A feast for the senses

Tired of apples and oranges? Why not take a moment to whet your appetite for

The Fruit Hunters

some nipplefruit, cherimoya, kura-kura durian, jujube fruit or miracle berries?

The RIDM, Montreal’s international documentary film festival, wraps up this weekend. Making its world premiere at this festival was director Yung Chang’s ‘The Fruit Hunters’. Here the young director who vaulted onto the scene with ‘Up the Yangtze’ turns his gaze (and macro lens) towards the wondrous diversity of the world’s edible fruits. This week I had a chance to go down to Cinema Excentris to catch an early screening.

The movie follows several individuals, including Hollywood actor Bill Pullman, who dedicate themselves to the collection, tasting and growing of exotic fruits. These tasting trips range from Florida to Hawaii to Borneo’s jungles in the search for new gustatory sensations.

The passion of the characters illustrates the very special connection that people have with fruit, especially when they grow and care for the plants themselves. The Florida rare fruit council’s meetings and Indonesian market scenes cannot help but draw you in, preying on your curiosity at the astounding variety in comparison to our local options. Picture the look on a child’s face when trying a new fruit for the first time. The amazing thing is that the identical look overcomes even the most jaded adult when they sample the flesh of a novel berry or melon. The number of fruits that have penetrated our common marketplace is a fraction of a percentage of what’s out there awaiting the adventurous taster.

The only real problem in watching the protagonists taste peanut butter fruit,ice cream beans, spicy bilimbis, rare mangos and giant jackfruits is that no words can truly describe the flavour of a fruit to one who hasn’t experienced it. You’re left desperately wanting to try all the ripe and juicy subject matter.

However, the upcoming theatrical premiere can solve that problem for you. For the upcoming Montreal launch, the ticket will include access to a tasting table of exotic fruits. The film will be playing at Cinema Excentris as of November 23rd, and will also be screened at the Forum theatre.

An Orange Dog Productions

If you have read my previous post, you would understand better this one. It’s about fulfilling a childhood dream of filmmaking, that finally concretized itself this summer when I was in Lebanon. Now this was not an easy journey, it was in fact a painful and laborious one, that required a lot of patience. But I can tell you that in the end, the reward just warms up your heart and makes you want to smile until your cheeks hurt. (more…)

Festival du Nouveau Cinema

Autumn is my favorite season.

Not only because of the picturesque beautiful orange tree leaves and the burgundy panorama that give me goose bumps every time I pass by them, but because of the amazing film festivals happening in Montreal: the Festival des Films du Monde, and the Festival du Nouveau Cinema (FNC). The latter one is ongoing right now, it ends tomorrow on sunday. It showcases films from all over the world, with particular emphasis on the selections from big movie festivals such as the Cannes Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival.

Among the films they were screening, a few have sparked my attention.

First, there is “l’Appolonide: souvenirs de la maison close”, by Bertrand Bonello. In the dawn of the XXth century: L’Apollonide, a house of tolerance, is living its last days. In this closed world, where some men fall in love and others become viciously harmful, the prositutes share their secrets, their fears, their joys and their pains…

Then there is “Melancholia” by Lars Von Trier. Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law (Kiefer Sutherland). Meanwhile, the planet, Melancholia, is heading towards Earth… Lars von Trier creates a spellbinding, visually gorgeous and often-moving alloy of family drama.  

Last but not least, “Snowtown” by Justin Kurzel. The story revolves around a 16 year-old boy, Jamie, who begins a friendship with a charismatic man. His world becomes threatened by his loyalty and fear of his newfound father figure, John Bunting: Australia’s most notorious serial killer. An absolutely mesmerizing, uncompromising movie masterpiece.

So go ahead and watch some movies at the FNC, if you have not done so already. You still have two more days to catch up !

PhD Comics – the movie

Outdoor screening featuring the skyline of Montreal

Last week we had the screening of the movie PhD Comics at McGill University. For those of you not familiar with the characters, it is based on the comics of the same name created by Jorge Cham, himself a PhD from Stanford University.

Although most of the jokes in the movie were extracted from the original comics, it was worth watching these grad students’ adventures in the big screen.

(more…)

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