As a person who sees her fair share of films during the calendar year it really is the festivals that I look forward to. The anticipation of seeing films that the programmers have seen themselves beforehand and loved enough to bring to the festivals is the highest of recommendations in my book. We are offered the opportunity to watch these films on the big screen, which still cannot be beaten, that we might not have the chance to do otherwise as they are often not films that will gain wide release here in North America. We have the opportunity to see the 'small' films that are hits at festival after festival and gain the recognition they so richly deserve. We are afforded the pleasure of meeting the actors and the directors behind the films and have the chance to pick their brains. The public often gets to select our favourite films, actors and directors unlike the Oscar which is reserved for the 'elite'. The opportunities are endless at film festivals.
The Nouveau Cinema Film Festival is really an example of a midsize yet influential film festival in this city that sees her fair share of them throughout the year. Besides all the anticipated and hidden treasures filmwise that the festival is offering us they have also attached to the festival something called Open Source, which has music, multi media and dance presentations for our pleasure. On the opening night (October 18th) there was a multi media show called "Tomboy" that was presented at Studio Juste Pour Rire. "Tomboy" was a visually stimulating show in which the movements of the performers sets off their musical or visual instruments. It was a highly inventive and visually stimulating evening of entertainment which the crowd really enjoyed. There has also been nights of electronic music, including DJ Mini, which crowds have danced the night away at. Make sure to check one of these out as you never know who you will run into there!
As for the raison d'etre of the festival, the films screened have been well attended and some have caused quite a buzz. On the second day of the festival (October 19th) the Opening Film of the festival, "Congorama", was completely sold out and director Phillippe Falardeau seems to have a hit on his hands. The other two films that evening that stood out were "Shortbus" by director John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) and "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" by Ken Loach. "Shortbus" has such a good buzz surrounding it that its second screening on October 25th is already sold out. Other films which have sold out at the festival include "Iraq in Fragments" by James Longley, "Les Cavaliers de la Canette" by Quebecois director Louis Champagne, "Taxidermia" by Gyorgy Palfi, and all screenings of director Alejandro Gonzalez's (21 Grams) film "Babel" starring Cate Blanchette and Brad Pitt. These are just a sampling and as such attendance has not been a concern for organizers.
There are still some interesting films left to see that have tickets remaining. For instance this evening there will be a screening of director Douglas Buck's remake of the Brian De Palma cult classic "Sisters" starring Stephen Rea and indie film queen Chloe Sevigny. The second film about Truman Capote's novel "In Cold Blood" called "Infamous" will be screening on Friday evening along with on Thursday evening the Closing Film of the festival, Pedro Almodovar's "Volver", which has generated some Oscar buzz for actress Penelope Cruz. Finally on Saturday, the last day of the festival, Lars Von Trier's latest film "The Boss Of It All" is being shown. Phew! And you thought you had missed everything! Wrong! There is still plenty of quality cinema left to see.
photos by: Richard Lefevbre and Yomezy