Thursday, April 29, 2010

Café Ex: Winnipeg Nostalgia

Memory Work: The Films of Cecilia Araneda (Cecilia Araneda, 1998 - 2010)
**** (Masterpiece) *Director in Attendance

(Club SAW, Café Ex, 67 Nicholas Street, April 29th 7:30PM)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Silent Drama

Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
**** (Masterpiece) * Rick Schmidlin will be presenting the film.

Stroheim’s prominence doesn’t lie only in the power of his images, nor does it come from the merciless rhythm propelling the story and the anguish it stirs in us. It stems from a passion for the grandiose; a grandiose beyond bad taste. It is a climate that might seems harsh at first, but once one gets used to it, it becomes the Garden of Eden.” - Jean Renoir

(Cinémathèque Québécoise, 335 boul. De Maisonneuve Est, Montreal, QC, 23/04, 6:30PM)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

DiverCiné: Romania under Ceauşescu

Contes de l'Age d'Or (Cristian Mungiu, Ioana Uricaru, Hanno Höfer, Rãzvan Mãrculescu, & Constantin Popescu, 2009)

(Canadian Film Institute, Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, 17/04, 7PM)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Interview with Lee Demarbre

This is an interview I have been working on for a while with Lee Gordon Demarbre. Part of a series of interviews and list from local film experts to increase awareness of Ottawa cinéphiles and to bring them together online. Thanks again Lee for contributing to Ottawa Film Review and for making Ottawa a lot more exciting with your eclectic programming at the Mayfair Theatre.-D.D.

OFR: So Lee, what is your next project?

Lee Demarbre: I'm developing a film project now based on an idea from Sasha Gr-y, to star Sasha Gr-y. Ian Driscoll is hoping to have the script finished by mid-February.

OFR: What is it about this disturbed behavior that interest you so much? And is there anything you learnt from exploring this subject matter so closely, apparently you continue pursuing this interest in Summer’s Blood (2009)?

Lee Demarbre: I don't think I'm really exploring all this on purpose. I'm not setting out to say something about the disturbed mind. It just turns out this is a subject matter of many of my films. I think that's because I'm taking a lot from genre; and genre deals a lot with violence, as a result disturbed minds become my antagonists.

OFR: Why did you pick to film The Dead Sleep Easy (2007) in Mexico?

Lee Demarbre: I was already in Mexico shooting a documentary on Mexican wrestling entitled Vampiro: Angel, Devil, Hero (2008). It was a dream to make a movie about Mexican wrestling in Mexico -- so I jumped at the chance. Mexico is so bad-ass. The landscape of the country is like a modern day wild-west; no set dressing necessary. I'd do it again in a heart beat - it's dangerous at times but worth it.

OFR: What are the charms of filming in Ottawa? I imagine your crew must pretty tightly knit? Do you guys feel like you have reached a celebrity status?

Lee Demarbre: Ottawa's charm is the fact that the film industry doesn't really exist in this city. So when you approach someone about shooting in their restaurant, shop or cinema; most times they let you do it for next to nothing because they're so excited you're shooting a film. That wouldn't happen if people were shooting here all the time. And no I don't feel the sense of celebrity. It's always nice to have someone tell you how much they like your film, but there really isn't a sense of being famous. Just the sense that the movies are out there and some people have seen them; which is rewarding.

OFR: I am wondering what are your views on Canadian cinema? Is it lacking anything? What is that you like about it?

Lee Demarbre: Canadian cinema is looked down upon by many people because our films hardly resemble what people are use to watching; Hollywood movies. And I think the current state is on a down low. In the 90's there was a better sense of new Canadian films and filmmakers. The new films from Atom Egoyan, David Cronenberg, Bruce McDonald were exciting ten or more years ago. But these guys are still really the only "names" in the business, and now they're lesser filmmakers. We need a new wave of young Canadian filmmakers to come along and put a sense of excitement back into Canadian films.

OFR: Are there any prints you wish were still around or were more easily attainable? Have you created any fond relationships with other people distributors through running the cinema?

Lee Demarbre: I can't figure out why there aren't prints of the original Dawn of the Dead (1978) or Day of the Dead (1985) still kicking around. I wish I could show them again and again. The best part of my job is tracking down older prints (16mm or 35mm) and showing them. I'm still not sure if people really dig seeing original prints of movies; but for me it's like going to a concert to see your favorite old band. It's like a music fan saying "there's Kiss, live on stage" and me coming to the Mayfair and saying "there's an original print of that old movie that I've never seen before." For me it's that visceral.

OFR: How do you guys at the Mayfair feel about the Lansdowne Live decision and will it affect the cinema? Is there anything regular moviegoer should know or do?

Lee Demarbre: People should realize what an original film print is. That like still photography what we're showing is a positive of the negative that was in the camera on set when the movie was being shot. Seeing a movie in the theatre on 35 mm is like going to a museum and seeing a real life painting, opposed to seeing a copy of the painting printed in a magazine. And with the major studios witching over to digital projectors and showing movies downloaded onto a server; the idea of seeing a print is more real then ever. Forget about watching your DVD's, Blurays or whatever at home -- seeing an original print of your favorite movie is really like seeing it for the first time. If you don't get this -- then please stay at home.

OFR: What would you say were your favorite ten movies that came out in 2009?

Lee Demarbre: Here's my list

- Red Cliff: Part II (John Woo)
- Ip Man (Wilson Yip)
- Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
- Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn)
- The Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)
- Invictus (Clint Eastwood)
- Che (Steven Soderbergh)
- Star Trek (J.J. Abrams)
- Whatever Works (Woody Allen)
- The Girlfriend Experience (Steven Soderbergh)