Expo 67 Live (Lanoie-Brien, 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

Karine Lanoie-Brien has created a colossal work. The hours she and her team spent sifting through archives will finally bear fruit on September 18th.  As part of the Montreal375 celebrations, Expo 67 Live will take place at Place des Arts, using portions of the available architecture as well as giant screens to welcome audiences into the universe of Expo 67. The world’s fair happened on Montreal’s Ile Ste-Helene and Ile Notre Dame, and has remained in the hearts and memories of millions of people worldwide.

Though Lanoie-Brien is too young to have attended the “show of the century”, she was able to envision what it must have been like. Her project with the NFB is symbolic because of the latter’s involvement at Expo 67. Their film In the Labyrinth (Kroitor, Law, O’Connor, 1967) used a cruciform of 5 screens and was the precursor to IMAX. To commemorate both Expo 67 and In the Labyrinth’s 50th anniversary, Lanoie-Brien wanted to create Continue reading

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Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

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for Cinetalk.net

Recipient of the Best Music Documentary Award (2017 Boulder International Film Festival) and the Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling (Sundance 2017), Catherine Bainbridge’s Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World plays host to a long list of modern music icons. Quincy Jones, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Slash, Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler and a slew of other big names share their impressions about artists the general public may still not know are of American Indian descent. The song that inspired Bainbridge’s film’s title directly influenced many artists, especially in the rock realm. Link Wray’s 1958 hit Rumble was a groundbreaking success. It was one of the first tunes to use the “power chord”. It employed fuzz, distortion and feedback, and was the only instrumental banned in the US. People feared it would incite teenage gang violence. Rumble became the so-called theme song of juvenile delinquency.

What was it that touched the deepest urges of up and coming musicians? What made a young Iggy Pop declare, “Fuck it. I’m gonna be a musician”? To rumble means to fight, to disrupt, but those are only the obvious meanings. Another interpretation is to be active, to ROAR. Rumble is the sound of freedom. Native American music was seen as a threat. As such, people were jailed for performing it. Racism then was Continue reading

Michel Gondry’s Home Movie Factory

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for Cinetalk.net

Michel Gondry is best known for his music videos for artists such as Bjork and Daft Punk. However, after his award-winning feature film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay) he has become a household name in the art-house film industry. In 2008, Gondry launched the interactive l’Usine de Films Amateurs (the Home Movie Factory). The creative project has traveled the world, and will grace Montreal during its 375th anniversary celebrations. Presented by Chromatic, at a former textile factory, the location is the perfect place to house over a dozen small film sets.

Participants are placed in groups to experience the creative process through teamwork and brainstorming. In three hours, each team will create a short film. As Gondry explained at a casual style press conference and orientation on August 30th, 2017, the objective is not to produce a pro-level film. The Factory favors rough-around-the-edges amateur collaborations over professional filmmaking. The idea behind this is that people become more productive when they can appreciate the value of what they’re doing. Hands-on experience is a self-motivator, and participants have the sweet satisfaction of having made something from A to Z. There is no postproduction, no editing, no mixing. Everything must be shot in sequence, without multiple takes. If ‘mistakes’ occur, so be it! These little idiosyncrasies make the end product so fun to watch.

The concept came to Gondry by observing how his young son made horror movies with his friends. In the context of his Factory, he says the word cameraperson should be used instead of director. The project aims to be the opposite of professional film fabrication, where the director tells everyone else how to work. This canonizes the role of one person, and here, the objective is to give everyone an equal chance to share duties. Choosing the genre, the title, the mise-en-scene, etc. is a collaborative effort, aided by mediators appointed by the Factory. Gondry hopes the process will permit everyone to be the inventor of his or her entertainment rather than its consumer.

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Costumes, props and sets help spark ideas that may not have otherwise arisen. The function of the sets is to hint what they want participants to do with them. For example, there are minisets used for creating miniaturized car sequences. The manual crank and colorful toy vehicles would especially stimulate the younger folks. If a scenario didn’t originally call for a car chase, the miniset might inspire one. As the background screen depicts scrolling images of local streets, tourists partaking in the city’s celebratory events might find it interesting to be able to make a ‘souvenir’ location movie. This footage is shot in the city of each Factory, to lend local flavor.

Although the public will likely want to make movies, they are also welcome to simply view the works of others. The past groups’ movies are available to watch in the quaint screening room. All creators can make a cover leaflet, and take home their chef-d’oeuvre on DVD.

 

L’Usine de Films Amateurs

Complexe Dompark, Salle Wave (5524 St. Patrick)

September 1st through October 15th, 2017

Age 7 and up

Closed Mondays

Participation is FREE but requires registration:

https://www.weezevent.com/l-usine-de-films-amateurs-de-michel-gondry

The Girl Without Hands (France – 2016) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Sébastien Laudenbach’s The Girl Without Hands (La fille Sans Mains),  his first feature after a string of highly promising shorts, is a hand-painted animated jewel of a film in glorious 2D. The story of a young woman, collateral victim of her father’s pact with the Devil, challenging the darkness of the world with her purity of mind and body.

Freely adapted from European folk tales (once collected by Brothers Grimm), The Girl Without Hands is mainly the results of Continue reading

Logan Lucky – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

Once asked why he resumed his directing career, legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman said it was because he was cured. Apparently, Steven Soderbergh is not. After a short hiatus he hits back the big screen with Logan Lucky, a foray into familiar territory, the heist movie, a genre he tried to redefine (pretty successfully), as far back as in 1995’s The Underneath (which was more of a take on the Brink’s job gone wrong type), also in Out of Sight and of course the Ocean’s Eleven franchise.

Logan Lucky stars Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, as the Logan brothers, trying to pull off a smooth robbery during a NASCAR race. Supporting cast includes Daniel Craig, who’s main purpose seems to be Daniel Craig in an unusual role, and Continue reading