Montreal fest serves up ‘Darkness’

Nouvea to give Arcand film special presentation

Quebecois helmer Denys Arcand’s “Days of Darkness” will have its hometown preem as a special presentation at the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema. The Arcand film was a last-minute addition to the programming announced Tuesday.The 36th edition of the Festival du Nouveau Cinema will open Oct. 10 with the local pic “Durs a cuire,” a docu on prominent Montreal chefs Normand Laprise and Martin Picard, and close Oct. 20 with the Cannes Palme d’Or winner “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” by helmer Cristian Mungiu. Event is the city’s smaller edgier film fest, occupying a different niche from the larger, more popular Montreal World Film Festival, which is held in late August/early September.

The highest-profile pics are in the Special Presentation section and include Brian De Palma’s Iraq-set “Redacted,” Peter Greenaway’s “Nightwatching,” Todd Haynes’ Quebec-shot Dylan-themed “I’m Not There,” Barbet Schroeder’s “Terror’s Advocate,”Carlos Saura’s “Fados,” Andre Techine’s “Les Temoins” and Jeremy Podeswa’s “Fugitive Pieces.”

Nineteen first, second and third features will compete in the Intl. Section for the Louve d’Or, including Quebec helmer Stephane LaFleur’s “Continental, A Film Without Guns,” which won the prize for first Canadian feature at the recent Toronto Film Festival, and photog-turned-helmer Anton Corbjin’s Ian Curtis biopic “Control.”

The Intl. Panorama will include Cristian Nemescu’s Cannes prize-winner “California Dreamin’,” Gael Garcia Bernal’s “Deficit,” French animation pic “Persepolis” and thesp-helmer Sandrine Bonnaire’s “Elle s’appelle Sabine.”

The fest will include tributes to the local arthouse de Cinema Parallele, late Montreal film critic Luc Perreault and two recently deceased auteurs, Michelangelo Antonioni and Taiwanese helmer Edward Yang.

“Darkness,” a French-language satirical comedy about a bored Quebec civil servant, had its world premiere as the closing-night selection at Cannes and recently played the Toronto Film Festival. It is Canada’s submission to the Academy Awards in the category of foreign-language film and, to fulfill Oscar requirements, it opened in the small northern Alberta town of Grande Prairie this week. It opens across France Wednesday and will only open commercially in French Canada on Dec. 7. Arcand’s previous film, “The Barbarian Invasions,” won 2003’s foreign-language Oscar, the first Canuck pic to win that honor.

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