As if the traffic due to road closure and work isn’t bad enough, acclaimed director Denys Arcand (Le Declin de L’Empire Americain, Jesus de Montreal, Les invasions barbares) might be making things worse in the near future. During a press conference held yesterday to announce his latest project, entitled Triomphe de L’argent, he stated that almost the entire film will be shot in downtown Montreal and might contribute to even more snarled traffic. Get ready Montreal!
This type of sarcastic humour is very typical of M. Arcand, which you will realize very quickly if you have the opportunity to spend any time with him. He possesses a very biting sense of humour and is very intelligent. A devilish combo to deal with as a journalist/critic. Some who asked questions were treated to his rather prickly relationship with the media or film critics. One innocently asked him about the message of his film and the answer was, “I was told once that if I had a message to deliver to call UPS”. Arcand does not believe that films have messages; that they are just stories containing meaning (seems like splitting hairs to me, but who am I to argue with an Oscar winning director?). He claims to not even be fully aware of what his films are about…exactly. Messages are delivered by critics according to him, that is our job and not the directors.
Our relationship with money, as a society, is what is explored in this film. Just don’t expect Arcand’s film to be preachy (or so he says) or even give you any answers. Just like the man himself. Now, don’t get me wrong, he is/was a delight. It is obvious how much he enjoys working in his chosen metier and is thankful that he continues to do so at his age (just turned 76). That enjoyment was all over his face as he told those assembled that he has as much fun making films now as he did when he was 20-years-old. Again showing his up and down relationship with critics, he stated that he just makes films and some end up being popular while others less so. This is not important to him. For Arcand it is all about the process.
On this afternoon at the Olympia theatre the entire cast was revealed and there were some familiar faces and some new ones. The familiar ones include Remy Girard, Pierre Curzi and Louis Morissette. A newbie is young Quebec actor Alexandre Landry, hot off of his performance in one of the films of the summer in Quebec, De pere en flic 2. He is playing the lead who comes across a bunch of money and has to figure out what to do with it. Another brand spanking new face is Mariepier Morin. Now, she might be familiar to many out there due to her being the face of Revlon in Quebec, hosting her own French language chat show, her turn on Occupation Double or being part of the cast of Hockey Wives (due to the fact that she is engaged to former Hab, Brandon Prust), but this is her first go at acting.
The inspiration for the film (also written by Arcand) came when he read the news stories about a robbery that happened in Old Montreal in 2010. Three men walked into a clothing boutique on St. Jacques street and shot two people in an attempted robbery. Arcand began to wonder about how it happened and why. These ruminations led to the germ of an idea for this script. In the end he ended up with a crime thriller with plenty of twists and turns. It starts with the robbery then branches out to show the lives of those involved. That is all he would give in several attempts to get the story of the film out of him. He definitely is playing his cards close to his chest saying that this film is a crime film just like Crime and Punishment is a crime novel.
Filming of Triomphe de l’argent is set to start on September 6 and finish by November 8 of this year.