Arts &
  Arts Culture Analysis  
Vol. 8, No. 1, 2009
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Robert J. Lewis
  Senior Editor
Mark Goldfarb
  Contributing Editors
Bernard Dubé
Sylvain Richard
David Solway
Marissa Consiglieri de Chackal
  Music Editors
Diane Gordon
Serge Gamache
  Arts Editor
Lydia Schrufer
Mady Bourdage
Marcel Dubois
Emanuel Pordes
  Past Contributors
  Noam Chomsky
Mark Kingwell
Naomi Klein
Arundhati Roy
Evelyn Lau
Stephen Lewis
Robert Fisk
Margaret Somverville
David Solway
Michael Moore
Julius Grey
Irshad Manji
Richard Rodriguez
Pico Iyer
Edward Said
Jean Baudrillard
Bill Moyers
Barbara Ehrenreich
Leon Wieseltier
Nayan Chanda
Charles Lewis
John Lavery
Tariq Ali
Michael Albert
Rochelle Gurstein
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward






Again 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.

Here are the films, briefly blurbed, that I have been able to see (thus far):

FÉLIX 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.

PEEPSHOW 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.

QUAND 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; thrilling.

MORT 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).

MAESTRO: 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.

COLVILLE 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.

CINDY SHERMAN by Sabine Willkop | Germany | 2007 | 26 min | french, english,
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 favourite model.

KEN FOLLETT by Gerald Fox | United-kingdom | 2007 | 56 min | english /literature
A behind the scenes look at the author as he researches for “Worlds without End:” the sequel to “Pillars of the Earth.”

PAVAROTTI : 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 life.

DANCE 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.

PIERRE 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.``

PAINTED 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.

NUREYEV: 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.

ISADORA 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.

ANNIE LENNOX by Gerald Fox | United-Kingdom| 2007 | 57min | english / music
“Southbank Show” interview interspersed with performances of her songs. Candid & impressive.

GELUCK, 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.

| 2007 | 52 min | Italyn, s.-t. english / music
A look at Maria Callas`s (1922 -1977) obsessive relationship with food.

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.

INFINITE 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.

KARAJAN 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.

LEONARDO 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.

FRANTZ 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.

LE DANDY 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.

TIM BURTON, Suzannah Wander | United Kingdom| 2008 | 49 min | English / cinéma Karajan Anniversary (1908- 1989, 1 of 4 films) / music
"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).

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).

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.

THE JAZZ 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 Great-aunt.

PIOTR ANDERSZEWSKI, VOYAGEUR INTRANQUILLE, Bruno Monsaingeon | France | 2008 | 85 min | french, english, polonais, german, s.-t. french / music
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 and composers.

TAO YAO, 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.

MARIE-HÉLÈNE 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 wife Anala).

MAX BILL — 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).

NORA, David Hinton, Alla Kovgan | United States, United Kingdom, Mozambique | 2008 | 35 min | english, french, s.-t. english / dance

AU CŒUR DES THÉÂTRES, Nicolas Moncadas | France | 2008 | 26 min | french / theatre
An exploration of what constitutes African theatre.

LANG LANG, Matthew Tucker | United Kingdom| 2008 | 50 min | english / music
Chinese pianist (born in 1982), child prodigy -- name means “Brilliant Man.”

KARSH 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.

THE STRANGE 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.

WONDERS 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.

ANTHONY 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

SUMMER 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.

SHOPPING 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?

GOOD OL’ CHARLES SHULZ, David Van Taylor | United States | 2007 | 90 min | english
comic strip
A biography of the creator (1922–2000) of Peanuts – one of the most successful comic strips of all time.

GLASS 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).

THE 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.

KARAJAN 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 and surroundings. = shared webhosting, dedicated servers, development/consulting, no down time/top security, exceptional prices
Montreal World Film Festival
CINEMANIA(Montreal) - festival de films francophone 1-11 novembre, Cinema Imperial info@514-878-0082: featuring Bernard Tavernier
Armand Vaillancourt: sculptor
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