The success of Xavier Dolan’s Mommy isn’t just a feather in the cap of the director and actors. Two producers that helped realize the film, Sylvain Corbeil and Nancy Grant, are part of a Montreal company called Metafilms. The company focuses on helping young artists birth their vision and to this end, has brought numerous short, medium, and long films come to fruition. These two producers, Corbeil and Grant, have put together a list of outstanding films that are showing at the Phi Centre as part of a series entitled Carte Blanche à Metafilms.
The five films showcase each week on Wednesdays.
Things begin with Claude Jutra’s film À Tout Prendre, a possibly auto-biographical work of fiction from the mid ’60s about Claude (played by Claude Jutra), a 30 year old French-Canadian filmmaker who hangs out with self-absorbed intellectuals. Claude’s life spins out of control when his interracial partner, fashion model Johanne, learns that he is gay and she is pregnant. The film is known as a piece of guerrilla film-making, created by a volunteer crew and borrowed equipment. January 21.
Marcel Pialat’s À Nos Amours follows. 15-year-old Suzanne deals with her home-life by having sex with as many men as possible. Pialat takes on the role of Suzanne’s overbearing, if not tyrannical, father. Suzanne’s life is both naive and playful, Lolita-like and violent. The film is fearless in capturing moods in this character study about a woman who is transitioning into a new stage of life. January 27.
Expect to feel unease with Gummo by the creators of controversial film Kids. In Gummo, Tummler and Solomon pass their time in a dilapidated Ohio town by sniffing glue and killing feral cats. The things the two encounter are uncomfortable — a man pimping out his sister with Down’s Syndrome, a child molester, and two skinheads boxing. The actors in the film are not professionals, but instead are people who appealed to the director for their personality. Atypical camera work and improvisation are some of the techniques used to create this raw piece. February 3
Oslo 31 Aout follows the life of a recovering drug addict, Anders, who leaves his treatment centre for a job interview. When he visits old friends and family, he finds himself completely alienated by their tactless, shallow platitudes. The film is a study of Scandinavian melancholy.February 10
Jobless and chauvinistic, Alexandre begins to explore his sexuality in La Maman et La Putain. When a former girlfriend informs Alexandre she is getting married, Alexandre tries to get a threesome going with his girlfriend and a Polish nurse. The three struggle with ambivalence and the difficulties of learning to be free (in every sense of the word) in the Sixties. February 17
The films cost $11.25 or alternatively $41.25 for the whole series of five. The films are being shown at the Phi Centre on Wendesdays starting January 21 at 7:30 p.m.