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Les 20e Rendez--vous du cinema quebecois. (Festival Wraps).

MONTREAL 2/15 -24/02

Founded in 1982 by a group of quebecois filmmakers, critics and artists eager to promote and honour their peers, the 2002 Rendez-vous du cinema quebecois marked its 20th anniversary by simply doing what it has always done best: celebrate and recognize new emerging talents in all fields of the medium as well as seasoned veterans or those whose body of works beg to be re--examined, such as Jean--Claude Labrecque and the late Gilles Groulx. In addition, this year the Rendez--vous also took the opportunity to underline the 25th anniversaries of two other important Quebec institutions; the Montreal--based independent distributor Cinema Libre and production company La Coop Video de Montreal.

The past year was marked by many trends. For one thing, multi-tasking seemed to be the operative word in Quebec cinema. Actors stepped behind the camera, including Stephanie Morgenstern, who impressed with her Prix Jutra-winning short, the intriguing mood piece Remembrance, and Robin Aubert, who explored a rough and marginal universe rarely tackled in Quebec cinema with his short Les Freres Morel, co-directed with Daniel Grenier. Screenwriters and playwrights took to directing for the first time, including Emile Gaudreault with his megahit Nuit de noces, winner of the 2001 Golden Reel Award, Michel Monty, with the interesting short drama Adieu Grosny, and Chilean-born Daniel Diaz, with his well-received short, Nada. Also acclaimed documentary director Bernard Emond switched to fiction for his heart-wrenching drama La Femme qui boit, which earned the Best Actress Prix Jutra and Genie Awards for Elise Guilbault's riveting protaryal of a lonely alcoholic. Others, it seems, wanted to diversify their artistic output i n as many ways possible. Artistic director Andre-Line Beauparlant, whose name appeared on the credits of two of 2001's most important films-Mariages and La Femme qui boit-also directed two documentaries, the short Elvis I'Italiano and the acclaimed feature Trois princesses pour Roland, a harsh and gripping yet incredibly tender cinema verite-style portrait of three generations of women stuck in a vicious circle of abuse, violence and poverty.

A slew of directors even offered more than one film for the public's viewing pleasure such as renown art-documentary filmmaker Philippe Balaucq with the children's fantasy Hugo et le dragon and the art documentary Les Couleurs du sang; up-and-coming director Denis Chouinard with L'Ange de goudron and the documentary tribute Voir Gilles Groulx, which opened the festival; Francis Leclerc with his debut feature Une Jeune fille a la fenetre and the short Quand tu vas etre mort, co-directed with Rosa Zacharie; the ever-prolific Donigan Cumming with My Dinner with Weegee, Wrap and A Short Lesson; experimental video and installation artist Marie-Lynda Bilodeau with Les Chatelains and the whimsical Garde-robe; veteran filmmaker Richard Jutras with the documentary Les Conteurs de vues animees and the short fictions Flagrant Delit and Pawn Shop; and last but not least the ever-present Jean-Claude Labrecque, whose output was so tremendous in 2002 - whether as director (Le RIN), cinematographer (Manages, La Femme qui boi t) or even as a subject for a film, Jean-Claude Labrecque, cineaste du contemporian, directed by his son Jerome - that a special tribute was deemed necessary to mark the richness of his accomplishments in a career spanning four decades.

Working from the idea that having access to a pool of talent and resources is much better than trying to do everything alone, a number of (mostly) young filmmakers are coming together to pursue similar artistic goals. They include the KINO collective, which produces often inspired films made on shoestring budgets and in ridiculously short amounts of time, and the Quebec-based production company Spirafilm, which has always advocated collaboration between its members or through special projects such as the Videographe's 30th-anniversary collection of short films, Quand j'ai eu 30 ans. Also pooling talent is the new Radio-Canada television series Entree cote court that commissions short films from various directors. Some of the most noteworthy films in this trend include Philippe Falardeau's surprising KINO short Ca c'est Laurence, Philippe Gagnon's well-written Vous etes ici for Spirafilm, as well as Entree cote court's interesting Hyperacousique by Normand Bergeron and Mensonges by Louise Archambault.

In the end, the 2002 edition of the Rendez-vous confirmed more than ever the emergence of a new creative ebullience in Quebec cinema. In retrospect, what were 2001's cinematic landmarks? Andre Turpin's acclaimed sophomore effort and multi-Prix Jutra Award-winner Un crabe dans la tete; Catherine Martin's stark and beautiful first feature Mariages; Denis Chouinard's complex immigration drama and award-winning debut feature L'Ange de goudron; ever iconoclastic experimental documentary filmmaker Donigan Cumming's gripping and disturbing My Dinner with Weegee; political activist and veteran director Pierre Falardeau's surprisingly nuanced patriot drama 15 fevrier 1839; photographer and music video director Lyne Charlebois's brilliant first short fiction Quel jour etait-ce?; video artists Nelson Henricks's and Dennis Day's wonderful experimental shorts Planetarium and This Narrative Is Killing Me; Hugo Latulippe's and Marielle Nitoslawka's controversial in-your-face documentaries Bacon, le film and Bad Girl; and la st but not least Yellowknife, the beautiful second feature from a remarkably gifted filmmaker, Rodrigue Jean (Full Blast). What more can one ask from an event that year after year gives us a chance to see one last time the films that truly marked the past year.
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Author:Valade, Claire
Publication:Take One
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:May 1, 2002
Words:870
Previous Article:Berlin Film Festival. (Festival Wraps).
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