2012 Focus Québec: Le point de non-retour

A Cinema about Death and Life

Sophie Goyette and nicolas Roy on the Edge

The films of Sophie Goyette and nicolas Roy have this in common: They look at the exact moment between what is before and what comes after, a moment that is very short and infinite at the same time, one where everything changes forever. nothing is the same, there is no return. These moments that they shoot, these states of mind they represent are intense, painful and very deep. More impressionistic than realistic, their work explores dark areas of the human psyche.

Yet at the same time we can also oppose them as strongly as we can oppose death and life. The work of nicolas Roy is haunted by death, just as that of Sophie lets life spring forth; nicolas Roy creates fantastic atmospheres and invokes phantasmagoric chimeras, Sophie Goyette uses an aesthetic closer to realism as she places social issues in a precise environment.

In this way, death hangs over the films of nicolas Roy. death and evil: The irreparable wanders and shapes an oppressive off-screen presence. In 2001, “novembre” opened a golden decade of short film in Quebec, one rich and fruitful. Yet the short film by nicolas Roy, his first in the trilogy “novembre”, was more than that: This drama, the (last?) trip of a woman accompanied by her daughter in a strange ambulance, a sort of wagon of death, permitted the short film to go beyond the city of Quebec and its social themes. nicolas Roy flirted with Maupassant’s fantastic narrative style, which was new and impressive.

Ten years later in 2011, Sophie Goyette completed her new film “La Ronde”. death is also here somewhere, waiting, hiding. But in fact the real subject is the long goodbye to the suburbs, the father, and a style of life. What we are invited to look at are the processes that precede the rebirth. So in a single gesture, Sophie Goyette talks in a highly sensitive way about suburban childhood and the desire to abandon it for a new life, a symbolic and real death preceding that mutation.

Both directors are currently working on their first feature.

Philippe Gajan

The Films

CE N'EST RIEN (IT'S NOTHING), Nicolas Roy (Fiction, Canada 2011)

Michel lives alone with his daughter Marie. Today, their monotonous life becomes dramatic.

NOVEMBRE, Nicolas Roy (Fiction, Canada 2001)

The film is about sadness and despair. A young woman and her mother on the road. Everything is moving, but where to?

LÉO, Nicolas Roy (Fiction, Canada 2003)

Ever since his mother died, twelve-year-old Léo has lived alone with his father and his dog in a tumbledown little house. A sad, isolated spot. Starting today, Léo will never be the same.

PETIT DIMANCHE (SUNDAY), Nicolas Roy (Fiction, Canada 2003)

Jacques and his sister take care of their young cousin Michel. Despite the pervading sense of distress, they try to enjoy some moments of happiness.

MANÈGES (RIDES), Sophie Goyette (Fiction, Canada, 2010)

At the wheel of her car in the heart of the night, nadège is searching for release and finds it in a familiar place: A 24-hour carting circuit where she will stay till daybreak. She is facing a decision.

LA RONDE, Sophie Goyette (Fiction, Canada, 2010)

Come nightfall, Ariane bids farewell to her father’s bungalow, as well as her twin brother, her hometown and landmarks, driven by a longing to wake up elsewhere – anywhere – but not here.