An Oscar winner, a man of keen social observation and sense of humor and a Canadian icon, Denys Arcand has been a force in French Canadian cinema since the early 60s. I first caught wind of the director when, in my teens, I saw Jésus de Montréal, a film which stuck with me for months after seeing it and likely one of the first films I saw that made me think of movies and simply more than entertainment. Over the years I’ve caught up with much of the director’s filmography and it looks like the time has come to re-visit two classics.
The March and April selection for the FWC DVD Club selection is a double bill of Arcand films, a pairing of two classics. 1986’s The Decline of the American Empire introduced us to a group of academics living in Montreal, giving us a look at the complicated lives of people with too much time and money on their hands. Affairs, petty concerns, gossip – it’s all here boiled down to the basics. It’s absurd – that’s the point. In 2003, Arcand followed up the film by revisiting the group 17 years later when one of the group members is diagnosed with a fatal disease. The Oscar winning film is touching and bitingly funny, a combination which Arcand has mastered.
If you’ve yet to see them, now’s your chance to catch up with a couple of modern classics. To join in on the discussion, head over to the forum.
Trailers for both films tucked under the seats!