The 36th Festival du Nouveau Cinema has come and gone, but not leaving us with plenty of good memories. Festival co-founder Claude Chamberlan's easy going style has translated into a festival that does not take itself too seriously and I mean that in a good way. What he and the other members of his team are not laid back about is bringing quality films to our fair town. Montrealers, who have many festivals and regular multi-plex releases to choose from, are still excited about this festival. Each of the screenings I went to at the Imperial had line-ups around the block. Even one dreary Friday night in the rain! That says something!
Plenty of films, even if they did come away with one of the prestigious prizes, made an impression upon us. Some might have been worried that director Guy Maddin had finally bitten off more than he could chew with his ambitious endeavour of trying to make an 'interesting' documentary about the city of Winnipeg. All of the doubters we proven wrong as the documentary was of the weird, interesting and funny style of all of Maddin's films. In performing a minor miracle (making Montrealers interested in Winnipeg) he created a good film. Director Nai-Hoi Yau from Hong Kong brought his film about surveillance to the festival. Like many Asian films I would not be surprised if his style of 'action' film rubs off on filmmakers on this side of the world. His film "Eye in the Sky" was an action film that was low on gunfights and car chases and more into the cerebral aspect of surveillance. Will North Americans like this style? I hope so! Brazilian film "Bog of Beasts" took the completely opposite approach. Director Claudio Assis' film is for the fans of gore. If you liked films like Eli Roth's "Hostel" then this is your cup of tea. There is plenty of sex and violence to be seen here. With its documentary/fly on the wall style you feel as if you are witnessing actual events. There will be goosebumps aplenty while watching this film.
Louve D'Or – Feature Film: La Visite de la Fanfare – director : Erin Kolirin – Israel/France
Daniel Lanois Innovation Prize: Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame – director: Hana Makhmalbaf – Iran
Jury Special Mention: Boxing Day – director: Kriv Scenders – Australia
Louve D'Or – Best Actor: Richard Green in Boxing Day
Prix du Public Radio Canada: La Zona – director: Rodrigo Pla – Mexico
Prix de L'AQCC – Hope: XXY – director: Lucia Puenzo – Argentine/France/Spain
Grand Prize Z Tele (chosen by the public): I'm A Cyborg But That's Ok – director: Park Chan Wook – South Korea
(complete list at www.nouveaucinema.ca)