Monday, November 3, 2008

23rd European Union Film Festival

The Class (Lauren Cantet, 2008)
Of Time and The City (Terence Davies, 2008)

The 23rd European Union Film Festival will be playing films from the European Union and its member states. The New European Cinema movement has a reemergence of new filmmakers that are making original films that try to communicate their own national values and aethetics throught their film. The state of the cinema of the new Europe has its roots in the early 1990s with the end of communism especially in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic where there had been restraints lifted that brought about intense and scathing work that that lacked insight and since there was no longer a strong totalitarian power to speak out about a lot of the filmmakers had an issue with finding something else to voice. Through experimentation European cinema has moved forwards and is now at the for front of world cinema winning the prestigious prizes at cannes for consecutive years. The festival would be a good chance to watch these exciting films since the majority of them will not get an international release. Most of these films are made to fulfill a national film quota for these countries and rarely go abroad other then to the film festival circuit. As well it is a great opportunity to explore other cultures, ways of life and altogether be a fulfilling experience.

Two films in the upcoming week that would be definitly worth checking out is The Class and Of Time and the City. The Class directed by Lauren Cantet is the first French film to win the the prestigious Palme d'Or from Cannes in 21 years. The film is based on the book Entre les murs about a teacher in the 20th arrondissment of Paris written by and starring François Bégaudeau. François tries to analyze the role of the teacher in a class room, its value and the theoretical retraints of the education system. He has a challenging approach to teaching that can vary from caring to confrontational. Laurent Cantet refuses to mold the film in a class room drama by drenching the film of the genres typical clichés. Of Time and the City shot with a digital camera by the acclaimed British filmmaker Terence Davies is a personal documentary on the Liverpool of his youth in the 1940's to the 50's. It is a telling journey of what it was like being British during the war meditating on memories and their emotional importance. It is composed of found footage with Davies accompanying it with a performative voice over narration which he also wrote and poetry selections from T.S. Elliot. .-David Davidson

The Class will be playing Friday Nov. 14th at 7:00 pm and Of Time And The City will be playing Tuesday Nov 18th at 7:00 pm. The screenings will take place at the auditorium at the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street. Tickets are $10, $6 for members and students. For more information on films and listings you can visit there website at

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