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Selasa, 03 Mei 2011

Denis Côté - Carcasses [+Extras] (2009)

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Synopsis by Jesse Wente for the Toronto Film Festival:

"Jean-Paul Colmor lives by himself, but he's hardly alone. Many lives are represented all around him in the old cars and piles of discarded objects that litter his land in Saint-Amable, near Montreal. Quietly, Colmor works at repairing what others have tossed aside, selling what he can in order to buy even more, adding to his collection and recycling the past to pay for the future. Into his peaceful and cluttered sanctuary come four teenagers with Down syndrome, who find refuge in Colmor's second-hand world.



Provocative and poetic, Denis Côté's Carcasses is a blend of fact and fiction, one of the most daring works of the filmmaker's increasingly influential career. One of the leaders of Quebec's contemporary art cinema, Côté crafts intricate, subtle movies, usually on a shoestring budget, and has helped re-establish the province's status as a hot spot for filmic innovation. Côté's observational style recalls Quebec's direct cinema roots, and by marrying this traditional approach to modern genre, he offers a collision of sensibilities rarely seen in the province's commercial movies. In Carcasses, Côté finds a kindred spirit in Colmor, who also remakes the old into something new, building an existence on the fringe and living a truly independent life. Côté finds beauty in Colmor's decaying environment, using long takes as if to suspend time amid the memories stored in the detritus of a culture. Colmor is an engaging and willing subject, equally comfortable espousing his philosophies for Côté's camera or silently working on a car with the director as voyeur, peering into what is typically a private act of restoration and recovery. By including the constructed narrative of the teens' arrival, Côté forces a social interpretation of his images, questioning how a society assesses the value of things to determine what should be kept and what should be thrown away.



Carcasses is a mature work by one of Canada's most intriguing cinematic talents. Côté is changing the face of Canadian cinema from the outside in. His influence is easily spotted in the work of contemporaries like Rafaël Ouellet, who made Le Cèdre penché in 2007 and last year's Derrière moi,and his independent spirit mirrored in the works of Carl Bessai (director of Normal, Mothers&Daughters and this year's Cole) and Rodrigue Jean (director of 2008's Lost Song). Carcasses is Côté's most urgent and effective statement for a new Canadian cinema."



Review by Jason Anderson for Eye Weekly:

"4 stars out of 5
The most audacious Canadian feature in many a moon, Denis Cote’s fourth effort attains a rare state of Herzogian weirdness. Opening as a quasi-doc portrait of Jean-Paul Colmor, the affable proprietor of an enormous junkyard in the backwoods of Quebec, Carcasses then shifts into a more flagrantly mythic mode as Colmor’s metal-strewn kingdom is invaded by teen marauders. That the latter group is played by actors with Down’s syndrome may cause some consternation but the proceedings’ air of quiet awe and spirit of playfulness make Carcasses something rare and wondrous."



Review by Rob Nelson for Variety:

"Like its 74-year-old subject, a compulsive amasser of unwanted cars and copious other junk, "Carcasses" is enjoyably eccentric -- at least in, uh, parts. Seemingly only half documentary, Quebecois director Denis Cote's fourth film shifts gears at the midpoint with the evidently contrived arrival on the collector's cluttered property of four young people with developmental disabilities. Whether or not Cote intends to suggest that, like the malfunctioning autos, these handicapped interlopers are carcasses of a sort, the film's lesser half doesn't achieve much beyond sketchy provocation. Fest play appears assured, but limited.



Observing in quotidian detail the daily tinkerings of Saint-Amable-based Jean-Paul Colmor, whose literal tons of bric-a-brac constitute a veritable museum of North American cultural detritus, "Carcasses" departs from fly-on-the-wall portraits with carefully composed, often lovely shots that would've likely required the subject's collaboration. Even before the additional layer of artifice is added, Cote's close-up study of a working-class trade recalls (and pales beside) Lisandro Alonso's 2001 hybrid docu "La libertad." One of Cote's own odd assemblages -- snippets of Mahler symphonies and of an abrasive punk rock tune -- accentuates the distinction between the film's documentary and fictional portions."



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