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Domino to close New Montreal FilmFest on September 25

Domino, Tony Scott’s film dramatization of the life of Domino Harvey, controversial daughter of legendary British actor Laurence Harvey and supermodel Paulene Stone, will close the New Montreal FilmFest on September 25. Domino and 13 other titles – Scottish director Saul Metzstein’s Guy X, an addition to the competition for the Golden Iris; Atom Egoyan’s latest film, Where the Truth Lies; Magnificent Desolation, a new IMAX documentary on the moon expeditions; Nancy Kwan’s Eve and the Fire Horse; Fernando Solanas’ La dignidad de los nadies; The Wind by veteran Argentine director Eduardo Mignona; João Moreira Salles’ documentary on the Brazilian president, Intermissions; Marcelo Magnone’s Demolition; Ordinary Man by Belgian director Vincent Lanoo; Canoa by Felipe Cazals, the Mexican director who is on the Festival’s jury; Antarctic Journal by Korean director Yim Phil‑sung; Zhang Ming’s Before Born; and Yonfan’s Colour Blossoms – were announced to the line-up of the inaugural edition of the NMFF which opens September 18 in Montreal’s Latin Quarter.

Directed by Tony Scott, of Top Gun and True Romance fame, Domino is a fictionalized portrait of Domino Harvey, daughter of British actor Laurence Harvey and supermodel Paulene Stone. Born in 1969 and named after one of Ian Fleming's Bond heroines, Domino grew up to become a model herself, then a nightclub manager and a ranch hand. In 1994 she joined a California bail bond agency as a shotgun-accessorized bounty hunter, getting paid 10% of the captured bail bond from drug dealers. Domino loved firearms and a fast lifestyle that included pending drug charges. She died in June, in the bathroom of her West Hollywood cottage, after Scott’s biopic was wrapped. Christopher Walken, Mena Suvari, Lucy Liu and Mickey Rourke are also part of the cast.

Guy X (which was filmed in large part in Montreal) is set in U.S. military base Qangattarsa, Greenland in 1979. Corporal Rudy Spruance enlisted in order to escape jail time. His fellow soldiers are a rag-tag bunch of misfits. Things get sticky when he uncovers the secret of The Wing: a hospice for American casualties from a reckless Vietnam war mission. The “patients” are all vegetative shells of the men they once were. Except for Guy X.

A 3-dimensional re-visiting of the trips to the moon in the ’60s and ’70s by way archival footage and live-action re-creations, Mark Cowen’s new IMAX documentary Magnificent Desolation, gives audiences a chance to return to the Moon with the original explorers, to see and hear their stories in a way never before possible, to remember the majesty of their accomplishments.

Where the Truth Lies, the new film by renowned Canadian director Atom Egoyan (Ararat, The Sweet Hereafter), is set the 1950s. Its protagonists, Lanny Morris and Vince Collins, are the most beloved entertainers in America. A classic duo – Lanny is the manic comedian, while Vince is his cool straight man – they are at the top of their game, wealthy, powerful and enormously popular. Then a beautiful naked girl turns up dead in their hotel suite. Their reputations are sullied but, thanks to solid alibis, neither is charged. Fifteen years later, up and coming writer Karen O’Connor, decides to turn this cold case into a hot story.

Eve, the heroine of Canadian director Nancy Kwan’s Eve and the Fire Horse, is a precocious nine year-old with an overactive imagination, was born in the year of the Fire Horse, notorious among Chinese families for producing the most troublesome children. Forced to grow up too fast, Eve learns to take pleasure in life’s small gifts. When her older sister Karena becomes fascinated with Christianity, crucifixes pop up next to the Buddha in the family’s house and Eve must contend with a Sunday school class where her wild imagination is distinctly out of place.

La dignidad de los nadies offers a new chapter in the history of contemporary Argentina, that Fernando Solanas (Hour of the Furnaces) began with Social Genocide (2004), which recounted the tragic mismanagement of Argentina by military dictatorships and neo-liberal sell-outs alike, a period that saw Argentina’s precipitous decline from one of the more progressive Latin American nations to one of the most destitute and corrupt.

Intermissions by João Moreira Salles is a behind-the-scenes look at a historic moment, the election of ex-union leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as president of Brazil in 2002. João Moreira Salles’ camera follows Lula's every step in the days and months preceding the election, an election which he had already lost three times in previous years. The documentary's small crew was granted a very high level of access to Lula, and ended up with candid footage of the future president’s more private moments.

Ordinary Man by Belgian director Victor Lanoo is the portrait of George, an enthusiastic furniture salesman, a good family father, a nice husband, a loyal friend and a skilled handyman. But one night he blunders on a highway, snaps and kills a man in a wild rage. Shocked by his own violence, he's confronted with a big dilemma: should he spare the girlfriend of his victim, witness of his crime, and let her live? There is no way to back out of this predicament.

Osvaldo, one of the two main protagonists of Demolition by Argentine director Marcelo Mangone, works for a demolition company. His current assignment is to tear down an empty old factory to make room for a supermarket. But Alberto, who has worked there for forty years, still has visions of getting it started up again. In fact that’s what he thinks Osvaldo is there for.

In The Wind by Eduardo Mignogna of Argentina, an elderly cattleman who has never left his small town in Patagonia, comes to Buenos Aires to tell his granddaughter that her mother has died. He also bears a secret that will have a profound effect on her life.

Canoa by Mexican director Felipe Cazals (who is on the jury of this year’s Festival) is based on a true story. In 1968, five friends from Puebla venture to the nearby small town of San Miguel Canoa, where the government and a corrupt priest have whipped up an illiterate indigenous population into an anti-Communist frenzy. Thinking the strangers are outside agitators, the locals attack.

In Antarctic Journal directed by Yim Phil‑sung, a six-man Korean expedition attempts to reach the remotest point in the Antarctic, unaided and by foot. The men find a journal written by a British explorer 80 years earlier. Now the events its describes begin to happen to the current explorers.

Yu Ran, the heroine of Before Born by Chinese director Zhang Ming, goes to the local hospital to confirm her pregnancy. Unmarried, she doesn’t know whether to keep the baby. In China thirty years earlier, this would have been a great personal tragedy. Now it has become a matter for the mother to decide. Yu Ran decides to consult with its prospective father first.

In Colour Blossoms by Yang Man‑shih Yonfan (noted for his 2001 feature, Peony Pavilion), Meili, a beautiful Hong Kong real estate agent has two strange encounters in the same day: voluptuous Madam Umeki, a mysterious Japanese high society lady who, after buying an apartment from Meili, appoints her to lease an empty art deco mansion on her behalf, and a macho, uniformed policeman who seems to have materialized from her secret dreams.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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