Sept. 11, 9 p.m., Jackman; Sept. 12, 10 a.m., Isabel Bader; Sept. 18, 10:45 a.m., Cumberland 2
L'Enfer de Henri-Georges Clouzot
Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea (France)
Post-Surrealist cinematic Op-Art gone wonderfully mad: In 1964, the legendary mid-century French director Henri-Georges Clouzot had a seemingly unlimited budget to make the film that would revolutionize cinema. With leading French actress Romy Schneider, Clouzot and his crew worked overtime, experimenting with image distortion and sound collages for a film about jealousy within a marriage. Half a century later, Bromberg and Medrea have made a documentary unearthing this lost footage of a masterpiece that never was. The doc keeps a straight face about a project that was borderline bonkers, especially Clouzot's now wonderfully dated, overly literal surrealism. Confused emotions? Clouzot had a light swirl around Schneider's beautiful face so that her eyes and lips are in dizzying motion. Hyper-obsession? Create a montage of multiple eyes, shot close-up and blinking eerily in the dark. Seen today, it's all pure delight, from the go-go clothes to the carefree archetype of a young married woman. Footage from the director's stunningly hallucinatory street scenes, playing with light as being a force of deception, are pure brilliance. G.D.
Sept. 10, 7:15 p.m., Varsity 1; Sept. 12, 3:45 p.m., Jackman; Sept. 18, 6:15 p.m., Varsity 4
London River Rachid Bouchareb (Britain/France/Algeria)
Sometimes the unthinkable starts in indiscernible doses, like the photocopied missing-person notices we all see suddenly including one for your child. The plot of this subtle, highly involving film is nearly impossible to describe further without giving the whole thing away. Suffice it to say that in the shock of the central-London terrorist bombings of 2005, the insularity of many British lives and views suddenly blew open. And yet, as this clever, touching drama about two families trying to cope with the bombing shows, the end effect was the exact opposite of what the terrorists sought. Instead of pulling society apart, the bombing brought people together in unexpected ways. G.D.
Sept. 17, 9 p.m., Elgin; Sept. 18, 8:45 p.m., AMC 6; Sept. 19, 12:15 p.m., Cumberland 2
Joachim Roenning and Espen Sandberg (Norway)
It's taken six decades, but northern European filmmakers are starting to look more closely at how their nations responded to the Nazi takeover during the war. Last year, the Danes offered up Flame and Citron, about two legendary resistance fighters. Now comes Max Manus, about a young Norwegian resistance fighter, played by Aksel Hennie, who blew up German ships in Oslo's harbour - among other exploits. (It abridges and adapts the real story - Manus was trained in part in Canada, but that's not here - but it's still a fascinating, well-acted glimpse into a little known theatre of the war.) Michael Posner
Sept. 18, 9:30 p.m. Roy Thomson; Sept. 19, 3 p.m., Varsity 8
My Tehran for Sale
Granaz Moussavi (Iran/Australia)
Moussavi has made a stark, saddening portrait of a swelling youth subculture willing to risk brutal lashings at the hand of the state to live a more liberal life, indulging in drugs, alcohol and banned music to escape the daily repression. The film chronicles the struggles of Marzieh (Marzieh Vafamehr), a young Iranian stage actress forced to work underground and trying to escape to the comparative freedom of Australia with her lover Saman (Amir Chegini). Both give compelling performances, seething with resentment at their stunted lives. Marzieh's exploits have biographical echoes in Moussavi's life - she left Iran for Australia at age 23, returning to risk shooting My Tehran for Sale underground. It is an undeniably courageous effort to document the inward defiance smouldering in many behind a veneer of submission. Shot with documentary-style realism, the trembling camera reminds viewers that the iron fist of the state is never far from the edge of the frame. J.B.
Sept. 12, 11:45 a.m., AMC 7; Sept. 17, 3:30 p.m., AMC 7; Sept. 19, 12:15 p.m., AMC 2Report Typo/Error
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