While Montreal is the city of festivals, and this includes film festivals, many locals love the Festival du Nouveau Cinema (or FNC) very best of all. This is because the festival’s combination of good taste (they have a crack cast of programmers) and good timing (the festival takes place in mid-October, which is prime time to premiere films that have played at the world’s biggest festivals, including Cannes, Toronto and Venice). And unlike those aforementioned festival, the FNC still has lots of space for regular spectators like you and me. So c’mon down!
At TIFF, for example, the lineup for Steve McQueen’s Shame was, literally, around two blocks. The British painter-turned-director (not the late American movie star), made Hunger a couple of years back, starring hot young actor Michael Fassbender. His latest, the story of a compulsive Manhattanite sex addicts, also stars Fassbender, as well as ingénue Carey Mulligan. The film has been winning prizes on the festival circuit (it won the prestigious FIPRESCI award in Venice) and was subsequently bought by Fox Searchlight, which means it’ll be released in theatres, but the FNC is your chance to see it first!
Along with McQueen’s sophomore effort, other world-class directors will be showing work at the festival. You’ve probably heard of Lars Von Trier, whose Melancholia stars Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Pedro Almódovar, whose The Skin I Live In stars Antonio Banderas as demented and amorous plastic surgeon—both of them will premiere at the fest before their art-house releases.
Another don’t-miss event will be the premiere of Wim Wenders’ Pina, a 3D dance movie about German dancer/choreographer/company director Pina Bausch.
Speaking of 3D, the world’s first 3D erotic movie, by Hong Kong director Christopher Sun Lap Key, will be part of Temps 0, the FNC sub-program that shows risqué (and just awesomely bizarre) films from around the world. Among these, two new works from well-known Japanese directors Takashi Miike and Sion Sono, as well as the premiere of Assasin’s Creed: Embers, a film related to the popular video game that is made in Montreal by gaming giants Ubisoft.
As well as wicked premieres of world-class movies, there’s a filmmaker component to the festival as well—the FNC Pro program, co-sponsored by the National Film Board of Canada and others, offers mentorship and workshops to emerging filmmakers and media professionals.
Festival du Nouveau Cinema, October 12-23.