Three Québec films - a thriller, a melancholy comedy, and the sole entry from a Canadian Front veteran, a startling film that turns fiction on its head - are part of the 8th annual Canadian Front series, MoMA’s annual survey of notable recent films from both English- and French-speaking Canada.
Les Signes vitaux (Vital Signs)
2009. Québec, Canada. Written and directed by Sophie Deraspe. With Marie-Hélène Bellavance, Francis Ducharme, Danielle Ouimet, Marie Brassard. Deraspe, whose debut feature, Missing Victor Pellerin, was a highlight of Canadian Front 2009, returns with her award-winning sophomore drama, about a young woman’s need for self-sacrifice. Simone, who works in a nursing home in Quebec City, finds comfort in being with the dying. Her boyfriend doesn’t understand Simone’s experiences, and tension escalates between them. Simone is played by a non-actor, and the boyfriend by a professional; the filmmaker uses their interactions to investigate the line between reality and narrative fabrication. In French; English subtitles. 87 min.
Thursday, March 17, 2011, 4:30 p.m., Theater 1, T1
Sunday, March 20, 2011, 3:30 p.m., Theater 1, T1
2010. Québec, Canada. Directed by Patrick Demers. Screenplay by Demers, Sophie Cadieux, Maxime Denommée, Benoit Gouin. With Cadieux, Denommée, Gouin. Demers’s first feature is a nail-biting addition to the isolated-cabin-in-the-woods-by-a-lake genre. A young, good-looking couple on the verge of breaking up borrow a relative’s country cottage in order to work out their problems, but when a stranger comes calling—sort of—all attempts at reconciliation take a back seat to the suspense of what will happen next. The closing minutes of this taut psychological thriller are as tense and surprising as they are unnerving. 94. In French; English subtitles min.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 4:30 p.m., Theater 1, T1
Saturday, March 19, 2011, 8:00 p.m., Theater 1, T1
La Fille de Montréal (A Montreal Girl)
2010. Québec, Canada. Written and directed by Jeanne Crépeau. After 25 years, Ariane must move out of her cherished, if small and somewhat tatty, Montreal apartment. Though her girlfriend is away in Paris, she has close friends and her own natural optimism to fall back on. The filmmaker, who based the story on personal experience, has made a film for those who value friendship as highly as love, and for those who value the joys of urban life. In French; English subtitles. 92 min.
Friday, March 18, 2011, 4:30 p.m., Theater 1, T1
Monday, March 21, 2011, 7:00 p.m., Theater 3, mezzanine, Education and Research Building