Montreal, October 17, 2011 – The Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) will have the honour of screening CRAZY HORSE, the latest documentary by acclaimed American filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, at its opening night on November 9, in Ludger-Duvernay Theatre at the Monument-National. After high-profile screenings at TIFF and the Venice Film Festival, CRAZY HORSE will launch RIDM on a high note.
After LA COMÉDIE FRANÇAISE and LE BALLET DE L’OPÉRA DE PARIS, Frederick Wiseman takes us behind the scenes of one of the most famous French cultural institutions: the Crazy Horse. Since 1951, the Parisian cabaret has claimed that it stages the world’s most extravagant burlesque show. For 11 weeks, Wiseman filmed preparations for their new show, DÉSIRS, choreographed by Philippe Decouflé, an amalgamation of ballet and erotic dance, refinement and vulgarity, fantasy and avant-garde art. For his 39th documentary, the filmmaker switched from 16mm film to digital HD, doing justice to the swirling colours in each number and the unquestionable cinematic appeal of the bodies in motion. It’s easily the most entertaining and glamorous film of Wiseman’s career.
The festival will also include a major Wiseman retrospective. In collaboration with the Cinémathèque québécoise, ten of his most important films will be shown in their original format (in most cases 16mm), as a tribute to this legend of documentary cinema.
Following the festival’s ten days of screenings and other activities, RIDM will close with a screening of Italian filmmaker Stefano Savona’s TAHRIR – PLACE DE LA LIBÉRATION, whose premiere at the Locarno Festival generated considerable buzz. Closing night will take place on November 19 in the Grande Bibliothèque auditorium with the filmmaker in attendance. The screening will be preceded by the festival’s awards ceremony.
To produce his film, Savona (honourable mention for Image award, CAST LEAD, RIDM 2009) spent 18 days in early 2011, blending in with the revolutionary crowd in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Up until President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation, he stayed among the people, full of anger and hotly debating the exhilarating and uncertain future their revolution might bring. Armed with his Canon 5D camera, Savona was a frontline witness to history in the making. By immersing the viewer in the life of the square, TAHRIR becomes much more than reportage; it is an epic work by a filmmaker who is able to clearly visualize an extraordinarily complex situation and demonstrate an amazing ability to capture compelling imagery.
Quebec’s only film festival dedicated to documentaries, the Montreal International Documentary Festival presents the best reality-based films, including the works of established directors and new talents alike. The 14th edition will take place from November 9 to 20 at the Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinema ONF, Cinema excentris, Grande Bibliothèque, Goethe-Institut and Université Concordia.