The 48th edition of the Festival du Nouveau Cinema announced their lineup on October 1st and as expected, we are extremely impressed with the selection of films. The festival which takes place in Montreal from October 9 to October 20 is screening hundreds of feature films and shorts from around the world (many of which took home awards at other festivals including Cannes, TIFF, and Venice), and with so many films to choose from, deciding what to watch, can be overwhelming.
Our team will, of course, be covering the event once again, and as we do every year, we’ve compiled a shortlist of five movies that we are most excited to watch. Hopefully, this list will introduce some readers to at least one movie that might have snuck under their radar.
There are many enduring truths in moviemaking, and one of them is that Lovecraft is really hard to adapt. I mean, how do you even film something the sight of which is described as so horrifically other as to induce madness in the observer? Maybe this is why Lovecraft’s short story “The Color Out of Space” has been adapted more than most, with movie versions in 1965, 1987, 2008 and 2010. The premise is simple: a meteor lands on a New England farm, its core dissolving into the soil and leading to strange and distorted plant life. The farmer and his family soon begin to change as well, seemingly succumbing to some unseen vampiric force.
What makes this new effort all the more interesting is the presence of Richard Stanley at the helm, his first time directing a work of genre fiction since 1993’s “Dust Devil”. Add in Nicolas Cage and this will probably be one of the most anticipated movies of the festival. The subject matter, director and star all have devoted fans, and the “this, I gotta see!” factor is pretty high. (Thomas O’Connor)
Quentin Dupieux is…..well, he’s an odd one. Mostly known for oddities like “Rubber” and “Wrong”, the French director has a fascination with absurdism, the surreal, the just plain weird. In “Rubber”, the director even addressed this ethos, and the audience directly, with an impassioned mantra of “Why not”. His follow-up, “Wrong”, didn’t state this ethos quite so explicitly but still traded largely on weird for weird’s sake. This approach can and has put off a lot of people, but there is something to be said for the strange atmosphere Dupieux crafts in his films. They’re often funny and, if nothing else, a uniquely odd experience.
Dupieux’s new film, “Le Daim”, seems to have dialed the surrealism down in favor of more quirky antics on the part of the cast. There’s no sign of the paranormal, like pet psychics or sentient tires, but the film does center on an eccentric with a serious crush on his own jacket. Could this shift in gears be the key to Dupieux finding more success? Will audiences find more to like with weird characters, instead of weird plot points? We’ll soon see. (Thomas O’Connor)
According to our staff, Andrew Patterson’s award-winning sci-fi thriller The Vast of The Night was one of the best films to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival last month. And according to Brian Marks, The Vast of Night draws from late-’50s science fiction and radio plays by leaving its thrills unseen and letting the audience create them instead.
What really caught my attention however was a quote from Variety that states its B-movie plot is so familiar that writers James Montague and Craig W. Sanger unabashedly frame the story as an episode of a Twilight Zone-style TV show called Paradox Theater. And from what I’ve read, The Vast of the Night is also being compared to Bruce McDonald’s Pontypool, War of the Worlds and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It’s been a while since I’ve watched a good alien invasion movie and so I’m hoping The Vast of the Night lives up to the hype and scratches that itch.
Just in time for the 40th anniversary of Alien comes Memory: The Origins of Alien, a documentary that dives deep into Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi masterpiece. Much has already been written, dissected and documented about Ridley Scott’s classic but according to the press release, the film takes fans on an exploration of the mythical underpinnings of the film, supported by exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, unearthing the largely untold origin story behind the making of the film. The documentary also promises a treasure trove of never-before-seen materials from the archives of Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger – including original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards, and O’Bannon’s original 29-page script from 1971, titled “Memory.”
French provocateur Bertrand Bonello returns with Zombi Child, a unique, high-concept horror movie about the legacy of French colonialism in Haiti. It first premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the Cannes Film Festival and ever since the film has received mostly positive reviews. Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter called it a fresh if tangled take on a well-tread genre and given Bonello’s reputation, we expect big things. (Ricky D)