RIDM 2017: Antoine (Quebec, 2008)

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Laura Bari’s Antoine is a delightful documentary about the imagination and creativity of children. At the helm of a playtime detective agency, Antoine Hoang is the most resourceful of his group of friends. Despite his disability, he shows remarkable maturity and leadership skills. Six-year-old Antoine was born very premature. During incubation period, he suffered retinal detachment due to an overuse of oxygen. Nevertheless, he finds incredible ways to – just like his peers – be a kid.

Bari took a novel approach to documenting the child in his natural habitat. Instead of only capturing moments with her camera, she invented a fictional character and mystery storyline, and presented the ‘clues’ to Antoine in the form of a children’s activity. She also gave him recording equipment to document his Continue reading

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RIDM 2017: Qu’Importe la Gravité (Quebec, 2017)

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Matthieu Brouillard’s Qu’Importe La Gravité begins with some food for thought: Without understanding the psychology of weightlessness – the nostalgia for lightness – we cannot understand the psychology of gravity – “that which makes us heavy, weary, slow, falling beings.” (Gaston Bachelard). This idea brings both lightness and heaviness to Brouillard’s portrait of late-in-life friends, Bruce and Christian. At times, flight, being airborne, being free are literal, as Christian sails over mountaintops despite his visual impairment. More, the metaphor characterizes the heaviness of Bruce’s bipolar disorder and incapacity to perform challenging but fun tasks that could liberate him.

Bruce is both alarming and endearing. A manchild who doesn’t mince words, neither about his interests nor his personality disorder. He admits he is “mental” just like his godmother. He openly announces that Continue reading

RIDM 2017: Cielo (Quebec/Chile, 2017)

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Alison McAlpine’s Cielo is a love letter to the sky. Filmed in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the filmmaker raises the question, What is your relation with the sky? For one, it nourishes us. It breeds imagination and existential questions. It’s also a heckuva a beauty, especially seen from a location used by astronomers because of its vastness and lack of light pollution. Cinematographer Benjamin Echazarreta has done a fine job of capturing that beauty. Long shots allow the viewer to see star trails and transitions between sunset and complete night. Often, the sights are unreal, as if created digitally. These too-pretty-to-be-real images are Continue reading

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

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