2009 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL
OF FILMS ON ART
this year’s FIFA offers a program of films on the arts
from around the world -- 280 films from about 30 countries held
in 9 venues: from the Canadian Center for Architecture, Geothe
Institute, passing thru Museum of Fine Arts, Place des Arts,
Cinemateque Quebecois, NFB & Grande Bibliotheque -- representing
every genre in the arts: music, theatre, cinema, painting, sculpture,
architecture, literature etc. As well, there are features on
the major figures who have influenced the creative arts. You’ll
be taken behind the scenes, mysteries will be unlocked, and
you’ll find yourself enjoying refreshingly close encounters
with the act of creation. An open spirit and a desire to learn
are absolute musts to get the full benefit of this festival
which is a golden opportunity to make a clean break from our
lazy cinematic habits.
are the films, briefly blurbed, that I have been able to see (thus
by Jean-Claude Labrecque | Canada | 2008 | 52 min | french / music.
Portrait of poet/songwriter & storyteller Felix Leclerc (1914-1988),
expressed through recollections, works and archival footage. Stimulating
& well paced.
by Raymond Saint-Jean | Canada | 2008 | 48 min | french, s.-t.
english / theater
Film adaptation of Marie Brassard’s play of the same
name. A story woven from images and desires found in dreams. Surreal
and at times disturbing. Parallel worlds of dark passions.
SHAKESPEARE TROMPE L’OEIL (Battle of Wills) by Anne Henderson
| Canada | 2008 | 52 min | english, s.-t. french / painting
Chandos vs Sanders: Which is the true portrait of William
Shakespeare (1564-1616); Science vs art; political intrigues;
À VENISE : UN VOYAGE MUSICAL AVEC LOUIS LORTIE by Mathieu
Roy | Canada | 2009 | 75 min | french, s.-t. English | Opening
Film / music
A musical tour of Venice with distinguished Canadian pianist
Louis Lortie (born 1959).
PORTRAIT OF VALERY GERGIEV by Allan Miller | United States 2008
| 56min | english | Closing Film / music
A candid look at the conductor’s approach to rehearsals
and his mission to preserve Russia’s rich musical heritage.
by Andreas Schultz | Germany | 2008 | 67 min | English / painting
A portrait of Canada’s most famous living artist (born
1920) and how events is his life have influenced his paintings.
SHERMAN by Sabine Willkop | Germany | 2007 | 26 min | french,
s.-t. french / art actuel, photography
A look at the works of this avant-garde artist (born 1954)
whose pieces are a manipulation of reality; the artist is her
FOLLETT by Gerald Fox | United-kingdom | 2007 | 56 min | english
A behind the scenes look at the author as he researches for
“Worlds without End:” the sequel to “Pillars
of the Earth.”
: A LIFE IN SEVEN ARIAS by David Thompson | United-kingdom | 2008
86 min | English / music
The life and times of world renowned tenor (1935 – 2007)
recounted through 7 arias that defined the 7 major stages of his
BRITANNIA: DANCEHALL DAYS, 1900-1945 by Chloë Thomas | United-kingdom
| 2008 | 60 min | english / dance
Episode 1 of a 3 part BBC series tracing the history of British
social dancing: very entertaining & educational.
ET LE LOUP (PETER AND THE WOLF) by Suzie Templeton | United-kingdom,
Poland | 2006 | 33 min | no dialogue | animation / music
Animated adaptation of Prokofiev’s musical children’s
story: perfectly synchronized along with the 'making of.``
BLACK by Tessa Boerman | Pays-Bas | 2008 | 52 min | english, néerlandais,
s.-t. English/ art history, painting
An examination of how African, Creoles and Blacks (Moors)
were represented in Dutch and Flemish art, focusing mainly on
the 17th century.
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE by, John Bridcut | United-kingdom, United
States/ 2007 | 90 min | french / dance
Excessive voice overs and a seeming lack of focus weakened
my appreciation of this portrait of Russian dancer who defected
to the West in 1961.
DUNCAN, JE N’AI FAIT QUE DANSER MA VIE by Élisabeth
Kapnist | France | 2008 | 52 min | french / dance
Beautiful mix of her (1877 – 1927) choreographies, narrative
bios and archival footage pay homage to her legacy to the world
of modern dance.
LENNOX by Gerald Fox | United-Kingdom| 2007 | 57min | english
“Southbank Show” interview interspersed with performances
of her songs. Candid & impressive.
L’HOMME À LA TÊTE DE CHAT by Bérengère
Casanova | France | 2008 | 51 min | french / bande dessinée
A celebration of the 25th anniversary of "Le Chat,"
a Belgian cartoon strip by Phillipe Geluck.
COOKING — INGREDIENTS OF A LEGEND by Marco Kuveiller | Italy
| 2007 | 52 min | Italyn, s.-t. english / music
A look at Maria Callas`s (1922 -1977) obsessive relationship
DANS LA TÊTE DE PIERRE LAPOINTE by Éric Morin | Canada
| 2008 |
52 min | french / music
A behind the scenes look into the “construction”
of this show by singer-songwriter, poet and pianist (born 1981)
presented at last year’s Francofolies. Surreal elements
give the impression that we are on a literal journey into the
mind of the singer/songwriter.
SPACE: THE ARCHITECTURE OF JOHN LAUTNER by Murray Grigor | United
States| 2008 | 90 min | english / architecture
A “tracing” of this visionary architect’s
(1911-1994) quest to create a timeless architecture that has no
beginning nor ending; joyous rendering spaces for all of life’s
activities. Beautifully paced & filmed.
INTIME by Franck Chaudemanche | France | 2008 | 52 min | french
Karajan Anniversary (1908 – 1989, 1 of 4 films) / music
Painting and profiling one of the greatest conductors of all
time. Includes many interviews – specifically with his last
wife of 30 years, Elliette Mouret-Karajan.
DA VINCI OU LA RECHERCHE TRAGIQUE DE LA PERFECTION by Enrico Fulchignoni
| Italy | 1952 | 25 min | english, s.-t. French/ Collection du
Musée du Louvre / painting
A fast paced collage of Da Vinci’s sketches and drawings
set to the music of Pierre Henry and Pierre Schaffer. Narration
achieves the heights of poetry.
FANON : BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASK by Isaac Julien | United-Kingdom|
1995 | 50 min | english, french, s.-t. English / Retrospective
of Arts Council England / literature
Assembling archival footage, interviews and re-enactments;
a complex portrait of this multi-faceted man from Martinique (1925
– 1961) unfolds. Best known for his book “The Wretched
of the Earth.” Fanon was a psychiatrist and revolutionary
theorist whose last battle was against leukemia.
MOURANT by Anders Wahlgren | Switzerland | 1986 | 90 min | swiss,
s.-t. French / Tribute to Anders Wahlgren (1 of 15 films –
born 1946) / painting
This loose dramatization of Swedish expressionist painter
Nils Dardel (1888 – 1943) from the 1920s until his death.
Good performances but lacked tight editing. A film that fails
to live up to its promise, rating 2.4 out 4.0.
BURTON, Suzannah Wander | United Kingdom| 2008 | 49 min | English
/ cinéma Karajan Anniversary (1908- 1989, 1 of 4 films)
"South Bank Show" painting a portrait of one of
the most inventive directors (b.1958) of his generation. Includes
interviews with Tim plus many of his collaborators. Lavishly complete
with clips of his films (including early ones done as a child
and as a Disney animator).
GROULT, LE TEMPS D’APPRENDRE À VIVRE, Jean-Baptiste
France | 2008 | 52 min | French / literature
A remembering of this feminist icon (b.1920), journalist and
author who follows in the footsteps of Virginia Wolf (1882-1941)
and Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986).
FONTANA: ENGINEER, ARCHITECT, URBANIST, Andriano Kestenholz |
2007 | 50 min | Italian, s.-t. english / architecture, urbanism
An academic, dry essay on this 16th century (1543-1607) architect
and engineer who during the papacy of Sextus V (1585 -1590) had
a decisive influence on Rome's urban landscape.
BARONESS, Hannah Rothschild | United Kingdom| 2008 | 87 min |
english / music
A look at film maker's great aunt -- Panonica "Nica"
de Koenigswate -- nee Rothschild (1913-1988) and her relationship
with Thelonius Monk ( 1917 - 1982) and her 'rightful' place in
the history of jazz (beebop). A search for the truth over and
against the many rumours that circulated about this mysterious
ANDERSZEWSKI, VOYAGEUR INTRANQUILLE, Bruno Monsaingeon | France
| 2008 | 85 min | french, english, polonais, german, s.-t. french
Second collaboration between Bruno (b.1943) and Piotr (b.1969).
The first being . . . "Plays the Diabelli Variations.”
Documentary “road movie” as pianist travels throughout
Europe on a train in a specially reserved carriage, complete with
a grand piano. We hear Piotr in recitals, rehearsals, sharing
his insight and what he feels emotionally vis a vis certain pieces
Jiansheng Li | China | 2007 | 22 min | mandarin, s.-t. english
/ métiers d’art
Eighty miles north of Yellow Mountain lies the village of
Tao Yao (means “Potter and Dragon Kiln”). We watch
the remaining generation continuing the ceramic tradition dating
back to the 9th century Tang dynasty.
ALLAIN EN DIALOGUE AVEC LA PIERRE, Rodolphe Caron | Canada | 2008
| 52 min | French / sculpture
A look at Acadian sculptor and nun (b.1939).
EL CERRITO, Juan André Bello | Venezuela | 2006 | 57 min
| spanish, s.-t. english
Built and developed by Italian architect Gio Ponti (1891–1979)
in the 1950s overlooking the city of Caracas, Venezuela. Also
known as “The Villa Planchard.” This film takes a
look at the development and the special friendship between the
architect and the Plancharts (local businessman Armando and his
— UN REGARD ABSOLU, Erich Schmid | Switzerland| 2008 | 93
min | french, german, s.-t. french / Architecture, sculpture
A biography of Switzerland’s most famous artist (1908-1994).
David Hinton, Alla Kovgan | United States, United Kingdom, Mozambique
| 2008 | 35 min | english, french, s.-t. english / dance
DES THÉÂTRES, Nicolas Moncadas | France | 2008 |
26 min | french / theatre
An exploration of what constitutes African theatre.
LANG, Matthew Tucker | United Kingdom| 2008 | 50 min | english
Chinese pianist (born in 1982), child prodigy -- name means
IS HISTORY, Joseph Hillel | Canada | 2009 | 52 min | english,
s.-t. french / photography
A tracing of Yousef Karsh`s (1908–2002) life from his
arrival in Canada from Armenia in 1925, and why and how his photographic
portraiture captured the leading figures of his time.
LUCK OF V. S. NAIPAUL, Adam Low | United Kingdom| 2008 | 78 min
| english / literature
A portrait of the Nobel winning author (2001); Born 1932 in
Trinidad, filmed in Trinidad, India and Wiltshire, England.
ARE MANY: THE MAKING OF DOCTOR ATOMIC, Jon Else | United States
| 2007 | 92 min | english / art and science, music
Behind the scenes look at the creation of John Adam`s opera
(libretest-director Peter Sellars) about Robert Oppenheimer –
the father of the atomic bomb.
CARO, LA SCULPTURE COMME RELIGION, Alain Fleischer | France |
2008 | 90 min | french, english / sculpture
An examination of sculptor`s (b.1924) works, his modus operandi:
to capture the ‘essence’ of architecture without crossing
crossing the line; the importance of listening to what the material
(wood, metal , stone etc) is trying to tell; art as intermediary
between the physical and spiritual
SUN WINTER MOON, Hugo Perez | United States | 2008 | 57 min |
english / music
Follows classical composer Rob Kapilow as he searches for
inspiration for a commissioned symphony to celebrate the bicentennial
of the Lewis and Clarke expedition. His path crosses that of Darrel
Kipp – Blackfoot Nation poet and educator – who agrees
to write the libretto from the the Native American perspective.
À LA FOLIE (MALLS R US), Helene Klodawsky | Canada | 2008
| 78 min | english, s.-t. french (and voice-over)/ architecture
A fascinating look at shopping malls around the world. Poses
the question – are they modern day Towers of Babel?
OL’ CHARLES SHULZ, David Van Taylor | United States | 2007
| 90 min | english
A biography of the creator (1922–2000) of Peanuts –
one of the most successful comic strips of all time.
PAINTINGS, Lubor Dohnal / République Slovakian, 2008, Betacam,
colour, 26 min, slovakian , s.-t. english / paint
An examination of the techniques used by Slovakian artist
Palo Macho (b.1965).
PAINTER SAM FRANCIS, Jeffrey Perkins ,United States, 2008, Betacam,
colour, b&w, 85 min, english, japanese, s.-t. english / paint
A portrait of second generation abstract expressionist painter
(1923–1994). Filmmaker began filming in 1968.
IN SALZBURG, Peter Gelb, Susan Froemke, Deborah Dickson
United States/1988/ colour/ Betacam/ 87 min/ English
Karajan Anniversary 1908–1989, 1 of 4 films / music
Captures the maestro as he prepares and performs at the 1987
Salzberg festival. Includes exquisite cinematography of Salzberg