Apocalypse – Making history come alive

25 Jan

Apocalypse Hitler-Hitler © CC&C / Nara

Colourized archive footage of Hitler from Apocalypse, Hitler series © CC&C / Nara     Colourized archival footage of Hitler from Apocalypse, Hitler series © CC&C / DR   Over the last few weeks, I have been watching the terrific French mini-series Apocalypse, Hitler on Télé-Québec. It chronicles the rise of Adolf Hitler until the [...]

The paradoxes that define us

8 Jan

I’m an outdoors person, and the only thing that reconciles me to a gym is… podcasts! This time of the year, while waiting for more snow, I listen a lot to radio programs, from Radio-Canada, the BBC and Democracy Now in particular. Over the last few weeks, I noted a few very interesting comments about [...]

The Sprinkler Sprinkled – Interviewing Marc Glassman

19 Dec

L’arroseur arrosé was the title of the 1895 Louis Lumière film which qualifies as the first-ever comedy and first-ever fiction film. The idea of the ‘Sprinkler Sprinkled’ has wide currency in French, but much less so in English. Nonetheless it applies this week on this blog to Marc Glassman, editor of POV Magazine, the excellent [...]

Alter-Cine Foundation supports filmmakers in the South

7 Dec

From the film " Sands of the Skei Queen"

A few weeks ago I participated in the selection committee for the Alter-Cine Foundation which lends modest but sometimes crucial support to filmmakers in Southern countries. The foundations criteria specify that it favours projects which support human rights and give a voice to people who are powerless or victimized. And of course projects which have [...]

Terrific Wapikoni mobile benefit

2 Dec

Wapikoni mobile benefit - Samian

A few days ago I went to a terrific benefit concert for Wapikoni mobile at Club Soda in downtown Montreal. Some great artists, including Anishnabe rapper Samian, Inuit singer-songwriter Elisapie Isaac, singer-songwriter Richard Séguin and the immensely popular group Loco Locass put on a great show. (Photo by Guy Labissionnaire.) I find Samian’s lyrics and [...]

Dix fois dix, by Jennifer Alleyn

30 Nov

Danseuse - Otto Dix

I’ve always been fascinated by paintings and music from Germany’s inter-war Weimar period. My friend Jennifer Alleyn has created a film on one of the most representative artists of that period, Otto Dix. (View the trailer here.) The film came out earlier this month in Montreal and Quebec City (see original post – in French [...]

Terrific films at the Rencontres (RIDM)

21 Nov

Position Among the Stars

The Rencontres Internationales du documentaire de Montréal just ended. It was an opportunity to see many truly excellent films. Sad to think that most of them will not be available to audiences here now that the festival is over. Judging from what I heard from friends and colleagues, I missed many of the best ones. [...]

Controversy in Montreal after Wiseman’s ‘Crazy Horse’ opens RIDM

14 Nov

Crazy Horse - F. Wiseman Paris

The Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal opened last Wednesday night. This is an event which allows you to see great documentaries from around the world, films which you rarely see on TV. This year’s program is great. But the choice of opening film has created a huge controversy in the documentary community here. Veteran [...]

The Grannies and the Cuban Hat

4 Nov

Four Montreal Grannies

Documentary film funding is not what it used to be. With broadcast windows few and far between and cutbacks everywhere, we doc-makers are turning to other sources, using other methods. And one of the new ways is web-based participatory, or crowd funding. This week I am participating in the Cuban Hat on-line pitch in the [...]

Dix fois Dix de Jennifer Alleyn

31 Oct

Danseuse - Otto Dix

J’ai toujours été fasciné par la peinture et la musique de la République de Weimar, la période d’entre les deux guerres mondiales en Allemagne. Mon amie Jennifer Alleyn a un film sur un des artistes le plus représentatifs de cette période, Otto Dix, et le film prend l’affiche cette semaine à Montréal et à Québec. [...]