image+nation: 31 Years of (R)evolutionary Storytelling – 11 Days of Incredible Cinema

image+nation, Canada’s original LGBTQ film festival is gearing up to bring 11 days of remarkable international queer cinema to Montreal from November 22 to December 2. As image+nation enters its 4th decade, if anybody thought the Festival would be mellowing with age…think again! Via a stunning, diverse program for cinephiles from all walks of life, image+nation 31 is a forward-thinking reboot for the next generation, with plenty for the traditionalists to enjoy.

 

“image+nation 31 is a wonderful opportunity for a new beginning,” states Programming Director, Katharine Setzer. “We’ve had the big 3-0 party, now it’s time to learn from the past and look to the future; by bringing in the best up-and-coming talent, we hope to provide the next generation of cinephiles a new chapter in their festival lives.”

 

In a festival first, the image+nation 31 program shines a light on the spoken-word and literary worlds with the CINÉ+litterature series. Author of the bestseller We the Animals, Justin Torres will give an exclusive reading at The Violet Hour, an evening of short readings by LGBTQ writers with connections to the world of cinema. Torres will also discuss his work and its adaptation to film and host a Q&A at the We the Animals festival screening. Also in the CINÉ+litterature series, the Emily M. Danforth novel adaptation The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Sundance 2018 Grand Jury Prize winner starring Chloë Grace Moretz, is sure to be a smash with festivalgoers; as will the poignant dramatization of Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde’s final years in exile, The Happy Prince, directed by and starring Rupert Everett.

 

Adds Charlie Boudreau, Festival Director:

“Into our new decade of presenting LGBTQ films to Montreal audiences, we’re exploring New Queer Storytelling – the originality and universality of these stories. Times have changed and so have perspectives – reflecting evolving values and how our stories are told. image+nation 31 reflects this brave new world and brings audiences contemporary ideas of what it means to be LGBTQ in the 21st century – stories for all to see and to share.”

 

Paying rightful homage to the creative moving image, the festival series Arthouse Cinéma – culture + makers brings to Montreal audiences a more creative approach to Queer Storytelling and their Story Tellers. Included in this focus: the biopic on photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Mapplethorpe; queer trailblazing rocker Joan Jett (Bad Reputation); Every Act of Life on playwright Terrence McNally and Dykes, Camera, Action! celebrating a generation of groundbreaking lesbian filmmakers; and a baroque ode to Art in Postcards From London. Also in the series the visual and aurally stunning works, Kanarie from South Africa and the Berlinale award-winning Brazilian film, Tinta Bruta.

 

image+nation 31 is also pleased to present a compelling, accomplished and award-winning roster of works from across the globe in the International Voices focus. The diverse program takes in all manner of cultures and subjects; the 1970s Australian gay rights movement that lead to the creation of Mardi Gras in Riot, a clash between traditional Indian family life and modern Mumbai living in Evening Shadows, Latina lesbian drama courtesy of Colombian director / writer Ruth Caudeli’s feature debut Eva + Candela (¿Como Te Llamas?), and weaving the classic, insular tale of coming out with worldly issues of globalism, immigration, and racism, the very moving, A Moment in the Reeds.  

For those who prefer their cinema closer to home, the Made Au Canada series showcases the best in Canadian cinema of all genres: the incredibly moving documentary Love, Scott, about Scott Jones, a man left paralyzed by a homophobic attack, (music fans will love the stunning Sigur Rós score); the Sault Ste. Marie based coming-of-age comedy drama Giant Little Ones starring Canadian screen stalwart Kyle MacLachlan; the pulsating, Berlin-based Psychothriller M/M and the supernatural drama Octavio Is Dead, written and directed by CBC radio and cinema producer, Sook-Yin Lee, starring Sarah Gadon (Alias Grace) and Québec legend, Marie-Brassard, are also ones to watch.

And to ensure there’s something for everyone at image+nation 31, there’s a generous sprinkling of Hollywood stardust throughout the program with household names such as; Rachel McAdams & Rachel Weisz (Disobedience), Isabelle Huppert (Marvin ou la belle education), Vanessa Paradis (Un couteau dans le coeur (Knife + Heart), Matt Bomer (Papi Chulo), Bryan Cranston and Meryl Streep (Every Act of Life), Colin Firth, Emily Watson (The Happy Prince) and Matt Smith (Mapplethorpe).  

OPENING FILM: November 22, 8pm @ Cinéma Impérial

Plaire aimer et courir vite (Sorry Angel)

Christophe Honoré, France, 2018, 132 min., French with English subtitles

Right from the start – with characters, settings, and credits flashed across the screen like a kinetic mosaic – the moviegoer is introduced to Plaire aimer et courir vite’s deft juggling of a large ensemble cast and their interlacing storylines, with writer/director Christophe Honoré offering the sardonically sweet and wise tone that provides the film’s fluttering, open heart. The are-they-or-aren’t-they couple at the centre of the 1993-set story is Jacques (Pierre Deladonchamps), a late-30s writer and relationship “complicator” living in Paris, and the young bisexual Breton student, Arthur (Vincent Lacoste), that captures his attention. Through crackling dialogue and mutual attraction, they keep entering one another’s orbits, Jacques’ HIV-positive status preventing him from holding on to anything too tightly and Arthur’s youthful, philosophical promiscuity a diversion from anything more serious. Each must face the future and decide what they want to do with the time they’ve been given. Loaded with naturalistic details and near-epic-sized romance, Plaire aimer et courir vite manages to be empathetic to multiple perspectives at once, revealing what’s most harmonious about our often lonely, incompatible souls.

 

CLOSING FILM: December 2, 7:30pm @ Cinéma de l’université Concordia, H110 / SGWU Alumni Auditorium

(Un couteau dans le coeur (Knife + Heart)

Yann Gonzalez, France, 2018, 105 min., French with English subtitles

Oscar Wilde once said, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” He might not have been so sure after watching Un couteau dans le coeur, the neon-noirish horror film from visionary director Yann Gonzalez where Anne Pareze (Vanessa Paradis) and her motley crew concoct elaborate porn scenarios from the grisly deaths of their former crew members, who are picked off one by one by a leather-masked killer. In 1979 Paris, such a case “isn’t a priority” for the police, and this group of filmmakers and performers across the sexuality and gender spectrum are left vulnerable to further attack; including her accomplice, the flamboyant Archibald (Nicolas Maury, Ceux qui m’aiment prendront le train), heroin addict Thierry (Félix Maritaud, star of another of this year’s festival films, Sauvage) and their trusty fluffer, the “Mouth of Gold” (Pierre Pirol). Has Anne’s obsession with her ex-lover and editor Loïs (Kate Moran) brought her morbid visions to life, or is reality more sinister than nightmares? M83, who also provided the score for Gonzalez’s You and the Night, deliver an eerie and emotive backdrop to this trippy French fable of all-consuming love where one will find deformity and depravity, the magical and the mystical. And one mighty mean dildo.

QUEERMENT QUÉBEC SERIES  @ PHI CENTRE

Each year the festival celebrates Montreal talent with Queerment Québec, a shorts program featuring the work of local filmmakers. After last year’s sold out success, Queerment Québec will once again be presented in partnership with the Phi Centre a full evening of film, discussion with filmmakers and festivities on Monday, November 26, 7pm.

VENUES

Cinéma Imperial (1430 rue de Bleury)

Cinéma Moderne (5150 St Laurent Blvd.)

Phi Centre (407 Saint-Pierre)

Never Apart (7049 St. Urbain)

Concordia University, J.A. de Sève Cinema (1400 Maisonneuve Blvd W.)

Concordia University, H110 / SGWU Alumni Auditorium (1455 Maisonneuve Blvd. W.)

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