Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn

Highlights of the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021 program

The 50th anniversary edition welcomes Jane Campion to Montreal for a live Q&A.

The Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (FNC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Inaugurated in 1971 as the Festival international du cinéma en 16 mm de Montréal, the FNC is now one of the most important festivals in the city. Given that its 50th anniversary falls during the pandemic, festivities are not exactly going to be at an all-time high for FNC 2021, but the festival is proposing a hybrid edition with a solid proportion of in-person screenings. The festival runs from Oct. 6–17, though online selections will be available through the end of the month.

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021 Bootlegger FNC
Bootlegger (FNC 2021)

Opening the festival is video artist Caroline Monnet’s debut feature Bootlegger, about an idealistic young First Nations woman (Devery Jacobs) who returns to her remote community with the hopes of ending the prohibition on alcohol that mainly benefits opportunistic bootlegger Laura (Pascale Bussières). Closing out the fest is the newest film from Félix Dufour-Laperrière (Ville Neuve), an experimental animated feature named Archipel.

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021 La contemplation du mystère
La contemplation du mystère (FNC 2021)

Other local highlights playing the festival include Albéric Aurtenèche’s La contemplation du mystère, a psychedelic thriller starring Emmanuel Schwartz and Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse with music by Roger Tellier-Craig (Fly Pan Am); Philippe Grégoire’s Le bruit des moteurs, starring Robert Naylor as a customs officer placed on leave for sexual issues who befriends an Icelandic drag racer (!); Sarah Fortin’s Nouveau-Québec, set in the quasi-ghost-town of Schefferville and starring Christine Beaulieu and Ivan Grbovic’s Drunken Birds, which centres on the lives of South American migrant workers working on a Quebec farm.

Les olympiades Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021 FNC
Les olympiades (FNC 2021)

The festival’s Les incontournables programming gathers films from esteemed filmmakers from around the world. In the section this year, we find Nadav Lapid’s Ahed’s Knee, Radu Jude’s Golden Bear-winning Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, Tsai Min-Liang’s Days, Lucile Hadzihalilovic’s bonkers Earwig, not one but TWO films from Hong Sang-soo, Jane Campion’s  The Power of the Dog (with Campion in Montreal for a Q&A!), Jacques Audiard’s Les olympiades, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tilda Swinton-starring Memoria, Sean Baker’s Red Rocket, Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God and Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World. All of these films come with heavy festival backgrounds and are fairly likely to wind up on best-of lists at the end of the year.

Saloum FNC 2021
Saloum (FNC 2021)

The Temps 0 section — the fest’s genre and midnight movie section — this year has no less than three new(ish) films from Gaspar Noé: the mid-length feature Lux Aeterna, the “reversed” version of Irréversible and Vortex (starring no less than Françoise Lebrun and Italian horror master Dario Argento), which is said to be a departure for the provocateur. Other highlights from this section include a new film from festival favourite Bertrand Mandico, George A. Romero’s recently unearthed The Amusement Park, the Senegalese Western Saloum, the music doc Freak Scene – The Story of Dinosaur Jr., and the COVID doc Debout les femmes! 

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021
Unclenching the Fists (FNC 2021)

It’s a little harder to parse some of the other films appearing on the FNC lineup this year. Though most are not making their world premiere at the festival, they’re often discoveries for many of the people who see them. Some of the highlights include the Russian film Unclenching the Fists, set in a remote former mining town; the experimental Canadian feature Ste. Anne from director Rhayne Vermette, which screened as part of TIFF’s Wavelengths program; Hit the Road, a new film from Jafar Panahi’s son Panah and all of the titles in the International Competition section.

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma 2021 Possession FNC
Possession (FNC 2021)

Another section of the program is reserved for special presentations of older films of all stripes. The headliner in that section is definitely the restored version of the cult teen film À l’ouest de Pluton, which has been surprisingly hard to find in the streaming age. Philippe Falardeau’s first film La moitié gauche du frigo is also in that boat; unavailable since DVD, it’s being presented in a brand new restored version. You can also catch brand new restorations of Andrezj Zulawski’s extremely anxiety-inducing Possession starring Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani, David Lynch’s Mullholland Drive, landmark Canadian film Atanarjuat – The Fast Runner and Mireille Dansereau’s La vie rêvée.

For more information about screening times and online availability, check out the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma website

For more film coverage, please visit the Film & TV section.