Friday, May 22, 2009

The Virtual Director's Fortnight (Quinzaine Des Réalisateurs), Part 1

(All synopses from the official Director's Fortnight site.)

Carcasses (Denis Côté)

For more than 40 years now, Jean-Paul Colmor has collecting hundreds of automobile carcasses on his lot. More than just recycling and selling car parts, Colmor has created an unthinkable site, full of memories. Every day he visits his lot, carts scrap iron, inventories his parts and other rusting gems. His little house is no less strange: a kind of shelter where one can make out the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom in the jumble. One day, others arrive, eager to share some of Jean-Paul's solitude and eccentric fringe existence.

The Misfortunates (De helaasheid der dingen) (Félix van Groeningen)

Gunther Strobbe, 13, shares his grandmother's roof with his father and three uncles. Daily, Gunther is steeped in ambiance of frenzied binges, shameless womanizing and unending bumming around... Gunther looks likely to suffer the same fate. Unless he can find a way to get the hell out of there.

Humpday (Lynn Shelton)

It's been a decade since Ben and Andrew were the bad boys of their college campus. Ben has settled down and found a job, wife, and home. Andrew took the alternate route as a vagabond artist, skipping the globe. After a night of perfunctory carousing, the two find themselves locked in a mutual dare: to enter an amateur porn contest. But what kind of boundary-breaking porn can two dudes make? After the booze and "big talk" run out, only one idea remains - they will have sex together... on camera. It's not gay; it's beyond gay. It's not porn; it's an art project. But how will it work? And more importantly, who will tell Anna, Ben's wife?

I Love You Phillip Morris (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa)

The true story of an ex-cop, ex-husband, ex-insurance swindler, ex-model prisoner and eternal lover of cellmate Philip Morris. Steven Russell will do anything to avoid being separated from the man of his dreams. Which means not rotting away in prison. How far can one go for love? Quite far if you believe the incredible story of Steven Russell, an escape artist whose romanticism gets the better of him.

I Killed My Mother (J'ai tué ma mère) (Xavier Dolan)

Hubert Minel doesn't love his mother. The 16-year-old haughtily regards her with contempt, and only sees her tacky sweaters, kitsch decorations and the breadcrumbs that get stuck on the corner of her lips when she munches. In addition to these irritating surface details, there is also his parent's cherished mechanisms of manipulation and guilt. Confused by this love/hate relationship that obsesses him more and more each day, Hubert drifts through the mysteries of an adolescence both marginal and typical - artistic discoveries, illicit experiences, the opening-up to friendship, sex and ostracism.

Like You Know It All (Jal Aljido Motamyunseo) (Hong Sang-soo)

Not rich, nor famous, Ku Kyung-nam is stick with the label of an 'art-house film director'. When he attends the festival in a small town as a jury, he bumps into an old friend Bu, who has settled in the town. Over drinks Ku is dragged to Bu's house and meets his wife who claims to know all about his films. The next day after a long night of heavy drinking, Ku returns his hotel and find a message from Bu which says "never to come near us again". But he can't remember what happened last night...

Karaoke (Chris Chong Chan Fui)

Set in a village estate of a Malaysian palm oil plantation - Betik returns home. During the day, Betik helps shoot karaoke videos, while at night; he lends a hand to his reluctant mother at the family's karaoke joint. This is the place where he falls for Anisah. A job, a love and a family. His return home comes together quickly. But life isn't so innocent. Everybody wants something. Subtle manipulations driven by self interest and personal desires seep through yet the songs continue to be sung. Unwavering. The home has changed. The palm oil trees have grown in endless symmetry. The landscape rusts and the nostalgia turns.

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