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A film by Anne Émond


SYNOPSIS


Clara and Nikolaï meet at a rave. They return to Nikolaï’s apartment and frantically make love. Afterwards, instead of parting, the two lovers divulge their deepest secrets to one another.

Nicolaï is a beautiful loner, one with great ambition which he’s unable to articulate to his peers. At thirty-one years old, he leads a simple and frugal life. He applies himself to reading the great classics of literature but never finishes a book he has begun. Unable to submit to any schedule, he finds himself unfit for work. He envisions big projects and has expansive ideas but, inevitably and despite himself, loses sight of them before they are realized.

Clara, like Nikolaï, seems not to be made for this world. She leads a double life. By day, she works as a third grade teacher; by night, she is a compulsive party-girl, exorcizing or forgetting her vaunted hopes. She goes out every night, gets drunk and high, invites high-voltage sexual combinations, all the while desperately trying to fill an emotional void yet never succeeding.

Though they are tempted to animas by all-too-common and divisive gender politics, politics they simultaneously fear and embrace, the friction between them  is trumped by a common determination to bridge the gap that they realize afflicts the women and men of their lost, but far from hopeless, generation.

 

Nuit #1 News

Mick LaSalle
Updated 5:05 p.m., Thursday, August 9, 2012

'Nuit #1' review: Real sex, raw emotion

Drama. Starring Catherine de Léan and Dimitri Storoge. Directed by Anne Émond. In French with English subtitles. (Not rated. 91 minutes.)
Two people, who've just met in a bar, go home to his lousy apartment and proceed to have sex, and we are there watching them in "Nuit #1," a raw and explicit French-Canadian film that I must admit to having mixed feelings about. The characters are fictional, but the sex is real - as in the actors Catherine de Léan and Dimitri Storoge are really doing that - and somehow this doesn't seem like a proper use of sex to me, nor of cinema, nor of the actors, though maybe they didn't mind.
Following sex, she tries to sneak out, and then a conversation ensues, a long one. He talks about what a complete, self-destructive mess he is - long monologues - and then she talks about what an emotionally disconnected empty shell of a person she is. And they each sit there listening, because each knows he or she is no better than the other.
Here's the thing: This movie would be easy to mock as maudlin and self-important, but there's something about it that can't be dismissed. The monologues may be theatrical and presentational - director Anne Émond made this film when she was 29 and too young to be subtle.
But the characters' voices are alive; and the financial and emotional traps they're in are believable and ultimately moving. These are young lives derailed, people without hope, purpose or moral grounding. "Nuit #1" is an expression of all this and perhaps a symptom of it, too.
What's more - there's no point in denying this - somehow the monologues' effectiveness is partly tied to the fact that we see the actors put it all on the line in that first scene. It throws them into the same stewpot as the characters and raises the stakes all around.
So this is a different kind of movie, as graphic as porn, but not porn, not titillating and not unintelligent. It's committed - some new and highly disturbing version of a really good movie.
Mick LaSalle is The San Francisco Chronicle's movie critic. E-mail: mlasalle@sfchronicle.com

Link to article


 

Film listings are edited by Cheryl Eddy. Reviewers are Kimberly Chun, Max Goldberg, Dennis Harvey, and Lynn Rapoport. For rep house showtimes, see Rep Clock.

Nuit #1 Montreal director-writer Anne Émond bares more than her actor's beautiful bodies: she's eager to uncover their tenderized souls: hurt, unsavory, vulnerable, terrified, nihilistic, compulsive, and desperate. Nikolai (Dimitri Stroroge) and Clara (Catherine de Lean) are just two kids on the crowded dance floor, jumping up and down in slow motion to the tune of a torch song; before long, they're in Nikolai's shabby apartment, tearing off their clothes and making love as if their lives depended on it. But when Nikolai, laid out on his mattress on the floor like a grunge Jesus with a bad haircut, catches Clara sneaking out without saying good-bye, he sits her down for an earful of his reality. She returns the favor, revealing an unexpected double life, and the two embark on a psycho-tango that takes all night. It can seem like a long one to those impatient with the young, beautiful, and possibly damned's doubts and self-flagellation, though Émond's artful, coolly empathetic eye takes the proceedings to a higher level. She's attempting to craft a simultaneously romantic and raw-boned song of self for a generation. (1:31) Elmwood, Lumiere. (Chun)


 

The 32nd Genie Award nominations for the best in Canadian film were announced in Toronto.

The Nominees:

Best actress: Catherine de Léan, Nuit #1; Pascale Montpetit, The Girl in the White Coat; Vanessa Paradis, Café de Flore; Rachel Weisz, The Whistleblower; Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz.Myspace Layouts

 

Nuit #1 News

Mick LaSalle
Updated 5:05 p.m., Thursday, August 9, 2012

'Nuit #1' review: Real sex, raw emotion

Drama. Starring Catherine de Léan and Dimitri Storoge. Directed by Anne Émond. In French with English subtitles. (Not rated. 91 minutes.)
Two people, who've just met in a bar, go home to his lousy apartment and proceed to have sex, and we are there watching them in "Nuit #1," a raw and explicit French-Canadian film that I must admit to having mixed feelings about. The characters are fictional, but the sex is real - as in the actors Catherine de Léan and Dimitri Storoge are really doing that - and somehow this doesn't seem like a proper use of sex to me, nor of cinema, nor of the actors, though maybe they didn't mind.
Following sex, she tries to sneak out, and then a conversation ensues, a long one. He talks about what a complete, self-destructive mess he is - long monologues - and then she talks about what an emotionally disconnected empty shell of a person she is. And they each sit there listening, because each knows he or she is no better than the other.
Here's the thing: This movie would be easy to mock as maudlin and self-important, but there's something about it that can't be dismissed. The monologues may be theatrical and presentational - director Anne Émond made this film when she was 29 and too young to be subtle.
But the characters' voices are alive; and the financial and emotional traps they're in are believable and ultimately moving. These are young lives derailed, people without hope, purpose or moral grounding. "Nuit #1" is an expression of all this and perhaps a symptom of it, too.
What's more - there's no point in denying this - somehow the monologues' effectiveness is partly tied to the fact that we see the actors put it all on the line in that first scene. It throws them into the same stewpot as the characters and raises the stakes all around.
So this is a different kind of movie, as graphic as porn, but not porn, not titillating and not unintelligent. It's committed - some new and highly disturbing version of a really good movie.
Mick LaSalle is The San Francisco Chronicle's movie critic. E-mail: mlasalle@sfchronicle.com

Link to article


 

Film listings are edited by Cheryl Eddy. Reviewers are Kimberly Chun, Max Goldberg, Dennis Harvey, and Lynn Rapoport. For rep house showtimes, see Rep Clock.

Nuit #1 Montreal director-writer Anne Émond bares more than her actor's beautiful bodies: she's eager to uncover their tenderized souls: hurt, unsavory, vulnerable, terrified, nihilistic, compulsive, and desperate. Nikolai (Dimitri Stroroge) and Clara (Catherine de Lean) are just two kids on the crowded dance floor, jumping up and down in slow motion to the tune of a torch song; before long, they're in Nikolai's shabby apartment, tearing off their clothes and making love as if their lives depended on it. But when Nikolai, laid out on his mattress on the floor like a grunge Jesus with a bad haircut, catches Clara sneaking out without saying good-bye, he sits her down for an earful of his reality. She returns the favor, revealing an unexpected double life, and the two embark on a psycho-tango that takes all night. It can seem like a long one to those impatient with the young, beautiful, and possibly damned's doubts and self-flagellation, though Émond's artful, coolly empathetic eye takes the proceedings to a higher level. She's attempting to craft a simultaneously romantic and raw-boned song of self for a generation. (1:31) Elmwood, Lumiere. (Chun)


 

The 32nd Genie Award nominations for the best in Canadian film were announced in Toronto.

The Nominees:

Best actress: Catherine de Léan, Nuit #1; Pascale Montpetit, The Girl in the White Coat; Vanessa Paradis, Café de Flore; Rachel Weisz, The Whistleblower; Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz.Myspace Layouts