Set in a dreary urban landscape of Edmonton, LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS is a dark comedy about a group of twentysomethings looking for love and meaning in the '90s. The film focuses on ... See full summary »
Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family drama between Johan's son from another marriage and his granddaughter.
1970. After discussions and dishonest negotiations, a decision is taken as to where a large new chemical factory is to be built and Bednarz, an honest Party man, is put in charge of the ... See full summary »
In Montreal, the wanderings of two urban homeless, Marcel, an old timer and Joseph, who just landed in the big city. Both philosophers and resourceful nice bums roam the streets of the ... See full summary »
A sports photographer in rural Canada sends a picture of a high school athlete, Tina Menzhal, to a Montréal fashion agency. This starts Tina on a career taking her from Canada to Paris to Montréal again, to Manhattan, to the world, and then home, through two boyfriends, two husbands, and innumerable TV interviews, either with nasty smiling scandalmongers or with gushing witless twits. In nearly every case, Tina never gets to finish a sentence. She has a suave agent, paparazzi are everywhere ("What the celebs forget, there's always a camera," says one), and a documentary filmmaker is on hand as well. What is it that Tina thinks, feels, and wants: will we ever find out? Written by
When Tina leaves the hospital, her left arm is in a sling. In subsequent scenes, her right arm is in the sling. See more »
[old guy enthralled by his young lover, obviously doomed relationship]
Look at her.
[beautiful Tina's, in fact, being chatted up on the beach by young stud]
Can you see her?
She's so fucking beautiful.
[smiles proudly, stressed out, takes a sip from drink]
You don't know how beautiful she is. She slides in bed with you naked, you wanna die. It just fucking kills you.
[close-up of her angelic face]
You walk into a room with her, every man, every woman wants her. President of the United States...
[...] See more »
The cult of celebrity and beauty is exposed in the blackest humor by Denys Arcand with the hysterical Stardom. Jessica Pare as Tina Menzel is a vacuous beauty who is never allowed to be more than a pretty face and sexy body. A cast of mostly Canadian actors, Dan Ackroyd (SNL), Thomas Gibson (Dahrma and Greg), and newcomer Pare are cast to perfection in a scathing parody of entertainment television, expose documentaries, fashion television, and talk shows. Frank Langella (HBO Unscripted) portrays stuffy Blaine De Castillion, an aging minor diplomat who marries a trophy wife only to be thrown over by her for yet another monosyllabic athletic type.
Tina is the young victim of her own beauty and presented as an uneducated, unsophisticated, and naive girl swept into the heights of celebrity solely by the manipulation of her stunning face and figure. She is the victim of both men and women of the fashion trade that cash in. The modeling world which Tina inhabits is exposed with stunning cinematography as Arcand strips away the layers of commercialism that relies on selling the notions of youth and physical perfection like Tina Menzel.
No pc topic is overlooked by Arcand who takes a swipe at Canada's First Nation's eco-hype and indigenous spirituality, PETA animal rights fanaticism, heavily accented Canuk celebrity reporters, ice hockey, and feminist-lesbian-politics all with hilarious results.
Thomas Gibson as the steely agent for the multinational public relation agency that represents Tina never permits his client to be anything but the innocent yet desirable money-making product. Gibson's brief b/w screen time reflects a high production cosmetic ad and both Pare and Gibson are beautifully photographed to highlight their physical attractiveness, yet theirs is the only on screen relationship never consumated. Gibson's performance is both subtle, ambiguous, and dead on, esp. teaching a 400-level Yale course in "Sports and Celebrity Entertainment" and warning students of Millie-Vanilli versus Celine Dion talent spotting.
With little exposure beyond HBO screenings, Stardom continues to be true to the reality TV trend, yet, while it was ahead of its time, particularly in comments about full frontal nudity and Meg Ryan that unfortunately have come true, Arcand's film is often so subtle its droll satire flies over the heads of an unreflective public failing to grasp the humor and truth of the informed filmmaker.
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