Noël Mitrani – Sur La Trace d’Igor Rizzi AKA On the Trail of Igor Rizzi (2006)


BRENDAN KELLY, The Gazette, Published: Monday, January 15 2007 wrote:
In film and life, all roads lead to Montreal.
Filmmaker Noel Mitrani returned to his place of birth and found home; French actor Laurent Lucas – and the character he portrays in Sur la Trace d’Igor Rizzi – followed their hearts

Sur la trace d’Igor Rizzi, the remarkable first feature from Montreal-based filmmaker Noel Mitrani, is a poetic look at a former French soccer star living in self-imposed exile in snow-covered Montreal. So it’s only appropriate that the film, which opens this Friday, is the result of a collaboration between two guys who, like the film’s anti-hero, made the decision to abandon France and come live here in Quebec. Continue reading Noël Mitrani – Sur La Trace d’Igor Rizzi AKA On the Trail of Igor Rizzi (2006)

Denys Arcand – On est au coton AKA Cotton Mill, Treadmill (1976)

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From the Film Reference Library:

One of the most controversial films in Canadian history, On est au coton is an examination of the exploitation and repression of textile workers in Quebec. This National Film Board production, more social inquiry than documentary, contrasts the lives of textile workers and their bosses and places their situation in an historical context by employing footage from old films about the industry. (The title is a pun which literally means “we are in cotton,” but it also connotes “we are fed up.”) Continue reading Denys Arcand – On est au coton AKA Cotton Mill, Treadmill (1976)

Paul McGrath – John & Yoko’s Year of Peace (2000)


It’s 1969 and headlines blare war and civil unrest while John Lennon and Yoko Ono -rock ‘n’ roll’s most eccentric couple- are in love. They have just gotten married,they are happy to be together and they see that the world needs some changew. They announce their mission for peace and they invite the rest of the world to do the same as they do: they are lying on their bed. But people call them silly and naive they see clowns instead of true believers.
John and Yoko just do not care… Continue reading Paul McGrath – John & Yoko’s Year of Peace (2000)

Josephine Massarella – Green Dream (1994)


Warning: Do NOT WATCH if you’re epileptic!

In Green Dream, Josephine Massarella has infused her vibrant, impressionistic images of nature with the spirit of the goddess Artemis. Evocative and abstract, Green Dream relies on a wide range of experimental techniques, including pixilation, optical printing, and manipulated motion to achieve a dreamlike state where the relevance of beauty and the irrelevance of use can be contemplated.

Reminiscent of the work of French experimental filmmaker Rose Lawder, Green Dream confronts modern overdevelopment with overpowering life forces. Continue reading Josephine Massarella – Green Dream (1994)

Andrew Thomas Hunt – Sweet Karma (2009)


A mute Russian girl infiltrates Toronto’s underground sex trade to avenge the death of her sister.

Montreal Gazette wrote:
2009, Canada
Directed by Andrew Thomas Hunt
Written by Andrew Thomas Hunt, James Fler, Michael Paszt
Starring Shera Bechard, John Tokatlidis, Frank J. Zupancic, Christian Bako
82 minutes, English

The exploitation film formula is fairly simple: take a social issue or problem, and try to solve it with breasts and knives. Everything from race relations to drug addiction has been tackled in this fashion. And though the films don’t provide any real solutions, I’m now unable to debate drug policy without suggesting criminals should have their genitals mutilated by woman in stiletto heels. Thanks, 1970s genre cinema. Continue reading Andrew Thomas Hunt – Sweet Karma (2009)

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette – Inch’Allah (2012)


Chloe is a young Canadian doctor who divides her time between Ramallah, where she works with the Red Crescent, and Jerusalem, where she lives next door to her friend Ava, a young Israeli soldier. Increasingly sensitive to the conflict, Chloe goes daily through the checkpoint between the two cities to get to the refugee camp where she monitors the pregnancies of young women.

As she becomes friends with Rand, one of her patients, Chloe learns more about life in the occupied territories and gets to spend some time with Rand’s family. Torn between the two sides of the conflict, Chloe tries as best she can to build bridges between her friends but suffers from remaining a perpetual foreigner to both sides. Continue reading Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette – Inch’Allah (2012)

Louis Bélanger – Route 132 (2010)


Road movies haven’t been a staple of Québecois cinema. Yet recently, there were two examples and I watched them back to back. One is the very low-key Papa à la chasse aux lagopèdes, a superb odyssey of one man driving north to find himself. A very original movie where there is basically just one character in a monologue with the camera he just purchased. The same François Papineau of that movie would go on to play one of the two main characters in Route 132. He is not well-known, but seeing these two may convince you to look forward to his next project. As they are two here, rather than just one, Route 132 turns to the troublesome nature of male friendship, similar to what Paris, Texas did for brotherly love. Both of these Quebec road movies, as a negative review point out underneath, have very little in term of story to tell. It isn’t Lost Highway or anything like that, it just lack any sort of paradigm, it’s flawed and it flirt with caricature at times, but remain interesting throughout, as are most of Louis Bélanger movies and especially Gaz Bar Blues, it’s more about the characters than the story and the locations Continue reading Louis Bélanger – Route 132 (2010)