The 37th Festival Nouveau Cinema offers quality and quantity

By Melissa Wheeler on October 16, 2008

Film festivals can be a double-edged sword. They’re great for industry to make business and creative connections, and the general buzz is welcome.  But for people who just like to see good films, they can be a bit of a nightmare. You can’t just go to see a movie: you must spend a significant chunk of time with the program to make sure you’re seeing the best the fest has to offer.

The 37th edition of the Festival Nouveau Cinema unfortunately falls into the more-is-less trap. The festival is screening 250 films from 60 countries, plus talks and workshops. Flat out, it’s too many films and too many activities—although at $10 a film for a single ticket they are properly priced. Thumbs down, however, go to the $5.50 or so in service charges you pay when you buy on-line.

While we can only hope that the organizers trim the screenings for next year, many of these films are worth your time. We at the Metropolitain wanted you to make the most of the few days left of the program, so here are our picks (and flicks to avoid) for the weekend.

The Tiger’s Tail
John Boorman
7pm Saturday October 18th at Ex Centris Fellini

A refreshingly original mystery about a wealthy businessman whose perfect life is revealed as the mess it truly is when his Doppleganger appears.  Continual plot twists help the characters get deeper, enriching the film with more substance than your classic thriller/ mystery.


Wendy and Lucy
Kelly  Reichardt, EU
7:30 pm Saturday October 18th Cinema Du Parc

Michelle Williams stars as Wendy, a young woman driving with her dog Lucy to Alaska in search of work. The film spans about four days of Wendy’s life, but in that time we get a hard look at youth, poverty and self-sufficiency.  It’s a slow-moving film, but the pace is necessary to best convey Wendy’s situation. She is a rich character, and if you watch with patience you will be rewarded.


Filth and Wisdom
5:00pm on Saturday October 18th at Cinema Impereal

This film is a charming glimpse into the unstable lives of three roommates in London. The film has a simple and somewhat weak plot (all three are chasing dreams and doing other questionable work in order to fulfill those dreams), but it wins you over because the characters are likeable and quirky. The highlight is actor Eugene Hutz, who plays A.K., a guy who works as an S’n’M master in order to fund his band’s ambitions. While the film isn’t particularly intellectual inspite of A.K.s narrative musings on, appropriately filth and wisdom, it is a worthwhile cinematic escape.


La Memoire des Anges
Luc Bourdon, Quebec
9:20pm Sunday October 19th,  at Parallele Ex Centris

A largely black-and-white video montage of Montreal from the 50s and 60s culled from NFB stock footage. It is long and not always compelling, using few links between the images shown. This is one to skip.


Detroit Metal City
Toshio Lee, Japan
7pm Sunday October 19th at Cinema du Parc

Detroit Metal City is a quirky story of a young man who wants to be loved for his “trendy” songs. Problem is, everyone hates his songs. To thicken the plot, he’s taken a job as the front man of a death metal band that everyone loves—but he himself hates.  This film is quickly becoming a cult hit due to its flat, manga characters and fluid story telling. Look a little deeper and you’ll see a meditation on capitalism, peer pressure and the power of conforming.


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