Tom at the Farm (French: Tom à la ferme) is a 2013 psychological thriller directed by Xavier Dolan. The film is based on the play of the same name by Michel Marc Bouchard. It was screened in the main competition section at the 70th Venice International Film Festival on 2 September 2013, and also at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in the Special Presentation section. At Venice the film won the FIPRESCI Prize.
Tom, a young advertising copywriter, travels to the country for the funeral of his boyfriend Guillaume. There, he is shocked to learn that no one knows who he is, nor his relationship to the deceased. Guillaume’s brother soon sets the rules of a twisted game. In order to protect the family’s name and the deceased’s grieving mother, Tom now has to play the peacekeeper in a household whose obscure past bodes even greater darkness for his “trip” to the farm.
Plot: Owen Augustus Urban III, a creator of designer drugs, is hired by Dr John Alcore, the founder of Life Research foundation, who wants his help in obtaining a cure for AIDS. But Owen discovers that unorthodox experiments are being conducted at Life Research. He befriends one volunteer Paula Bukowsky. But then she is bitten by a crazed test subject and Owen finds that she is starting to transform into a vampire.
Richard Scheib wrote:
Red Blooded American Girl conducts the conceptually intriguing idea of a scientific exploration of vampirism. Scientific vampirism has been used in vampire literature before and on screen in the interesting Thirst (1979) and since in fine works like Ultraviolet (1998) and Blood (2000). This is the first full-blooded treatment of the theme and offers up some intriguing ideas – with requisite AIDS metaphors and the idea of salvation via blood transfusion – even if they are somewhat unfulfilled. Continue reading
After searching in vain for a job in the small seaside town where he was born, Édouard is forced to head off to the big city. He reluctantly leaves behind his mother-in-law Dorine, his wife Gemma and his beloved daughter Chloé. The weight of his absence is felt by all three women. Soon the news arrives of his unexplained death.
Beyond the confusion, guilt and anger that accompany such an event, there is the love, hope and idealism of youth, unfulfilled desires and the dreams they share of a better future … but when Gemma discovers the unusual legacy left by her late husband, she thinks she’s finally found the key to happiness. But what is happiness in the eyes of others? And how do we achieve it? Continue reading
Pierre Jutras wrote:
At the height of the Quiet Revolution, Claude Jutra brought Quebec cinema directly into modernity.
Take It All (1963) is the first autobiographical feature film made in Quebec using direct cinema methods and techniques. With its unusual aesthetics focusing on the free and intimate expression of the main protagonists, Claude and Johanne, the film was received with a mix of astonished admiration and righteous indignation. Jutra had dared to recreate on screen his own love story with Johanne Harrelle, one of the first black models on the Montreal and New York fashion scene. It was the first time in America that a bed scene was filmed with a white man and a black woman. Both freely engage in mutual confession, and the game of truth leads Johanne to inquire about Claude’s possible homosexuality. They also have to face the agonizing dilemma of abortion when Johanne gets pregnant.
Kissed is a film about a woman who finds spiritual meaning in her life by making love to the dead. It sounds like the stuff of cheap horror movies, but in the hands of director Lynne Stopkewich, it becomes almost religious. Molly Parker stars as the death-obsessed Sandra, who works at a funeral home and believes that she is ushering souls on their way with a final offering of ecstasy from the living world. The story takes a more earthly turn when Sandra meets Matt (Peter Outerbridge), who soon finds himself competing with corpses for his beloved’s attentions. Continue reading
Martha Hayes, a woman fanatically devoted to Jesus Christ, ekes out a meager existence in Montreal, Canada. As a singer in an Anglican Church choir, Martha meets and is fascinated by Father Michael Ferrier, an Augustinian monk who’s the guest conductor for an interfaith concert. How far is Martha willing to go to show her devotion to God? Continue reading
Michele, a divorced aerobics instructor with a gambling addiction, loses her job and seeks refuge with a childhood friend, Janine, who lives in a seemingly comfortable middle-class suburban neighborhood. Michele’s rebellious teenage daughter, Marguerite, and Janine’s shy and reserved daughter, Gabrielle, become friends, leading to unforeseen tensions that force both generations to reassess their values. Familia explores the question of how value systems are passed on from mother to daughter and asks: Is it possible to avoid passing on to our children those traits that we despise in our parents? Continue reading