The FNC started with a drama set in the Arctic—a divine polar bear included
With the presentation of the film “Two Lovers and a Bear” directed by Kim Nguyen, followed by a big party at the Agora of the UQAM Science Pavilion, the 45th edition of the Festival of New Cinema was launched this Wednesday. Over more than ten days, films that go from a more or less conventional narrative to others that defy everything cinematic will be delighting the demanding movie-goers of Montreal.
The opening film is a Canadian production set in the North featuring all the greatness of the Arctic landscape. “Two Lovers and a Bear” is a captivating drama in which the fear of loneliness, the harshness of the land and the climate, and the toughness—but also the sensitivity— of the men and women living there are brought to the spectator in all their emotional force. It is almost like feeling the coldness of the snowy place, yet at the same time the warmth of the young couple’s love.
Roman (Dane DeHaan) and Lucy (Tatiana Maslany) are definitely in love; he does various chores, and she is a taxi driver. Roman has the strange ability to talk to a polar bear, or is it just his imagination? Both, Roman and Lucy have family issues which may have determined their ending up in the Arctic. They don’t regret it, though: they have each other; and also the bear.
What suddenly becomes a happy occasion for Lucy, however, would test their love to the extreme. They would eventually decide to go on a journey south through the snow, during which she would try to forget a terrifying memory of her past. The bear would also be there: is he a god? Maybe. The journey would also seal the lovers’ destiny, amid the endless whiteness of the north. This film will be released after the festival: it is a lyrical story in an amazing setting. Not to be missed.
And separatism is growing, well not here in Quebec for sure, but in the region of Catalonia, the subject of the documentary “Le people interdit” (“The Forbidden People”) directed by Canadian director Alexandre Chartrand. Unlike Quebec, where the PQ has staged two referendums over separation (and if in power again it promises to hold another one, although not too soon into its mandate), in Spain where the political legacy of forty years of dictatorship is hard to remove, its constitution forbids the holding of such consultation. This obstacle has led to a stalemate with the pro-independence movement in Catalonia committed to holding a new referendum while the central authority in Madrid is strongly forbidding such thing. Unwisely, the hardline approach taken by Madrid has resulted in a growing separatist movement in Catalonia which tries to express itself through democratic means but is prevented from it by Madrid. Could this trigger a major crisis in Spain? It is one of the many questions that the film leaves in the air. (Oct. 14, Cinema Imperial, 7:15 p.m.)
The Festival of New Cinema (FNC) runs until October 16, for the complete schedule, ticket prices, and movie description visit: www.nouveaucinema.ca/en
By Sergio Martinez – totimes.ca
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