RIDM 2017: 24 Davids (Quebec, 2017) – Opening Film

 

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Snapshots of daily life in different cities and countries show us that throughout planet Earth, humans are not so different from one another. Artful slow motion of public locations visually implies the similarities, despite geographic differences. At times almost a travelogue, Celine Baril’s 24 Davids takes a look at the world through the eyes of 24 different people named David. Each has their unique way of enriching the environment around them. From Mexico to England to Africa, Davids share their intelligence, their creativity, and their care for the people and things around them.

The world’s economy is disparate. The rich get richer while the government helps only itself, instead of reaching out to the poor. Londoners take to the rivers to live in boats because the gap between rich and poor is immense. Unless one is Continue reading

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RIDM 2017: 20 years!

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Celebrating the best in Auteur documentaries from around the world, the 20th edition of RIDM starts this Thursday November 9 in various venues around the city of Montreal, including Cinémathèque Québecoise, Concordia and UQAM Universities. 142 films from 47 countries are on the menu as well as free screenings in different Montreal spots.

Evening parties are back, this year, at Cinémathèque.

Opening film is the NFB produced 24 DAVIDS, directed by Celine Baril, traveling  on three continents to meet 24 characters named David (Daria’s review here: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/08/ridm-2017-24-davids-quebec-2017-opening-film/). Closing night will introduces us to fascinating Z-movie Afghan actor-director Salim Shaheen in Sonia Kronlund’s Nothingwood.

Cinetalk.net will post daily about the Fest. For the time being you should know that both me and Daria specially dig for the eclectic and experimental Chinese film Dragonfly eyes. A feature film, with a storyline made from images taken from surveillance camera footage.

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On the tragic subject of modern wars, Syria’s Taste of Cement (Review here: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/09/ridm-2017-taste-of-cement-syria/ ) and Iraq’s Nowhere to die (Review: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/10/ridm-2017-nowhere-to-hide-iraq-2016/) are two extremely powerful films not to be missed. Daria will apparently give us good vibes about the magnificent Brimstone and glory (Review: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/09/ridm-2017-brimstone-and-glory-usa-mexico-2017/) and, as part of the 20th anniversary retrospective, Antoine. For my part I was also seduced by the gloomy and pessimistic universe of films à la Tarkovsky like Carcasse (Review: https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/09/ridm-2017-carcasse-iceland-france/), City of the Sun and Braguino (Review:  https://cinetalk.net/2017/11/11/ridm-2017-braguino-france-2017/).

Short critics to these films (and more) are coming. So follow us daily on Cinetalk.net

 

 

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

CCIFF 2017 : Perfect (Canada, 2016)

 

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Coach Meng is tough. But the judges are tougher, and incorrigibly subjective. Synchronized swimming will always be mocked, but if the public knew what went on behind the scenes, they’d think very differently.

“It’s what the top athletes do, plus no oxygen.”

In Perfect, Jérémie Battaglia follows the trials and tribulations of the Canadian Synchro team. Coach Meng’s athletes don’t look like clones. Some are tall; some are short. Different body types and skin tones dive into an Olympic pool without matchy-matchy warpaint to make their facial expressions as alike as possible. Diversity won’t stand in Meng’s way to push her girls to the top. The uphill battle is not only due to the physical and mental stress upon any hopeful Olympian. Additionally it is because in Synchro history we are accustomed to uniformity, even if Continue reading

Fantasia 2017: Oscar (Marie-Josee Saint-Pierre, Canada)

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DARIA GAMLIEL for Cinetalk.net

The short animated film, Oscar by Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre begins without beating around the bush. There is no flowery intro or slow lead-in. Oscar Peterson’s voice appears in the opening sequence with assurance and purpose, announcing, “I love what I do.”

There is nothing revolutionary here in terms of ‘plot’. Instead it feels more like a glimpse of the musician for audiences who may already know a bit about him. In just 12 minutes, however, we learn about loneliness on the road and the melancholy of having great news to share about last night’s performance, with family not physically present to hear about it. It is with regret that Peterson speaks Continue reading