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Reel Forecast: Gilles Carle (1929-2009), Christmas Screenings, French Canadian Cowboys & More...

Posted by Andrés / December 11, 2009


Escape the cold: our film picks for FRIDAY DEC 11 through THURSDAY DEC 17

Two weeks ago on November 28th, Québecois filmmaker Gilles Carle passed away. He was 80 years old. The director of internationally reknowned hits such as La Vie heureuse de Léopold Z (1965) and La Vraie Nature de Bernadette (1972) is the subject of the latest tribute series at Cinéma du Parc. Alongisde the aforementioned films are three other Carle classics to be enjoyed on the big screen. Runs from Saturday to Thursday.

Premiering at the AMC this Friday are two films making waves for the upcoming awards seasons. Up in the Air by Jason Reitman (Juno) stars George Clooney as a corporate hatchet man facing his own medicine. Invictus is Clint Eastwood's latest and stars Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela. It retells the true story of how the triumph of the South African rugby team helped mend racial divides.

Main Film is an artist-run centre for independent filmmakers. They rent/sell equipment and even host seminars on various aspects of writing and filmmaking. Every month, members and non-members are welcome to a free evening (with refreshments!) to watch the works done by Main Film affiliates. Main Film / 4067 boul. St-Laurent Suite 303 / 7pm / Free More info

FRIDAY / ALIAS WILL JAMES (dir. Jacques Godbout, 1988) / 83 min.
Ever hear the story about that famous French Canadian cowboy? He's known as Will James, but his real name is Ernest Dufault, and he was born in Saint-Nazaire-d'Acton in Quebec. Moving South to live the cowboy lifestyle, he did a stint in prison, trained horses and became a stuntman in the early years of Hollywood. He then wrote novels about the American cowboy. This all-Quebecois cowboy tale documentary intrigues enough to be my pick of the week. Casa Obscura / 4381 Papineau / 9pm / $ N/A More info

Three Caribbean directors are being showcased at the NFB this weekend as part of a mini-festival celebrating the islands culture. The three documentaries (seemingly dealing primarily with Haiti) are in French with English subtitles, and range from early 90s to present-day. NFB Cinerobotheque / 1564 St-Denis / 6p-7pm / $7 More info

FRIDAY-SUNDAY / BROTHERS (dir. Susanne Bier, 2005) / 110 min.
The fairly straight-up American remake of this Danish film is currently in theaters. You may have seen the previews with Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire. The story remains the same: after her soldiering husband goes missing in a far-off warzone, a woman begins a shaky affair with his brother. Try to get out and watch the original version of this film by Susanne Bier before catching the remake. Heck, you can catch them back-to-back at the same venue. Cinema du Parc / 3575 Parc Ave. / 9pm / $5-7 More info

A bit of a mixed bag this week at everyone's favourite $2 cinema. In celebration of our major snowfall, you can check out the 2006 animated hit Happy Feet, as well as A Nutcracker Tale, which is a Tom & Jerry Christmas special. Also for kids is Aardman's Chicken Run. For the filmgoers looking for something a little aged: Melville's Bob le flambeur will be playing his hand, as well as the murder-romance classic Charade. Lastly, your $2 may go a longer way towards your education than tuition fees if you check out Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Dissent (EDIT: An astute reader so rightly noted that Manufacturing Dissent is a film refuting Michael Moore, while Manufacturing Consent is the Chomsky film. Cinema Dollar is playing the Moore one, so save your $2. Get a real education). Cinema Dollar / 6900 Decarie Blvd. / $2 More info

MONDAY / LES PETITS GEANTS (dir. Anais Barbeau-Lavalette & Emile Proulx-Cloutier, 2009) / 75 min.
No subtitles for you devout anglophones for this one so, "[le film] raconte l'épopée de cinq enfants du primaire qui participeront, avec 105 autres jeunes, à un projet inusité: élaborer, réaliser et créer un superspectacle musical inspiré de l'opéra UN BAL MASQUÉ de Verdi et y tenir des rôles devant plusieurs salles pleines à craquer!" (description grace au site web Theatre Outremont) Théâtre Outremont / 1248 Bernard Ave. West / $5-6 More info

TUESDAY / BROKEN EMBRACES (dir. Pedro Almodovar, 2009) / 127 min.
An Almodovar film is not to be missed by any cinephile. His stylish and contemporary films mix Spanish art deco with strong female characters, intrigue, superstition, ghosts and dark comedy. His latest seems to continue along this same trend, visually matching his 2005 hit Volver (yes, this includes the beautiful Penelope Cruz). The only catch is that this exclusive premiere is being presented by the Cinemagique club. This means that you need to be a member of the club to even be allowed to buy a ticket. Membership costs $20. This gives you access to a variety of openings and special screenings throughout the year. Total cost for non-members tallies up to $30. Cinema du Parc / 3575 Parc Ave. / $10+$20 (for membership) More info

Winner of the cutest film event name this week. Kino Montreal has been highlighted before on Midnight Poutine: they are another of the many non-profit art collectives that make short films. This time around, their screening involves Christmas or winter-theme shorts made by local members. O Patro Vys / 356 Mont-Royal East / $ N/A More info

WEDNESDAY / SCROOGE (dir. Henry Edwards, 1935) / 78 min.
No doubt about it - the holiday or festive season (also known as Christmas, Yuletide or Noel) is coming, even to the Segal Centre where the 1935 version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol will screen alongside various other short films. I say, skip the eerie uncanny valley-ism of the current Zemeckis IMAX version and go for this instead. Segal Centre / 5170 Cote-Ste-Catherine / $6-8 More info

Thanks to the NFB for the above image of "La Vie heureuse de Leopold Z".



if jane / December 11, 2009 at 05:18 pm
gilles carle...cool.
Mike / December 12, 2009 at 06:51 am
Sorry, Manufacturing Dissent is a film about Michael Moore.

Manufacturing CONSENT, that's the Chomsky/NFB film
Andres / December 12, 2009 at 10:29 am
Thanks for the check, Mike. I got the two mixed up. I was hoping it was the Chomsky one.
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