Dennis Hopper – Out of the Blue [+Extras] (1980)

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Plot Synopsis

Quote:
Out of the Blue captures the turbulence of youth culture of the early ’80s by presenting a three-person nuclear family that is about to implode. In a prologue, Don Barnes (Dennis Hopper), a school bus driver, is drunkenly distracted one day behind the wheel, resulting in a horrible accident. He comes home from a stint in prison to find his wife, Kathy (Sharon Farrell), hooked on drugs and his now-teenaged daughter, Cindy (Linda Manz), sullen and remote. Don’s old buddies are a fun-loving bunch who work only to afford to get high and party, and he seems to be falling back into his old ways instead of getting straight and pulling his family out of their funk. The story focuses on Cindy’s alienation from both her parents and most of her classmates. She’s influenced by the energy and anger of punk music and considers her parents pathetic relics of the ’60s counterculture. Hopper reportedly took over direction of the film after co-producer/co-writer Leonard Yakir departed the production. It was Hopper’s first job behind the camera since The Last Movie, his legendary flop follow-up to Easy Rider. Continue reading

Atom Egoyan – Ararat (2002)

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From All Movie Guide:

Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan explores his Armenian heritage, and how the country’s tragic history has touched several generations of the nation’s expatriates, in this ambitious drama. Edward Saroyan (Charles Aznavour), a veteran filmmaker of Armenian descent, is in Toronto shooting a film about the Siege of Van, in which invading Ottoman armies forced the evacuation of Armenian communities in 1915, leading to the genocide of over a million Armenian people at the hands of Turkish troops. Twenty-one-year-old Raffi (David Alpay) has been sent to Turkey to shoot background footage for the film; Raffi’s mother Ani (Arsinee Khanjian), an author and historian, is also involved in the project as a consultant. Lately Raffi and Ani have been at odds; Raffi has been dating Celia (Marie-Josee Croze), Ani’s stepdaughter, who is convinced that Ani is somehow responsible for the death of her father. Ani’s first husband, who was Raffi’s father, is also dead, after taking part in an assassination attempt on a Turkish political leader. As Raffi attempts to re-enter Canada with cans of exposed film, he’s detained by David (Christopher Plummer), a suspicious customs official who has his own tenuous link to Saroyan’s film — David is struggling to come to terms with the gay lifestyle of his son Philip (Brent Carver), whose lover Ali (Elias Koteas) is playing the villain in the picture. Ararat also features Eric Bogosian and Bruce Greenwood. Continue reading

Philippe Falardeau – La Moitié Gauche Du Frigo AKA The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge (2000)

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Christophe, a 30-year-old unemployed engineer, gets a proposition by his roommate to do a documentary on his job searching. Amused by the idea, Christophe accepts to be filmed daily. But what was initially conceived as a short-term project stretches into months with tensions mounting as Christophe’s employment prospects diminish and Stephane turns the documentary into full-time work.

The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge is a funny and engaging look on how unemployment affects our lives.
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Claude Jutra – Mon oncle Antoine [+Extras] (1971)

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All Movie.com Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson

With Mon Oncle Antoine, actor Jean Duceppe established himself as Canada’s principle purveyor of eccentric relatives. Playing the uncle of 15-year-old Jacques Ganon, Duceppe acts as the lad’s confidante through the difficult coming-of-age process. The Canadian backwoods and the mining-town milieu of the 1940s are displayed to excellent nostalgic advantage in this retrospective piece from writer/director Claude Jutra (who also plays a supporting role). Though relatively unknown in the states (and often dismissed as unremarkable by below-the-border critics), Mon Oncle Antoine is regarded as a classic of the Canadian Cinema. The film won an unprecedented eight statuettes at the 1972 Canadian Film Institute Awards, including best picture and best director.
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Yves Pelletier – Les Aimants AKA Love and Magnets (2004)

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Montreal Mirror wrote:

People tend to be cynical and derisive towards romantic comedies. Personally, I’m a softie and seeing people fall in love on screen always touches me. Then again, I’m aware that most entries in the rom-com genre are derivative and idiotic. But once in a blue moon, you find one that’s surprisingly original and intelligent. Les Aimants is such a film.

After five years abroad, Julie (Isabelle Blais) comes back to Montreal and crashes with her sister Jeanne (Sylvie Moreau), a woman who lies as she breathes. Jeanne is engaged to Noël (David Savard), a workaholic who’s never home, so they communicate through messages they leave on the refrigerator. When Jeanne leaves for a week of adultery with theremin virtuoso Manu (Emmanuel Bilodeau), she asks Julie to cover up for her by responding to Noël’s fridge notes. But Julie decides to get “positive revenge” on her seemingly heartless sister by making the messages she leaves more romantic… Continue reading

Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski – Madame Tutli-Putli (2007)

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Madame Tutli-Putli boards the Night Train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past. She travels alone, facing both the kindness and menace of strangers. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure. Adrift between real and imagined worlds, Madame Tutli-Putli confronts her demons and is drawn into an undertow of mystery and suspense. The National Film Board of Canada presents a stunning, stop-motion animated film that takes the viewer on an exhilarating existential journey. The film introduces groundbreaking visual techniques and is supported by a haunting and original score. Painstaking care and craftsmanship in form and detail bring to life a fully imagined, tactile world unlike any you have seen. Jungian thriller? Hitchcockian suspense? Artistic tour de force? The Night Train awaits you. (Written by courtesy of National Film Board of Canada) Continue reading

Guy Maddin – Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair (2009)

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Rotterdam 2009: Guy Maddin Will “Send Me To the ‘Lectric Chair”
By R. Emmet Sweeney on 01/29/2009
Guy Maddin, courtesy of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2009

Guy Maddin is a hoarder of uncanny images, from the candy-colored Alpine tableaus of “Careful” to the frozen horse heads of last year’s “My Winnipeg.” A commission from the Rotterdam Film Festival centers around another: Isabella Rossellini blasted out of an electric chair. It’s the basis for his new short film, “Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair,” part of the Urban Screens series at the festival, which is projecting three works onto office buildings throughout the city. It’s an archetypal Maddin film, conflating sex, death and film history in a manic seven minutes. I spoke with him at the festival about the new work, collage parties, Thomas Edison and the hazards of Dutch public transit.

How did you get this assignment, and how did you conceive it? Continue reading