This seventh edition of Canadian Front, MoMA's annual survey of new Canadian cinema, includes the New York premieres of eight recent features from Québec including Emile Gaudreault’s De père en flic, Bernard Émond’s La Donation and Denis Villeneuve’s Polytechnique.
De père en flic. (Fathers and Guns). 2009. Canada. Directed by Émile Gaudreault. Written by Gaudreault and Ian Lauzon. With Louis-José Houde, Michel Côté, Rémy Girard, Patrick Drolet, Caroline Dhavernas. From the whizz-bang opening credits to the happily satisfying ending Fathers and Guns, is a comic delight. A box office phenomenon in Quebec, “Fathers and Guns”, abounds in Montreal cops, gross gangsters, slimy mob lawyers, and last but not least, fathers and sons who allegedly hate each other. Remake rights have been sold to Hollywood, so this may be a rare chance to see the hilarious original. In French, English subtitles. 107 min. Wednesday, March 17, 8:00; Saturday, March 20, 1:00.
La Donation. (The Legacy). 2009. Canada. Written and directed by Bernard Émond With Élise Guilbault, Éric Hoziel, Françoise Graton. Émond, a veteran of Canadian Front, sets his new and very moving work in a Quebec town whose primary source of employment disappeared a generation ago. An aging country doctor cares deeply about his patients but needs to leave his post temporarily. He advertises for a substitute care giver. A woman from the city, frustrated by the impersonal life in a busy emergency ward, answers his call, and this quietly beautiful film, graced with Dreyer-like inflections, chronicles how a newcomer becomes deeply involved in the lives and deaths of the community. In French, English subtitles. 96 min. Thursday, March 18, 4:00; Saturday, March 20, 8:00.
Polytechnique. 2009. Canada. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Written by Villeneuve, Jacques Davidts, Éric Leca. With Sébastien Huberdeau, Karine Vanasse, Evelyne Brochu, Maxim Gaudette. A decade before Columbine, the unexpected happened in Montreal. On December 6, 1989, a 25-year-old gunman, who claimed “feminists” destroyed his life, entered the École Polytechnique with a rifle and killed fourteen students, all women. This black-and-white dispassionate film, Denis Villeneuve’s third, serves as a memorial of sorts to those murdered and describes what, for survivors, followed. In French, English subtitles. 76 min. Friday, March 19, 4:00; Sunday, March 21, 1:00.
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