. The rest is history. Shot on blue screen by Montreal’s Fly Studio, this $1.25 million film manages to capture an enchanting story despite a limited budget.

A Sentimental Capitalism opens the FNC on Oct. 8 at Cinema Imperial.
– Julien McEvoy

Transfert

Since its beginnings in 1971, Montreal’s FNC has managed to retain its charm by colouring its schedule with both eclectic short films and features.
Not to mention the festival’s legendary risk-taking with cutting edge pieces, one such example being this year’s Quebec-based six-minute breakdance short Transfert.
Transfert begins with a solo busker breakdancing to a ghettoblaster in the subway, who is spontaneously joined by a passerby. The film continues in this manner until there’s a full dance troupe performing in unison.
The film is wonderfully shot, taking just the right compositional risks to set it apart from the typical Bravofact production. It also boasts an appropriate soundtrack by local hero Kid Koala. Unfortunately, it’s the dancing itself that is suspect in Transfert, leaving the audience with lingering disappointment.
A technically strong interlude, Transfert may not be a perfect short piece – but that’s not what this festival is about anyhow.

Transfert plays Oct. 16 at 5 p.m. and Oct. 19 at 5:20 p.m. at Ex-Centris.

– Michael Frittenberg-Doyle

The Tiger’s Tail

The Tiger’s Tail, set during the economic boom of early 2000s Ireland, is another interesting offering from filmmaker John Boorman (Hell in the Pacific). Actor Brendan Gleeson rises to the challenge, doubling up as the successful land baron protagonist, Liam O’Leary, and his long lost twin brother. Abandoned at birth, the evil twin comes looking for revenge.
Kim Catrall does her best Irish impersonation as the drifting wife in what feels more like a bedroom melodrama than a critique of unrestrained and corrupted free market capitalism.
The Tiger’s Tail has thoughtful things to say, but this film fundamentally fails at cohesively tackling the larger issues. As timely as a film about economic corruption seems, our current fiscal chaos ultimately poses too much of a challenge for The Tiger’s Tail to offer up genuine insight, never mind a synthesis of how greed can damage human relationships as well as pocket books.
Although Gleeson and the supporting cast do an admirable job at making each scene evolve, in the end The Tiger’s Tail gets caught up in muddled plot devices in order to force the allegory of a man having to face himself.

The Tiger’s Tail plays on Oct. 10 at 7:15 p.m. at the Cinema Imperial.

– Michael Frittenberg-Doyle

Prime Cuts

A l’Ouest de Pluton (fr.)

– Oct. 11, Ex-Centris, 9:15
– Oct. 12, Cinema du Parc, 5:00

A movie about what it is to be a hash-smoking, skateboarding, beer buying, guitar-rippin’ teen who can’t tell what love is or what really matters. It’s about dyeing your dog green and feeling that unidentified angst that comes with the struggle to find one’s place in this f^&*ed up universe.

Acne (fr.)

– Oct. 13, Ex-centris, 7:00
– Oct. 14, Ex-centris, 1:15
– Oct. 16, Ex-centris, 3:15

Your older brother introduces you to the joys of paid sex, yet you’ve never felt the tenderness of a women’s kiss, all because of your acne. The Uruguayan film definitely isn’t some generic teen flick with comical acne-ridden capers. It’s a cool and observant series of vignettes that’s truly coming-of-age.

Heaven on Earth

– Oct. 9, Cinema Impérial, 9:30
– Oct. 12, Cinema Impérial, 3:20

Deepa Mehta’s much anticipated new film addresses the issue of domestic violence. Imagine moving to Canada to marry a man and join a family that you’ve never met. In this story, a young Punjabi woman arrives in Canada to face familial isolation, frustrating inconsistencies and eventually abusive acts.

A View From Below

– Oct. 11, Cinema du Parc, 5:15
– Oct. 12, Ex-Centris, 5:20

15-year old Karl Stanley announced to his parents that he was going to build a submarine. Now much older, he is on his second submarine, that can dive to depths of over 1,000 meters. This documentary is about one man’s self-made voyage. It takes us to the magnificent and fantastic depths found in the undulating realms under the sea and behind our ambitions.

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