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Showing posts from March, 2011

Cinefranco Film Festival: Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert Remain Luminous

Want to start you week off with something different? Why not check out a couple of films at Cinéfranco? This Toronto film festival screens films in French with English subtitles for those of us that need them.

Mammuth (France)
Dir. Gustave Kervern, Benoît Delépine
Monday, March 28th, 9:30 pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street at John)


Two big names in French cinema star in two very different films playing at the festival: Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert. In Mammuth, Depardieu stars as a newly retired pork factory worker who is forced to travel to various locations to gather papers that will allow him to claim his retirement benefits. Taking to the road on his 1970s Mammuth motorcycle, Mammuth (Depardieu’s nickname in the film) is accompanied by memories, most significant of which is in the form of Isabelle Adjani, a former girlfriend. Depardieu is an actor that never seems to be bogged down by whatever role he plays. There never seems to be any obvious technique to his performances.…

Cinéfranco Film Festival: Different Flavours of French w/English Subtitles (March 25-April 3)

Cinéfranco International Francophone Film Festival of Toronto opens tonight with two films festival featuring Rémy Girard,Impasse du desire (Switzerland) and Y'en aura pas de facile/Tough Luck (Canada). I recently saw the well-know Québecois actor in the Oscar-nominated, Genie award winning film, Incendie. I’ve been enjoying his performances on screen since seeing him in The Decline of the American Empire. Kudos to Cinéfranco for having him in attendance at tonight’s screenings so that Toronto audiences will have the opportunity to participate in a Q & A with him.

I’ve been busy screening some of the entries to this year’s festival. Here are my thoughts on this week-end's offerings.

Les Conspirationnistes (Canada)
Dir. Fadel Saleh
March 26, 2:00pm
NFB, 150 John Street (at Richmond)

It’s easy to laugh off conspiracy theories as far fetched, and even some of the subjects in this documentary admit that some people go too far, but what you cannot dismiss in watching this film is the…

Movie Review: Nora's Will

NORA'S WILL (Cinco dias sin Nora) is a wonderful Spanish drama with just a touch of farce that keeps it from being maudlin. This film held my attention from the opening scene where a delicate bit of lace is revealed to be a tablecloth to the very last scene where things come to their natural conclusion. NORA'S WILL is a fine balance of the bitter with the sweet thanks to the economical script and direction of Maria Chenillo and the emotional nuances that actor Fernando Lujàn brings to the role of José.

To everyone in the film, Nora is José’s wife; to José she is his ex-wife, she is dead so let’s bury her already. Under normal circumstances a quick burial would not be a problem, but the timing of Nora’s death (Passover) is complicated by Jewish laws and the fact that after 14 attempts, Nora has succeeded in committing suicide. This is all too much for José: he is in conflict with his son, he offends a very powerful Rabbi, he doesn’t want to eat any of the food Nora stocked in th…