Art comes alive on screen as film fans and art lovers converge during the 32nd International Festival of Films on Art, March 20 to 30 at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and numerous venues around the city…
The International Festival of Films on Art features 270 films from 34 countries on a range of artistic subjects: painting and sculpture; dance and theatre; music and literature; comic books and graphic design; architecture, fashion, and even the art of cinema itself. Alongside the film screenings, see art exhibitions and installations, listen to roundtable discussions and participate in master classes with art and film experts. Opening the festival is Dutch director Boudewijn Koole’s short film Off the Ground, pairing a mime artist with a choreographer, and Quebecois director Raymond St-Jean’s feature Une chaise pour un ange, a collaboration with Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen that explores the furniture design, architecture and music of the Shakers, an American religion sect.
In visual arts, films look to the past in explorations of the lives of Quebecois painter-sculptor Armand Vaillancourt and recently passed acclaimed Canadian painters Fernand Leduc and Alex Colville, as well as contemporary masters Georges Braque, Lucian Freud and Picasso, the mystery of Chicago nanny and prolific photographer Vivian Maier, and in Tomomi Nagasawa’s Secrets of the British Museum: Ancient Greece Rediscovered. And the present comes to the fore in Chercher Ferron about visual artist Richard Ferron, Patrick O’Connor’s look at graffiti artist subculture in Freights, Geneva Guérin’s Montreal-based Van Horne & Waverly, and more. And past meets present in 3-D architecture documentary Le Défi des bâtisseurs – La Cathédrale de Strasbourg and Niels-Christian Bolbrinker’s Fagus – Walter Gropius and the Factory for Modernity, and in digital-literature investigation Google and the World Brain.
Opera appears in Patrice Chéreau: Le Corps au travail and The Perfect American, János Darvas’s look into showcases Philip Glass’s latest opera. In dance, Sylvie Collier’s To Dance Like a Man follows three young brothers, triplets in fact, and their dance studies at the National Ballet School of Cuba, while Le Vertige de l’étoile discovers the world of Canadian choreographer-dance Guillaume Côté, Marie Chouinard – Le Sacre du Printemps celebrates The Rite of Spring, European Parliament inspires directors Ana Cembrero Coca and Jorge Piquer Rodriguez in their dance film Europe Endless, and Fabrice Herrault pays tribute to Nuryev. And in music, hear more about how Piaf’s tumultuous life inspired her songs in Philippe Kohly’s Édith Piaf Amoureuse, how British composer Benjamin Britten’s pacifism influenced his life and work, how Mexican ranchera singer Chavela Vargas finds inspiration in poet Federico García Lorca, and how Jimi Hendrix worked his guitar magic live on stage.
Films studying cinema itself also abound at the festival: David Teboul’s Bardot, la méprise peers into the life of the legendary actress Brigitte Bardot; Andreas Pichler’s L’Affaire Pasolini looks into the mysterious murder of the famed Italian filmmaker; Dans l’œil de Luis Buñuel reveals more about the pioneering avant-garde filmmaker; European horror film takes the spotlight in Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss; while Il était une fois… La Dolce Vita focuses on the success and scandal of Fellini’s film, and John Ford at Monument Valley takes us into the wild-west settings of Ford’s films. The latest in experimental art film also has a home at FIFA: curator Nicole Gingras selects 56 Canadian films and videos, including work by artist Jan Peacock; new animation by Julie Doucet and Diane Obomsawin; curator Karl-Gilbert Murray’s Identity Constructions: Queer Stories features six films by Toronto artist Peter Kingstone; along with much more by Canadian and international artists.
Among its special events programming, this year the festival pays homage to producer Alan Yentob, Creative Director at the BBC, featuring films such as Chris Rodley’s Andy Warhol and films on David Bowie, Werner Herzog, William Burroughs and Orson Welles, as well as a master class taught by Yentob. At art exhibitions staying open throughout the festival, see the work of Philipp Gasser (at Place des Arts’s Salle d’exposition), BD QC (at Place des Arts’s ARTVstudio), Pierre Hébert and Jan Peacock (both at Cinémathèque québécoise). The festival also expands to include screenings at the 360-degree dome at the SAT: Michel D.T. Lam’s Harmonielehre about American composer John Adams’s work; Ernesto Páramo’s In Escher’s Universe, about Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher; and the documentary Kraftwerk – Pop Art by Hannes Rossacher and Simon Witter. And for the third year in a row, the festival features a series of films chosen specifically for children, including film Cendrillon dans la forêt enchantée accompanied by a music workshop by Jeunesses Musicales du Canada.
32nd International Festival of Films on Art, March 20 to 30, 2014