FNC 2017: Les Predatrices (France, 2016)

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for Cinetalk.net

What happens when Nosferatu and Dracula meet David Lynch (circa Blue Velvet, 1986) and Brian De Palma (circa Sisters, 1972)? One might guess, creepy but aesthetically pleasing decor and characters exhibiting bizarre fetishes. In former porn actress Ovidie’s Les Predatrices, sisters of a particular sort turn to murder in exchange for some life-prolonging elixirs. Creepy Dracula-dude is only a bit part, but he is an essential component to the sisters’ lifestyle and livelihood.

Meanwhile, the only thing the siblings seem to do in their shared existence is look for gullible men for at-home indulgences. They are modern-day vampires, temptresses, murderesses, but the viewer is never told why exactly. An air of mystery lingers about their past and about why murder is the price for their elixirs. Curiously, Ovidie has created a female-empowerment film where women are still at the beck and call of this Dracula-like figure. The codependence is a Continue reading

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FNC 2017: New Media

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The FNC is known not only for its vast selection of films, but also its eye on new technologies. The events dot the city in several venues where the public can watch live experimental music performances, put on some VR goggles, or visit Severine Fontaine’s Lamparium. This planetarium-like immersive experience incorporates 3D animated lamps and light sources projected on a 360-degree dome-shaped screen, as well as physical lamps which turn on and off throughout the 45-minute presentation. While spectators recline on oversized beanbags mats, the show is at first relaxing and somewhat hypnotizing. Its pace picks up to Continue reading

FNC 2017: Black Cop (Canada – 2017)

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Minority Popo. Black Cop. Our antihero has heard all the slurs related to his job and to the color of his skin. With these two traits combined, he angers #blacklivesmatters protestors and white policemen alike. After being harassed and mis-identified as a random street thug, the officer decides to take vigilante action against the continuous abuse of power toward black people of all stripes. Cory Bowles (best known for his participation in the Canadian TV series, Trailer Park Boys, also formerly part of hip-hop trio Hip Club Groove) has fleshed out a 2016 short, to offer his first feature length film, Black Cop.

The presumption that every black youth is up to no good causes the black community at large to feel afraid. They might get defensive when under unnecessary fire, which leads police to think they are then guilty of some crime. Both sides provoke each other, and the debacle ends in police brutality. Racism causes violence, and usually not the other way around. As much as US government or Continue reading

FNC 2017: Mon Ange (Belgium – 2017)

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An invisible boy meets a blind girl. She is the only one, apart from his mother, who can ‘see’ him. But what if she were to suddenly gain functional eyesight? Would he disappear?

More and more, modern cinema globally tackles cynicism. Writer/ director Harry Cleven wanted to counter this by portraying romantic naiveté. Mon Ange is a tale of impossible love made real through the metaphor of magic.

Mon Ange proves low budget does not always equal low quality. On the contrary, it forced Cleven to think through cinematic conundrums without leaning heavily on post-production visual effects. In a film that explores the senses, this is a Continue reading

FNC 2017 : KFC (Vietnamese horror film)

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A plain black screen warns in white typeface that the following characters and occurrences are fictional. This is followed by two subsequent warnings that nothing within this feature bears resemblance to real events. The disclaimer is in place for a reason, and Cinetalk would like to express its own. Discretion is definitely advised. This will not sit well with most audiences, but for those who can handle gratuitous gore and raunchy violence, there is some form of payoff.

To generalize, Le Binh Giang’s KFC is a splatter film about cannibalism, which is neither excused nor elaborated in terms of the participants’ motivation. If we put that aside for a moment, what we have is a tale about a very dysfunctional family, possibly due to generations of violence. The timeline jumps around. In consequence, it manages to confuse the viewer about Continue reading