This morning’s first screening was “Tu Dors Nicole,” a meandering and occasionally surreal black & white portrait of aimlessness. It flows parallel to the vein of mumblecore, which has drawn more than the occasional “Frances Ha” comparison. Stéphane LaFleur writes and directs with a bizarre and hilarious sense of humour, and was on hand after the film for a short, bilingual Q&A. The answers from the English segments are transcribed below.
Between screenings, I dropped in on the awards reception for the festival, where “Cast No Shadow” cleaned up, taking home six awards. The Atlantic-filmed and produced fantasy-drama claimed top honours for screenwriting, cinematography, directing, best actor and actress, and was named Best Atlantic Feature. One of the perks of winning is that the film will now rescreen on the last night of the Festival, before the Closing Gala. I’m quite happy about this since I couldn’t make it during the original timeslot.
Next was the CBC Atlantic Shorts Gala, highlighting a selection of the best short films produced in the region this year. I particularly enjoyed “The Toll” (winner for Best Sound Design at the awards earlier in the day) and “Flankers,” but my favorite was “The Awe of Night.” It uses truly gorgeous time-lapse technique to flaunt the beauty of a region that I’m happy to call home.
“Two Days, One Night” closed out my evening. The latest effort from the Dardenne brothers is an unassuming and minimal tale of adversity, pride, and selflessness. Lead by the inimitable Marion Cotillard, the film lives and dies by her performance – which is to say that it lives. She has two settings at play as she rarely leaves the frame: beautifully tragic and tragically beautiful.
Praise on the festival floor was also high for “Altman,” a documentary about renowned filmmaker Robert; “The Way He Looks,” a Brazilian coming-of-age tale with a blind protagonist; and “20,000 Days on Earth,” the semi-pseudo-narrative documentary about the enigmatic and talented Nick Cave.Return to AFF 2014 Daily Coverage