Thursday, May 01, 2014

2014 Cannes Check #3: Xavier Dolan

If number 1 and 2 were easy, number 3 was a lot harder to define as there are several directors in crowded third place. To help my decision had to think about what touches me more in a movie, the images/visuals, then it became clear that Xavier Dolan had to be the third director in the Cannes Check series.

What has been in the past years highly publicized as his most desired goal, finally became reality this year, Xavier Dolan has a film in competition and yes, I got very excited as what many call "enfant terrible" deserved the honor since a while ago.

Cannes has had a lot of "enfant terribles" but the latest and the youngest right now is Xavier Dolan that already has a "long" history with Cannes that starts when in 2009 his first film J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother) is screened in the Directors' Fortnight and wins the Prix Regards Jeune, CICAE Award and SACD Prize; continues with his colorful second film Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats) in 2010 being in the Un Certain Regard section and winning the section award plus the Regards Jeunes Prize, again in Un Certain Regard section his Laurence Anyways wins the 2012 Queer Palm and now his latest film Mommy finally makes the main competition. Sigh.

Yes have seen ALL his feature films, have been very impressed since his first movie until his latest before Mommy, Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm) -which I found to be a very unsettling thriller type with awesome visuals- a film that was in competition at the 2013 Biennale where won the FIPRESCI Prize. Please tell me, isn't this an amazing film history? Especially for a kid that is only 25 years-old! Amazing.

Born on March 20, 1989 in the beautiful town of Québec, Canada, he grows to become one the most interesting contemporary world directors and actors (acting since he was 6 years-old) -he usually directs himself in his films with the exception of Laurence Anyways. Interesting but also outspoken and controversial -not only about homosexuality but about "everything", just as his movies are. I like his movies and I like his projected persona that many times I see reflected when he acts as well as when he directs.

I learned a long while back not to have expectations regarding everything and especially movies, so I do not expect something specific about the first Dolan's movie that made it into the competition, still I'm very curious to see why Thierry Freamaux and his colleagues chose Dolan's Mommy to have the highest cinema possible honor before winning a Palme d'Or. So what have we been able to learn about Mommy? Not much as always happens with his movies. Until this moment there are a couple of generic film stills that look more like characters photographs that absolutely say nothing about the film or the character.

Nevertheless, we know is another story about a mother and her son, but from what synopsis suggests, we can say that film will be nothing like I Killed My Mother.

There is no Xavier Dolan official site, but if you wish to see a fan made site suggest you go here -in French- where you can find some info about the director and his films.

Basic Info about Mommy
Director: Xavier Dolan
Scriptwriter: Xavier Dolan
Language: French
Runtime: 140 minutes
Production countries: Canada and France
Production companies: Metafilms, Alchemy 24,
Starring: Anne Dorval (I Killed My Mother and Heartbeats), Suzanne Clément (I Killed My Mother and Laurence Anyways)

Plot Summary
In a fictional Canada, a new law allows distressed parents to abandon their troubled children to the hospital system. Diane “Die” Despres, a feisty widow, tries to cope with Steve, her wild yet charismatic ADHD son. While they both try to make ends meet, Kyla, a mysterious neighbor, offers her help. As Kyla’s heart-warming presence becomes increasingly intense, questions emerge about her own mysterious life, and the way her destiny may ultimately be linked to that of Steve and Die.

The inane film stills

Check this recent interview, talks a lot about himself - in English.

Here is his reaction to learning he was in Cannes - in French.

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