Volume 19, Issue 10 / October 2015

Festival of New Cinema (FNC) & Experimental Film

In this issue

For this month’s offerings Offscreen places its focus on experimental cinema. The Montreal film festival which has historically best represented the experimental and avant-garde scene is undoubtedly the Festival of New Cinema (festival de nouveau cinéma, or FNC for short). Montreal-based experimental filmmaker and teacher François Miron’s recent documentary on the late American experimental artist Paul Sharits received its homecoming at the 2015 Festival du nouveau cinéma. I was entranced by the film’s ability to explain some of Sharits’ working methods while not stripping away the beguiling nature of Sharits’ films and artworks. Offscreen pays tribute to both Miron and his subject with a review of Miron’s Paul Sharits and an interview with director François Miron. Kate Schiebelbein (new to Offscreen) analyzes the experimental documentary films of J.P. Sniadecki, who was a guest at the Recontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal (Nov. 14, 2014) as part of the experimental documentary series. As Schiebelbein reports from Sniadecki’s Masterclass, the experimental documentarist wants to “provoke new ways of seeing reality,” a view that is partly influenced by structural filmmaking (which Sharits also worked in, although not as extensively as some people assume). Also new to Offscreen is film writer Michael Sooriyakumaran, who reports on the Toronto International Film Festival’s (TIFF) experimental Wavelengths section, programmed by Andréa Picard (a regular contributor to the excellent print film magazine cinema scope). Rounding out the issue is a fifth essay surveying the experimental narrative films of French auteur Philippe Grandrieux by Randolph Jordan. Grandrieux films, difficult to see theatrically otherwise, have shown frequently at the Festival de Nouveau Cinema. (Donato Totaro, ed.)

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