October is basically worldwide film-festival post-season, as all the heavy hitters – Sundance, Cannes, Toronto – have come and gone. But this is also my favourite time of year for movies, as Montreal’s best general-interest festival, the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, is in town…
There are a lot of reasons to love the 41st annual FNC and its mascot, the she-wolf. For one thing, this is a festival with a truly vanguard programme – lots of things to see and do, every day, that you can’t see and do anywhere else. Which brings us to #1 on a list (not comprehensive, by any means) of things not to miss at the FNC.
1) Movies: On October 20, the FNC will sponsor a special advance screening of Ang Lee’s adaptation of Life of Pi, the Booker Prize-winning book by Montrealer Yann Martel. This is an eagerly awaited premiere of a story they said couldn’t be made for the screen, so we can’t wait to see it! Best of all, the film will be presented in 3D with special guest Yann Martel.
Other premieres include A Liar’s Autobiography-The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, and movies by international art-cinema stars Alain Resnais, Mike Hoolboom, Cristian Mungiu, Olivier Assayas, Thomas Vinterberg, and many many others. Of course, you’ll also be able to preview some of the holiday-season movies that everyone will be talking about and the FNC has a high-profile competition, the Louve d’Or, for which 18 films will compete. The competition is for films from first, second and third features by directors from around the world. Trailer here.
2) Retrospectives: An homage to Nikkatsu: The famed Japanese production company turns 100 this year, hence a prestigious retrospective co-produced by Fantasia and the Cinémathèque québécoise. This is a big deal for amateurs of Asian film, as explained in this video of the press conference announcement. Also retrospectives honouring dearly departed filmmakers Chris Marker, Carole Roussopoulos, William Klein and Stephen Dwoskin.
3) Temps 0: My personal favourite programme at the festival is the edgy movies in this section, which always defy description or comparison. This year: Vincent Gallo plays two roles opposite flying saucers in The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, with soundtrack by techno giant Vitalic. Six Irish teenagers have a housewrecking party in SXSW favourite Dollhouse. Adam Smith’s doc The Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think. Tons more.
4) Little wolves (Les P’tits loups): Wolf children, little vampires, sea turtles, foxes, moonmen and many more populate this section, the best childrens’ programming at any film festival in Montreal, making this festival a must-see for kids as well as grown-ups.
5) FNC Lab: From experimental art, web projects, conferences, interactive installations, and don’t forget ten days of nonstop parties: There’s more to the FNC than movies. A salute to Carolee Schneemann and the erotic art of the 1960s is one attraction, Glenn Gould in The Idea of North is another. And check the site for what’s on, every day. There are art parties every night at both Centre PHI and festival headquarters.
Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, October 10-21, 2012