“I had a hard name in that place” says Michael, one of the eight ex-cons in Alan Zweig’s new film. His turn of phrase refers to more than just a bad reputation. He’s talking about a hardness of spirit. It may have served him well as a criminal or a prisoner. In the outside world however, that hardness can get in the way. But slipping off the bonds of that hardness is easier said than done.
In A HARD NAME, we meet eight middle-aged ex-convicts, chosen at random, who are trying to stay out of prison, perhaps for the first time in their lives. Most have spent 30 to 40 years in and out of jail. Prison is what they know; they’ve learned how to survive there. Out here, it’s a different story. As each of the characters in the film tries to adapt to life on the outside, they share their stories, reflect on their past, and explore the path that led them to prison in the first place. Continue reading
Pierre Leduc leaves his job as a university lecturer in an effort to escape the world, only to have his plans thwarted as two family members reach out to him: first, his dying father, who wants to leave him a fortune of ill-gotten gains, and then the young daughter whom he abandoned years ago.
Québécois cinema has often explored the bonds that keep us together, but rarely has the subject been addressed so elegantly or so powerfully. An obsessed scholar attempts to withdraw from the world but finds personal ties drawing him back into the family he had left behind, in this novelistic, beautifully modulated drama from acclaimed Québécois filmmaker Bernard Émond. Tout ce que tu possèdes is characterized by a meditative style, a novelist’s eye for detail and startlingly beautiful grace notes. @Tiff Continue reading
Syd March is an employee at a clinic that sells injections of live viruses harvested from sick celebrities to obsessed fans. Biological communion – for a price. Syd also supplies illegal samples of these viruses to piracy groups, smuggling them from the clinic in his own body. When he becomes infected with the disease that kills super sensation Hannah Geist, Syd becomes a target for collectors and rabid fans. He must unravel the mystery surrounding her death before he suffers the same fate. Continue reading
OCCUPY LOVE captures the heart of the movement of movements that is sweeping the planet in response to today’s economic and environmental crises. ‘Philosopher-filmmaker’ Velcrow Ripper travels to history-making hot spots, asking the question, ‘How can crisis create a love story?’ Scenes include the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square, Spain’s Indignado movement, Occupy Wall Street NYC, The Maple Spring in Quebec, and indigenous activists at the Alberta Tar Sands. The film explores the aspects of this arising that take the form of what Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘Love in action.’ Woven throughout is a deep exploration on the meaning and importance of ‘public love’ – the love of humanity, the love of the planet. Continue reading
Clara spent the summer of his 16 years seeking his missing sister. Local authorities do not move. The mother is bedridden. The adults in the village seem busy with other things. Between his summer job, take care of the family home and his little sister, Clara focuses his energies to find Margarete. Aided by her friends, she searched fields, rivers, edges of highways. For Clara, the body of his elder can be under any bridge, behind any door in any warehouse. When the mystery is solved, Clara finds himself more alone and helpless. Continues his research and focus far from home.
Through an initiatory quest where dialogues are reduced to their simplest expression in favor of suggestive images and some clues gleaned here and there, the girl (Clara Turcotte) in shock oscillates between dream and reality. Continue reading
After being plagued by recurring dreams where three strange creatures play havoc with his mind, a novelist pulls an overnighter during which his mind-spun creatures become a reality and horror happens. Continue reading
From IMDb :
Animals/People: Along the rhythm of the changing seasons they watch one another. Bestiary unfolds like a filmed picture book about mutual observation, about peculiar perception. A contemplation of a stable imbalance, and of lose, tranquil and indefinable elements.
From www.berlinale.de (Berlin Film Festival) :
A drawing course, a safari park and a taxidermist’s workshop: three settings in which humans and animals meet. The focus of observation is on relationships of sight and perception, which often reflect unequal power structures at the same time. In the process, the film also seems to be considering the question of how animals can be filmed.