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Quebec Cinema Showcase 2012 - Preview


Story by Jack Foley

WITH cinema from Québec currently enjoying the international spotlight with two films – Incendies and Monsieur Lazhar – shortlisted for best foreign language Oscars in the past two years, there has never been a better time to check out some more of what Québec’s filmmaking community has to offer.

Between November 2 and 4, 2012, the Institut Francais in South Kensington is playing host to a Québec Cinema Showcase, featuring five films and four shorts.

The event forms part of the 50th anniversary celebrations marking the opening of the Québec Government Office in London.

The programme includes the latest work from Cannes award-winning director, 23-year-old Xavier Dolan, Laurence Anyways and Starbuck (pictured), Ken Scott’s Canadian box office smash.

Starbuck has been so successful in Canada that Scott has been asked to direct the US remake, starring Vince Vaughn, for Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios.

The films are as follows:

Starbuck (Ken Scott) is a comedy that follows a likeable middle-aged loser as he wrestles with regret and responsibility when almost 150 of his more than 500 children through sperm donation come after him with a class action lawsuit.

Laurence Anyways (Xavier Dolan) traces the story of Laurence and Fred, his girlfriend – a couple passionately in love who attempt to sustain their relationship and fight the prejudices of their family, friends and society when Laurence turns 30 and can no longer deny his desire to be a woman.

Karakara (Claude Gagnon) is a road movie about a short, unsettling journey around Okinawa, Japan, and the love affair between Pierre, a 61-year-old Canadian academic, and Yunko, a 40-year-old Japanese housewife.

Bestiary (Denis Côté) is a documentary which explores the fascination humans have for animals, combining footage from a drawing class, a taxidermist’s workshop and a Québec safari park.

Behind Closed Doors (Nathalie Saint-Pierre), the final film in the Québec Cinema Showcase, is a touching story about a reunion between four girls living under the care of the child protection services.

Across the weekend there will be director Q&As: Claude Gagnon, on Saturday, November 3 after the screening of Karakara and Nathalie Saint-Pierre on Sunday, November 4 after Behind Closed Doors

Tickets for Québec Cinema Showcase are £10 (conc £8) and are available from the Institut Français website.