Paradise (Russia, 2016)

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Andrei Konchalovsky’s Paradise is finally showing on our Montreal’s screens. The Winner of the director Award at the 2016 Venice Film Festival stars Yuliya Vysotskaya (House of Fools, The Lion in winter).

During World War 2, Olga, a Russian aristocrat living in Paris, is arrested for giving shelter to Jewish children and put into a concentration camp. A high-ranking SS officer, Helmut, who was in love with her in peaceful times, makes plan to save her casting doubts in her mind as she is confronted to the necessity of survival and choices.

Beautifully shot in black and white by Cinematographer Aleksandr Simonov Paradise story is told from three different view points: Olga, Helmut and a French collaborator. Scenes are cut with interviews of the three speaking in turns Continue reading

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Racer and the Jailbird (le Fidèle – Belgium, 2017)

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Oscar nominated  (Best Foreign Language Film Bullhead, 2011) Michaël R. Roskam’s Racer and the Jailbird (Le fidèle) is an Oscar contender. It stars Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead, Rust and Bone) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color). Following The Drop (2014), his English speaking excursion with Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, Roskam gets back to his lucky charm with, Schoenaerts.

Upper class Bibi (Exarchopoulos) lives for high drive adrenaline. She satisfies her desire for it as a race driver. Comes Gigi (Schoenaerts) and she falls for him. Coming from a more troubled background, Gigi, posing as an Import-Export guy, has a double life in which he is part of a childhood gang doing various robberies and Brinks jobs.

Roskam boosts good performances from the cast and there is chemistry between the two leads.  Good, since ssentially Racer and the Jailbird is a drama, borderline Continue reading

RIDM 2017 – Final Weekend

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RIDM 2017 enter their last weekend and there is plenty to see. Closing film, Nothingwood (Review here : ——-), is shown Saturday at Concordia University SGWU, (H-110) and there is a reprise Sunday at Cinémathèque Québécoise, 1PM.

Some late suggestions:  (you can also scroll at the bottoms for some our favorites)

In Martin dicicco and Iva Radiovojevic’s  All that passes through a window that doesn’t open (Cinema du Parc, tonight, 8 PM) Armenian and Azerbaijanthe, in Caucasus, are working on the completion of a rail line linking their countries (as the wagons become their house) and a station master is waiting for the return of the trains for 20 years.

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The Reagan show (Saturday, 5PM, Cinéma Quartier Latin) is made of White House footage of the Ronald Reagan administration.  Beside its lack of context for a younger audience, it is an interesting entry about the extensive use (before its time) of films, videos and PR by this actor turned trigger-happy president. As Ronnie puts it in a 1988 interview ”There have been times in this office when I wondered how you could do the Job if you haven’t been an actor”

Christine Franz’s Bunch of Kunst (Saturday, 8 PM, Cinéma du Parc), follows the trajectory of the angry and enigmatic Nottingham Brit duo Sleaford Mods, a voice of the working class. Being way out, for many years, of the ‘system’ and being  suddenly praised and sought after by this system who rejected them as much as they rejected it, raises question for the mates…

 

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Otherwise you can catch up with the second screenings of Cinetalk’s favorites:

Taste of Cement (Review and schedule: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/09/ridm-2017-taste-of-cement-syria/ )

A modern Man (Review and schedule: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/13/ridm-2017-a-modern-man-germany-denmark-2017/)

Dragonfly Eyes (Review and schedule: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/13/ridm-2017-dragonfly-eyes-china-2017/ )

City of the Sun,  Cinema du Parc (Review and schedule: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/14/ridm-2017-city-of-the-sun-georgia-2017/)

Brimstone and glory (Review and schedule: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/09/ridm-2017-brimstone-and-glory-usa-mexico-2017/)

Carcasse (Review and schedule: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/09/ridm-2017-carcasse-iceland-france/)

 

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RIDM 2017 : NOTHINGWOOD (Afghanistan – Germany – France) Closing film

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«Is the road potentially dangerous?» inquires director Sonia Kronlund, talking to her leading man, Salim Shaheen, in Nothingwood. If there is a fatal explosion, «we’ll both die for the glory of Cinema» is Shaleen answer.

After visiting Afghanistan several times, being confronted to grave subjects, Kronlund heard of Salim Shaheen. With more than a hundred pictures under his belt, he is the prince of Afghan Z movies. As he puts it «there is Hollywood, there is Bollywood and when you have no money you have Nothingwood». The director decided to follow him n a crazy journey. Heavily influenced by the Bollywood spectacles, but Continue reading

Ciao Luis Bacalov! (1933-2017) – Django Composer.

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Academy Award winner (1996 Best original score for Il Postino) Luis Bacalov died on November 15. The Argentinian-born Maestro had a prolific film scoring career in Italy spanning seven decades.  Also being nominated to an Oscar for the music of Pasolini’s The Gospel according to St-Matthew (1964) he was also praised for such film music as Fellini’s City of Women (1980).

But this talented pianist, also active in the Italian progressive music scene, definitely left a mark with his opening song and score to Sergio Corbucci’s Cult classic Django (1966), that same song and score Quentin Tarantino used in Django unchained (It is impressive how many people Continue reading