Culture | Denys Arcand invades Cinema du Parc

This month, Cinema du Parc is holding a tribute to renowned Canadian filmmaker Denys Arcand, whose work has been applauded both at home and abroad. Aiming to bring Arcand’s notable work back onto the big screen, this tribute will show every feature film, documentary, and most shorts created throughout his career.

For over forty years, Arcand has established himself as an acclaimed director and screenwriter within both the national and global film communities. Sardonically realistic, his films offer an intelligent and incredibly funny – albeit controversial – perspective on the social and political processes, priorities, and beliefs within our world.

Roland Smith, the owner and programmer of Cinema du Parc, contrasted Arcand’s films against those typical of Hollywood, saying, “His films are more personal. They’re not made to make money, but to make people think. They entertain people intellectually.” He described Arcand’s signature cynicism as “intellectual but not overly intellectual, and very funny.” Due to their focus on the nuances of human nature and interactions, these films have maintained their strength and humor throughout the years. Chosen as the first retrospective of 2012, Smith has provided an exclusive opportunity to honor and celebrate this Quebec icon’s success.

Arcand’s films have won awards and been screened at film festivals throughout the world. His films have been nominated three times at the Academy Awards; in 2004, his feature film Les Invasions Barbares (The Barbarian Invasions) took home the Oscar for “Best Film in a Foreign Language.” Smith describes this picture as, “the resume of Arcand’s career,” and a definite must see for tribute go-ers.

The recipient of several other notable awards by such cornerstone film institutions as the Cannes Film Festival and the Cesar Awards, Arcand has arguably become the most widely celebrated French Canadian director of all time. He has propelled Canadian arts beyond the confines of this nation – a difficult task in an entertainment world so firmly dominated by Hollywood powerhouses.

Denys Arcand will open this tribute by presenting the premier film, Jesus de Montreal, at 7 on the evening of January 27. This film is Arcand’s most widely viewed and recognized piece. Created in 1989, this film broke Arcand into the American and international film community. Located just up the street from the McGill student ghetto, this tribute is an incredible opportunity to experience Montreal’s creative culture, even for those of us who aren’t focusing on a minor concentration in World Cinema. Roland Smith promises that he intends this tribute to be, “not just a retrospective, but an event.” And not to worry monolingual students, there will definitely be subtitles.