The 42nd edition of the Festival du nouveau cinéma will be held in Montreal from October 9 to the 20th, showcasing the best new films and filmmakers from around the world. The festival which has often been described as ‘ baby-TIFF’ – picks up the best from Berlinale, Cannes, Venice, Telluride, Toronto and more. This new edition demonstrates the vibrancy of filmmaking in all its forms and for all audiences with an incredible 273 films (146 feature films and 124 shorts) from 47 countries – including (count them) 39 world premieres, 33 North American premieres and 47 Canadian premieres. Of the various sections of the film festival, my favourite program is Time Ø. If you are not familiar with the festival, think of this section of films as the equivalent of TIFF’s Midnight Madness program, only sexier. Here is a break down of what you can see this year.
(Please note: This list is in no particular oder)
Hitoshi Matsumoto, the director and star of Big Man Japan (which was shown at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival in the Directors’ Fortnight section), returns with his latest cinematic oddity, R100. Matsumoto is one of Japan’s leading comedians, so it is no surprise that the title is itself a play on the Japanese movie ratings (R-15 and R-18), and suggests that the viewer should be at least 100 years old to see the film. As Colin Geddes explains, “it represents just how far Matsumoto is willing to go to slap, tickle, and lead his audiences into a world that is unlike anything they have ever experienced. With R100, the director/actor seems to want to challenge the concept of rating, or any kind of judgment, of films.
2- Why Do not You Play in Hell?
Sion Sono debuted as a poet at the age of 17, and began making 8mm films at Hosei University eventually winning the Pia Film Festival’s Grand Prize in 1986 for A Man’s Flower Road. This was just the start of a very promising career. In 2001, Sion Sono wrote, directed, shot and assembled, in the record time of four weeks, what would later become his most successful movie to date: Suicide Circle. Since, the filmmaker has pushed buttons, provoked, shocked, and consistently delivered some of the best genre films of the past decade. If you are not yet familiar with the filmmaker’s work, I suggest catching up. He is without a doubt, one of my favourite directors working today, and of all the films scheduled in the Temps Ø lineup this year, Why Don’t You Play in Hell? is my most anticipated.
3- Miss Zombie
(Canadian premiere presented in partnership with The walking zombies of Montreal).
Long time cult favourite director Sabu is back after taking a short turn towards the mainstream with Miss Zombie, a cruel story about motherhood and well, zombies. Komatsu Ayaka stars as the titular undead woman, a zombie delivered to a man’s house in a cage with a gun and a sign saying not to feed her meat. It seems Sabu is back to his playfully odd roots with his new effort. Take a look at the trailer below.
4- GFP Bunny
GFP Bunny is writer/director Yukata Tsuchiya’s first feature project since his documentary The New God, way back in 1999 – and has been described as a freewheeling quirky art-house film that draws together bio art, body modification and domestic drama. If you want to see an oddball mash-up of a movie that might not ever have any distribution stateside, this is for you. GFP Bunny had its premiere in the Japanese Eyes section of the Tokyo International Film Festival where it won best film earlier this year. Watch the trailer below.
5- Interior. Leather Bar
Interior. Leather Bar, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival is directed by James Franco and Travis Mathews, and stars Franco and Mathews as themselves working on a film project which re-imagines and attempts to recreate the 40 minutes of sexually explicit footage cut by the Motion Picture Association of America from William Friedkin’s controversial 1980 film Cruising. Despite early media reports, the film is not itself a recreation of the deleted footage. Instead, it uses the idea of recreating the footage as a plot point to explore the process of making such a film, depicting issues such as the actors’ level of comfort or discomfort with the material, the conflict between creative freedom and censorship, and the ways in which the cinematic representation of LGBT issues and people has evolved since Cruising was originally released in 1980.
6- A Field In England
Visionary British director Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace, Kill List and Sightseers) has earned deserved reputation for his twisted, dark, violent, and at times funny features. His new film titled A Field In England, is set during the English Civil War and stars Julian Barratt from comedy duo The Mighty Boosh, Wheatley regular Michael Smiley (Kill List), and Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen). The film already has had a simultaneous release across multiple formats – video on demand, cinema, television and DVD – but for those of you who’d like to see Wheatley’s vision on the big screen, FNC has provided you with a chance. You can check out the trailer for the film below.
7- Chennai Express
Director Rohit Shetty, who delivered hits like Golmaal 3, Singham and Bol Bachchan, brings together Shahrukh Khan and Deepika Padukone’s captivating chemistry once again to the big screen in the form of Chennai Express. This is the second collaboration between Khan and Padukone after the 2007 blockbuster Om Shanti Om and the first between Khan and Rohit Shetty. Chennai Express is about a man’s journey from Mumbai to Rameshwaram and what happens along the way after he falls in love with the daughter of a local don. Upon release, the film received mixed reviews from critics but despite this, the film is currently the highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2013.
8- The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears
The directing duo of Brune Forzani and Helene Cattet gained a loyal cult following with the release of their debut feature, Amer – a film steeped in the traditions of classic giallo. The latest from the directing team is also a sensual, blood-soaked homage to the 70’s giallo aesthetic, and one that will keep you guessing until the very end. The Strange Colour follows a man who investigates the weird conditions of his wife’s disappearance in Brussels and is produced by the same producers as Amer (Eve Commenge and François Cognard) – and the Flemish director of Ex-Drummer, Koen Mortier
9- The Life of Guskou Budori
The works of children’s writer/poet Kenji Miyazawa has influenced anime and manga greats from Leiji Matsumoto to Hayao Miyazaki. Based on the fairy tale Gusuko-Budori no Denki by Kenji Miyazawa, the film follows Guskou, a cat who lives in the Tohoku forests in north eastern Japan in the 1920’s. A series of droughts and natural disasters forces Guskou to leave home and search for a new place to live. He soon falls in with a group of scientists at the Ihatov Volcano Department and discovers that they are dealing with the same natural disasters that have altered Guskou’s life.
10- Los Chidos
It isn’t a surprise that Omar Rodriguez Lopez has created one of the bizarre films of the year. The multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, writer, actor and film director (best know as the composer, guitarist and producer for the progressive rock group The Mars Volta), left audiences earlier this year at SXSW raving about his feature film Los Chidos.
Set amid the noisy outskirts of some unnamed Mexican metropolis, Los Chidos tells the story of the Gonzales Family. Proprietors of a tire repair junkyard sandwiched between two busy freeways, the Gonzales clan’s days are spent wallowing in lazy, mindless routine. When a confused American industrialist happens into the shop with a flat tire, the family’s place in the shame-free food chain is called into question. A scenario unfolds whereby the pale stranger finds himself welcomed into their fold. He is soon infatuated with the newlywed bride of the family’s neighbor. As a love blossoms, dark secrets begin emerging.